Posts Tagged ‘Nia teachers’
Posted by terrepruitt on October 29, 2015
Back in 2010, I posted a bit about X-Ray Anatomy, principle #10 of the Nia White Belt. It is what Nia Teachers, Yoga Teachers, Personal Trainers, and people in the profession of helping people move do to see how a body is moving. We all do it, but Nia calls it X-Ray Anatomy. We look at the posture of the body or the placement of the clothes to see the alignment of the bones or to see the movement of the muscle. If we look at someone’s waist band and one side is higher than the other we can then look closer to see, if they were in a hurry when they pulled on their pants, hiking one side higher, or if their hips are actually askew. We can look at shoulders, checking to see if one is tilted down. We might check to see if a muscle is really tight causing an imbalance. We look, then we go about guiding the person to adjustment, guiding them into ease. Now . . . that is what we do for our students and/or clients. But we wouldn’t do that to someone we just see on the street. Even if we take a pad of paper to the park or to the mall or use our DVDs to practice with “Zorro”.
In the Nia White Belt Intensive I took, one of the tools that the co-founder of Nia, Carlos Aya-Rosas, gave us was “Zorro”. Where you look at someone and with just a few strokes of the pen/pencil you draw their structure. It is supposed to be quick, not a lot of details, just the things you are x-raying. Just key bones or things (like a belt, pant legs, collars, etc.) to allow you to see posture and/or alignment.
Here are my “Zorros” from my White Belt in 2008. We had split up into two groups and we faced each other. Each group had a turn at making shapes and posturing and then “Zorroing”.
When I wrote my post back in 2010, I had said in a comment I was going to go out and do some X-Ray Anatomy Zorroing, but I hadn’t. When I came across the comment again, I decided to do it. Here is the result of me doing Zorro on a random video of people walking and of one of the Nia Routine DVDs.
This type of practice can help us see things quickly that might need adjustment while we are dancing. Then we can cue some guidance to help people move in a safe way. As an example, an easy thing to see is thigh bones, while we cannot actually SEE the thigh bone, if we look at the toe and it is pointed off in one direction we can conclude that the thigh bone is rotated . . . depending on what we are doing, that might not be the safest thing for the knee and hip. So we can keep an eye on toes and practice X-Ray Anatomy.
I have confidence in thinking that you get the idea of this. You can see how you can quickly look at someone and have an idea of the placement of the bones. You can glance at someones clothes and use them to determine their alignment. Is the clothing method 100% accurate? No, people’s clothes might be sitting off for a number of reasons, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, perhaps someone just pulled their pants on crocked, but this is an idea. But using the clothes is a quick way to perhaps get an idea of what the body is doing. Sometimes a closer inspection or more attention is needed, but for just practicing clothes are great to help with Zorroing.
Can you see how “Zorroing” can help with X-Ray Anatomy? So might you us your X-Ray Anatomy the next time you are out?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: alignment of bones, Carlos Aya Rosas, Nia DVDs, Nia Practice, Nia teachers, Nia White Belt Intensive, personal trainers, principle #10 of the Nia White Belt, X-Ray Anatomy, yoga posture, Yoga Practice, yoga teachers, Zorro | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on February 21, 2015
I think I am very correct in saying that Group Exercise Instructors and Nia teachers love to hear students ask, “Where else do you teach?” and “What else do you teach?” Isn’t that the greatest thing? It is such a huge compliment. The student is asking where else can they get more of you. The student is asking in what other ways can they get more of you. I had never thought of that as a compliment. I had never even realized it was a compliment. When I was asked that, I used to feel bad because I didn’t teach anything else other than Nia. I also felt bad when I just taught at one place. I was always so focused on not being able to meet their additional needs I didn’t “hear” the compliment. I didn’t hear the un-spoken, “You met my need here.” Last year, I actually was in a required continued education class instructed by the YMCA when the teacher mentioned that if a student asks you those questions it is a compliment. Ha. Silly I had never thought of it as a compliment. I was focused on something else entirely. It strikes me as funny when I go into a situation to learn one thing and something totally different is taught to me. I was taught to see it as a compliment.
Nowadays, I am not so focused on not being able to meet their need for an additional class or another venue, because I am teaching six classes at four different places. Although people still would like an evening Nia class. This schedule can change at anytime, but for now, at least, I feel more varied.
Do you ever go into a situation expecting to learn one thing and come out surprised at what you learned? I like when I can learn what I was expecting AND something I wasn’t expecting. That always makes me feel happy. I feel like I got a bingo or hit the lotto. A two-for-one kind of thing. A real deal. Something completely worth my time. Ya know?
