Posts Tagged ‘Nia Movement’
Posted by terrepruitt on January 10, 2012
I think this is one of the most difficult stages of Nia FreeDance. And there is a reason they are numbered one through eight, and I don’t know why I started my postings about them backwards, but when I’m done they will still be here and they will tie together. On its own Stage 6 is a powerful tool, but it can also be applied when dancing Nia FreeDance stage one (FreeDance) and five (Authentic Movement). Stage 6 of Nia FreeDance is witness. We witness our movements. While we are dancing we acknowledge how we are moving. We observe our tendencies. We observe our structure. We are witness to all that our body can and can’t do, yet we do not interfere. We just let go and move. For many Nia FreeDance is a challenge because we are set free to dance without structure, we are set free to move as we sense the music. In stage 6 we do so — move without structure and as our own body senses the music — without interfering or judging. We are to just observe.
While you are dancing and witnessing, interfering would mean to change what you are doing maybe because you judged it to be a certain way. As an example, say you heard a specific stand-out beat in the music and your body sensed it as little hops so you started hopping. As you are hopping you start thinking and judging, you think, “Why am I hopping? I must look silly. No one else is hopping. I should stop.” While there was witnessing (YAY!), there was judging (not yay.) and then as a result interfering (not yay.). Movement was changed because of a judgement. Movement was changed not because your body sensed something maybe a new move from the music it was changed because you judged. This is what Nia FreeDance Stage 6 is about witnessing but NOT interfering or judging.
Even if we observe our tendency to do the same type of move over and over. This witness does not have an opinion, it just observes. If you are dancing just stage 6 of FreeDance then you just keep going. Observe, don’t judge or interfere. Now is not the time to change. Just dance.
This is not an easy stage. It is not easy to witness, just observing and not judge or interfere, but this stage is a huge eye-opener. This stage can tell us many things about our dance and our bodies. We can see our tendencies and our comfort zones. We can learn our strengths and weaknesses. We can embrace the sense of self. This stage is not easy, but it is powerful. It is a great tool in the Nia tool box for both a Nia Practitioner and a Nia Teacher.
So while you are dancing in the shower, in the kitchen, in the living room — wherever it is you get to truly dance — try stage 6 of Nia FreeDance; Witness – Do Not Interfere of Judge. Observe. And see where this takes you. See what you learn. You could learn things like, you don’t allow your neck free movement, your hips don’t get to dance, you are always bent at the knee, you can do a great shimmy, your hands are like graceful birds . . . . so many things. What have you witness in your FreeDance?
Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: Authentic Movement, Nia, Nia Dance, Nia FreeDance, Nia FreeDance Stage 6, Nia Movement, Nia Practice, Nia practitioner, Nia Teacher, Nia witness | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on December 31, 2011
Not all of my posts on my list of Year End Review Of Terre’s 2011 Important Posts are Nia posts, but some of them are, Here are the remaining four of nine that I thought were important enough to re-share. This is the second half of my Year End Review Post. When I wrote it as one post, it just seemed too long so I split it up. Thanks for checking in. As with the first half, I am just going to give a little summary so you can have the main point right here and you don’t have to go to the original post. But if you WANT to go to the original post (and comment even) please do! I am listing these in order of when they were posted.
I think of this post Muscle Weighs More Than Fat as being something we all need to be reminded of. Muscle DOES NOT weigh more than fat. The saying that muscle weighs more is one of those things that a lot of us say, but it is not correct. A pound of muscle weighs as much as a pound of fat. A pound of anything cannot weigh more than a pound of something else. A pound of muscle will take up a lot less room than a pound of fat as you will see in the picture on this post if you click over.
If you are interested in a dance class that is pretty, a class that produces a performance then Nia is probably not what you are looking for. Nia Might Not Be Pretty — To Some. Nia is about authentic movement. Nia is about moving the body the way it was designed to be moved. Not everyBODY can move the way it was designed. There might be injuries, defects, tightness, or just plain ol’ non-use involved so it might not be pretty as we learn to move. But it is beautiful. This post reminds you that it is what it is and what it is not is a performance. A Nia class is freedom of movement, something to be enjoyed from the angle of the participant and not someone watching.
