Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia! FOUR group classes a week!

    Tues, Wed, and Thurs at 9 am

    Friday 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia and/or Personal Training!

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No Work, It’s A Holiday!

Posted by terrepruitt on March 31, 2015

Sadly there is no Nia Class today, Tuesday, March 31, 2015.  The city of San Jose is closed so the San Jose Park and Recreation Community Centers are closed.  It is a State Holiday.  It is Cesar Chavez Day.  It is a Holiday in California, Colorado, and Texas.  March 31 is Cesar Chavez’s birthday.  He was born in Yuma, Arizona in 1927.  He was 66 years old when he died in his apartment in a small village near his place of birth, San Luis, Arizona in 1993.  It was in August 2000 that the bill for a holiday to be on his birthday was signed into law, by Governor Gray Davis.  Cesar Chavez Day was to be a holiday starting in 2001.

Before becoming the infamous voice for farm workers and their families, he was in the U.S. Navy in World War II.  He is famous for the formation of the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, in 1966.  This committee was created by bringing two groups together, the National Farm Workers Association (which he helped form) and the Filipinos of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee. Cesar Chavez was responsible for a huge strike of grape farm workers and a multi-year boycott on grapes.  This resulted in union contracts being accepted by grape growers.  He was a civil rights activist.

He worked for the rights of American Farm workers.  His methods, thought to be aggressive by some, emphasized non-violence.  He protested the use of toxic pesticides on grapes, for higher wages and safe working conditions for farm workers, and to promote the principle of nonviolence in regards to the strikes.  Several of his protests were done by fasting.  One of his protest – a fast – lasted 25 days.  He fought for human rights.

According to the website Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday:

“In 1966 Cesar Chavez led a 340-mile march from Delano to Sacramento calling on state government to pass laws which would permit farm workers to organize into a union and allow collective bargaining agreements.”

And according to Wiki, while he held office in the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, he was “committed to restricting immigration”.  With workers coming to the United States from Mexico it undermined all of his efforts to better conditions for the American Farm Worker.

President Clinton presented Cesar Chavez’s widow, Helen Chavez with the Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony on August 8, 1994.

President Barack Obama’s famous campaign slogan of “Yes, one can,” might sound familiar to some as it was originally the slogan for the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee that Cesar Chavez co-founded.  “Sí, se puede.”

I am sad on this day of celebrating the man who fought for better wages and conditions for workers, I have to miss a day of work.  But I can still dance.  And perhaps raise a toast of wine to Mr. Chavez (in keeping with the grape theme).

His work benefited American Farm Workers not just those in California, Texas, and Colorado.

Do you have any special plans for Cesar Chavez Day?

Many things bear his name in California:

(per Wiki)

Parks–

Plaza de César Chávez (San Jose)
Cesar E. Chavez Plaza (Sacramento)
César E. Chávez Waterfront Park (San Diego)
César E. Chávez Park (Delano)
César Chávez Park (Berkeley)
César E. Chávez Park (Modesto and Colton)
César Chávez Community Center (Riverside) (2060 University Ave, also known as the César Chávez Auditorium)
Cesar E Chavez Park (LongBeach)
Cesar E. Chavez National Monument (Keene)

Major streets–

Avenida Cesar Chavez (Los Angeles) (formerly Brooklyn Avenue, Macy Street and part of Sunset Boulevard)
Calle César Chávez (Santa Barbara) (formerly South Salsipuedes Street)
César Chávez Drive (Oxnard) (newer street planned to commemorate César Chávez)
César E. Chávez Parkway (San Diego) (formerly Crosby Street)
César Chávez Street (Brawley) (formerly North 10th Street)
César Chávez Street (San Francisco) (formerly Army Street)

Libraries–

Maywood César Chávez Library (Maywood)
César E. Chávez Branch Library (Oakland)
Cesár Chávez Public Library (Salinas)
César Chávez Central Library (Stockton)
Cesar Chavez Library (Perris and San Jose)

