Posts Tagged ‘Bow Stance’
Posted by terrepruitt on January 10, 2013
There are six stances in the 52 Moves of Nia. Closed Stance, Open Stance, “A” Stance, Riding (Sumo) Stance, Bow Stance, and the Cat Stance. Each stance has a sound associated with it for practice. There are benefits to doing each stance. All of them help with balance. With the cat stance the balance is on one foot. The cat stance is a stance in which you stand on one leg, using your whole foot. The leg you are standing on is not rigid, but the knee is soft, as if you were going to pounce. The spine is upright, hips are level, not pointing down nor up. The foot that is off the ground is pressing with the side against the standing leg, the foot relaxed, toes hanging towards the earth. Elbows are bent, relaxed. Either both elbows are at the sides or one slightly forward. The arms and hands are engaged. The cat stance is done on alternating legs. These are the specifics of Nia’s Cat Stance.
There are specific ways to do a stance, the body’s way. But your body’s way is also recognized. So different bodies will do it different ways. Some will do it their own way until the body can adjust to the specifics and some bodies will continue in their own way. For instance some bodies will use the power finger/balance finger hand technique to assist them in standing on one leg. In addition to each body having its own way to do each move sometimes the way the move is done in a routine alters the specifics. The specifics stated above are according to The Nia Technique book, however in the routine Birth, the cat stance in one of the katas consists of hooking the bent leg’s foot around the standing leg. In this particular dance, while we are in the cat stance with our foot hooked around the standing leg, our hands and arms are different from is described in the ideal cat stance stated above. One of our hands “hooks” around our face.
This is often the case. There is a specific way to do each of Nia’s 52 Moves, but each individual has their own body’s way that adjust the specifics AND the specifics are sometimes adjusted according to move in the routine. But it is important to know the specifics and the basics. It is also fun to practice the specifics and the basics.
The basics of the cat stance help with balancing on one leg. This can also be considered a strengthener, the standing leg’s muscles can be strengthened through the practice of supporting all of one’s weight. If this move is being done solely as a practice of the move, then agility can come into play. The practice of walking then stopping and moving quickly into cat stance would allow for the agility. Alternating with a light hop from whole-foot-cat-stance on one leg to the other is an exercise in agility. While this type of movement might also be something we do in a Nia routine it is not always the case. Sometimes we move into cat stance and from there do kicks.
As with all of Nia’s 52 Moves we play with them. All of Nia’s routines consist of playing with movement and music. With the cat stance you have the specific way to do it, then just like a cat you can play as you practice. You can “meow” and use claw hands. The cat stance is a fun way to play with balance and sounding. Practice the specifics then let the animal in you out!
Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: 52 Moves of Nia, A Stance, Balance Finger, Bow Stance, closed stance, hand technique, Nia katas, Nia Practice, Nia routine Birth, Nia routines, Nia's 52 Moves, Nia's Cat Stance, open stance, power finger, Riding Stance, standing on one leg, Sumo Stance, the body's way, the Cat Stance, The Nia Technique book | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 5, 2013
There are a few posts on my blog about sounding in Nia. I even have a separate category for it. See over there to the left under categories, under Nia? Sounding is what we call making noise in a Nia class. Sounding is great for many reasons. Sounding is a release. It can help release tension, emotions, spirit . . . whatever needs “releasing”. Sounding is fun. Sounding can assist in the stabilization of the torso. Sounding can help ground you . . . physically, emotionally, and your spirit. Often times when I am doing Nia both when I am teaching and when I am a student, my spirit just makes a sound. I don’t plan it, I don’t think about it, a noise just comes out. I “woo” a lot. But sometimes other sounds comes out. Sometimes the sound I make makes me laugh because I really don’t think about the sound, something just comes out. I could be thinking of something, for example, maybe the move we are doing reminds me of a swirling skirt, so then the sound could be a “whosh” as in the sound of a skirt, or it could be a giggle of a girl twirling in a skirt. I don’t always think about the sound I just let it out. Sometimes I do think of the sound. Sounding can be purposeful. The noise can have a purpose. I have posted about healing sounds and sounds associated with the chakras. This post is about the sounds that are associated with Nia stances, which are part of Nia’s 52 moves.
