Debbie Rosas, Disruptive Women Leader, Perceptivx Magazine

September 26, 2023

Debbie Rosas explains why “we find health through movement.”

Meet Debbie Rosas, the innovative Creator behind Nia Technique, a sensory-based holistic movement and wellness practice addressing each aspect of your life – body, mind, and soul. It is an incredible experience that allows people to enter into a healthy relationship with their body, using movement and mindfulness to improve their health and well-being. This practice is taught in 41 countries. 

Debbie created Nia in California 40 years ago and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. From a young age, she had to cope with various learning disabilities and illnesses, but soon she recognized the power of the relationship she shares with her own body. She discovered that wisdom and human-body intelligence are easily accessible and can be found within. She refers to Nia Technique as an art form – the art of appreciating the body’s potential and falling in love with health. 

Prior to creating Nia, she founded a traditional aerobic exercise company, known as BOD Squad in the late 1970’s. She had two studios, 50 teachers and over 100 classes a week in the Marin County area in California. But after an event that changed her life, Debbie decided to close BOD Squad and create Nia. While attending a dojo martial arts class, she discovered that walking barefoot on the rubber mat awakened her senses and made her feel positively different. She wanted every person to experience the awakening of sensation through movement and to incorporate greater awareness and wellbeing into their daily lives. She emphasizes how fascinating it is to observe people becoming aware of their sensory IQ, the somatosensory aspect of the body, and becoming conscious of being alive through the senses. “It was beautiful to see, a deeper connection to the sky, the trees and the water. That never happened in a traditional exercise class,” she says. As Nia expanded, she enlisted trained other teachers and trainers to share Nia with all those seeking more than a typical fitness class. Licensed Nia teachers offer classes all around the world in every imaginable setting, including hospitals, museums, and parks.

Health and wellness leader Debbie Rosas, Nia Technique
Debbie Rosas, Founder, Nia Technique

The company was founded on a philosophy that is widely shared by its community — “The body is the most important relationship you’re ever going to have. And your body is the most precious thing that you own.”

Our product really is the human body, and tools to stay healthy and well in the human body, at any age,” Debbie says. Regardless of religious belief, race, culture, origin, and age, the movement company’s mission is to inspire every individual, as the human body is the common consistent template. “When we look at the body and its design, that design tells us exactly how to function,” she shares. “In many ways, our business is built on the body’s way map that the body itself will reveal the body’s way and when you treat the body with movement, stillness and with the right kind of nourishment, it can grow. And that’s true about a business as well.”

Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Nia Technique stayed strong. “We moved all of our training to an online platform and offered Nia Classes through Nia On Demand,” says Debbie. Additionally, the company extended the reach of its seven-day program globally through the internet. It has been able to add to and improve the educational experience by providing people with a live online learning experience. 

“The body is the most important relationship you’re ever going to have. And your body is the most precious thing that you own.”

The philosophy behind the founding of behind Nia

Serving the ‘Purpose’

In December, I always revisit the strategic plan for the business for the year. We identify our projects for the year, who is going to be responsible for each one, and what our end goal is for each quarter. So, it gives us a map for the year,” she says. “For example, this year, our strategic plan is to rebrand and develop Nia On demand, which is our streaming service. Another item in the strategic plan is for us to finalize an update on our Nia White Belt training, which is the first level of Nia Body + Life education,” she adds. The next is to connect, inspire and educate the global Nia community, through its Global Nia Wisdom Summit in January 2022 bringing together over 800 Nia training e-graduates to learn about the new language and the new science that is evolving Nia. 

Debbie believes that we, as individuals, can achieve anything when we follow our purpose and live into our potential. She describes the purpose as the north star against which to measure every choice and decision.

Adopting a healthier lifestyle

Debbie believes that by investing in technology, one can always stay ahead of the competition and on the cutting edge of the latest trends. As a multinational firm, with tax laws continuously changing, adopting technology to address any disruptions in tax legislation is critical. Along with that, Debbie believes that diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace is an important priority.

The biggest challenge she has faced has been convincing critics about the effectiveness of Nia Technique. Some people who have not tried it assume that it won’t work or offer effective benefits. Debbie says these assumptions fade away when people see her, at the age of 70, in extraordinary health. She says, “I can tell you at 70 years old, my body works better than it did when I was 25.”  It’s because she has developed a beautiful relationship with her body. “I listen to my body, we’re partners. My body doesn’t let me down. Often, I’m the one who lets my body down,” she continues. She encourages people to swallow their cynicism and embrace Nia’s means of achieving a healthy body and lifestyle.


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