Schools–

Chávez High School (Delano and Santa Ana)
César Chávez Learning Academies (San Fernando)
Cesar Chavez High School (Stockton)
César E. Chávez School for Social Change (Santa Cruz)
César Chávez Middle School (San Bernardino)
César Chávez Middle School (Hayward)
Cesar Chavez Elementary School (Calexico, Coachella, Corona, Davis, Greenfield, Oxnard, Salinas, San Francisco, and San Jose)
César E. Chávez Elementary School (Norwalk)
César Chávez Elementary School (Oxnard) (formerly Juanita Elementary School)
Cesar E. Chavez Academy (East Palo Alto and Madera)
Cesar Chavez Elementary School (San Diego)
Cesar E. Chavez Elementary School (Bell Gardens)
César Estrada Chávez Dual Language Immersion School (Santa Barbara)
Cesar Chavez Continuation High School (Compton
Cesar E. Chavez Middle School (Planada)

César Chávez Student Center, University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley)
César E. Chávez Student Services Center, Southwestern College (Chula Vista)
César Chávez Campus of the Fresno Adult School (Fresno)
UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana & Chicano Studies (Los Angeles)
César E. Chávez Campus of San Diego Continuing Education (San Diego)
César Chávez Student Center, San Francisco State University (San Francisco)
César Chávez Building (A building), Santa Ana College (Santa Ana)

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What Did Frankie Say?

Posted by terrepruitt on March 28, 2015

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoLast night we had a visiting Nia teacher come to Campbell and present a routine that he has created.  Jason Alan Griffin is a First Degree Nia Black Belt and he created a routine he calls Frankie Say Nia.  He travels around to different places with his dog River and he brings Nia with him.  He has routines he has created and playshops.  Friday night was the Nia class where he did his 80’s Alternative New Wave music routine.  People were invited to dress in 80’s style – bright clothes, animal prints, whatever they think of as 80’s fashion.  It is difficult – for me – to think of dressing up at the same times as wearing clothes I can workout and move comfortably in.  Jason was wearing shorts that reminded me of Saint Patrick’s Day and I was wearing animal print with my hair up in a silly pony.  That was as far as I was able to take my dressing up.  I’ll have to check with Jason about the shorts.  I forgot to ask him about them today.  The dressing up and the clothes were not what makes it fun or 80’s, it was the music.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoJason had us dancing to many familiar tunes.  I was happy to hear all of them that I knew.  I knew all of them until we arrived at the Floorplay portion of the Nia class and then I was just mystified.  I kept thinking I would eventually recognize it, but it was out of my scope of knowledge.  And I don’t even remember what it was.  I believe there was mention of a bar.  It was odd to me.  And, later it was indicated that I had a look on my face (odd) matching what I was thinking.  As I said, I kept waiting to hear something that would spark some sort of little hint that I had ever heard the song before, but nothing came.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoJason’s playfulness and ability to match movements to music is so evident in his routines.  And they are just fun.  I can say that we all had a great time because every commented on having one!  His choreography and the music made for a great time.

I was very happy that he had some FreeDances in the routine because I was looking forward to gleaning some tools from them as he taught.  And I did.  Then the next day he took it to the next level with the FreeDance Playshop.  That has to be a post all of its own.  Perhaps more than one.  We will see.  I am still processing.

As I have recommended before to you, Dear Readers, if Jason comes to your town you should go to his class.  That is, if you like to have a great time while you are getting your dance workout in.  You can always check out his schedule on his blog.

I have included some pictures.  As I have said before, it is not easy to get pictures of moving bodies.  I had help from my hubby.  We had at least three devices taking pictures and videos.

Can you tell from the pictures that we are having a good time?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoI hope one day we will be able to dance together!

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Quick Collard Greens And Carrots

Posted by terrepruitt on March 26, 2015

I just looked up collard greens on my blog.  I know I have blogged about them before.  Turns out I blogged about them for the first time in March four years ago.  I had been in the store and just decided to buy some.  I decided to try them.  So back in 2011, I cooked them and I liked them ok.  I said in my post that since they seemed ok I could try making them in other ways.  Well, no, not so much.  I have tried them other ways and I just don’t like them.  My husband loves them.  I cook them planning on eating them, then I suffer though eating a small portion.  Yes, I can eat them because they are good for me, but I don’t think they give me such outstanding nutrition that I should have to “suffer” through them, especially when they are something that my husband enjoys so much.  The past time before tonight that I made them I decide to just make them for him and I would make myself a salad.  So I still eat my veggies, but basically the ones I eat all the time.  Tonight I decided, again, I would make them for him and make myself a salad.  Then it occurred to me, if I am making them just for him to eat, I might as well throw in some carrots.  I don’t like cooked carrots, but he does.  So, I cooked a bunch of collard greens and he said he liked them.  I didn’t cook them for hours with a ham hock.  But what I did was fast and easy and edible . . . to one that likes collard greens!
______________________________
Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoCollard Greens and Carrots