Do you ever miss a compliment? Are you ever so focused on something else you don’t even realize the person talking to you / asking a question is really in a sense giving you a compliment? Sometimes it is kind of nice because later on it might hit you and bring a smile to your face, but then I feel bad I didn’t take the opportunity to show gratitude. But sometimes that happens.
For a second I thought of listening with love, but I don’t think this is the same as that. But perhaps. Maybe if I had been listening with love instead of feeling bad I could help I would have noticed it was a compliment. But then I would have been so excited about the class I had to take. I wouldn’t have gotten that “extra” bang for my buck. Ha, ha!
This same type of compliment would be said to a performer, “Where else do you perform?” “What else have you performed in?” Yeah, that is a compliment all right.
So how about it? Have you ever experienced any unexpected learning? Have you ever totally “missed” that someone was complimenting you? What other situations would that type of comment fit?
Posted in Misc | Tagged: Group Ex instructors, group exercise, Nia class, Nia students, Nia teachers, YMCA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on July 19, 2014
One of Nia’s 52 Moves is a nice move. It can be done easily, it can be used in almost any dance, and it has numerous benefits, but the name is one I get crawly skin saying. I don’t like to say it. It is worse than Creepy Crawlers. When we do this move I often start out using the actual Nia name, but then explain how I would rather not and I would rather do something else. The move is fantastic though because it has many uses, but the name. I mean, what do you feel when I say, “Catching Flies“? I prefer not to.
But the move itself is a great move and very important to keep our hands, arms, eyes, and brain active. When we “Catch Flies” in Nia we open the hands then we make a loose fist to “catch” and hold the “flies. Ewwww. Just thinking about it . . . I mean . . . really thinking about it grosses me out. Thank God, I don’t think too much about it when I am teaching. I do think enough to change it. There is one routine I teach where I change it to “catching your dreams”. It goes along with the whole sequence of moves before and after. So I will often start out with “catching flies” then change it to “catch your dreams”.
Part of the move is to LOOK before you grab. So we are not just randomly grabbing in the air. We are looking as if we really were going to catch a fly. Since most of us are not like cats — do you know what I mean? Have you ever been playing with a toy with a cat and they won’t even be looking and they just reach out their arm and snatch the toy out of thin air? (Crazy!) Most of us are not like that, we need to look. So we LOOK before we grab at the “flies”. We engage our eyes and our brain — THEN we grab. We are also engaging our neck and spine because we are catching FLIES after all. See, the image makes sense. It is a “good” one, but an icky one. But since it is good and it makes sense, I will start out saying “catching flies” so people get the idea. Then I can change it if I want.
I think I got catching fairies from another Nia class. A Nia teacher said it and I was thrilled, so I use that one. Sometimes I say catching joy. Or perhaps grabbing some energy. There are many things to say after the initial move is understood and the Nia name is announced.
The Nia Technique book explains the benefits very well:
Practicing Catching Flies increases brain activity. This move neurologically connects your hands, your head, and your eyes, and engenders manual dexterity and speed. Emotionally, you can use the is move to express aggression, determination, anger, frustrations, playfulness, and achievement.
I am sure you can use it to express a lot more emotions. When we practice this move we add variety. There can be fast flies, slow flies, they can be flying high, they can be flying low, they can be flying right in front of us, they can be flying behind us, you get the idea. The flies can be all over so it can be quite and active move.
It is like the Locust pose in yoga — GREAT MOVE, not so great name.
What do you think? Do you want to catch flies? Would you rather catch fairies? Would you rather catch joy? Can you understand what a great move it is?
Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: cat reflexes, Catching flies, Creepy Crawlers, increases brain activity, neurologically connects, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia routine, Nia teachers, Nia's 52 Moves | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on June 26, 2014
Here is a beautiful picture of a place I am lucky enough to visit. I was looking through my pictures and I thought I would share it. I taught a Nia class this morning and we went to coffee afterwards. It is so nice to have such a great group of students. I also taught a yoga class this evening. They are also a great group! We have not gathered for a visit after class. Not sure that will ever happen because I like to rush home to get dinner on the table. But there is a very tasty taqueria really close so maybe one of these days we will go out after class. Perhaps I can talk my husband into joining us, or at least promise him I’ll bring home a burrito! This post is really just a filler. I mentioned “stuff” in my last post. Well, it is taking up my thoughts so I didn’t come up with an educational post. I thought I would share some bright spots and remind you of your Goodie Jar.