I have a post about listening with love, but the title is Let Love Be Your Ears. Ya know sometimes titles need to intrigue a potential reader, I was hoping that is what this title was. But the post is about listening with love. We all have heard and some of us might try to live by the old “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” But LISTENING with love is different. Not that common of a “golden rule”. We are not always taught we need to love ourselves, so we might not listen as if people are talking to us with love and not accusations and criticisms. This might be something we have to practice. Also listening with love can include giving the person talking a lot of “benefit of the doubt”. Trying to see where they might be coming from.
Another post is about dance being exercise. It is a reminder that you can have fun and get exercise at the same time. Nia is just that!
So that is the last four on my list of posts I think really could use repeating. I know I picked a few because I need to work on some of them/it myself. I hope that you enjoyed either the summary or the posts themselves. I thank you very much for taking the time to read this. If you have been reading my blog and you recognize some of these I thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to read. If you take the time to read and comment, I am really grateful and I very much appreciate it.
And, of course, I wish you a very happy and safe New Year’s Eve. I wish you many, many, many opportunities to embrace happiness and experience joy in 2012. Happy New Year.
Posted in Dancing, Misc, Muscles, Nia | Tagged: 2012, 30 minute meals, dance exercise, fat is light, Happy New Year, listen with love, muscle is heavy, New Year's Eve, Nia, Nia balance, Nia class, Nia exercise, Nia freedom, Nia is for everybody, Nia Movement, Nia participant, Nia posts, Nia Practice, posts about Nia, ten minute exercise, the body's way, Year End Review | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on December 29, 2011
Many bloggers are posting end of the year posts. Some posts are the best, some posts are their favorites, everyone has a different take on it. Some are a review of the year, either in posts or pictures. I thought about doing a post about my favorites, but I was afraid they would all be my Nia posts. As I was going through my posts from the last year I came up with an eclectic bunch . . . . just like my post. I can’t say they are my favorites, but I can say they are ones that I want to point out again. I actually found twenty-three posts that I wanted to re-share. TWENTY-THREE! But that is way too many to summarize and share. I narrowed it down to nine. These nine are ones I think are the most important of the ones I’ve posted this past year. I still think nine is a lot so I am going to do this year in review in two parts. I am just going to give a little summary so you can have the main point right here and you don’t have to go to the original post. But if you WANT to go to the original post (and comment even) please do! I am listing these in order of when they were posted.
One of the most important things I have posted about is Balance. The post is called Nia Balance and I was sharing about how balance was challenging because of my injured toe, but the main point of the post is that balance is really important and that our Nia routines are full of opportunities in which we can practice our balance. Since balance is so important you can practice it throughout your day without really changing the way you do things too much. Balance is so important, especially as we age.
It’s Out There is my post about how great Nia is! Ha, ha! Well it is a little bit about Nia, but a lot about the fact that there are many, many, many other movement forms out there. There are so many different forms of movements that there really has to be something for everyone. Nia is for everyBODY as it was created to move the body in the body’s way, but it is not for everyone. There is something out there for everyone! If you look you can find a class for you!
I posted about Feeling Vs. Sensing. Feeling is emotion. Feelings are how you FEEL. Sensing is what your body does. You FEEL happy. Your body senses heat. You FEEL sad. Your body senses cold. Knowing the difference can help you give your body and/or your emotional self, your spirit the workout it needs.
I made up a list of ten exercises that can be done in ten minutes. There is actually a lot of different ways you can do the list of ten exercises, but the idea was to get a full body workout in ten minutes. The hope was that the ten in ten would be an inspiration and a catalyst for actually doing more.
This past week I had company and they were here through the dinner hour. I didn’t know that they would be here that long so I didn’t have anything planned for dinner that would feed all four of us, but I still wanted to feed my husband when they left. So about the time they were talking about leaving I went into the kitchen. I was in the kitchen all of seven minutes. I washed the rice, turned on the rice maker, chopped the end off the asparagus, rinsed them, put them in a pan then put them in the oven, and dumped the marinated chicken in a pan and put it in the oven. I then set the timer for 20 minutes at which time dinner would be ready. I achieved a 30 minutes meal. All because when I froze the chicken I made a sauce for it at the same time. So when I took it out to defrost it was already marinating or doing so as it defrosted. So it really took seven minutes for me to make dinner. My friends didn’t even miss me because I was only gone seven minutes. This post is about Shopping Step to help Dinner Prep. After shopping before you freeze the meat make your marinade right inside the bag. It has really helped me get dinner ready much faster! Love it!
