Posts Tagged ‘Yoga Practice’
Posted by terrepruitt on November 13, 2012
Last week I cancelled my Monday and Wednesday Nia class and got a substitute for my Tuesday Nia class with the City of San Jose. I decided to take the next level of Nia training. I was a White Belt, now I am a Blue Belt. Nia calls their trainings intensive. I cannot assume to know why, but I am glad they do. They are very intense. The training is part lecture and part moving. The moving can be dancing or types of exercises to further the learning process. People tend to learn better when they are doing, so there is a lot of doing. In my rough calculations it was about 53 hours of instruction, including the Master Classes. It was Saturday through Friday. It was exhausting. It was energizing. It was incredible. As I have mentioned before and I will continue to mention Nia is a cardio dance exercise. Come to a class. Move. Have fun. Sweat. Get your workout in. But Nia is also a practice. I compare it to yoga in that a person can go into a yoga class and work out and do the exercise and then leave and not give it a second though. Or they could give it a second thought. They could take on some of the aspects of yoga, they could practice breathing and/or meditating or anything else that might be attached to their yoga class on a deeper level. That is what a person can do with Nia too. So some people take the intensives for self-growth with no intention of teaching at all. Even if they are not planning on teaching or are not currently doing so, the training is just as intense.
Each belt level has its own focus and intent. Blue Belt focus is Communication, Relationship and Intimacy with the intent to energize personal connection through self-discovery and communication by following The Body’s Way. Sounds like a lot. Ok, it IS a lot. LOL!
In addition to a focus and intent, each belt level (aside from Green) has its own set of principles. With the Blue Belt, the principles were made to layer onto or over the White Belt Principles. Some of the information is very close to being the same, but with a little more added to it. It is very interesting the way Nia does things. It is very amazing the training they come up with and the delivery of it.
In this training we were shown many things, one was an enlightened way to use the Nia 5 Stages or the Developmental Anatomy to measure all types of things and where we might be in a process. It is a pretty cool tool. It is part of the Body’s Way.
I am 100% positive I will have more posts regarding the Blue Belt Intensive, the Blue Belt Principles, and my thoughts on it all. I am still processing it right now. My mind is racing with thoughts, ideas, things I learned, things I didn’t learn, just a lot of things. There is so much that I want to share. There is also a lot I don’t want to share. Nia is not a secret society by any means. There are no secrets to the intensives, in fact most of the information is things that have been around for as long as I can remember. The information is stuff you have probably heard before. It is just the WAY they deliver it. And the way it is connected to the body that is somewhat unique. If I decide not to share something or talk vaguely about some things it is because I don’t want to ruin the surprise of some things for those of you that will be taking the Blue Belt. Since the Blue Belt Principles are layered onto the White Belt Principles I will probably write more post about them too. And we will see what comes up. I have chosen to participate in Nia as a practice. For now, I will revel in Blue!
Is there something that you have in your life you consider a practice?
Posted in Blue Belt, Nia | Tagged: 13 principles, Blue Belt Principles, cardio dance, cardio dance exercise, cardio dance exercise classes, City of San Jose Nia Classes, dance exercise, Developmental Anatomy, focus and intent, Master classes, Nia 5 Stages, Nia Blue Belt, Nia dancing, Nia exercise, Nia Intensives, Nia Practice, Nia training, Nia White Belt, TBW, White Belt Principles, Yoga, Yoga Practice | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on July 5, 2012
Nia is both a dance exercise and a life practice. Kind of like yoga. You can go to a class and get the exercise you want and have it end there or you can learn about its principles and take them into your life. There are levels of the practice. Nia has chosen to use a “belt” system as their levels. Instead of just having numbers or names, they have assigned belt colors to the levels. There are five levels; White Belt, Green Belt, Blue Belt, Brown Belt, and Black Belt. The intensives to gain the belts can be taken and enjoyed by people who aren’t teaching. Each belt has 13 principles, except Green. Green does not have its own set of principles because green is the belt level that is actually designed specifically for teachers and helps them hone their teaching skills. It delves into the 13 principles of the White Belt. The White Belt’s principle #4 is FreeDance. FreeDance as a practice has eight stages. I have posted about eight through two. This post is about stage one. Stage #1 of Nia’s 4th White Belt Principle is Freedance – Anything Goes (movement wise).