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 of a large onion, chopped
a bunch of collard greens, chopped
salt
1/4 of a cup of carrots – THICK match stick cuts
a tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon
1/4 cup hot water
1 heaping teaspoon of chopped garlic

In a large pan, heat the oil.  Then put in the chopped onion.  Heat the onion until it is translucent, or, if you are like me until it starts to caramelize a bit . . . . you decide on the flavor you are after.  After the onion is the way you want it, add the chopped collard greens to the pan.  Let them cook for a minute on medium, then sprinkle with a little (just a little) salt.  While the collard greens are cooking add the Better Than Bouillon to the 1/4 cup hot water and mix it up.  Add the carrots to the pan.  After about 10 minutes on medium heat, add the liquid bouillon to the pan, if it is not dissolved push the greens to one side of the pan and add the liquid directly to the pan so the heat help melt the bouillon.  Then mix it all together.  Add the garlic.  Then cook until the collard greens are to your liking.  I don’t cook them until they lose all their bright green color.  But if you like them that way – do that.

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I probably will add more carrots next time, but I basically used what we had.  I had almost forgot we had the collard greens because they came in our produce box.  So I hadn’t planned ahead on how to cook them.  But, as I have said many times before, I am fortunate my husband likes a lot of things so sometimes when I throw stuff together he is ok with it.  It seems like he really likes collard greens so he might just eat them any way I cook ‘em.  Not me.

I still have not tried the recipe that Chef Dwight gave us in my comments.  One of these days, Dwight!  Do go to my first post My Experiment with Collard Greens and read the comments for a Southern Recipe for collard greens.

I will just keep cooking them for my hubby!

 

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Deep, Not On The Surface

Posted by terrepruitt on March 24, 2015

A lot of movement forms, from different dances to different types of exercise regimes, use chest isolations.  One of Nia’s 52 Moves.  See, as I have said over and over, not unique to Nia, but something that we use in our routines.  Something we can say and people know what the move is.  Even if they can’t do it, they know what it is.  This move moves the chest so – as with a lot of moves that involve the movement of the chest – some people are hesitant to do it.  Some people think of moves that move the chest as moves that moves the breasts and for some people this creates a lot of issues.  As a woman, there are some moves that are just going to move the breasts but that is not the focus.  Often times when I encourage people to focus on what is actually the focus of the movement, they can release any feelings or ideas that might be blocking the movement.  I mentioned this in my post about the Shimmy.  I have seen relief or understanding pass over people’s faces when they take the focus off of what is part of the front of the body/chest and onto the back when it comes to the shimmy.  The same with the chest isolations.  Your chest is moving that means everything connected to it, but the focus is on the muscles and the bones.

The movement of the spine, the ribs, the sternum, and even the collar bones is a chest isolations.  See, even though it might feel like you are move the front (breasts) the focus is on all the other things.  The back muscles help move the spine side to side allowing the ribs to slide from side to side over the hips.  The sternum floats to different places over the hips.  The collar bones stay level.  You can just also press your ribs forward and pull them back.  Your arms are out to the side or you can place your hands on your hips to help ensure there is no movement in the hips.  You can make your ribs move in circles.

With the side to side motion I used to reference a typewriter carriage.  Remember those?  They would slide to one side of the machine and kind of hang over then you would use the return arm to get it to slide back.  That is a GREAT visual and I actually see some people replicate it.  But then I see others in class who don’t even know what a typewriter is.  And if they do it was certainly the electric version that didn’t have a visible moving carriage with a return arm-dohicky.  So we just focus on the slide.

The chest isolations help keep you spine flexible and mobile.  It also helps you use those muscle that are inside, the intrinsic muscles.  The little ones that help with balance.  While you are doing the chest isolation movement you can focus on the and sense them.

Another way to isolate the chest is you can do a more front-back movement. If you are doing the front back portion of the move it is as if you are closing your chest and opening your back.  And then opening your chest and closing your back.  Arms can help. Bring your elbows back and draw them together to help open the chest and close the back.  Then bring them forward to open the back and close the chest.