The picture in this post is an approximation of how MY feet would be placed in the various stances. Remember that your stances would probably be slightly different. The width would be according to YOUR body and your body’s way. The picture is just to give you an idea and maybe help remind you of the various stances. At this time I have a post associated with four of the six stances.
In Nia’s closed stance the sound is the vowel sound “o”. The sound is made to “create volume in your chest cavity”.
In Nia’s open stance the sound is (to say) “balance” or “ground”. Saying the word “balance” can assist you in your balance. The word “ground” can assist with allowing you to feel grounded and sense balance.
The sound for Nia’s “A” stance is “aaaaahh!”. You say it on an exhale. Letting out all your breath until you are ready to inhale.
Sumo stance or riding stance (feet as wide apart as if you were riding a horse) has an explosive sound. Say “ha!” To me this helps with stabilization.
The bow stance has a sound of “u”. The bow stance is done with either foot in front, not just with the left foot in front as shown in the example.
The cat stance (standing on one foot, with the other foot pressed against the standing leg) has the sound “wooooooo” associated with it. This is done on the exhale. This stance is also done on the other foot and not just the left one as in the example.
So as you are practicing the Nia stances you can use the sounds associated with them for added benefit and fun. It is just fun to make noise. To me it adds to the experience. In my classes I encourage people to make any noise they want. I also like to play with the noises, sounds, and words associated with the move.
Do you attend a dance exercise class or exercise that encourages you to make noise?
Information regarding the sounds made with the Nia stances can be found in The Nia Technique book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas (NKA, Carlos AyaRosas). The book can be purchased from Amazon.
Posted in Nia, Sounding | Tagged: A Stance, Amazon, Bow Stance, Carlos AyaRosas, Carlos Rosas, Cat Stance, closed stance, core stabilization, Debbie Rosas, making noise is fun, Nia, Nia class, Nia Sounds, Nia Stances, Nia Teacher, Nia teaching, open stance, Riding Stance, sounding, Sumo Stance, The Nia Technique book | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on August 21, 2012
So if you are participating in the little challenge of not getting on the scale for either 21 days or 30 days, today is the 21st day. I assigned 21 days so that is would land on a posting day (I post Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). I will let you know that due to more “stuff” as I had posted about before, I got off to a late start on my own challenge! So how is it going for you? Has it been a challenge to stay off the scale? Have you noticed that you are not obsessing about the number the scale displays because you are not looking at it? Now the thing with measuring with a measuring tape instead of scale means you need to keep doing what you’re doing. So if you were doing some type of cardio three times a week and adding some strength training in and weighing yourself, looking for that number to change when you stop using the scale it doesn’t mean to stop doing the other stuff. It is just a different way to track progress. And for some it could be a little bit of a reprieve IF they allow the scale to affect their mood. I found it funny that today on FaceBook someone posted about the scale stealing motivation and she reminded people it doesn’t tell the whole story. That is what I am saying too. That is why I thought it would be nice to change it up.
I know that some people don’t even have a scale. Some people don’t even use one. Everyone is different. I just hear a lot about people being upset because they didn’t lose a pound “today” and they’ve been trying so hard. So I think that maybe for those people it is nice to try a different way to track progress.
My schedule is a bit “off” this month as I am spending time dealing with “stuff” and I have picked up a lot of classes that I am subbing for the City of San Jose. I picked up eleven classes which is great but I have not been able to concentrate as much on my resistance training as I would like. My numbers did not change as much as I was hoping to see when I thought of this challenge. What about you? Did you see a change in numbers? Are you stopping at day 21 or going to continue on and see what 30 days will do?
Not only do I have the added class times to do I have a little bit of added prep time for each class and the travel time to and from each class. Since I am subbing in Nia for other classes such as Zumba, Zumba Gold, Pilates, Kick Boxing, and Cardio Toning, I do try to pick Nia routines that will fit. I am not changing Nia to fit the class, because I explained how that turned out in a post earlier this month, but I do try to pick routines that might fit a little better. With a Zumba Gold class I might do a Nia routine that is a bit mellow or doesn’t have a lot of bow stances. And with subbing a Zumba class I might put together a lot of the higher energy “get moving songs”. So all of that cuts into my plan. But I’m going to buckle down a bit because I have some stuff that I needed to get done this month behind me. I am going to keep up with this little challenge myself and see where that tape leads me.
