As a long time student and instructor of the Nia Technique, a body/mind fitness class at Timberhill, I can say that it gives me vitality, well-being, fitness, joy, a passion for living, and it keeps me connected to my heart and my highest purpose.  I often feel like a broken record trying to describe what it is to those who have not done it – and, like chocolate, it must be tasted – it can’t be adequately described.  So, I invited some of the Nia regulars to tell you what they get out of class and here are excerpts from some of their comments.  (A heart-felt THANK YOU to all who participated!)  You, too, can experience the joy of moving and being in your body, no previous experience necessary.  Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:00pm and Sunday morning at 11:30am.

 I love that Nia has the power to make me forget I’m exercising, because it’s so fun. Nia is based on a variety of movement traditions, including martial arts, yoga, and modern dance, and I feel that my body and spirit receive a wide range of benefits, from stretching to strengthening to cardio.  Nia is exploration through movement–it never gets boring! ~ K.M.

 Nia provides regular practice of awareness of my body in space and is gradually allowing me to move with more freedom and awareness in all of my life. ~ C.S.

 Nia class is perfect for my physical level with enjoyment.

When I do Nia I can release tension and feel peace of mind.  ~ M.K.

This class is an excellent combination of aerobics, muscle training, coordination training and stretching.  It also helps me relax mentally. ~ S.N.

 After trying a variety of classes over the years, I’ve found the one that gives me strength training, agility and flexibility work, and cardio benefits like no other.  It’s a fun fusion of dance, martial arts, and healing arts with great music!  There’s no strain for perfection in a Nia class.  You’ll find a variety of dancers of different body sizes and fitness levels smiling as we move through our own personal adaptation of the moves trusting ourselves as we make each hour of exercise our own. ~ L.F.

 In one word answers : Joy,  release,  balance.  A low back injury forced me to let go of running,  Zumba,  belly dancing,  and several other activities through which I’d previously found fitness and peace of mind.  When I dance Nia I feel confident that I can choose the right level of intensity to take care of my back, and still experience fitness and cardiovascular wellness. ~ C.F.

 I enjoy Nia because it’s fun to dance. Out of all the classes I take at Timberhill I think I smile the most in [Nia] class. ~ GA

 I’ve enjoyed the flowing movement of the Nia class that prompts you to listen to your body.  The instructor is a role model and very supportive in class.  For those who have said to me, “I can’t do the Nia class because you have to be bare foot and I have flat feet”, I’ll say to them, it’s o.k. to wear shoes, I do! ~  P.N.

 I would love to share what I get from NIA. I tell people it is my church. The most open hearted, uplifting, emotional, mindful congregation I have experienced. My body feels more flexible and elastic, including my organs. And joyfully, my mind. Setting new patterns and intentions. ~S.S.

 I love Nia because it improves my strength, my energy and my flexibility all at once and absolutely painlessly, without any drudgery, without having to memorize drills or movements, and it lifts my spirits. I can come to class feeling tired, depressed and/or stressed, and I leave loosened up and full of joy and energy. ~ C.S.

 I love Leela’s Nia class because no matter what my mood is at the start, I feel light and happy by the end of class.  Also, it is exercise but feels like fun, not work, the time flies by. ~ S.K.

Nia is a freeing, gratifying experience that is so much soul-soothing fun you hardly realize you’re also getting a great workout.  ~ M.W.

 Nia gives you physical and emotional strength to help you in your personal journey through life.  I have health issues that have become easier to overcome since I started Nia.  I highly recommend the class to everyone who wants to enjoy creating a healthy workout program for your body and soul. ~ V.B.

 I notice when I do Nia I move through the world more gracefully for days afterward, lighter in body and spirit. It’s amazing for the body and helps lift the late winter doldrums! ~ G.W.

 Nia is the best “full body” workout I’ve found. It’s energizing and aerobic, yet gentle to my old injuries. I really enjoy the variety of music exercise routines. Leela is a fantastic instructor!  ~ M.F.

 Nia is like yoga for my mind & spirit; I feel looser, more flexible at work and I feel like dancing around the kitchen at home.  It’s cool that it incorporates Martial arts moves and concepts. Nia is powerful and playful- a fun and challenging practice for me. ~ K.M.

The movements, music and directions of Leela during the class, stimulate positive thinking and helps you start feeling more confident, happy and hopeful. Every time I go to classes I feel more positive about myself and others…. Sometimes I am dancing but at the same time I am praying and sending love and strength to my loved ones. I am very grateful and feel very lucky to have met Leela and Nia. It is not just a class – it is a way of living. ~ M.I.S.