While you are dancing any movement is great if it is authentic movement. With Nia there is choreographed moves, but within the patterns of movement there is the ability to freedance. Also with many routines there is sometimes just freedance where we are allowed to dance free to the music without any choreography. Stage one: Freedance, anything goes, allows us the greatest of freedoms. You can dance using the wall, the mirror, a chair, the floor, or a ballet barre that might be in the room. You can dance fast, slow, high, low, or in the middle. Anything that you sense your body wants to do to the music. It is up to you.
The idea with freedance is to just let the body go. Don’t think about it. When you think about it often comes the judgment. Sometimes the judgment can interfere with movement, especially if it is judgment along the lines of, “Oh I must look silly doing this.” “Oh that probably isn’t pretty.” “Oh, I am not graceful enough to spin.” “Oh, I need to do this or that.” This is all inner dialog that clogs up the muscles and their movements.
Freedance also, as I believe I’ve mentioned before, in not club dancing. We are NOT just bouncing or undulating to the beat, we are moving to the music. We are moving our bodies towards as pleasurable sensation of health and well being.
Freedance is also not patterned dancing, we save the patterns for our choreographed movements. Freedance is just free. It is spinning twirling, diving and whirling. It could be hopping or dropping. It really is whatever your body does.
Freedance is not easy. It takes practice. It is not easy to just be on the floor and not think about how you are going to move and just let your body go. It is a challenge. But once you can stop thinking and talking in your head you will find yourself moving to the music. Sometimes you might even notice that you are moving in a way that you didn’t think about and it is really amazing to have that sensation. But don’t think too much, just keep moving.
I would like to invite and encourage you to make some space in your home or if you are so inclined find a space to dance outside . . . find a space turn on some music and just dance. Let yourself go. Let yourself be free. Allow the time, space, frame of mind and spirit to freedance. Remember, anything goes!
Wahoo! I have to add that in the middle of typing this up I secured another class to sub for the City of San Jose. So exciting to be able to share Nia through the city! Yay!
Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: Authentic Movement, City of San Jose, dance exercise, dance practice, freedance, Green Belt, Group Ex, life practice, Nia choreography, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia Practice, Nia San Jose, Nia student, Nia Teacher, Nia White Belt, Nia's White Belt Principles, San Jose Nia, stage dance, substitute teacher for the City of San Jose, Yoga, Yoga Practice | 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 April 13, 2010
In Nia we refer to FAMSS. We practice FAMSS. We can use it for all types of things. It stands for:
And by “use” it I mean, it is often incorporated into each kata of a routine. Or a kata might concentrate on just flexibility, the next one agility, the next one mobility, and so on. Or we could use FAMSS as a focus OR an intention of a Nia class. Either all of them (Flexibility AND Agility AND Mobility AND Strength AND Stability) or just one (Flexibility OR Agility OR Mobility OR Strength OR Stability).
But whatever we do with it or them, they are highly regarded as abilities needed to ensure one’s (high) quality of life. So in Nia we honor them all. In a Nia class we weave them into the workout. In this post I am just referring to FAMSS in the physical. They can certainly be applied to more than just our physical bodies, but that can be another post just by itself.
For now, I am just talking about our physical bodies needing to be flexible, agile, mobile, strong, and stable. Just to move around in daily life these five things are very important. In Nia we can bend down in a forward fold as in the familiar pose one might do in a yoga class, allowing our flexibility to be enhanced. The music might encourage us to run, stop, run, stop, run, stop or move us to play the drums calling upon our bodies to display agility in legs, in arms, in our bodies as a whole. We can move our bodies as if they are grass in a field or seaweed in the ocean, moving each part, each section, each muscle, and all major joints to help ensure their mobility. We could crouch in a bow stance moving up and down exercising the strength in our legs. Then we can we stretch, reaching to the sky as we look up, this can be stability practice, either on flat foot, on the ball of our feet, or in releve. This could be one song in which all of this FAMSS is going on or it could be spread out over the entire routine.