Well? How are you still with me? Are doing the challenge? How is it going? Doing it for 21 days? Doing it for 30 days?
Posted in Misc | Tagged: 21 day challenge, 30 day challenge, body measurements, Bow Stance, cardio, cardio exercise, Cardio Toning, City of San Jose, Facebook, Kick Boxing, measuring tape, Nia routines, Nia San Jose, Pilates, resistance training, San Jose Nia, scale, scale challenge, tape measure, weight, Zumba, Zumba Gold | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 3, 2012
Nia has a different closed stance than some other dances and exercises I know. In Pilates the stance is heels touching and toes apart. I’ve heard it called a Pilates V. The Pilates V is done in more positions than standing. Sometimes there are exercises done while on the reformer where we will place our feet in Pilates V. It is nice to have positions that are specific. It helps a lot. I as a teacher can just say, “Closed stance.” and the Nia students will know what that means. Instead of forming a V as in the Pilates stance we form more of a rectangle. A basic closed stance is simple. It is stable. Nia’s closed stance is the side of the big toes touching and heels apart. It is as if all four corners of a rectangle are in contact with the edge of the foot. This allows for a very stable base. In the basic closed stance the arms hang. The back is straight, we are standing tall, lengthening the spine. Knees are relaxed as well was the feet. Weight is balanced evenly on both feet. Simple closed stance.
Closed stance is one of the six stances in the Nia 52 Moves. There is Closed Stance, Open Stance, A Stance, Sumo (or Riding) Stance, Bow Stance, and Cat Stance. I believe that in its basic form closed stance is the easiest. But when other elements are added that might not hold true.
We can practice our agility by walking quickly then stopping in closed stance. We might choose to be in closed stance while we allow just our arms to be agile . . . moving around in a starting and stopping fashion. We could just let our closed stance be stable as our arms are mobile. We could do an entire body dance . . . close stance dance. For some this is a challenge, even though our feet are formed into a rectangle and the idea is of a stable base it is still a practice in balance to have your feet secured to the earth while the rest of your body moves around. As I said, what we do with a close stance might not be so simple.
Practicing walking and stopping in closed stance is a good check to make certain you are not landing in “toes in“. The heels shouldn’t be that far apart as if you are doing toes in. Yet the toes should be touching. Coming from other stances to closed is good for conditioning the legs. Moving from Sumo to closed, or from at to closed is something to practice. Again we don’t want our heels to land too far apart making us pigeon toed.
I know of several routines that have us going through the stances. We start out in closed, then go to open stance, then go to A stance, then go to sumo. In some routines we work back through the stances, but in some we do move right into closed from sumo. I can’t think of one where we go from closed to sumo, but I bet there is one and I just can’t put my finger on it. Nia loves to mix up the moves to get the most out of the workout.
Can you sense the stability in the Nia Closed Stance?
Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: A Stance, Bow Stance, Cat Stance, closed stance, dance exercise, dance positions, Nia, Nia Dance, Nia Moves, Nia participants, Nia Teacher, Nia workout, Nia's 52 Moves, open stance, Pilates, Pilates reformer, Pilates V, Riding Stance, Sumo Stance, workout | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 12, 2011
My Ten Minute Workout is done. I do believe that ten minutes is not that long and it can be done, but one does have to manage their time properly and I did not do that yesterday. I had plenty of time in which to do it, but I kept getting delayed. Also, I was sensing my hamstrings wanting a rest. I didn’t really think they NEEDED a rest, they are not injured or really sore, but I am aware of them when I get up. The Nia routine I did most of last week has a lot of bows in it. The name of the Nia routine is Passion and when the music is in fully swing it allows the passion of dance to be experienced and I have been taking my bows low. I am experiencing some soreness in my hamstrings.
But the main reason for me not doing my Ten Ten in Ten is my poor time management. Unless I am in a lot of pain and think that further movement will damage my muscle for me the best course of action is to work through it, even if I tone the volume of movement down. This workout MIGHT cause DOMS to be experienced and that is when you have to decide what it best for you.
How are you doing today?
Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: Bow Stance, Dance Workout, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, DOMS, muscle pain, Muscle Soreness, Nia, Nia Dance, Nia Music, Nia routine, Nia Teacher, Nia workout, Passion, passion dance, passion of dance, poor time management, sore hamstrings, swing dance, ten minute workout | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 3, 2011
I have a Nia Class to teach today. I decided to do my Ten Minute Workout before I teach. I was mellow on my left step forward in my long lunges because my right foot is still learning to be strong again and so I didn’t want to push it before I teach. I am saving my bow stance for Nia class. But I got my Ten Ten in Ten in (I made it through twice). I left the equipment out in case I want to do it again when I get back.
How about you?
Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: Bow Stance, exercise, exercise equipment, lunges, Nia, Nia exercises, Nia Teacher, teach Nia, ten minute workout, Terre’s Ten Ten in Ten, workout, workout equipment | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 25, 2010
The first half of Nia White Belt Principle #7 is the Three Planes of Movement. The second half is Levels of Teaching. (You can learn more about Nia’s Belt Levels here) The three planes of movement in Nia can be easily described as low, medium, and high. The planes are used to allow our bodies to practice agility and mobility. We use the floor, the space in between, and the “high”. We bend and fold. We reach out and stretch up. We move in space both horizontally and vertically.
With all the movements available to us in the three planes we have the opportunity to experience energy as it moves around us. In addition to the possibilities of energies the journey should be to pleasure and comfort. As you move through the planes part of practice of Nia is to observe how our joints open and move more freely.
Just like the three levels of intensity Nia encourages everyBODY – regardless of fitness level – to work and play in all three planes. Keeping in mind everyone’s low, middle, and high is unique to their own body.
Moving through the planes can tie into the levels of intensity. For example if doing the bow stance, the lower or deeper you go could be considered a level of 3 intensity because going down and coming back up would require greater effort and be more intense than staying “high” and not lowering into a deep bow.
Strength, stability, and flexibility will also be a result of working through and in all the planes. The more we play in all of these areas we develop more ability in all of them, the more we can maintain balance in the entire body.
If you want to join me in a Nia class please look at my San Jose Nia class schedule or my San Carlos Nia class schedule. I look forward to seeing you.
Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: agility, Belt levels, Bow Stance, City of San Jose, Levels of Teaching, Mobility, Nia, Nia Classes, Nia energy, Nia White Belt, Nia White Belt Principle #7, San Carlos Nia class, San Jose Nia class, Three Planes of movement | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on February 18, 2010
Nia thinks of the pelvis, chest, and head as the core of the body. Nia is not defining the core muscles or a core muscle group, Nia just includes these three body weights as the core of the body.
The core is Nia White Belt Principle #8.
Alignment of these three weights affects so many things; energy, bones, muscles, organs. If the alignment is not as it should be all of these things could be affected.
Movement can help properly align these three weights. Often times some areas of our bodies are stiff and/or tight and by moving our body as it was designed to be moved the stiffness gets worked out and the tightness goes away. Sometimes that is what is needed to assist in proper alignment. Other times it might be strengthening or just moving your body in a way it is not accustomed to move.
As an example of how we guide a body to alignment, we utilize the bow stance in Nia routines. A great exercise while in the bow stance is to move the pelvis in all directions. Moving the pelvis in all directions while in this stance allows for the body to gain or retain mobility. Mobility in the hips and the spine. Movement of the pelvis releases energy and muscle tension. This type of movement also requires strength in the torso and leads up to the chest and head. While circling or waving the hips the body falls on and off balance and the chest and head must be used to stay upright. All of this contributes to stability, flexibility, and strength.
We often dance our chest in Nia. We move our ribs to open them and keep the muscles in between mobile. We breath deep. We makes sounds. We use our chest to guide us in our workout, giving us a different way to move. This releases blocked energy.
Nia encourages movement of the head in our routines. We are often moving our head on its own or to lead us through a move. We employ our hands and our eyes to help us move our head. Not all cardio workout classes employ the use of the head and it seems as if a lot of people are just plain ol’ not used to moving their head. So caution is always recommended. Since moving the head stimulates two chakras it is sometimes very powerful and some people get dizzy until they are used to it.
When these three body weights are in alignment sense calm. When our body is strong yet flexible and capable of mobility it assist us in keep our body weights aligned correctly even when we move we feel confident and have a sense of wellness.
The Nia White Belt Manual* has over 15 pages addressing the pelvis, chest, and head. I think that means that there will be more posts regarding the core and/or its parts, because Nia has a lot of information that I can share about the core.
