Video Fitness

NIA General Comments

Carlos and Debbie Rosas

I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to view almost all of the NIA workouts. (Thanks to loans from VFers). NIA used to stand for "Non Impact Aerobics." Now it stands for "Neuromuscular Integrative Action".

For those who don’t know, I had attempted to take a NIA class with the Rosas at the IDEA Fitness Convention. It was so darn weird I had to leave after 10 minutes. Here is my description that I posted:

”I had never heard or seen a NIA class or video before. It started out well. I liked the music and the movements. (The workout is supposed to be done barefoot, but I have foot “issues” and have to wear orthotics. I kept my shoes on). Carlos and Debbie are, ahem, eccentric.

After the warm-up, they showed a diagram of the bones of the foot. Carlos asked, “What do the ends of the toe bones look like?” There were a few guesses from the class. Debbie informed us that the ends of the toe bones look like nipples. And then asked, “What do nipples do?”. No one answered. She explained that nipples squirt out and draw in liquids. Carlos then asked us to walk across the floor as if our toes were nipples. I proceeded to gather up my belongings and walk out the door. (I wasn’t the only one). I probably should have stayed to see where they were going with the “nipple” analogy. But I decided that I would rather be shopping at the Expo.”

I didn’t want to give up on NIA, hence I requested some loaners.

I watched most of all of the following workouts. The early ones are from the 80’s I think. Someone would have to help me out with the production dates. (All are about 55 minutes total):

Global Unity

Except for “Global Unity”, the workouts are done in a living room setting. With just Carlos and Debbie.

The NIA videos are a lively combination of a circus, a Vegas act and a Fellini film. I think the latter part appeals to me the most. The workouts are mostly improvisational movement with some cueing. Which reminded me of improv and movement classes I have taken and taught. I like the music in the early ones more than in Global Unity.

Carlos is quite the character. You have to decide if you like him or hate him. I found that I like him. He moves well and has an infectious enthusiasm. I feel that his inner spirit shines through the wacky outfits. I found the workouts led by Carlos much more fun to watch than those led by Debbie. She is rather stern in a “this is serious and important stuff” way.

The outfits are colorful and dated in the early workouts. The main problem I noticed was that the outfits worn by Debbie tended to accentuate her sweaty areas. I have nothing against sweat, but it does look a bit icky. I didn't watch every minute of every workout, but there was no mention of "toe nipples".

I tried Global Unity and was bored after 20 minutes.

I then tried “Groovin’” and liked it very much. It was fun and I felt like I got a good workout. These workouts will definitely enhance your range of motion, flexibility, balance and body awareness.

I plan to try “Jingo” and to write some reviews.

The NIA Website:

(Be sure to check out the NiaWear fashions on the Product page. My DH would LOVE for me to work out in that fishnet top and the mesh flare pants! )

Instructor comments: See review.



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