If you are doing a Goodie Jar, I am using this post to do some checking in with you regarding it. My wonderful students are often notes in my Goodie Jar. Our current weather gets mentioned too. Our weather has been very nice the past few days considering it is summer. It has not been sweltering hot. Yesterday my husband and I sat outside most of the day. It wasn’t too hot to do so. It even rained a bit last night. We need rain so bad, it was nice to see the street wet this morning. Since we need rain so badly it is so great that our temperatures are not so hot.
Last week my niece visited us. She and I spent one afternoon making candles. You may have seen my post about when we did it the first time? Last time I made myself a candle. This time I made a candle for my hubby. A sun, because he is my sunshine. With kitties below. Hummingbirds because we love ours in our yard, along with our roses. And then the words because, well, I love him. The colors were just because my niece and I liked them. My niece is a bit of a Disney fanatic so she made one that looks like a symbol of Minnie Mouse. I did not take a good picture of it, but it was very cute.
I did mention two other bright spots in my last post. One was the return of a Nia student to my Nia class and another student bringing his own yoga mat. Well tonight I had another returning student. It was to my yoga class. There are many, many teachers around so it is so heart warming when a student returns to class. Something to put in the jar of Good Things.
I have many bright spots to acknowledge and be thankful for. How about you? Are you still making notes / documenting the good things in your daily life? Jotting down things that make you smile? Here it is open for sharing.
Posted in Misc | Tagged: Bright Spots, Disney, good things, Goodie Jar, making candles, Minnie Mouse, Nia, Nia class, Nia teachers, summer weather, taqueria, Yoga, Yoga class, yoga mat, yoga teachers | 14 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 27, 2014
I teach Nia which is a cardio dance available to any age. At both the low end of the age spectrum and the high end of the age spectrum, if you can safely move about the floor and follow basic movements you can do Nia. So there are young and old Nia dancers. I teach at facilities that have age restrictions, but that is only the facilities, not Nia. Then I also teach gentle yoga to older adults. The classes are held at the “Senior Centers” so while some of the classes are open to those 18 years and older the population in class tends to be older. As I am sure many of you that teach at a facility with older people will attest, it is amazing to work with these people. They come week after week and keep trying. In my class I have a wide variety of experience levels. They come back every week and do the poses to the best of their ability. I am inspired by their drive to keep doing.
I check in with them to confirm that they are seeing and feeling some benefit to the class. With many I can see it, but I want to confirm that they recognize it. Recently one of my students was sharing some things he learned and he said, “I learned that I need to learn how to relax.” I laughed and agreed. It is not easy to do for some. It is not always second nature to breathe and “rest” into a pose. The corpse pose at the end of the class is one of those poses. In fact one class asked if we “had to” do it. I said yes. To me that is part of yoga. That is part of my class. I believe that quieting the mind and relaxing for 5 to 10 minutes after a class is necessary. For many it is a Challenging Easy Pose, it is difficult to be still. Just now as I am typing I remember this person not being able to be still at all when we first started doing yoga. Now there is stillness. I believe every one can benefit from this moment of restfulness. I love that even those who think it is unnecessary, keep trying.
A bit ago we did a pose that several students said is “hard”. I agreed with them. It is hard . . . that is why we are doing it. We are doing a very modified version, but it is one of those poses that works many if not all the muscles in your body, so yes, it is “hard”. And we do it so that they can benefit from it. In working on so many muscles it is a balance pose, that requires flexibility and strength. One of those awesome poses that does so much . . . so we do it. And what spurred me to write this post is that while they were saying it was hard they were not saying, “It’s hard, I don’t want to do it.” They were just saying, “Wow, this is hard.” And then they moved into position to do it again. Love it. Love those inspiring active people in my classes!
I just wanted to share with you that I have some amazing inspirations in my life.
What about you? Do you know any older adults that cause you to think, “I wanna be like that when I am their age”? Some of those people that just keep trying? They might not be doing it in a clearly recognizable way but they are still trying?
