My Nia playlists are created using the 7 cycles of Nia.
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Following these cycles creates a magical workout experience!
We use these 7 cycles in a Nia class to create a dynamic fitness experience that has a clear beginning, middle and end. You can do the same when you create your own workout playlist! What are the cycles?
1. Set your Focus & Intent (no music)
This sets the tone of the class by naming what we will pay attention to during our practice (e.g., our breath, our feet, etc.) and what we hope the outcome will be (e.g., experience greater relaxation or greater stability). This allows us to activate our “conscious personal trainer” and to be mindful during practice. We may also choose of focus on a certain movement energy (e.g., of the martial arts, dance arts or healing arts), which can certainly inform music choices.
2. Step in
This is our starting point. It is when we physically enter into our practice, leaving distraction behind and symbolically declare that we are “ready” to be in the “now” and listen to our body as it tells us it’s movement desires.
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3. Warm Up
During this point, we move energy through our 13 major joints and prepare our heart and lungs to get ready for the increased action to come.Typically the music during this cycle is slow, flowing and melodic.
My 5 favourite warm up songs are:
- Thank You for This Day by Karen Drucker (available on iTunes)
4. Get Moving
During this cycle, we energize the moves – moving in and through space at a higher level of intensity to condition our heart and lungs. We use speed and energy variety to condition and train the nervous system.
My 5 favourite “get moving” songs are:
- Give Thanks (feat. Tevya Jones AKA Wisdom) by +Elijah- And The Band Of Light
5. Cool Down
In this cycle, we prepared to move down to the floor by slowing down, stretching, re-centering, reflecting and preparing to move on the floor. During this stage we listen to our body as it tells us what muscles and joints need more attention to bring balance to it. We also check in on our mind, emotions and spirit to ensure we have given ourselves a harmonized experience.
My top 5 “cool down” songs are:
6. Floor Play
During this cycle, we enhance the conditioning of our bodies in ways not possible when standing. Using play, we use the floor, gravity and space to improve our strength, agility, flexibility, mobility and stability. Being on the floor further allows us to stretch and open up our joints.
My 5 favourite floor play songs are:
- Minimba Featuring Mari Boine by Future Prophecies (from the Nia routine Sanjana which you can purchase here)
7. Step Out
This final cycle allows us to transition from our Nia practice to the next part of the day. Before physically taking a step “out” of our practice, we sense for the fitness benefits and self healing that we have received. With intent and purpose, we physically step into the next experience of our day with renewed health.
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What songs will make it onto your workout playlist?
Share your favourites in the comments below!