I'm flexible...

Some years ago, I read a magazine article about new and interesting types of exercise classes, and there was a description for a type of exercise called Nia. Short for Neuromuscular Integrative Action, it’s also a Swahili word meaning “to move with purpose”. I remember reading that classes were all about the joy of movement and were done barefoot. This would have been the late 90’s in Atlanta, and try as I might, I didn’t find anywhere offering the classes.

So when I was killing time looking at the schedule at the Y last month, I noticed a Thursday night Nia class. And although it took me a few weeks to finally get to one, I think we have a winner. For starters, it was me and four other students. Nothing like a little personal attention – and a real contrast to not having enough space in Zumba class.

It’s kind of funny though – as I said, there were five of us – one guy, who actually sat out a lot – I think he’s recovering from an injury, either that or he digs watching women writhe around on the floor. The three other women, plus the female instructor, were all taller than me and very willowy. It looked like trees swaying in the breeze next to a wobbling fire hydrant.

Nia basically takes the moves of Yoga, Tai Chi, and Modern Dance and blends them all together. It wasn’t easy – I wasn’t panting like I would after Zumba, not because I didn’t work as hard, but it wasn’t as fast and furious. It's about stretching, balancing, flexibility, and toning your core.

Never fear, I still love Zumba – I’m not that fickle. But I can promise you I’ll be continuing to explore as many options as I can. Next up, some of the ladies at work want to learn to Pole Dance. When asked if I was in, I replied, “Oh, HELL yes!”

Because you never know when you may need a new skill.