This is one of those moves you can do anywhere.  You can do it in your car while you are stopped at a traffic light.  Don’t worry, other people don’t look up from their cell phones they will never notice you sliding your ribs around.  Enjoy the relaxed sensation and flexibility.

Are you familiar with chest isolations?  Do you do them in your current dance class?  Do you do them in your exercise program?

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This Is Where I Ended Up

Posted by terrepruitt on March 21, 2015

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoSo here it is again, the day I consider to be the first day of spring.  Yes, I am a bit off from tradition, but this is the day of new beginnings for me seventeen years ago.  As I mentioned two years ago on this date, it is our wedding anniversary.  Pretty exciting.  Although this year he is sick and I am very grumpy about it!  I despise being sick.  And I have too much to do to be sick.  And I am thinking I am getting sick because I am sooooo grumpy.  Argh.  All I can think about is being sick for the very first Nia Event I am producing and then I get even more grumpy.  Argh.  We didn’t do anything for our anniversary because he is sick and I don’t want to get sick.  So we did nothing.  I didn’t even cook a special dinner because I didn’t think he would enjoy it very much because he is sick.  So . . . Happy Anniversary to us.

Good thing, I know he will be around a month or so from now because that is when we will probably finally have time to celebrate.  My dinner plan was a roast.  I don’t think I have ever cooked a roast.  If I have, it has been so long I don’t remember how I did it.  What are your favorite recipes?  Would you share?  It would be nice to make him a really nice, super yummy roast when he can taste.  I think our roasts are in the 2.5 to 3 pound range.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoI did go outside in the yard today and cut these beauties.  My favorite rose bush has at least a dozen buds on it so next week I will have a house full of flowers.  That is awesome.  Our yard smells like roses.  And when we open the door the house smells like roses.  So next week, when I cut them and bring them all in the house will smell like roses.  Yay!

I have actually started typing three different posts and this is where I ended up.  I came up with two different ideas, but I kept coming back to this.  The roses are beautiful and they smell great.  I am happy to have them and my hubby.  I am lucky to have both.

Since I am not a gardener I do marvel at the fact that my rose bush looks like it is dead and it will never come back then without me doing anything and almost (almost but not quite) without me noticing there are at least a dozen buds on it.  I do tend to notice because, like I said, it looks dead so I look at it with sorrow.  Then I forget about it for a day or two and then when I look at it again, it seems to be fine.  After I trimmed off the dead or dying flowers today there is still a lot of buds.  Awesome.

Happy Anniversary, Hubby!  Here’s to your roast we have yet to have!

So what did you do (yesterday) on the first day of Spring?  What did you do today?

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Alzheimer’s And A Suicide

Posted by terrepruitt on March 19, 2015

Possible Alzheimer’s Treatment:

I recently posted a bit about Alzheimer’s.  I found the video very interesting and wanted to share.  Now some interesting information came across my Facebook News Feed today.  It is very “untested”, but, as I said, interesting.  Remember, if you happened to see, the post with the Alzheimer’s video said that there is are certain protein fragments that are abnormal and their accumulation in the brain kills the brain cells with the result being Alzheimer’s.  Well some researchers in Australia think they can use “a non-invasive ultrasound technology” to destroy the “neurotoxic amyloid plaques” thought to cause Alzheimer’s.  They tested it on mice and the memory of the mice improved and there was no damage to the healthy brain tissue.  The test results were that 75% of the mice got their memory back.  Now . . . from what I understand this “breakthrough” is far from any actual practical application but it is pretty interesting if not amazing!

There has to be a start somewhere.  So this COULD be the baby step to an actual cure.

Simple Show of Caring:

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoAnother thing that came across my news feed that I thought was interesting — well, sweet is more accurate — is this thing that three mothers did in Palo Alto.  Apparently last week there was a suicide.  A teen used a Caltrain train to kill himself.  The Channel 7 website states:  “A teenager was fatally struck by Caltrain in Palo Alto Monday morning.

Caltrain officials say the teen was hit after he intentionally walked on to the tracks.

The student was a 15-year-old sophomore from Palo Alto High School.”

