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Relaxed body.
Lighter heart.

Nia is an energizing fusion of dance, martial and healing arts.
Minna Aalto is a licensed Nia Teacher and creative entrepreneur.

Minna Aalto | Nia 1st Degree Black Belt, MA

Nia was love at first steps, when I encountered it as a reporter in November 2004.  The inviting music, the permission to be silly, and the kicks and punches borrowed from the martial arts created a combination impossible to resist. I immediately felt at home, although my own experience in dance and fitness classes was modest. I did love dancing, though.


Only a few months into my new weekly practice of Nia, I knew it:  I wanted to be a Nia Teacher when I grew up! I participated in the Nia White Belt-training as soon as the summer of 2005, and the training felt like a remarkable home-coming. I started to feel more at ease not only in my body, but also the world. I began realizing: it's possible to be both kind and clear, lively and deep, free and committed.

As a teacher, my main objective is to create a space where you can feel safe to relax - and cheer up, goof around and challenge yourself according to your resources and abilities. You will hear me talk of kindness, softness and joy - often. Nia is my activism;  dancing is one way to explore energy work. The people in my classes are a happy blend of all ages, fitness levels and sizes. You are welcome just as you are.

Over the years, my own weekly classes have bestowed so much joy upon my everyday. My practice has prepared me for and helped me through also more challenging times. I have come to embody, that it's possible to move and dance with - most everything. Nia in itself feels like a universe which keeps expanding: the more I know, the more there seems to be left to discover and explore.

Nowadays I'm a licensed Nia 1st Degree Black Belt Teacher. In addition to six completed Nia belt levels (and several retakes), I've participated in several shorter Nia trainings. I also produce belt trainings. My earlier Tai Chi practice from years back still echoes within me. In addition to Nia, music and painting, I enjoy poetry and puppies. I find the universe endlessly enchanting.
I live in Turku, on the southwest coast of Finland, together with my Hausmann and our dog, Roxy.

Please be in touch, in case you become interested in or inspired by anything that relates to Nia, my art and/or creative entrepreneurship.

I'm looking forward to connect on and off the dance floor,


PS. Dakinia is wordplay. A dakini is a tibetan goddess and, according to one description (in Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés), a skydancer, who brings clarity into especially the lives of women. By adding an a to the word, I hid Nia in the company name.

Minna Aalto Nia Teacher Turku
Minna & Nia
Miksi Nia

Why Nia?

A few good reasons below.

Minna Aalto Branding by Aria Portraits-20.jpg
Life Force and Joy

Nia is a positive life path. Following  joy or pleasure does not mean denying pain or troubles. It may, however, ease tense muscles and alleviate stress and heartbreak. The connection to life force can be easier to rekindle when relaxed; joy can be reconnected to through music.

Power and Ease

Relaxation and well-being results from a dynamic tension between taking it easy and making an effort. In every Nia class, you softly prepare your body for the more fast-paced cycles in class. You harness your power by bringing your attention to whatever you are doing- regardless if it's dance steps, kicks, punches or breathing. Power rests within ease.

Freedom and Form

Form, or choreography, creates frames within which to move; freedom supports exploration and play. Wrapping your busy mind around a movement sequence or dance steps is calming: free dance allows you to be - within, or outside your comfort zone. It can be very beneficial to examine opposites.

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Your body is your lifelong partner. In Nia, the body with its sensations is square one - we always return to it. In addition to acknowledging the body, Nia celebrates the mind, the emotions and the spirit - your unique self. Body awareness is personal, and it can be practiced. It can be an antidote to anxiety or tension. Nia can work also as a mindfulness practice, a gateway to Living Meditation.


Flexibility, agility, mobility, stability and strength are important traits regardless of age or fitness level. Nia aims to at above all keep these up - through joy, play and pleasure. 


In class you move together, individually. As your instructor, I move with you throughout the class. I also show alternatives to moves, in case you desire a more easy or challenging workout. In Nia, you are allowed to be social - if you want to. You are welcome as you are, literally.



"The best effects of Nia are more general relaxation while moving, which has been beneficial for practising also other movement forms. Surprisingly, Nia also made some severe physical stress symptoms go away."

— Niilo


Minna Aalto | Dakinia

minna @

+358 50 371 7090

Tax Identification Number: FI21540436

Minna Aalto Branding by Aria Portraits-39.jpg

The infusion of soul-fire into our own ideas, our own life, the lives of those we touch, that is our work. The shoving of the soul to its home, that is our work. The releasing of a shower of sparks to fill the day, and creating light so we can find our way through the night, that is our work.
- Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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