Showing posts with label Nia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nia. Show all posts

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Nia, Pilates, Movement with MaryLee

 Movement Classes


 Movement Class throughout the Year

MaryLee reaching out

Moving of all sorts whether it's dancing, walking, biking, strolling--I love it all.  And two of my favorite movement practices, Nia and Pilates, I teach throughout the Winona Community.  The photo above was taken at the Winona Friendship Center where I've been teaching Nia for over 10 years.

Classic Nia

Nia is a class, practice and lifestyle that bring awareness to the body, mindfulness to the spirit, and connection to joy in the whole being.  Classes are 40 – 60 minutes and often done bare foot.  (If a person has foot tenderness, wearing soft shoes works well.)  Nia is for everybody at any age, fitness level, size, shape and ability.   

In Nia class, we begin with warming up the body. All types of music are found in Nia from around the world.  There’s a get moving part of the class and a cooling down at the end where everyone goes down to the floor to move and stretch.  We move the whole body in Nia with 52 moves.  The three main parts of Nia are the dance arts, martial arts and healing arts.  The simple moves are repeated to engage the body and the mind in the movement.  One of the main principles in Nia is to feel good. Wear clothing that’s easy to move in with layers to add or subtract as you warm up and cool down.

Nia Moving to Heal

Moving to Heal Nia is a gentler version of classic Nia.  Similar principles of sensing the body and moving in each person’s individual way are taught with fun music from around the world.  We begin class with sensing how the body feels—checking in if there is sensation of pain in a part of the body and then giving it a number as we walk around the room in warming up.  We move either on our feet or sitting in a chair depending on each movers need. Nia is based on the design of the body and can be modified to accommodate physical disabilities and support self-healing for most injuries and illnesses. At the end of class, we assess again our sensation in the body and then stretch and move into the rest of the day.  The intention is that everyone feels better after doing Nia. 

Through movement we find health. Debbi Rosas Co founder of the Nia Technique

Nia classes in Winona with MaryLee

Classes are year round.

Winona Friendship Center, 251 Main St, Winona, Minnesota, 

507 454-5212

Mondays Moving to Heal 9:15 am – 9:55 am

                Classic Nia        10:15 am – 11:15 am

Tuesdays Classic Nia        11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Thursdays Classic Nia      4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Iron Bluff Fitness, Winona Mall, 1213 Gilmore Ave, Winona, MN 55987, 

 (507) 454-7500

Mondays Classic Nia  or Pilates 8:00 am – 8: 45 am

All abilities are welcome to join class. 

Call 507 429-8357 to check the current class. 



Come Join us!  Your body will say, "Yes!"


 MaryLee Eischen is a trained and licensed Brown-belt Nia,

Nia Moving to Heal, and Pilates instructor.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Body & Mind Growing


My body is moving through time in a faster motion than I can keep up with.  This 63 years is a strange sensation of new possibilities and also aches, pains, and a need to double down on my self-care.

I’ve been a person who has loved to be outside and active.  I’m a bike rider, a dancer, a walker and a hiker.  I like going to the gym to do fitness classes as well.











When I got into going to the YMCA, I wanted to get my daughter involved in fun and active things. She had different ideas and that idea for her did not stick.  But it did for me.  I didn’t think that I could do Pilates—I didn’t have the core strength.  And then I tried it.  It was challenging, but my teacher encouraged me to do it in my own way and my abdomen, arms and legs grew stronger.  It is today one of my favorite exercises to build core strength, balance, and connect in with my body to feel what she needs.

Twelve years ago, I learned about Nia—a fusion movement/fitness practice that involves dance arts, martial arts and healing arts.  We move to fun music with the intention to feel better every time after we dance.  It is a somatic practice that involves the mind and the body to sense pleasure and pain in the body.  By adjusting the movement, we can bring more pleasure to how we move.  And with the pleasure, we desire to do it again and again.  Because Nia is designed for every Body, all the variations work well for a beginning person doing Nia to an advanced athlete.








Some of the friends who dance Nia at the Friendship Center: 

front row: Barbi, Kathleen, Anne; back-row, MaryLee, Diana, Mary, Leanne, Kathie


Twelve years ago, I was much more uptight about my body shape.  Lots of my body parts I did not like. My hips were too wide, my belly was too soft. My feet looked weird.  I liked my arms and back—they were thin and wiry like I wanted my whole body.  I wanted the look of a boy; though I would not have admitted that then. I am a woman and those curves and softness will always be with me.  Lots of voices in my head were shaming to me.  As I change that internal narrative and grow to accept my body just as she is, I grow to enjoy who I am in the world and what I do in the world.  I grow to have appreciation for all the things my body could do instead of looking so critically at just how one part looks to the outside world.

