Nia: Awakening Joy of Movement

Nia is a fitness format that encourages participants to shed insecurities, connect with their bodies and celebrate the joy of movement. Nia combines the energies of dance arts, martial arts and healing arts for a non-impact, aerobic workout that stimulates mind, body and spirit. It balances technical precision and free-form expression, prompting practitioners to personalize their workout and move in their own way.

The Nia Technique, Inc., now headquartered in Portland, Oregon, was developed in San Francisco in 1983 by Debbie and Carlos Rosas. In recent years, this sensory-based movement practice has picked up momentum in the Richmond area, where approximately 20 weekly classes are now available. A vibrant, supportive and diverse Nia community has emerged.

Marybeth Grinnan, a black belt Nia instructor who teaches at several locations in and around Richmond, comments, “I love the music, the movements and the magic that happen during each class. As I start class, I step into sacred space and leave behind my hyperactive inner judge. As a teacher, I enjoy sharing the revelation that fitness can be fun for people of all ages, sizes, and levels of fitness. I love watching my students grow and change as they practice and embody the Nia principles.”

Jessica Forsythe is a blue belt Nia instructor who teaches in the Richmond area. Find Nia at and

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