So this is five on my list out of nine post I think really could use repeating. I hope you check back Saturday to see the rest of the list. I thank you very much for taking the time to read this. If all of these or some of these are “repeats” to you, then I really thank you. Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate you reading and if you are a commenter . . . I appreciate you even more!!! See you back here on Saturday for the rest of the review of my Year End Review!
Posted in Food, Misc, Nia | Tagged: 30 minute meals, dance exercise, fat is light, listen with love, muscle is heavy, Nia, Nia balance, Nia class, Nia exercise, Nia freedom, Nia is for everybody, Nia Movement, Nia participant, Nia posts, Nia Practice, posts about Nia, ten minute exercise, the body's way, Year End Review | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 4, 2011
If you follow me on Twitter, are a Facebook friend of mine, or look at my website, you will have seen that my Nia students and I have been doing Nia in the park. I teach Nia at two different facilities. There is my Monday and Wednesday class that meets at 9:00 am. We meet in a little dance studio in an area of San Jose called Willow Glen. The studio is about 900 square feet, it has a laminate floor and a large mirror. It is long and slightly narrow. It is a nice little place. I have been teaching there for over two and a half years. Some of my students have been dancing Nia with me for that long. In November of 2010 I started teaching Nia on Fridays at a different studio in Los Gatos. It was a different type of studio . . . it was more of an exercise studio where exercise classes are held. They had a separate room for Pilates Reformer classes. Well at the end of August this studio said they were moving. When they would be done with the move and how it all was going to work was very up in the air. At one point I was told by one of the owners that we would only miss one Nia class. So I just decided that one class would be ok to miss. It would not be worth the time involved to secure another place to hold a class. But then the next week we were told it would be at least another week. So I asked my students if they wanted to hold a class in the park. Many students are wanting to participant in Nia three times a week so they said yes. We decided to try it.
Well, I think that not having Nia that one Friday really helped us all realize that we do like to have it three times a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday just seems pretty perfect. On the Friday we met in the park we didn’t know how it would go. We didn’t know if the weather would cooperate. We didn’t know if there would be too many people for us to dance on the volleyball court. See that is one thing, I have often entertained the idea of do Nia in a park, because grass really sound likes a great place to dance barefoot. Natures cushioned dance floor. But I have always been concerned about holes, bumps, and ruts. The thought of someone turning their ankle on the grass has always kept me from following through with it. Plus, the idea that was tossed about had always been an evening class. I imagine parks being really busy in the evening.
This park that we have been at is really close to the studio in Willow Glen. There is a basketball court and a volleyball court that have been empty in the mornings. I imagine the basketball court is occupied in the evenings, but while we are there it is empty. The volleyball court is somewhat in the shade and provides us with a smooth flat surface to move on. The park seems rather busy the hour before we arrive. Seems like many loving dog owners take their dogs out for morning exercise. There are mother’s and children at the playground. We have had to dance without music when the lawnmower has obliterated the sound. But that was only once or twice for a song or two.
The studio has been closed for longer than we had anticipated. So we have been doing Nia in the park for four weeks. The weather has been very nice. Once it was warmer than we like, but so far we have had great temperatures. This week it is raining. The forecast is saying that it will be sunny on Friday, but we will see. The studio has also announced that it will not be open for two more Fridays. So we might get this week in at the park and next week. I have been leaving it up to my students. If they tell me they are going to be there, then I say, I will be there too!
I have really enjoyed our time at the park. I sort of wish that we could do it there all year, but with winter coming, although winters in the San Fransisco Bay Area are not full of snow, we do get rain and I don’t think we want to dance in the rain. So I am sad that our time in the park is ending. I hope that we will be inspired to do Nia in the park again at some point after these next two weeks. I am really doing it because my students wanted to do it because we love Nia. I know that some classes take place on the beach and other outdoor places. I am so happy that I have been able to experience Nia outdoors and share it with my students.
