The Path of Least Resistance

The mind plays an important role in everything we do. The mind can help or hinder us. It can distract you, take you out of an experience or be used to take you more deeply into your body. In Nia we teach people to use the mind to witness their body, to notice the body experiencing the effects of the choices made, and to choose pleasure over pain. The body always talks to us, and we must listen. Sometimes the mind is so busy that the body does not have an opportunity to speak to us.

When Carlos and I started researching alternative ways to work out, we came upon martial arts. The wisdom of martial arts is in the sophistication and precision, and in the use of mental focus and intent. Every class in Nia begins with setting the focus and intent. This immediately engages the mind with the body.

Nia gets people to slow down, stop their internal dialogue, and develop a moving conversation with their body. We teach people to become conscious personal trainers, to become their own guide that moves them from the inside out. People develop the ability to witness, observe, and make choices and decisions using their mind and body.

When you really listen and respond to the sensation of your feet, to the 7,000 nerve endings that connect you to the earth, you make choices that respect the design and function of the body. Martial arts uses the concept of, “the path of least resistance,” and Nia does this too, while also focusing on the “pleasure principle.” If it feels good, keep doing it. Many forms of exercise don’t emphasize turning the mental attention to body sensation, toward turning yourself or your body, but Nia does. Body sensations are the fastest ways to finding the right way to do things.

Throughout classes I like to remind myself and my students to “connect to sensation” because only through focusing the mind and slowing the internal dialogue can one begin to develop a moving conversation with their body.


Written by Debbie Rosas, Co-Founder of the Nia Technique. 

Photo by Unsplash