Just tonight in my San Carlos class a woman told me that after her first class last week her hip felt better. She said that after her hip felt better on that first night it encouraged her to do a few of the moves at home that we had done in class. So she started working on her FAMSS in the first class, she was encouraged that movement was working to increase her FAMSS so she moved more. With movement she felt more comfort and less pain. FAMSS is necessary for a high quality of life. Her ever day movements were better not because she did it once, but because she kept doing it. Nia honors Flexibility and Agility and Mobility and Strength and Stability, so in Nia we practice it.
I hope one day you will attend one of my classes (I have two in San Jose and one in San Carlos*) to see how we can improve your FAMSS.
*Please see my website for my CURRENT class schedule. Thank you!
Posted in Nia | Tagged: agility, Carlos AyaRosas, exercise class, FAMSS, flexibility, FMASS, kata, Mobility, Nia, Nia class, Nia exercise, Nia focus, Nia intent, Nia Practice, Nia routine, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia's Five Sensations, San Carlos Nia, San Jose Nia, San Jose Nia class, San Jose Workout, San Jose Workout class, San Jose Yoga, stability, strength, workout class, Workout San Jose, Yoga class, Yoga Practice, Yoga workout | 4 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on March 13, 2010
Ahhhh, so what are you thinking? Friends that you have all your life? Yeah, no. This is about friends for LIFE. As in friends for health. As in friends for well being. It is very important to have good friends. The definition of “good friends” is vast and we can have a lot of “good friends”, but I believe that we all can benefit from friends that we can connect with.
Most of us have an array of friends in our life, we have people we call friends but they might REALLY be categorized as acquaintances. We have friends that call us when they need something, and friends we call when we need something. We have friends that annoy us and friends that don’t. We have friends that we might not think of often, but that we are very fond of. And, when we are lucky we have friends that fill us up. That make us feel good. They make us feel grounded and connected to humanity.
These friends could agree with us when we need it and tell us to get it together when we need that too. They could agree with us on something and disagree with us on others. They can see our faults and ignore them or try to help us with them, but either way, they are there and they are our friends. I believe that is vital to our health. I believe that sometimes life needs to be suspended—in between appointments, and kids athletic games, around the Nia classes, the gym, and the yoga practice, regardless of work and responsibilities–you need to be with those types of friends.
Enjoy time visiting with these friends no matter how frequent or infrequent it is important to connect, to refill, to recharge. It is awesome.
It is as important as good nutrition and exercise . . . . .at least, I think so . . . . I think there are friends for life.
Do you believe that friendships play a role in life/health?
Posted in Misc | Tagged: athletic games, connected, exercise, friends, grounded, gym, humanity, life, Nia, Nia Classes, Nia Practice, nutrition, yoga classes, Yoga Practice | 6 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on October 1, 2009
I believe that I cannot say it enough. Nia can be a lot of things. It can be a workout where you just go to class to move, dance, and have fun or it can be a practice, like Yoga. In the practice you can look at some of the elements that make up Nia and work and play with them. One of the movement practices of Nia is the Nia 5 Stages.
I think of the Nia 5 Stages as a practice because you can do it as often as you like and each time you do it you will sense improvement where your body can use improvement or “self-healing“. And you can even do the 5 Stages with an actual focus on improving something. I am experimenting with it. Since I recently just took the training and want to share it with others in a class format and in one-on-one sessions, I am experimenting with multiple aspects of it. In addition to the DVD and CD that was part of my training, I am using my iPhone to assist me in my experimentation.
I have two applications on my iPhone that I am using. The first one is iDicto. It is a simple recording application. In teaching the Nia 5 Stages we use voice, language, and imagery to allow the participants to move through the stages in their own way. By recording my scripts into my iPhone I am able to do a lot of things, two of which are:
—–I am able to check all of the different points of my speaking that I need to learn and work on, for instance the timing of my speaking
—–I am able to play back my recordings and use them just as I do the CD and the DVD that I received with my training, as if I were taking a Nia 5 stages class
The other application I use is Chronology. First of all let me remind you that I am experimenting with the 5 Stages. So I am doing it different ways. One way is to do each stage until your body tells you to move onto the next stage. Another way is to do each stage for a minute. Now, while I am doing the 5 Stages I don’t want to be looking at the clock and I am not good at sensing when a minute is up, so that is where I LOVE Chronology. It allows me to set up six different timers. I set one up for six minutes, one for five minutes, one for four minutes, one for three minutes, one for two minutes, and one for one minute.
