Posted by terrepruitt on October 25, 2011
Nia is a body centered practice. Nia came about partly because at that time, in the 80′s, popular exercise classes were very hard on the body and the industry in which the creators of Nia worked produced a lot of injuries. The couple that brought us Nia spent a lot of time examining many different forms of movement which in turn shaped Nia into a body-centered movement practice. Nia is a cardio dance workout that moves the body as it was designed to move. Debbie Rosas-Stewart, one of the creators of Nia, wanted to be a doctor, she has always been interested in the human body. Nia’s training material often refers to the science of the body. The body is fascinating and fantastic. I believe that Debbie’s love of medicine and the human body is evident in Nia. Here are some facts that I found interesting. They are facts easily found on the internet so they might not be new to you. Even if you have heard them before I hope you marvel at the human body as I do.
- There are 10 human body parts having only three letters. (Can you name all 10 human body parts having only 3 letters?)
- Food is moved through the digestive tract by muscular contractions.
- The pressure created from the human heart can squirt blood 30 feet.
- Hydrochloric acid found in the stomach can dissolve certain metals.
- The surface area of a human lung is equal to a tennis court.
- Half of our taste buds are gone for most of us, by the time we are 60 years old.
- The human brain is capable of storing everything it is exposed to, but it is the ability to recall the information that might be the challenge.
- We are shorter at the end of the day due to cartilage being compressed throughout the day.
- Kneecaps aren’t developed in a human until the child is between 2-6 years old.
- The longer the finger the faster the nail grows.
- Hair and nails do not continue to grow after death, but it appears as if they do since the skin shrinks and recedes as the moisture dries up.
- The skin of a human body contains 45 miles of nerves.
- The average human will breathe 23,040 times in a 24 hour period.
- People with dark hair have less hair than blondes.
- The stomach produces a new layer of mucus every 14 days in order to keep from digesting itself.
- The “funny bone” is actually the ulnar nerve.
- About 8% of the human body weight is blood.
- A human snore can be a loud as a jack hammer.
- Starvation takes a few weeks, but a total lack of sleep would cause death in roughly 10 days.
- A human sneeze has been measured to exceed 100 miles per hour, whereas the average cough is only 60 miles per hour.
- “Veins in the skin appear blue for a variety of reasons only weakly dependent on the color of the blood. Light scattering in the skin, and the visual processing of color play roles as well.” **
The 10 human body parts with only three letters: eye, ear, lip, gum, jaw, arm, rib, hip, leg, and toe.
Aside from what was **copied directly from Wiki, the above information was gleaned from the following sites:
The Nurse Nut, Yes, ICantSeeYou, Mawlana Faizani International, and ESZlinger. I have seen many sites contain the same information and more. I just found these ones particularly fascinating. I think the body is fantastic.
Posted in Just stuff, Misc | Tagged: body centered practice, cardio dance workout, Debbie Rosas, Debbie Rosas Stewart, facts about the body, how fast is a sneeze, human body, Nia, Nia cardio dance, Nia class, Nia creator, Nia Practice, Wiki | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 8, 2011
I teach Nia. Nia is a cardio dance workout done in bare feet. It is no impact (or very low – I tend to hop a bit because I am having so much fun!) but allows for high intensity. Impact and intensity are different. I love Nia, but I also love other types of workouts. When I do other types of workouts they usually require shoes because often times the workouts get their intensity from impact. You might already know all of this because I have shared it before. You might also know — because I have shared this before — that I also love Turbo Jam. That is the exercise program designed for home use, as in DVDs, by the incredibly cute and bubbly Chalene Johnson. You have probably read me say before, “No matter how many times I do Chalene’s DVDs she makes me smile.” Her energy is infectious. Well, I’ve done the DVDs I have a lot over the years so today I decided to do them a little different. I decided to combine two things I love. I wore my MBTs while doing Turbo Jam.
Because of my toe/foot situation I had not been doing Turbo Jam a lot, but I am starting to do it again. I do it regular tennis shoes, just some cross trainers, and I sometimes have to think a lot to not move my foot in a toe position that hurts. When you do any type of workout in which you wear shoes you have to think about it a bit more when you are on carpet. Carpet tends to make it a little more difficult to twist on your toes and things, so sometimes it is better to not do that so much in order to 1) save the carpet and 2) save your knees. Even though I have always wanted to do a Turbo Jam workout in my MBTs I thought it would be more strenuous on my recovering foot. But it wasn’t really. It was fine. It was fun. MBTs really have the body using different muscles because the way the sole is engineered. So it was really fun to do a workout I have done at least a hundred times and have it feel different.