As often happens when someone in a small community kills themselves it affects everyone in that small community.  I am not saying that the city of Palo Alto is the “small community” I am saying that Palo Alto High School is the small community.  And what some mothers did was something simple and easy, but I think and hope it is having a big effect on the high schoolers in that small community.  The mothers hung up pieces of paper shaped like hearts on trees to let the students know that there are people who care.  The hearts had messages written on them.  The notes ranged from “wishes” to words of encouragement.  To me it sounds like a wonderful idea.  So sweet in its simplicity.  While I was reading the article and as I started typing this post I was thinking about how it would help the people feeling sad (confused/alone/whatever feeling they are having) because of the suicide.  As I am typing just now it occurred to me that it MIGHT even help someone else who might be contemplating suicide themselves.  They might read the notes or see the hearts and begin to understand that people do care.  I don’t know.  I was so much loving the idea of the care and concern BECAUSE of the suicide I didn’t even think of it helping possibly prevent one.  I really like that thought.

I cannot imagine what the family of the child is going through.  But I hope that the love the community is showing helps somehow.

Just two things that I saw this week.  One I found interesting, one I found sweet.  I know we all don’t see the same things all the time, so I thought I would share.

What do you think?  Do you think the Australian researchers treatment sounds promising?  Do you love the idea of the hanging heart notes?

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Saint Patrick’s Day In The World And Beyond

Posted by terrepruitt on March 17, 2015

Saint Patrick’s Day.  I assume that I learned about him and the reason for the day of celebration at some point in my life, but it is not one of those things I kept in my memory.  So I checked out what Wiki has to say about it.  I am often amazed at what things started out to be and how they evolved.  Are you familiar with Saint Patrick’s Day?  I know it to be a “Drinking Holiday”.  I tell everyone I see to be careful — often times they reply, “I don’t drink.” And I remind them that it does not matter if THEY drink others do and so it does a body good to be careful.  I remember this is the day that started my love for bagels.  I had never liked bagels and especially cream cheese.  Then one Saint Patrick’s Day the company I was working for at the time brought in some green bagels.  I thought that was super funny so I tried one.  So began my love affair with bagels and cream cheese.  I don’t remember if the cream cheese was green, but the bagels were.  So what is Saint Patrick’s Day?

Well, according to Wiki Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on the day that the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick died.  It is also known as “the Feast of Saint Patrick” and “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”.

In the early 17th century is “was made an official Christian feast day” and anything one gives up for lent can be consumed on this day.  So lent takes the day off on Saint Patrick’s Day.  Which could be why Saint Patrick’s Day has the reputation as a “Drinking Holiday”.

It could be that I don’t know a lot about Saint Patrick because it sounds as if the information we have is not very concrete.  The three left clover is thought to have been used by Saint Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity.  And green was originally used in association with Saint Patrick but then someone started using blue but then it went back to green.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoThere are big celebrations held throughout the world to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day which is really a celebration of a man whose mission was to bring Christianity to Ireland.  There are even celebrations “out of this world” as there has been Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations on the International Space Station by some of the Astronauts.  (Click here to see Cady Coleman play an Irish Tune, 2011).  Seems as if one of the biggest “Drinking Holidays” in the United States started out as a religious holiday.

Which reminds me of something I heard on the radio this morning.  The DJ’s were having a contest to see who knew the top five most popular drinking holidays in the United States.  There was a survey done by Yahoo of 2,000 adults in the United States.  The survey was called “Alcohol and America”.

The results of the top five most popular drinking days are:
1. New Year’s Eve
2. Christmas
3. Fourth of July
4. St. Patrick’s Day
5. Thanksgiving

It took a few callers for this list to be guessed.  Because Cinco De Mayo was one of the ones guessed first.

Well, I hope everyone had a Happy and Safe Saint Patrick’s Day.  And if you were like me you learned a little something.

What did you do today?  Did you wear green?  Did you eat any green food?

 

 

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Breath: Quiet And Safe

Posted by terrepruitt on March 14, 2015

There are a lot of different aspects of yoga.  Just like there are a lot of different aspects of Nia.  As I have said before you can do Nia without getting involved in all of the principles and aspects of it.  You can treat it like a workout and not take it any further.  The same goes for yoga.  That is why I always compare the two.  You can go to a yoga class and go through the poses without giving any of the other aspects a second thought.  I believe that both Nia and yoga can be more beneficial, more satisfying when you do think about the other parts of it . . . but we all have different goals and different ideas.  One of the “aspects” of yoga or limbs of yoga – is pranayama.  There are different pranayamas.  A common one – Ujjayi is typically done while doing the yoga poses, and it might be helpful in reducing or stopping snoring.

