Posted by terrepruitt on May 4, 2010
Nia White Belt Principle #5 – Awareness – Dancing Through Life
I have been avoiding this principle because it can be very complex. To me, all of Nia’s White Belt Principles can be complex because they can be applied strictly to the cardio workout that is one aspect of Nia, they can be applied to Nia as a practice—which translates into, they can be applied to life, or they can just be applied to life.
Debbie Rosas Stewart talked about Principle #5 in this month’s Nia Teleconference for EveryBODY. She kept it simple. In all the calls she talks for about 15 minutes then she takes questions for the last 15. The call is 30 minutes. I will share with you what she said, but I recommend you listen to the call when they have it up on the site. They record each call every month.
Since I like to keep my posts relatively short, I have realized that I can post short summaries of Nia information and re-visit the information in additional posts.
One of the first things she said is very true, and I would like you to think about it. She pointed out that we are often aware of pain whereas we are not aware of pleasure. If we have a sore body part, we are aware of it. It makes its presence known and we listen. I personally don’t think we always listen to what it needs, but that is topic of another post. But we certainly don’t always pay attention to pleasure.
With Nia we seek pleasure. We seek to move away from the pain and go towards the pleasure.
There are a few things we can do to assist with that. One way is to be aware. Be aware of what brings us pleasure. As we move throughout our day we can make our movements a dance. While we are “doing”, we can dance through life. As you are reading this and you shift in your chair, notice the movement of your hips, notice to tilt of your head, do it like a dance.
While you are not moving, while you are “not doing”. Notice the stillness in your body. Allow the stillness to bring calm, relaxation, a sort of meditation, if you will. Notice what it is you are touching. Not just touching with your hands, but with your entire body. Are you sitting on a chair? Are you leaning on a desk? Benefit from that touch and that “not doing”.
Life as art so notice the art around you. Notice the noises and allow them to filter in as sound. Breath in the sensation of life. Not talking about “art” that would be in a museum art, but just the beauty of the world. Whatever you find beautiful.
There is so much about Nia I always find myself saying, “Another thing . . . one thing . . . Nia this . . . and Nia that. . .” but really. Another thing about Nia is that it is kind. Nia believes that we receive what we need to receive. We are not expected to hear something and walk away knowing it all or knowing it perfectly. With that in mind, understand that this is what I heard. These are the notes I took. Please, I invite you to listen for yourself and glean from it what you need. Focus on what resonates with you. Take away something you can share.
My site shows Nia class schedule in San Jose and San Carlos. On Nia’s main site you can look up classes in your area. There are classes all over the world.
Touching and Being Touched / May 3, 2010 Teleconference call is the call I have summarized here.
Presently in your life, do you dance through it? Do you practice awareness? Do you notice life as art?
Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: Awareness, Cardio classes, cardio workout classes, Dancing Through Life, Debbie Rosas, Debbie Rosas Stewart, Nia, Nia Awareness, Nia cardio class, Nia Classes, Nia Dance, Nia movements, Nia pleasure, Nia Principle #5, Nia San Carlos, Nia San Jose, Nia Teleconference, Nia White Belt, Nia White Belt Principle #5, Nia workout, San Carlos Nia, San Jose, San Jose Nia, workout classes | 5 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on February 27, 2010
El Camino Hospital sponsored a Free Health Fair today (February 27, 2010). It was in one of the ballrooms at the Santa Clara Convention Center. There was various Health Screenings. I didn’t actually get any done because I just didn’t feel like waiting in the lines. Although there were plenty of people that were willing to stand in the lines in the interest of learning about their health.
There was various demonstrations and audience participation dances going on. On TWO stages. It was very interesting and very loud since they had the “main stage” and the “side stage” set up right next to each other.
I was able to do a little Zumba, which I have done before. But I didn’t have the right shoes so it made it difficult. I should have stayed to do the yoga that was on the stage right after us. But I didn’t want to keep my photographer waiting that long.
A fellow Nia teacher was invited to do a demonstration of Nia so she had asked people to join her. I am not sure how many people were there from her invitation or how many were there because they joined us, but I think it turned out to be a good crowd. I would say there was at least 30 people. So many so that they did not all fit on the little dance floor she was given.
It was a great thing. I believe that a lot of people were introduced to Nia. I am thankful to Anita for doing this for us.