The MBTs really made me concentrate on what I was doing. When I do my Turbo Jam DVDs I have a tendency to think about other things. I just follow the moves and think or sing, I am not always concentrating on what I am doing. The Masai Barefoot Technology footwear really had me thinking about balancing properly and not just throwing my limb out. When I threw it out too far without being aware then I somewhat got off balance. Not just off balance in a way that the shoe is designed to make you be unbalanced, but my foot was positioned incorrectly in the MBT so I had to be aware of how I was extending. It was really nice. As I said it was nice to experience the workout in a very new way even though I have done it at least a hundred times. It was nice to have to really think about the muscles that enable balance. It was nice to have to think about balance in order to make certain my alignment was not off.
Now that my foot is so much better and I have confirmed that using my MBTs to do my cardio workouts that require shoes will not bother my foot, I plan to use them all the time. That is really one of the reasons I bought them. But I was not ready until now because I thought it would challenge my foot too much. It actually made toe movements easier because of the curve of the sole. The curve allows for easy almost automatic ball of foot or on the toe movements.
Yay! Newness in an old-but-beloved workout! Do you workout to DVDs? If you do, what is your favorite? Have you done them enough that you are ready to change ‘em up a bit?
Posted in Just stuff, Working Out | Tagged: bare foot workouts, cardio dance workout, Chalene Johnson, curved sole shoes, high intensity, high intensity workout, low impact workout, Masai Barefoot Technology, MBTs, Nia, Nia Teacher, no impact workout, Turbo Jam, workout DVDs | 8 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on September 29, 2011
Nia White Belts focus on the body. The body is what we can use to teach. It is fascinating. By the time we teach a routine in front of a class we should know the music and the choreography so well we don’t have to think about it. I know I have shared before about how there is a point where I can’t learn any more without taking it to the class. That is not necessarily the way we were trained to do it, but that is how I do it. I have worked on learning a routine, got as far as I felt I could go, taken it to class and only done it for one class before I go back and work on learning it some more. With that one class I was able to get past the learning plateau. But for the most part we know the music and the routine well by the time we share it with our Nia students. This allows us to concentrate on what we are sensing. This is White Belt Principle #13, Teaching What You Sense.
One of the Nia White Belt Manuals says:
While Nia impacts every aspect of our lives, it is first and foremost a somatic practice rooted in physical sensation.
© 2010 Nia Technique, Inc. | NiaNow.com Principle 13 Lesson Plan | 1
Teaching what we sense, what we are experiencing in our own bodies allows us to connect with what is going on in our students’ bodies. When I feel the stretch in my side, I can say, “Everybody sense your side.” This allows each participant, each individual body to sense what is going on in his or her own body. It could be a stretch. It could be a twinge which might be a signal to tweak the movement. Whatever is sensed belongs to the individual. I am not saying, “You SHOULD feel . . “ I don’t know exactly what they should sense. Each person is different. Nia teachers invite Nia students to SENSE parts of the body so each person can get the workout their body needs.
While we are dancing the moves we are showing the Nia students the Nia choreography, we are also guiding them with our words. In addition to guiding them through the Nia routine’s choreography we are guiding them through a somatic workout. A workout that is rooted in the Body’s Way. By teaching what my body is sensing participants learn what THEIR bodies are sensing and in turn we all learn our our own individual’s body’s way.
Learning all of this in a cardio dance workout class might seem like a lot, but it is something that happens over time. It might also sound different than other exercise classes, and that is because it is different. It is unique. Each class brings new awareness. When students desire to they can take what we touch upon in class out into their lives. Being aware of the body’s sensation as we live and go about our everyday chores and pleasures. We could call it “Noticing what we sense.” But for me, as a Nia teacher/student I am encouraged to teach what I sense and it makes a world of difference in the workout you receive.
Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: cardio, cardio dance workout, Dance Workout, Nia cardio dance workout, Nia choreography, Nia class, Nia Music, Nia participants, Nia routine, Nia students, Nia teachers, Nia White Belt, somatic practice, the body's way, White Belt Principle #13 | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on July 12, 2011
Nia is a cardio dance workout. We turn on music and we dance. We have Nia routines that we do to certain music or we can put the patterns to different music. We are not limited to these two choices this is just an example. We dance to music, we have fun, we don’t even realize we are exercising. To me, it is “like” Zumba in that way. But Nia is a practice. Nia has different levels and each level has principles. If you choose to experience the different levels you can, but even if not the principles of Nia can be applied to the workout and to life. To me, Nia is like Yoga because of the fact that some of the “stuff” you do in a workout can be applied to life. Since the ideas and principles of Nia can be applied to life they are not necessarily “new”, most of it is not made up by the creators of Nia. Some of it you might recognize and have heard elsewhere. It is the way it is applied and put together. I have stated this before . . . that things are not new, so you aren’t imaging that. I do like to repeat it because a lot of people have not heard of Nia so they might think it is something new and “way out there”, but it is not, it is based on science and things you know. Some of the things I am learning are things that I have to continue to “practice”.
