Nia is Brain Fitness for Parkinson's Disease

Image source: http://www.med.nyu.edu/parkinson/news/fresco-institute-plans-study-how-exercise-impacts-pd-progression-and-brain-functioning

Image source: http://www.med.nyu.edu/parkinson/news/fresco-institute-plans-study-how-exercise-impacts-pd-progression-and-brain-functioning

Caroline Kohles is a member of the Nia Training Faculty who teaches in New York City. I have had the pleasure of training with Caroline and can personally attest to her creative brilliance!

I love this video demonstration of Nia for Parkinson's, filmed in Central Park. In it, Caroline demonstrates the adaptability of Nia's 52 moves, while expressing a range of emotions and the expressive channels for each person's spirit that make Nia unique among fitness programs.

Enjoy moving right along side Caroline in this 25 minute video! Please share with loved ones who may be interested. And let me know if you'd like me to bring this modified, semi-seated adaptation of Nia to you and your community! 

Click on the image above to watch a 25-minute video demonstration of Caroline in action! Totally inspiring!

More on the science:

An article in the April/May 2013 issue of Neurology Now points to the benefits of practicing Nia for individuals with Parkinson's Disease.

"For people with Parkinson's Disease (PD) in particular, mindfulness—paying attention to body movements—may be an important element of exercise because many patients experience a disconnection between the mind and body, according to Dr. Shulman.

Mindfulness is central to the exercise practice known as Nia, which has become increasingly popular among people with PD. Debbie Rosas, co-creator of Nia, tells Neurology Now, 'Walk into a Nia class for PD and you'll see people of many ages—some standing, some sitting, some with their caregivers—guided to move in their own way and in their own time. You'll see whole-body movement and detailed movements of the fingers, feet, pelvis, chest, and head. You'll hear people using their voices and singing to help integrate the breath and body.'

(...)

Some people with PD say Nia has helped them with balance, strength, endurance, and vocalization. Anecdotally, Lemen says, they are hearing a lot of stories from participants about their increased confidence in mobility, as well as the benefits to depression and anxiety. “They're getting a sense of ‘I can do this,’” in the Nia group.

Caroline Kohles, senior director of health & wellness at the JCC, teaches classes on Nia for PD. “In any Nia class, we work with patterns and repetition,” she says, noting that repetition can be very helpful to people with PD who are trying to enhance their movement and speech. She also makes room for robust self-expression. “One of the things that I do specifically with my students who have PD is to get them to sing. Since PD affects the voice, I really want them to be as expressive as possible,” she says.

Most importantly, Kohles says, “we want people to have a good time. If they are having a good time, they will remember the movement and engage in it more deeply.'"

Excerpted from the article, "This Way In: Nia for Parkinson's Disease" by Olga Rukovets. Click here to read the complete article.