Seven cycles are used in every Nia workout. Each cycle serves a distinct purpose and is tailored to meet the needs of various students to provide holistic conditioning. The Body’s Way tells us that we must pass through these cycles to maintain harmony and balance.
Cycles take into account the fact that you are never the same on any two days, or even from one minute to the next. The seven cycles are the same, but the Nia experience varies depending on the emphasis, music, moves, and class aim.
Cycle 1: Set the Focus and Intent – What You Place Your Attention On
What you focus on is what you pay attention to. The intent is what you want to happen. Your Nia teacher chooses a focus and intent before you arrive at class. You maintain your focus and intent throughout all seven cycles as the teacher instructs. This 3-5 minute cycle is used by teachers to communicate objective and subjective information that can improve your awareness and experience in class.
Cycle 2: Step In – Create the Space to Workout
Leaving distractions behind is the act of stepping in. By assisting you in creating space to work out, Stepping In promotes the body, mind, emotions, and spirit connection. As the starting point for all body-centred action, activate your sensory awareness.
This cycle can be initiated by literally taking a heel-first step in, or by any other gesture or movement that represents the activity of removing distractions. As you begin to move, step in to foster a more intimate contact between you and the teacher, and to invite everyone to step into their “now” bodies.
Cycle 3: Warm Up – Prepare Your Heart, Lungs, and 13 Joints
Warm Up – Prepare Your Heart, Lungs, and 13 Joints in Cycle 3
Warm up your body by actively stimulating the energy flow through your heart, lungs, and thirteen major joints. Warming up boosts your body’s heat and respiration while also allowing you to move in all three planes: low, middle, and high. This cycle is used by teachers to acquaint and familiarise students with the routines and music, as well as to invite them to perceive and dance in their “now” bodies. This cycle is also used by teachers to assess their students’ energy levels. As they warm up their bodies, students are encouraged to use their Conscious Personal Trainers (CPTs) to detect and activate the five feelings of fitness (FAMSS).
Cycle 4: Get Moving – Energize the Moves to Reach a Peak
Increased ranges of motion, speed, and intensity are used to condition the heart, lungs, muscles, and joints in getting Moving. Use speed and shorter and longer splashes of intensity to activate your cardiovascular system. Move more fluidly through space and the three-movement planes: low, medium, and high. This cycle can entail moving down to the floor and then back up to standing for Athletic Nia.
Timing, transition, posture, shifting body weight, flexibility, personalisation, intensity levels and planes, and self-expression are all topics covered in Cycle 4.
Cycle 5: Cool Down – Calm, Harmonize, and Re-centre
Reduce the intensity of your workout, slow down your pace, and allow your heart rate to calm down. Stretch, re-centre, contemplate and be ready to move your body towards the floor by activating your Conscious Personal Trainer. Observe the results of your previous movement and make decisions and modifications to improve your body’s flexibility and balance.
Cycle 5 calms the neurological system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system at a rate that promotes balance and harmony throughout the body.
Cycle 6: Floorplay – Fitness on the Floor
Cycle 6 incorporates both freeform (dancing) and regimented movement sequences. The flow of all floor play action is guided by sound and quiet, music or no music. To actively guide the movement, the word “play,” vowel sounds, brief words, and emotive sounds are used. The exercises are straightforward and were chosen to target specific physical needs based on previous body usage. Kneepads, carpeting, and mats can all be utilised to assist the body in moving more freely and comfortably.
Cycle 7: Step Out – Transition Into Your Next Activity
Step Out by focusing on the fitness and self-healing benefits you’ve gained from your exercise as you go on to your next activity. Stepping out is a physical gesture that signifies the end of each lesson.
Try something new and add a thrill to your regular dance routine with Nia Dance! Expand your current experiences with the unique technique of Nia at Dance NZ. Are you a new Dance NZ member? Click here to get access to a special offer of 3 classes for only $15!
Do you have a query? CONTACT Dance NZ here to reach out with your question and we’ll get back to you right away.
Kind regards, Belinda.
Brown Belt in the Nia Technique. A Certified Parkinson Dance Teacher.
Dance NZ Classes Every Week: Physical and Online HYBRID-Style Nia Dance Sessions
Participate in your favourite in-person and HYBRID-style sessions and join as a free Dance NZ member here.
• Nia Dance Move to Heal: Participate in this session here. Time and dates: 11:15 a.m, Tuesdays mornings. Official sessions venue: Waikato Sports Fishing Club (designated location place: 499 Grantham Street in Hamilton).
• Classic Nia: Participate in this session here. Time and dates: 5:30 p.m, Tuesdays evenings. Official session venue: Waikato Sports Fishing Club (designated venue place: Grantham Street in Hamilton).
• Gentle Nia: Participate in this session here. Time and dates: 9:30 a.m, Wednesday mornings. Official session venue: Raglan Town Hall (designated location place: 41 Bow Street, Raglan).
• Classic Nia: Participate in this session here. Time and dates: 9:30 a.m, Friday mornings. Official session venue: Saint John’s Hall (designated location place: Hamilton, 20 Wellington Street).
• Nia for Parkinson’s Freedom Dance: Participate in this session here. Time and dates: 12:00 p.m, Friday afternoons. Official session venue: Saint John’s Hall (designated location place: 20 Wellington Street, Hamilton).
You can find on the Dance NZ site here booking and information about online HYBRID-style sessions and in-person classes with your instructor, Belinda Goodwin.
Dive further into everything about the Nia Technique at nianow.com.