So, pranayama is the practice of controlling one’s prana (life force) through breath or the practice of controlling one’s breath.  There are many forms of this type of practice and many ways in which to perform them.  But as I said, a common one is ujjayi breathing.  It is what many recommend be done while doing the asanas.  Some call it the Victory Breath, the Warming Breath, the Ocean Breath, Snake-breathing, throat breathing, or even the Darth Vadar Breath.  It is done through the nose, both the inhale and the exhale.  Some of the names stem from the fact that when you do it you may sound like the ocean, a snake, or Darth Vadar.

This breath “exercise” is done by closing the glottis partially on the exhale.  This post is not to get into the mechanic of how to do ujjayi breathing.  But a quick way to give you an IDEA of how to do it, is to think Felix Unger.  Remember him?  Remember that annoying noise he used to make?  Well, that is a lot more sound than you want, but that gives you an idea of what needs to be going on in your throat / nasal area.

I am excited by the prospect that this type of breathing could help stop snoring or even more importantly sleep apnea.  The idea behind this thought process is that the muscles need toning.  People snore because stuff in there gets to relaxed and it makes noise as the person breathes.  So, it kind of makes sense that if it can be toned or trained then it could help stop the snoring or the life threatening sleep apnea.

Yoga Therapy.com says:  “In fact, this snoring is the sound that occurs when air passes through stenosed nasopharynx, caused by vibration in the air flow of compliant structures of the pharynx (tongue, soft palate, etc.). The main reason that causes vibration of the said formations is impairment of muscle tone of the pharynx and soft palate, structural anomalies and functional abnormalities of the pharynx and soft palate.”  Like I said the stuff in there makes noise.

Again, as I said, this makes sense to me . . . as in, why not try it, it can’t really hurt, but if it did help . . . Oh man, for some it would be a life saver.  I think it is worth a try.  Just another reason to practice pranayama.

Do you think a breathing practice is worth trying if it would stop snoring and/or sleep apnea?  Do you know anyone that snores?  Do you know anyone with sleep apnea?

 

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Bad Day

Posted by terrepruitt on March 12, 2015

So, tomorrow is Friday the 13th.  It is a bad day.  Gotta stay in bed.  Can’t do anything.  Bad luck.  Hate it.  All of these things I have heard about the day had me thinking, “Why?”  I use the term “luck” as in, I’ll say, “Good luck,” but I am not so much a believer in luck.  I don’t associate good luck or bad luck with a number or a day.  I have heard about Friday the 13th being “bad” for as long as I can remember, but I have no idea why.  Do you?   What is Friday with the number 13 attached to it such a bullied day?  Well, I still can’t tell you for certain.

The information I found doesn’t say for sure why people dislike / are afraid of / dread / whatever the case may be Friday’s numbered 13.  In fact, it could just be a “Western Culture” thing.  Because according to Wiki, “Spanish speaking countries  and Greeks” consider Tuesdays numbered 13 to be “bad luck” days.  Wiki states that “an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day”.  The estimation is coming from the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoI know some people see the number 13 as a bad luck number, but I don’t understand why it is so particularly bothersome on Friday.  Some information points to the 13 apostles and Christ being crucified on Friday.  But, that idea makes my brain hurt because I – personally – don’t associate religion and superstition.

It does seem as if this idea of Friday the 13th being a bad day is fading away . . . but even if people don’t really believe it to be a bad day, people still mention it.  It is as if, for many of us, the thought – whether we believe it or not – is engrained in our minds.  It is almost a habit that sometimes people say it.  I know I have experienced people saying something about it then when I say, “I don’t have any ill will towards the day.”  Their faces kind of scrunch up as they realize they don’t either and it was just out of a silly habit that they mentioned it.

Although I do understand that people might have phobia regarding the number 13 or Friday 13th, I am more just talking about the superstition and trying to pinpoint where that came from.  Because . . . as I said, I have heard that all my life.  My mother used to say her father was very superstitious and would do things that amaze me.  One thing she said he did (or didn’t do) was regarding leaving the house.  Once you left the house you couldn’t go back.  That always amazed me because I am always having to go back.  I have gotten a little bit better, but I know there was a time where I was convinced my poor cat just thought that was how someone left the house (leave, come back, leave).  I never left the house without coming back for a very long period of time.  Now, I can tell you the last time I did it because it was just this week, but I hadn’t done it in a long time.