My husband came along to get some pictures. He was taking pictures of me and we confirmed that our camera is not able to take good action shots in low light. Here are a few. Thank you for looking.
I hope that next year El Camino Hospital sponsor another Day of Dance and you come out to see that dancing is a great way to workout out and a very fun way to get your exercise on!
You can find information regarding my classes in San Jose and San Carlos on my web site (click here).
Posted in Nia | Tagged: Anita Christensen, dance classes, dance exercise, Dance Workout, exercise, Nia Classes, Nia Dance, Nia exercise, Nia exericse, Nia San Carlos, Nia San Francisco, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, San Carlos, San Carlos exercise, San Carlos exercise classes, San Carlos Nia, San Carlos Workout, San Francisco exercise, San Francisco exercise classes, San Francisco Nia, San Francisco workout, San Jose exercise, San Jose exercise classes, San Jose Nia, San Jose Workout, San Jose Yoga, San Jose Zumba, San Jose Zumba classes, San Jose Zumba exercise, Yoga, Yoga San Jose, Zumba San Jose | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on February 25, 2010
I had an appointment this morning where I auditioned Nia in Palo Alto. (So I could be teaching a Nia class in Palo Alto in addition to San Carlos . . . interesting how it all unfolds.) On my way back to San Jose, I was able to stop and have lunch with a friend. I am so blessed to be able to spend the afternoon with a friend who so kindly made me lunch. She made an awesome pizza and salad . . . . a perfect meal in my book.
I didn’t know what to post today and so when I got home and had an e-mail from another friend I thought, “Perfect! People REALLY love the Marilyn Monroe Albert Einstein Optical Illusion. They will go crazy for these.”
So here you go:
Posted in Just stuff | Tagged: Albert Einstein, baby, frog, horse, Illusions, Marilyn Monroe, Nia, Nia class, Nia Palo Alto, Nia San Carlos, Nia San Jose, Optical Illusion, pizza, San Jose Nia, San Jose Nia class | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 14, 2010
Recently I had a brief conversation with one of my Nia buddies regarding a routine. She had asked if it was easy to bar. I admitted to her that barring for me was difficult, but that some songs were easier to bar than others.
Later that same evening I was listening to music from a routine I have not learned yet. I found myself stopping what I was doing and starting to do the dance that was associated with the song that was playing. I laughed because I realized that I was ready to learn the moves to the song. That is how it is with me. I will listen to the music over and over and over again. When I find myself saying, “What? What is this song? There is a kata to it?” When I don’t even recognize the song, then I know I am no where near ready to learn that set of movements. So I keep listening to the music over and over. When I find myself stopping what I am doing to do the moves or at least going over the moves in my head as the song is playing then I know that is when my body, my brain, and my spirit is ready to learn the moves. Otherwise it is a struggle for me.
It is so much easier to learn the routine well, when you can sense the moves. It is like you already basically know them and all you have to do is map out the music and put the moves on the paper where they actually belong. Doing the workout to the routine DVD over and over is one of the steps in the first set of steps in learning the routine. And I see why. Listening to the music over and over is one thing that is recommended too. And I see how these two things are important in learning a routine.
I also have learned that not only do I benefit from listening to it over and over, it helps to listen to the music on a variety of devices. I teach in two different facilities and the sound system at the Park and Rec building in San Carlos is very different than the sound system at the studio in San Jose. It it almost as if I need to learn different musical clues for each facility because the systems are so different.
As I said some music is easier for me to learn than others, but when I stick to learning it when I sense it, when I am ready to learn it, it works for me.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: barring, barring a routine, barring music, kata, Nia, Nia DVD, Nia facility, Nia Music, Nia routine, Nia San Carlos, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, San Carlos Nia, San Carlos Park, San Carlos Workout, San Jose Nia, San Jose Nia Studio, San Jose Workout | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 12, 2010
I went to San Carlos today to teach my first Nia class for the City of San Carlos Park and Recreation Department. I wanted to get there at least 30 minutes early. I was late, not for the class but for my getting there 30 minutes early. The man at the desk was on the phone when I arrived and there was a woman in front of me needing assistance.