Yeah, this is me sharing.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: beach Nia, dance studio, Facebook, helpyouwell.com, Los Gatos Nia, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia Los Gatos, Nia Movement, Nia San Jose, Nia students, Nia studio, Nia Teacher, Nia website, Nia workout, park Nia, Pilates, Pilates reformer, San Francisco Bay Area Nia, SF Bay Nia, Twitter, Willow Glen Nia | 4 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 June 22, 2011
I love my 9:00 am Nia class. I love starting my days with movement. It just helps the day go better, right? Do you start your day with movement? Do you have time for a long workout? If not have you thought of trying to get ten minutes in?
Here is one you can do. Ten Minute Workout.
I’ll be back after class to check in. It is going to be hot again today in the Bay Area so I’ll be right home to do ten exercises.
June 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm
So I didn’t get home as early as I wanted because I decided to go to the store. You might now how it is when you go to “pick up a few things” and end up with a cart full of groceries. I got home later than I wanted, but that really encouraged me to get my 10 minutes in because I didn’t want to be doing it while it was so hot. So I got home and got it done. But then I got on my computer . . . . . and almost an hour later I am posting, “I’m done!”
How are you?
I’m gonna go get more done. Happy Wednesday!
Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: 9 am workout class, exercise in ten minutes, Nia, Nia class, Nia exercises, Nia in the Bay Area, Nia Movement, Nia workout, ten minute workout | 1 Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on February 12, 2011
So, I have been holding my Nia classes even with my injured toe. I limit my movement and coach the participants to move in their own body’s way as is the norm with Nia. So there are movements I can’t do. Even outside of Nia I can’t. I have been limiting all of my activity so that I can “save my foot/toe” for my Nia classes. There have been events and outings I have missed because “I can’t”. There have been goings-on and happenings I’ve skipped because “I can’t.” I can’t. I can’t because I am saving my movement. When I do a lot of normal activity my toe gets “tired” and swells and throbs, so I can’t do a lot of stuff. I have put this limitation on myself so that I can continue to move in my class. I have restricted my movements outside of class so that I can do as much as I can inside of class. I have placed “can” and “can’t” guides on myself.
This past week I was talking to a friend about something and I heard “I can’t” a lot. It occurred to me that I have been saying that a lot too. I can’t go here or there because I have to rest my foot. There it is. I have put restrictions on myself. I want my foot to heal so I won’t allow myself to do certain things so that I can accomplish this other thing.
By saying ”I can’t” we put restrictions and limitations our ourselves. We do this to ourselves. So can’t you? Really? Is that word serving you? In the case of my foot, I do believe it is serving me. I really believe by restricting myself from doing too much I am allowing it to heal. The doctors always say “stay off the foot”. So that is what I am doing. But . . . .since I am saying that so much lately it is allowing me to see where I say it in other areas of my life. It is as if I only have so many allowances where I can say that and since I am having to say it for my foot the other times I am saying it, it sticks in my mouth and I think, “Why can’t I?”
Can I not because I have told myself that? Can I not because I have imposed this limitation, this restriction on myself? Is this a “good” I can’t? Or is this an “I can’t” that is squelching my growth? If I were to say “I can” instead would there be an opportunity to learn something? To experience something new? To have an adventure into something different?
Hmmmmm? The POWER of “I can’t” has come to light. I know, I have heard it before the positive thinking versus the negative thinking, but this is not necessarily positive versus negative. Sometimes it could just be laziness or just the I- don’t-know-what-that-will-do-so-I-can’t kind of thing. I believe that “can’t” sometimes is the correct response, but I am evaluating that. So interesting to me.
What about you? Interesting? What “CAN’T” you do? What “CAN’T” you do that you know will be good for you? What “CAN’T” you do even though you know it will benefit your health? Why “CAN’T” you do something? Is it because you just haven’t before so you can’t possibly now? Hmmmmm? All kinds of questions and ideas, huh?
For me, I am stopping and thinking before I say I can’t. Even if my answer or comment is me saying, “No.” I am going to try my hand at rephrasing it and instead of just saying, “I can’t”, I am going to give a more accurate answers. Because often times, I probably CAN, I just . . . . well, whatever the reason.
