According to the founders of Nia, the cliche "no pain, no gain" is not only played out, it's also completely false. The Nia Technique developed over more than a decade by Debbie Rosas and Carlos AyaRosas, takes the complete opposite approach, synthesizing dance, martial arts, and healing arts into a painless, pleasant fitness regimen. Eschewing the
repetitive movements of conventional gym routines or trendy workouts that force you to lift the same car over your head everyday, Nia classes set varied stretching, strength training, and non-impact aerobic exercises to a diverse soundtrack that includes jazz, pop, hip-hop, and Indian music. Other aspects, such as its repertoire of 52 moves, are akin to yoga, while additional elements are drawn from martial arts, such as the belt system and the fact that participants do not wear shoes. The diverse origins of the program are reflected in the diverse countries where it has taken root: Nia is practiced in more than 45 countries, from Belgium to New Zealand to Israel to Mexico.