Coming to the present moment, I am still growing in love and appreciation for my body and her changing ways.  I am growing my strength to counter osteoporosis with weight training through Barre classes.  This is new to me.  I am hiking more to be out in the beauty of nature and found a friend who loves this as much as I.  We spur each other on to keep going and we have a great time together.  I’m making new friends at the YMCA.

I teach Nia and Pilates classes for me and to pass to others this love of growing a strong body.  When I look in the mirror and instead of criticizing the wrinkles on my face and neck—I choose to say thank you face and neck for your abilities to sense—see, hear, smell, taste and speak your truth. Most of the time--I can still be very judgemental of myself. Here's what Diana shared with her friends about Nia:

"I’m not an expert, I’m clumsy on my feet, But I feel like a “butterfly” lots of times and it relaxes me so much."

It is a dramatic shift in connection with me and the world.  It is an ever changing landscape in the aging process.  I extend my hand to you.  Let’s walk together in this time on the Earth.  Join me in this conversation or moving more in your own life for health and wellness.

You’re invited to join me for Nia classes currently on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Iron Bluff Fitness and the Winona Friendship Center:

Tuesdays, Iron Bluff Fitness: 8am – 8:45am Classic Nia through May 24, 2022

Iron Bluff Fitness is located in the Winona Mall. Check their website for all they have to offer along a variety of fitness classes.

Tuesdays, Winona Friendship Center: 11am - Noon Classic Nia

Thursdays, Winona Friendship Center: 3:00pm -3:45pm Moving to Heal Nia,a gentler form of Nia

                                                                       4:00pm – 5:00pm Classic Nia

The Winona Friendship Center is located in downtown Winona at 251 Main St. Classes cost $3.00 for members and $5.25 for non-members. 

Call about membership or with any questions: 507 454-5212. 







Another invitation: 

Pilates classes on Wednesday evening:

Wednesdays, WK Gym: 6:15pm – 7:00pm Mat Pilates

WK Gymnasium, 365 Mankato Ave, Winona, MN 55987

Drop in classes are available for the current session for $10.00 per class.  Next 5 week session starts early May through Community Education, Pilates for Everyone, Section 4 to register and find out more.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Celebrating Friendships and Nia











We held a Nia Jam at Lark Toys, Happiness Event Center in Kellogg, Minnesota. Five Nia teachers Kathy, Sandra, Uma, MaryLee and Jacque came together to lead friends through a movement practice to listen to music and move to the music, enjoy and move the thirteen major joints of the body.

Miranda, Sandra and Uma, three of the teachers chatting together.

Uma leading her songs in the dance.  Back to us are Kathy, another teacher and Sandra.

Katie and Heather danced with us.


Miranda and Jacque both Nia teachers making faces and having fun!












Afterward we had some wonderful food at Lark and sharing in stories and catching up with each other's lives. We took some time to look at llamas and shop for amazing toys, gifts, clothing, and books. 



Mary Lee one of the Nia teachers.











Winnie & Ron 











Beautiful artwork on display along with a beautiful wooden carved carousel that children and adults can ride.


What an amazing a wonderful time to share.  Visit Lark Toys soon!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Nia and the Martial Arts Workshop

Saturday, February 8, 2020, 10:30am - noon, Mary Lee Eischen will lead a workshop about Nia and the Martial Arts.  Nia has nine movement forms within the practice.  Three in the Martial Arts, three in the Dance Arts and three in the Healing Arts.

The workshop will be hosted at the Winona Friendship Center with discussion, demonstration, and practice.  A shortened Nia class will be included in the workshop.

Nia has three martial arts movement forms incorporated in the practice.  We’ll learn about the three martial arts in Nia: Tai’ Chi, Tae Kwan Do, and Aikido.  We learn how some movement is mindful and deliberate, some movements move with precision and power, and some create circular, harmonious movement. We’ll bring this learning into a shortened Nia class. No dance experience needed. Everybody welcome

Nia is a pleasure based movement practice.  By listening to one's body, we move with pleasure and move to heal the body when healing is needed.  Through the martial arts we create strength, agility, precision as well as movement that is fluid, mindful, balanced, flowing, peaceful and powerful.

Winona Friendship Center,
251 Main St, Winona, MN 55987

$5.50 members
$8.25 non-members
To register, call (507) 454-5212.

Sign up today and learn more about the moving your body in the joy of movement!


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