Fitness class blends martial arts, yoga and dance for mind-body experience


What started as one woman’s search for the perfect workout has grown into a program that’s taught in dozens of countries around the world.

Neuromuscular Integrative Action, or NIA for short, combines different practices for a workout that creator Debbie Rosas says can literally work for every body.
“Everybody works in their own natural way, so when you look at a NIA class you will notice people moving more slowly, more quickly, maybe not using the arms,” Rosas, who taught a workshop in East Lansing at the Sparrow MAC on Saturday, says. “And that’s really people being responsible and being in relationship with the most important person they will ever have a relationship with, and that’s their body.”

You don’t have to be an expert in any of the three disciplines to take the class, something that appealed to one dancer who came from Fort Wayne, Indiana to take it.

“I would say this is the only exercise I’ve experienced that I could recommend for absolutely everyone,” Ruth Owen says. 

Dozens of women walked away with an hour of cardio under their belts. Rosas says she leaves every class with a sense of gratitude. 

“To see that come out, the expressive nature, their voice, their sound. They get in touch with a part of themselves that maybe they would only do behind closed doors before,” Rosas says. “That’s deeply rewarding.”

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