This toe thing really has me thinking . . . . a lot.
Posted in Misc | Tagged: body's way, limiting thinking, limiting thoughts, Nia, Nia Classes, Nia Movement, restricting thoughts, serving you | 8 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 22, 2011
So, I have been teaching my Nia classes with my injured toe. I love it! It is such an awesome lesson, an amazing reminder. I have very good balance. I have such good balance I am always shocked that there are times when I get off balance. At those times — when I am standing on a BOSU using dumbbells, or doing squats — I am reminded that there is always room for improvement. Because I DO understand there is always room for improvement I always try to work on my balance. Nia is so, so, so, so good for balance. With the challenge of my injured toe I am reminded what a great job Nia does in allowing for balance practice.
While walking around the room if you engage your arms in a constant dance of movement you can sense how your full foot is used. Lower leg muscles can be sensed. Walking on the balls of your feet, moving fast then slow, moving your arms requires you to engage your core. All of the movements in Nia help to increase your balance and also require you to use so much of your body that we don’t always exercise throughout our day. All the movements also serve to remind you that your entire body is connected. Such as I mentioned before – walking and moving your arms you can sense your entire foot working to balance your body.
It is amazing to add the extra challenge of balance by moving your arms or moving fast then slow, or walking on a different part of the foot, or standing taller or moving lower. I am thinking that I have said this or something similar in previous posts, but since I am being challenged with my balance lately it is coming up again. I am using my whole left foot, but only the inside of my right foot. With this unstable base every action of my arms requires a great test of balance. It is a great reminder to me. Nia is a great way to practice balance and since it is a dance and we are moving so much, it never feels like work.
Even though I would love for you to join me in one of my Nia classes, I know that is it not possible for some. But it is possible for you to work on your own balance while going about your day. Easy things you can do; stand on one foot while cooking/taking a shower/vacuuming/whatever, move your arms about while you walk around, walk on the balls of your feet, hop on one leg, what else? What can you come up with to help practice your balance?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: balance practice, dance class, dumbbells, exercise class, Nia, Nia balance, Nia Classes, Nia Dance, Nia exercise, Nia Lesson, Nia Movement, Nia Practice, squats for balance | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 12, 2010
So I mentioned, in the old days we were taught to static stretch before exercise or working out. But research is showing that this is not really keeping people from getting injured and might actually do the opposite of what we used to think. It is not the best way to ready a muscle for a workout.
The best way is movement. Get the body moving. There are two types of warm-ups and many ways to do either. The first is just a full body warm up something like easy jumping jacks, or jumping rope, or jogging in place, or lunges. This gets the heart pumping, and the blood to the entire body. The other type is more exercise specific, say you were warming up before a golf game, then you would just mimic the movements you would do while you were playing golf but at a slower pace and a lower intensity level, and stretching the muscles in a dynamic stretch. If tennis is the exercise gently swinging the racket and/or hitting a few balls get the body ready for the task it is about to undertake. The dynamic stretch is where we are extending the muscle but gently as it moves, whereas a static stretch is stretching the muscle and holding it.
Whichever method you choose the idea is to gently warm up the body and the muscles. Movement is the best way to get the body ready to move. The practice of static stretching before a workout is being proven to do the opposite. It is stopping the body’s motion. Moving the entire body or concentrating on the muscles are about to work is now the preferred way to warm up before a workout.
In Nia classes we warm-up doing both methods to get the entire body warm. We might start the Nia workout using one body part – dynamically stretching – as we sense the music, but most often, by the time the first song is over we have warmed up the entire body; muscles, lungs, and heart. The blood is starting to move in preparation for the get moving portion of the workout. Nia also employs a bit of stretching in the cool down and floorplay to assist in giving the body a well rounded workout.
So where are you in the warm up arena? Do you participate in the latest idea for warming up? If you move to warm up what type do you do, the general or the exercise specific?
Posted in Working Out | Tagged: best type of stretching before workout, floor play, jogging, Nia, Nia class, Nia exercise, Nia Movement, Nia workout, warm-up, Warming-up | 4 Comments »