Posted in Misc | Tagged: active adults, cardio dance, City of San Jose, corpse pose, dance floor, easy pose, flexibility, learning to relax, Nia, Nia Classes, Nia dancers, Nia teachers, older adults, Senior Centers, seniors, YMCA, yoga classes, yoga teachers | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on May 10, 2014
I imagine I am like all dance exercise teachers, in that when I hear music I enjoy I think about how I can bring it to my Nia class. I think about creating choreography to it. I was thinking the other day about what music would appeal to one of my classes. My train of thought took me on a little journey. First off – before I share my journey – this is not a rant about how modern technology has caused huge chasms between people because while there are some disconnects there are some great connections. This IS a little about how things have changed and how we miss out on somethings but it is more of a ride down a memory rail line then a rant. Many of you that lived through the time period that I am about to mention, have probably heard the “remember when” about when you had to listen to the radio “all” day before you could hear that song (ya know, whichever one you wanted to hear) again. There was no device to turn to that could play it instantly. Unless you held your cassette recorder up to the radio and recorded it, you had to wait for it to be played on the radio. There was also the accidental sharing of music that today’s technology prevents happening.
When I wanted to listen to my music I had to go into the living room and play my records. I usually had to ask if I could. Then I would turn on the stereo with the turntable for the whole house to hear. I am not saying that I played it loud, I am just saying that it was played through speakers so everyone had to suffer through me playing my latest obsession over and over and over. That is why I had to ask permission to play my music. If I was playing it, the people present would have to listen to it. So I am sure my mom got to “know” my music. I shared with her that “latest” tune. The pop music. Now-a-days people have personal devices with which to listen to their music, so it could be that parents never actually hear what their kids are listening to. They don’t get to connect on that level.
Not that parents and kids ever connect on the same level when it comes to music, but sometimes it could happen. I imagine my parents became very familiar with some of my music. I bet they even learned some of the lyrics via pure repetition. I bet that they even grew to like some of it. With these thoughts rolling through my mind, like a leisure train, it made me think that this might be the case with some of my students. I would love to bring music to my Nia classes that reminded them of connections with their children. The connections could even be so tenuous as them not even really liking the song but the sense of familiarity and family would allow their bodies to connect to it. They could move and enjoy the sensation of movement without really thinking about it. They would be able to associate memories to the music.
Ha. These are the thoughts of a Nia Teacher wanting to MOVE her students. But, as I first mentioned, I bet other cardio dance workout teachers think the same way. What do you think? Do you think songs like that could get you moving? Do you think songs with that type of connection could allow you to dance?
Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Nia | Tagged: cardio dance, cardio dance workout, dance choreography, dance exercise, dance teachers, Dance Workout, exercise music, exercise teachesr, memory lane, Nia, Nia choreography, Nia class, Nia Music, Nia students, Nia teachers | Leave a Comment »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 21, 2014
Nia is a cardio dance exercise . . . . yes, it is much more than that, but that is sometimes where we start. The Nia Technique produces DVDs that teachers use to learn the Nia routines that have been choreographed by the Nia Trainers. The teacher-learning-routines process is similar to many exercise formats that are taught in group exercises classes across the board. Most often the music is adored by my students. They don’t like every song, but I would begin to wonder if they did. Nia uses a large variety and I would think it odd if EVERY SINGLE SONG was liked by every student. Every so often though there is a song that someone asks about. They want to know who sings it. They want to know the words. All of Nia routines are available for purchase as an album*, but sometimes it is just a song. Currently I am teaching a Nia routine with one of those songs.
The song is Shine by Joshua. The lyrics are as follows:
People want freedom in life
People want freedom in life
come seek a, come seek a
People want freedom in life
My sun is blossoming my dreams
aloft amidst the winds and the promises they sing
walking in the stream
lovin’ runs often in my veins
so I breathe softly when it rains
crossing over phases of the moon seas change in a whisper
risen from the chambers inner wisdom
painted with the pigments of a vision(ary)
dancing in the plumage of illuminary
I ruminate the way that newness carries me towards my selfness fragrances in praises form a shelter
waves of vibrations pour over relics saturated in wellness precious moments envelope me so my language is angelic
tell it – like a picture spoken in scripture
listen – to the morning born from hope in the mists of enigmas ocean of rhythms sweet ambrosia of beginnings openness is living
People want freedom in life
come seek a
way of living, breathing the light
it’s gonna be the
eve before the dawn song before the rhyme
open up and let your love shine
Rays of sun trickle down my throat coated with sounds of growing abound
and hope flutters on a melody telling me to develop these heavenly grounds of mine
Soul surfing the divine
nurturing intuitions relearning to visualize the moment’s gift it’s open like an infant’s mind
an intimate design a wish up in the sky wisps by “Spread your wings! Come let your spirit fly!” (fly fly)
Ascending inside levity mending the mind states to befriend a sublime face of a love you always knew and present beside waves of benevolence, rise, bathe and through cleansing your eyes you’ll see:
that love was always you!
flow through the mirror to embrace your destiny it’s beckoning so hold it dearly to your breast and feel the blessings the fibers of your being vibrant reasons to let me be me – free
a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love me to . . .
