One of my best buddies invited me to join her at a Nia class today. She and I only live 17 miles apart, but we are separated by a large body of water and a big bridge, which daunts us both from seeing each other more often. (she is also my What Not To Wear shopping and fashion expert!) I jumped at the chance to exercise with her! I was a little trepidatious because I’d watched some of the Nia videos, and it looked like some level of … er… coordination was involved. It was in the big gymnasium of her YMCA – about 30-4o people all spread out, and one very pregnant instructor with a microphone strapped to her head. We were in bare feet, which felt really nice. I don’t usually exercise in bare feet.
The class started out with this very Cirque-du-Soleil-ish music (which I loved). Lots of swaying, head rolling, etc. Evolved into some kind of free-for-all ecstatic dance or mad hippie dance combo in which people glided (glid?) around the room, waving arms, rotating pelvises etc. Gyrations and undulations. I vacillated between wanting to laugh my head off, and getting really into it. It helped to close my eyes and groove. But there were also very specific choreographed moves involved as well. There would be a few minutes of scripted stuff, which I had to concentrate hard on, and then a few minutes of let it all hang, people! Bounce around in ecstasy! The Nia people say that this activity is all about
“tapping into the mental, spiritual and emotional aspects of being, as… the physical. It aims to make movement more conscious, to release blocked energy, to enable participants to connect to a greater whole and learn to be guided by the pleasure principle: if it feels good, do it.”
It did feel good. On one level it was goofy as heck, but it still felt good. I especially liked what they call “Floorplay” (which I think MizFit would appreciate) as opposed to “floorwork.” We were encouraged to become embryos or protozoa or platypuses or whatever we wanted. It reminded me of my favorite scene in Harriet the Spy when her dance teacher casts her as an onion, and she rolls around on the floor really feeling it.
After the Nia class, I was definitely energized. Not dripping sweat, but with a nice sweaty layer. My friend wanted me to check out these high-tech stationery bikes that have an interactive video monitor attached. SO hilarious and high-tech and cool! I got on the bike and chose the Redwood Forest course, and found myself pedaling through these beautiful redwood forests! You have to steer so you don’t crash into a tree, and there are even hills that you really feel. I think I rode about 5 miles at “level 12” (whatever that is) and worked up a HUGE river of sweat. BIG FUN!
Then we had a very nice healthy lunch at the mall food court. I got gazpacho (cold soup was excellent because I was still superoverheated) and a hummus wrap. Then we strolled into the Gap. Remember that Gap commercial from the 70s? “Fall into the GAP.” I fell in, alright. I was not intending to either try OR buy anything but ended up having a mini-spree which I am now calling my birthday present from my dear husband.
I have been dying for a pair of “boyfriend jeans” (except, NO, I do not wear them with 5″ heels! LOL!) every since I saw them on J. Jill website (and Gap’s are cheaper! Way!). I am here to say – people, (no, WOMEN) if you want an ego boost the size of Montana, run right over to the Gap and try on some BOYFRIEND JEANS. They are cute, floppy, comfortable as all heck, and their sizes are INSANE. Let me just say that I kept trying on smaller and smaller sizes until I was at size 4 (FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR) and even they were kind of on the loose side. The saleslady suggested I try a TWO at which point I almost passed out from ecstasy and slid down to the floor to relive my Nia protoplasm dance. But alas, they had no size 2 BF jeans, so I took the 4s and hugged them to my (still-sweaty) bosom. HAPPY TIMES in Gap!
I also got, at the prodding of my fashionista friend, some wild colored clothing (ie: bright blue, dark plum, orangey red and mustard yellow-green.) As most people know, my favorite colors for clothing are: black and brown. Or orange and green but I only wear those clothes when I’m cheering for my kids’ rowing team. And it was all on some “Tuesday only” 40% off sale so I got a big bag o clothes for what normally would be like ONE Eileen Fisher sweater.
It was a good good good day!
August 12, 2009 at 3:54 am
The NIA class does sound fun, interesting, and different, but fun! I think you would have to really let go of your inhabitions and jump in!
Glad you had a great day with your friend!
August 12, 2009 at 3:56 am
OMG I am so buying GAP Boyfriend Jeans tomorrow. And if I am a size 10 that’s OK. If I’m bigger than that, I’m gonna hunt down your skinny assed butt, pry open your mouth and shove a Big Mac Happy Meal down your throat. Deal?
August 12, 2009 at 3:59 am
LOL!!!!!!! Paula, if you are not at least ONE size smaller than your “regular,” YES you can hunt me down and feed me a Big Mac! Promise!!
