Nia Principle 9:  Creative Arms & Hand ExpressionsExpress emotions, visual creativity, and your unique spirit

Expressing yourself with your arms and hands is natural.  You do it all the time.  It is a way you express pain and pleasure.  When you are injured, your hands reach for that physically hurt part.  When you are sad, touched or grieving, your hands reach to your heart.  When you see someone else in need of comfort, you reach to soothe them.  Hands communicate through movement and gesture.  Hand and arm movements can raise and lower energy, release emotions, communicate non-verbally, and deliver fitness and wellness.  If you are looking for ways to be more expressive, the hands and arms are keys to expressing yourself fully and passionately.

Focus on the scientific benefits that come from integrating proper arm and hand motions into life.  For example, a relaxed shoulder, neck and upper arm free the muscles in between the shoulder blades.  Discover the healing benefits associated with opening and closing the shoulder joint to provide space for movement or stability for power.  Recognize what muscles each movement affects.  Play with Nia hand techniques to strengthen the hand, wrist and elbow joints.

Develop the precision and technique of the martial arts:  blocks, punches, strikes, and hand techniques.  Strive to articulate all kinds of energy flow through your hands and arms.  Become conscious about the placement of your palms to direct the energy and protect your shoulder girdle.  Develop the awareness of arm and hand motions as one, connected to the core and to your breath.

Stimulating and engaging arm movement is easy – just use your imagination!  In Nia, pulling strings, opening doors, wiping mirrors, tossing a salad, chopping wood, are visualizations that trigger natural arm motions.  If your body thinks it is actually going to lift a rock, it prepares for the lift by grounding and dropping energy.  The core of the body engages to create a natural internal support structure in which to move the arms and hands.  The hands, wrists, and fingers get flexible and strong because they are actively involved.  Your joints naturally open and your muscles are activated by the “real” yet “imaginary” experiences stimulated by the visualization.  Using your hands to feel and sense will do far more for your arms than mechanical, repetitive movements.  Visualizations create an engaging, familiar experience that fosters ease and fitness.

(from Nia White Belt Manual)

Upper Extremities movements from Nia 52 Moves

  • Blocks – Upward, Downward, Inward & Outward
  • Punches – Upward, Outward, Across & Downward
  • Elbow Strikes
  • Touching
  • Fist
  • Pumps
  • Strikes
  • Chop Cut
  • Webbed Spaces
  • Palm Directions
  • Finger Extentions – Thumb/Nurture, Index/Desire, Middle/Power, Ring/Commitment, Little/Boundaries
  • Finger Flicks
  • Creepy Crawlers
  • Spear Finger
  • Catching Flies
  • Claw Hand
  • Power Finger Crossover – Index and Ring
  • Balance Finger



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