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NIA, which previously stood for "Non-impact Aerobics" and now stands for "Neuromuscular Integrative Action", is a physical conditioning program. The Nia Technique was founded in 1983 by Debbie Rosas and Carlos AyaRosas in the San Francisco area. Nia combines martial arts, modern dance arts and yoga in a workout set to music.
From 1972 to 1983 Debbie Rosas operated an exercise business in the San Francisco Bay Area known as the Bod Squad. In 1983 a series of sports related injuries prompted her to research and develop an alternative method of aerobic exercise and strength training aiming for safe, non-impact, bodymind based movement. This led to the establishment of the Nia Technique. Nia Technique headquarters moved to Portland, Oregon in 1991 and is currently overseen by Debbie Rosas, CEO.
Nia dance cardio fitness classes are taught by instructors licensed in the Nia Technique. Each class includes mindful movement guidance and somatic education; class cycles include warm-up, sustained non-impact aerobic conditioning, strength training, cool down and stretching. Nia Fitness classes are taught to music, including pop, electronica, jazz, Latin, New Age, Indian and hip hop. They employ 52 basic movements and techniques that draw on a combination of Jazz, Modern and Duncan Dance styles, Tai Chi, TaeKwonDo and Aikido; and the bodymind healing arts of Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique and Yoga.
- The Nia Technique, (Three Rivers Press) 2005
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- Gila Leiter (May 19, 2003). "Find Fitness Bliss With NIA". Webmd.com. Retrieved 2012-06-07.