August 12, 2009 at 3:57 am
It sounds like you had a wonderful time! Well done on the bargain hunting. I must go and see what boyfriend jeans are…
I would love to do Nia. It sounds right up my alley.
August 12, 2009 at 4:46 am
I am so glad I found you via Twitter via my Nianow or Nia column on Tweetdeck. You are a hoot. Oh my, you made me laugh. I am trying to get to bed (it is late and I teach (Nia) tomorrow) but I had to read your Woo Woo Workout post. Too funny. When I first found Nia and bought the book I thought it was too “Hippie Chick”, but I have adjusted it to me. I have felt/sensed the benefits of just getting into my body and letting it dance/move as it needs to and it is so much more engergizing than some other workouts.
I hope when you try it again you DO laugh. That would be part of the fun and part of your dance/workout. Enjoy. Take the two commentors on here to a class or point them in the direction of where they can find one. (nianow.com)
I look forward to reading more and communicating more!
August 12, 2009 at 7:02 am
I think that class sounds like my house must look to people outside the family!! Seriously, with my 7 kids, we do a lot of jumping around, and then some coordinated movements!
Take care, and I’m so sad we don’t have a GAP here. Always online though!
August 12, 2009 at 7:43 am
We had one of those interactive bikes at my school’s fitness center. Unfortunately I didn’t really get into it until a few weeks before graduation…
August 12, 2009 at 9:09 am
What a fun day – I feel energized just reading your post!!!
Cool beans on the size 4 BF jeans!!! And good on ya for getting some color in your wardrobe!
August 12, 2009 at 11:27 am
LOOOOVE the post and if you dont mind may repost my magazine article on nia at MizFit.
such a cool experience for me as well.
August 12, 2009 at 11:33 am
oh Miz I would LOVE to read your magazine article re Nia! Please do! I am super intrigued now.
August 12, 2009 at 11:59 am
I didn’t try the boyfriend jeans, but I bought two “boyfriend” button-down shirts at J. Jill — they were expensive but I LOOOVE them more than anything I’ve worn recently. I don’t know if they make me feel more like Susan Sarandon/Meryl Streep, or like myself as a teenager. Maybe both. Great writing-at-home clothes.
August 12, 2009 at 2:22 pm
Exactly! Myself as a teenager!! I was wondering about the seemliness of a 50 yr old woman wanting to dress like an 18 yr old boy – but What-ever. I LOVE MY JEANS. (also bought burgundy “boyfriend sweater.”)
August 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm
Oh, that’s so funny! I saw an ad in the Sunday paper showing the “boyfriend” style, and I thought to myself, “Hey, the preppy look is back!” I used to purloin my dad and step-dad’s dress shirts with sweater vests and rakish scarf-ties and wore canvas sneakers even after they developed holes and my mom threatened to throw them away. (AND I even wore my step-dad’s tweed fedora regularly. And argyle socks.)
Loved this post, Foodie! That NIA class sounds like great fun…sort of like our “family dance party” we have at home now & then.
August 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm
The class sounds fun, but I REALLY like the sound of the interactive bike! And congrats on a size 4. 🙂
August 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm
Indeed, a wonderful day for you! And a size 4! At the risk of sounding cliche, you go girl!
August 12, 2009 at 8:42 pm
Nia sounds awesome! And too funny about the boyfriend jeans sizing. I end up buying gap jeans a lot, I’ll have to check out that style!
August 12, 2009 at 9:25 pm
It HAS to be the boyfriend style because I was 1-2-3 sizes larger in OTHER jeans styles.
August 13, 2009 at 2:31 pm
Nia sounds really fun!! Did you every imagine that exercise could really be so much fun!
It’s great that you’re trying new things. Often we stick to the same-old stuff and by ‘jazzing it up’ a bit, you find a renewed interest and fun in getting exercise!
And the jeans sound great too. You’ll have to share pics 🙂
August 13, 2009 at 3:47 pm
NIA sounds like a fun class…..you are doing GREAT!!
August 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm
I LOVE those bikes at my gym. They’re called Expresso Bikes.
August 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm
Well now I am all mad at my gym b/c I don’t think we have those bikes. I feel deprived. Well maybe I should go to the gym first and check. They sound very fun.
Have never heard of these boyfriend clothes. Am so out of it fashion-wise!
August 17, 2009 at 11:36 am
I SO SO SO agree about boyfriend jeans!! I got a pair of Levi’s boyfriend jeans and I heart them 🙂