I sometimes think superstitions stem from results of things happening that you wouldn’t want to happen.  Like ladders falling on people so the superstition of it being “bad luck” to walk under a ladder was born.  Or a hat being sat on when it was on the bed, so the superstition of “bad luck” resulting from putting a hat on a bed.  Perhaps things that were bad that happened on a Friday were just more evident because there isn’t work the next day so people dwell on it more than if it happened on a Tuesday and people were busy with their work and lives?  And 13 just got thrown in there for good measure because of that being a “bad luck” number?

What do you feel about Friday the 13th?  Do you have a story about how it came about as a “bad luck” day?  Do you do things differently on Fridays that are 13s?

 

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One Saving I Could Do Without

Posted by terrepruitt on March 10, 2015

In March of 2010 I wrote a post about Daylight Saving Time.  First, as a reminder it is Daylight Saving(no s) Time.  You can check out that post by clicking HERE.  It just has some facts I gathered from the internet about Daylight Saving Time.  Basically it hasn’t always been around, it went away, it came back, then after 21 years the government extended it in 2007.  The government made it start sooner and end later. Instead of starting the first Sunday of April and ending the last Sunday of October, it now starts the second weekend of March and ends the first Sunday of November.  I am not a fan.  I do not like to lose an hour of sleep.  If you read my blog at all, you pretty much know I am a “night person” so when it is DAYLIGHT at 9:00 AT NIGHT, it is really difficult for me to even think about going to bed at a decent hour.  IT IS STILL LIGHT OUT!  So . . . it is daytime.  So . . . whatever . . . I don’t like a lot of things, I just live with them.  But what I don’t understand is I hear so many other people voice their dislike for it, too.  Why do we still do it?  What is up with Daylight Saving Time?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoIf you are looking for answers you won’t find them there.  I wasn’t even planning on bringing this up but someone posted a funny video to my Facebook Timeline this morning and I remembered I had saved a link to an article about it.  Before my Nia and yoga class today I watched the video.  Even though I watched the video I didn’t think about the lost hour or the DAYLIGHT at night.  I laughed it off.   But then on my way to my Nia class, as I was stopped at a stop light, the bank clock said 7:32.  REALLY?  UGH!  Then when I looked up at the dance studio clock IT said 7:42.  Sigh.  Seems as if I was not going to be able to forget that it was AN HOUR earlier.  And the funny thing is — all of a sudden, I felt tired.  I yawned.

So, needing something to post on my blog today, I read the article (the one I save the linked for) “5 myths about daylight saving time”.  Click here to go there.  MORE information regarding the absurdity of Daylight Saving Time.  Really . . . WHY DO WE HAVE IT STILL?  Are you of the belief it is or was for the farmers?  Well both the video I saw this morning (although it was a comedy video) and the post on the Washington Post said it was not for the farmers.  In fact, the article claims that farmers were AGAINST it.  They don’t like it.

The article is about 5 Myths of DST.  The first one was the farmers theory.  The second one is that it makes us healthier having that extra daylight when actually the sleep disruption and the changing of the time makes us more prone to automobile accidents.  Some data has indicated that male suicide increases and the change has an adverse affect on people with mental health problems.  Some physicians even think it can trigger cluster headaches.

The third one is the energy myth.  That was the reason for its extension.  (The article says it was extending in 2005.  That was when the act was passed.  We didn’t actually put the extension into practice until 2007.)  The article also sites a study where Indiana’s government thought the residents would save $7 million in electricity costs, but it ended up costing the residents $9 million MORE.  So not only was there no savings it cost MORE!

The fourth one is it increases revenue for businesses.  Well, that is why I thought “they” (the government) did it.  More sales.  And while that sounds true – from the article – it also state that not ALL businesses benefit.  The Air Transport Association estimated that the change for the extension would cost $147 million (holy carp!) because of the extra scheduling that has to be done to keep the flights all running smoothly with the rest of the world.

And the last myth is an argument about “Standard Time” not being actually “standard” because it is for less months out of the year than Daylight Saving Time.

So what do YOU think?  Like it?  Hate it?  Love the light later?  Don’t like it being so dark in the morning?  Miss the lost hour of sleep?  Feeling sick?  Feeling disoriented?

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