Three Tips for Nia Newbies

In April’s issue of Destination Sharqiya, we talked with Nia instructor Manal Dabbagh about her experience with this aerobic dance of joy.


Are you thinking about hitting up a Nia class and not sure what to expect?

At a mechanical level, a typical Nia class is 50-minutes long and always starts with a warm up, then gradually increases the intensity to get to the get-moving cycle, before finally slowing to the cool down.

Manal shared a few tips to think about when you come to a Nia class for the first time:

  1. Come in with an open mind and a relaxed body

    Many students come to me after class saying that they are glad they stayed until the end of class. They felt awkward at first, they had no idea how to follow or how to stay with their own body, but after a while they found themselves connected and were able to enjoy the class.

  2. Move like no one is watching

    Really: no one is watching! A Nia class is a safe space to find your freedom of expression. Be uncoordinated, lose the rhythm then find it again, use your voice to laugh, sing or even shout!

  3. It’s all about pleasure

    Nia invites you to connect with the joy of movement. It is a universal energy that moves through us and we just need to bring our focus to our sensations and connect to it. If you feel pain or discomfort, tweak your movement until you find the pleasure again.

You can find out more about Manal on and reach her at

You Might Also Like