He was kind enough to get off the phone since he wasn’t able to help the person. Sounded like a co-worker he said he would call back. And he asked us if we needed help. The woman that was before me asked where the Nia class was and he asked her if she was the instructor at which time I pointed to myself.
So he took us to the room, helped with the music and the people started coming in. (Thanks, Nick!)
There is always “business” to handle in a class. Either signing in, or making sure everyone is signed up, or checking passes, or something. So we handled that as people were coming in.
This class room was different as it has no mirror. I have talked to a lot of people who prefer the teacher to face away from the students as we do in Nia, but I was not certain about that without a mirror to look at my participants in. So I started off facing them. Then when we got to a point when we would be moving right and left, I turned.
Nia is so fun and amazing because even though I could not see the people in the mirror I could sense they were there and moving as I was. When I turned around to look they were doing it just beautifully. Was every doing it exactly the same? No. Was everyone perfectly on step? No. But it is so beautiful because when I turned to make sure everyone was ok, they would smile. They would laugh. They were ok, they were doing Nia.
Most of them were new to Nia. We had a good time. When we did some moving around the room using the space people were smiling and sounding. It was good. I felt as if even though I didn’t have a mirror in which to see my own face and my own body, I was still seeing my reflection. I was seeing joy in movement. Fun in exercise. Happiness in the workout. Nia.
Will all nineteen people come back? Well, some of them will because they had registered. Will the all thirteen that came for the “Try It”? No, probably not all of them. I know for a fact that one won’t because she has signed up for school with a class on that same night and she just came to try it. And other people will not have the time, but at least we danced together. We had fun. I shared Nia with some people who didn’t know about it. I am sure that even though they might not be able to make my class, they will be at others in the future. I think that is good.
Next week I will leave San Jose a few minutes earlier and get there 30 minutes early!
Posted in Nia | Tagged: City of San Carlos, City of San Carlos Park and Recreation Department, joy, Nia, Nia class, Nia exercise, Nia fun, Nia instructor, Nia participants, Nia San Carlos, Nia San Jose, Nia students, Nia workout, Park and Rec. Department, San Carlos, San Carlos Nia, San Carlos Nia class, San Jose exercise, San Jose Nia, San Jose Nia class, San Jose Workout | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on December 29, 2009
The Nia White Belt Principle #2 is Natural Time and the Movement Forms. I have posted about the movement forms, here I talk about Natural Time. There is the Natural Time of the Mayans with the 13 moons to a year and there is the Natural Time of one’s body and one’s own movements.
In a Nia workout class even as the teacher is leading the participants through a routine, the participants are encouraged to follow their own natural time. There could be a section of the exercise that consists of floating down and rising up. I might invite you to do it in “your own time”, your “natural time”, encouraging you to do it as you sense. The music could be motivating you to float down slowly and rise up quickly, or vice-versa, or slow both in the downward motion and the upward motion. But it is up to you and your body, your own natural time. So even though we are moving all together we are doing it in our own time. We are allowing our bodies to listen the music and move as we sense it.
The same goes, really for our choreographed moves, one might move it fast and big, whereas the person standing right next to them might move it slow and small. It all depends on one’s own body. Moving in natural time helps us connect deeply with our own bodies. Without being forced to move at a specific speed or “volume” we can ensure that we get the exact workout out bodies need.
The routines in Nia are choreographed in a way that allows for people to play with the moves. Participants can move their own way and in their own time. Most steps are simple and allow for simplifying or spicing it up.
Nia also considers 13/20 to be the code of Natural Time. There are 13 major joints and 20 digits of the body. Body movements moving all 13 joints and 20 digits is a way to receive information from the body.
Visit my site for details on my ON-GOING classes in San Jose (the schedule and the classes I mention on the blog might change from time to time. The best way to find out about CURRENT classes is to visit: http://www.helpyouwell.com/nia-class-schedule.html . Thank you!)
Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: 13 moons, body's way, exercies, exercise, exercise San Jose, Mayans, Movement Forms, Natural Time, Nia, Nia class, Nia exercise, Nia exercise class, Nia Natural Time, Nia routine, Nia San Carlos, Nia San Jose, Nia White Belt, Nia White Belt Principle #2, Nia workout, Nia workout class, San Carlos Nia, San Jose exercise, San Jose Nia, San Jose Workout, Workout San Jose | 2 Comments »