*The Nia White Belt Manual was created by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas as was Nia (the Nia Technique). All of this information is based off of information from their trainings and the White Belt Manual and the Nia Technique Book
Posted in Core Muscles, Nia | Tagged: Bow Stance, Carlos AyaRosas, Carlos Rosas, chakras, core muscle group, Core Muscles, Debbie Rosas, flexibility, Nia, Nia and the Core, Nia routines, Nia Technique, Nia White Belt, Nia White Belt Manual, pelvis movement, Principle #8, strength, three body weights, White Belt | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 30, 2010
One thing about a blog on WordPress, I can see search terms. My blog statistics show me terms used in a search that led people to my blog. One thing I noticed was bow stance came up a lot in the search terms. People want to know what it is, how to do it, what is it for, etc.
So I thought I would post another post on the Bow Stance. I am familiar with the stance from other exercises and other exercise classes. It is not unique to Nia, but Nia includes it in the Nia 52 Moves. I feel it can be compared to a lunge.
The bow stance is one leg bent with the foot flat on the ground, the other leg is bent and out behind with the heel lifted and the ball of the foot on the ground. The feet are not aligned, so if you were to bring your back foot forward it would not collide with the foot in front. Can you picture it? It is kind of like a lunge.
The Nia Technique book states that the benefits are conditioning for walking and dealing with changing levels as the body’s center moves up and down.
My feelings about the bow stance are that it is great for working out the lower body and for practicing balance.
The bow stance can be done with many variations. The typical bow stance is that described above, but, when the feet are place wider apart as if on two railroad ties the stance actually becomes more stable, but if you add moving arms to that it become less stable. If you were to raise and lower your entire body, it changes the dynamics yet again. If you were to add motion to the hips, it changes it again. If you were to place the back foot further back it changes it again. Another way to challenge the muscles is to change which foot holds the weight, leaning the weight to the front or to the back.
This stance is used a lot in Nia routines and I imagine that is because it is such a great exercise and it can be used so many different ways. It fits into many different songs and adds to the dance. Sometimes we move in and out of it quickly, sometimes we stay and play. It is a great movement.
Previously I mentioned it being good for the lower body that is because you can see how it is very good for the feet and ankles too. When the back foot it resting on the ball of the foot, it helps with both strength and flexibility of the foot. When movement is added to the stance it helps with both strength and flexibility of the ankle.
So we answered the question originally stated:
–the bow stance is somewhat like a lunge
–one foot is in front flat on the ground, the other is in back with the heel up, both legs are bent
–it helps with strength, balance, and flexibilty
I hope that helps. If you have anything to add or ask, please do so. And, as always thank you for stopping by. If you want to see how the bow stances is added to a dance workout and you want to try it yourself, join me in a class.
Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: balance exercise, Bow Stance, Dance Workout, exercise class, flexibility exercise strength exercise, Nia, Nia class, Nia exercise class, Nia routines, stability exercise, The Nia Technique, Wordpress blog, workout class | 8 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 10, 2009
Here is the bow stance. Now there are a lot of practices and movement arts that do the bow stance—at least I knew it before I came to Nia, so . . . please keep in mind that I am presenting it as one of the Nia 52 Moves because we do it in Nia and that is what I teach primarily.
I consider this somewhat of a deep bow. One does not need to come down this low. Usually with the bow stance we are placing a leg back, placing the ball of our foot on the ground and leaving the heel up. But there are times when we will step forward into a bow stance. Even if we are stepping forward into the bow stance, we are leaving the heel of the foot that is in the back off the ground. It is somewhat like a lunge, but the back foot remains on the ball of the foot.
The bow stance can be deep or not, and it can be a stance that we move quickly into or out of or a stance where we settle in and move our arms. It all depends on the music and the workout routine. It is great exercise for increasing balance and strength in the core and lower body.
Keep in mind that the feet are not in line. There is stability by keep the apart, at least hip joint distance apart.
Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: Bow Stance, deep lunge, exercise workout, hip joint, increase balance, increase core strength, increase strength in the lower body, lunge, movement arts, movement practices, Nia, Nia 52 moves, Nia exercise, Nia Practice, Nia routine, Nia Teacher, Nia workout, routine music, stability, teach Nia, workout routine | 2 Comments »