Here are a few of the things, in no particular order:
–It is ok not to be perfect. That is not really the way we state it when we talk about it, but I have started many posts with what we really say and maybe one day I will post one, but I am not ready to deal with the spam and odd comments I might receive from our actually verbiage of this same idea. But basically we don’t have to do things perfectly. Which is really great because there really is no such thing.
–The Four Engery Allies are always something I am having to practice. (Speak with impeccability / Don’t assume anything / Don’t take anything personally / Always do your best)
–Even silence is music. We actually practice listening for the silences in our music. A lot can happen in a silence, it could be a birthing place for something spectacular. Or it could just be a place of rest and calm. Either way it is sometimes something to look forward to.
–Natural Time is a gift. Moving and living in ones own natural time and not having to do everything by the clock that society runs on, is not always possible. There are some things you just have to do, so when there is an opportunity to move and live in natural time I take advantage of it and I consider it a treasured gift.
–Live in the moment. I am always doing one thing and thinking another. We live in a society of multi-tasking. It is celebrated and even rewarded, but it is not joyful nor rewarding. Sometimes I forget why I walked into a room because I started walking there to do something and then after the first two steps my brain has already jumped to the next task. So I arrive in the room thinking, “What am I doing here? I know what I want to do when I am done with why I came in here, but I don’t know why I am here.” So this is something I am always having to practice.
All of these things are things we learn in our Nia workout. We don’t have to dance perfect, we have our energy allies when we dance, silence can be part of our movement, we move in our own natural time, and we move in the moment and dance to the music. All of these things work in and off the dance floor. So Nia teaches me a lot and it continues to teach me.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: cardio dance, cardio dance workout, dance exercise, Dance Workout, Energy Allies, exercise workout, joyful exercise, Natural Time, Nia, Nia Dance, Nia Movement, Nia Music, Nia Practice, Nia principles, Nia routines, Nia workout, Principles of Nia, Yoga, Yoga Practice, Yoga workout, Zumba, Zumba exercise, Zumba music, Zumba routines | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 4, 2011
When I first started teaching my Nia classes I was doing it three times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the studio in Willow Glen. Not every class had many students. I remember talking to different people about the low numbers. Some of them suggested not having that many classes in a week, not having that many dance lessons a week. Understandable. Most people didn’t know what Nia was. Since it is dance many people thought of it as a dance that you learn. But Nia is not like Salsa or Tango where you are shown steps, then asked to mimic them, then instructed to practice, then allowed to practice to music. Nia is not a dance lesson type of dance.
Even though Nia incorporates nine different movement forms, Nia is more comparable to Zumba or Jazzercise where the music is playing and the participants follow the lead of the teacher. No experience in or with any of the movement forms is required. Nia is a cardio dance workout, it is exercise so it is GREAT to do it three times a week. It is recommended to participate in a form of cardio exercise at least three times a week to maintain heart health. Depending upon your individual needs and goals cardio more often might even be in order. So Nia three times a week is great.
When I had the opportunity to hold a third class in a week that is exactly what many of my Monday and Wednesday students said, “Nia three times a week is great!” Now I have a third Nia class on Fridays in Los Gatos. (I know I have said that before, but I am excited. Plus I need to get the word out!)
Another point about Salsa and Tango is a partner is needed. Nia does not require a partner so it is often easier to actually do it three times a week since you are not trying to coordinate with another person to meet and dance three times a week.
Participating in Nia with any regularity participants will learn, but it might not be dance steps. There are many things to learn when participating in Nia, but it is not taught as steps and or patterns are taught in a dance lesson. Instead of Nia being a dance lesson, you will learn lessons as you dance Nia.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: cardio dance, cardio dance workout, cardio exercise, cardio workout, dance class, dance class Willow Glen, Exercise classes in Willow Glen, heart health, Jazzercise, Nia, Nia class, Nia Music, Nia participants, Nia Practice, Nia students, Nia studio, Nia Teacher, Nia three times a week, Nia Willow Glen, Salsa, Salsa partner, Tango, Tango partner, Willow Glen Jazzercise, Willow Glen Nia, Willow Glen Salsa, Willow Glen Tango, Willow Glen Zumba, Workout in Willow Glen, Zumba | 2 Comments »