Let your light shine, let your light shine
Let your dreams shine, let your light shine
Let your heart shine
Let it all shine, shine, shine
Shine now, shine now
Heart shine, dreams shine, mind shine
I shine, you shine, we shine… we shine… we shine…
Composed, written, arranged, performed,
produced, and engineered by Joshua Seaman.
Give it a listen at: http://music.relicpro.com/shine/ You can buy it from this site for a dollar, or you can *buy the album that this song is on from: http://www.nianow.com/product/music/r1-cd
I first looked up the words when I heard the part I have in bold. I love that. I hope you enjoy this song. It is a look into some of the music that we dance to in Nia.
What type of music do you like to workout to? Do you have a favorite song that really helps you get your “exercise on”?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: cardio dance, cardio exercise, cardio workout, Joshua Seaman, Nia, Nia cardio, Nia choreography, Nia DVDs, Nia routines, Nia Song, Nia students, Nia teachers, Nia Technique, Nia trainers, R1, Shine | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on January 18, 2014
I know – well, I am pretty confident that I have mentioned before in a blog post that I don’t think of myself as teaching people Nia. Even though I say I teach Nia, I usually prefer to say I lead Nia. I wish I could find that post because I would like to check what I said exactly because I am feeling a bit different these days. Or maybe I have it clarified in my mind better. I believe I said that I don’t like to say I teach Nia because I feel that a dance teacher is one that demonstrates the steps and then has the student try to do them while the teacher watches. Then maybe the teacher demonstrates again and the student does it again and then maybe there is some adjusting done by the teacher. Or even in a group dance class setting the move is done over and over until it is somewhat learned and then the next move is added on. Sometimes there is a sequence of moves that is demonstrated then practiced over a few times and then a new sequence added on. That is what I think of as teaching dance. So in THAT way I don’t teach Nia, but I DO teach Nia.
I do not show the move then have the students practice it over and over before we dance it, but sometimes when the song allows we do a preview and practice. It could be that the song has a long introduction in which there is no specific choreography and in that time we demo a move. While I might not tell a participant in particular a way to tweak the move I will look out into my class and see something that could use tweaking so I might say or even do something that I hope will lead to a change. Say, we are doing a move using our toe and I look out and see someone using their heel, I might suggest using the toe like squashing a bug or testing the water (depends on what we are doing). So in essence I hope to teach the students that we are using our toe. I teach the move as we are doing it as opposed to the aforementioned way.
IN addition, I like to share things about Nia while we are dancing. Sometimes I talk about how Nia incorporates the BMES (Body, Mind, Emotion, and Spirit) I might explain Nia’s Five Sensations while we are moving on the floor. Allowing the Nia students to be reminded of them and possibly use them in the floorplay. I often remind the Nia class about Natural Time letting them know they are free to move through the movement/choreography in their body’s own natural way and timing. Sometimes this is actually part of the song and if not people are always encouraged to move in this way.
So, I take it back if I said — as I believe I did — I don’t like to say I teach Nia, because I do teach Nia. But I don’t teach it as if it were a dance, because it is not just a dance. While we do dance, Nia is so much more. Maybe I should say I lead people through Nia Routines and I teach Nia?
Have you ever taken a dance class like I describe – the demo-do-type? Do you see the difference between two?
Posted in Nia | Tagged: BMES, dance class, dance floor, dance teacher, floorplay, Natural Time, Nia, Nia choreography, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia five sensations, Nia participants, Nia routines, Nia students, Nia teachers | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 25, 2013
Ha, ha, ha. Seems like “The Fox” will not go away. Two weeks ago I posted a video of a “live” version Ylvis did on Late Night. Today I received word that some of my fellow Nia teachers are going to use the song in their Halloween Nia Routine. They even printed out the words so that people can sing along. I love it. So funny. I posted the words here: I Give Up, What Does The Fox Say?
I am still filling my Goodie Jar with good things. Remember this is a practice to help us recognize things that we might not stop to notice normally. Also it is something to help us remember the good things even when there are things that are not good happening. So . . . . really . . . . anyone can do it. It is not too late to start, if you have not already. There are two full months left of the year!
So . . . . how is your jar coming along?
Posted in Good Things in the Goodie Jar | Tagged: good things, Goodie Jar, Goodie Jar – Check In #35, Halloween, Late Night, Nia routine, Nia teachers, Practice, The Fox, Ylvis | 2 Comments »