Then I start them all and I begin my practice by just just relaxing. After a minute, the timer goes off and I move into the first stage, then went the next time goes off, I move into the next stage and so on. This way I know that am spending a minute in each stage. After doing each stage for a minute, I can adjust each timer for any amount of time I would like.
This is just ONE way of doing it. It is up to you if you want to do a timed stage or do it more naturally and move from one stage to the next when you are ready. As I said, I am experimenting and trying all different ways to do it. I think when I do it without a timer I spend more time on the first stage. But I don’t know, I am not being timed.
What really makes me laugh is I do find myself thinking, “There really IS an (iPhone) application for everything.”
This is just one way to do the Nia 5 Stages. When I acquired these applications they were free. Looks like Chronology is $2.99 now, but I bet you can find one for free that does the same thing. It needs to be able to allow you to set up multiple timers (at least 5) and run them all at once. And I did a search for iDicto and I don’t see it at all, but there are a lot of recording applications. And I am sure you can find one that is perfect for you.
If you are interested in learning more about the Nia 5 Stages please let me know. I am very excited to share this easy to do “exercise” that will allow you to move with ease and grace.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: app for everything, Chronology, exercise applications, iDicto, iphone, iPhone applications, iPhone exercise applications, iPhone workout applications, Nia 5 Stages, Nia 5 Stages Practice, Nia class, Nia Classes, Nia elements, Nia exercise, Nia Practice, Nia training, Nia workout, self-healing, workout applications, Yoga Practice | 2 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on August 25, 2009
Here are the main points to the 12 tips to help you move with Nia. These tips are taken from The Nia Technique a book written by the creators of Nia, Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas. The book can help you better understand how Nia can be is a great workout and can be just a workout or practice, like yoga and Pilates are practices.
~Use visual imagery to make movements feel natural.
~Combine small movements with large movements.
~Use your Base, Core, Upper Extremities, breath and voice to add energy and power to your moves.
~Use a variety of speeds.
~Use your joints to move energy.
~Use breath to start and stop the flow of energy.
~Add intensity to your movements by sinking lower and rising higher.
~Shift your body weight–don’t drop it—
~Add emotion to every motion.
~Use your fingers and hands to express how movements make you feel.
~Use your voice as you move, to activate your abdominal muscles.
~Lead your head movements with your eye movements.
While nothing compares to the energy of a live class, the book is a great way to get started or to get you acquainted with Nia.
These are great tips to help you get more from your workout yet also help it feel less like exercise.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: 12 tips, 12 tips to move with Nia, Carlos Rosos, creators of Nia, Debbie Rosas, exercise, Nia, Nia Practice, Pilates, Pilates practice, San Jose, San Jose exercise, San Jose Pilates, San Jose Workout, San Jose Yoga, The Nia Technique, The Nia Technique book, workout, Yoga, Yoga Practice | 8 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on July 4, 2009
I feel I need to clarify something. I keep seeing these great articles on the internet about Nia. They are so great I get excited and I want to share them, until I get to the part where it says something like, “Nia students work through levels akin to martial arts and the different belts”. This is where my enthusiasm for the article dies. To me this makes it sound like a participant of Nia™ has to earn a belt in order to participate.
Nia is a workout. A person can go to a Nia class every day and workout and never have to think about belt levels. Belt levels never come into play during a workout. Nia as a workout is so beneficial you may never want to progress to anything beyond that. Think of it like yoga, you can go to a yoga class every day and never have to participate in the meditation or yoga life-style of a yogi or yogini.
My Nia White Belt and my manual
IF someone is interested in learning more about Nia, aside from what the book and the DVDs, the classes, and the workshops have to offer, one can participate in an “Intensive”. THIS is where the belts come into play. Each intensive is about 40 hours of intenseness. There is lectures and movement and workouts. There are five belts. Anyone can participate in the intensive, but they must be taken in order White, Blue, Brown, Black. And they require a year in between each belt.
Each of the four belts mentioned has principles. There are 13 principles for each belt, each belt also has a focus.
I am sure you noticed that I mentioned five belts but only named four, that is because one of the five belts is Green Belt. Green Belt is newly added and it is for teachers. So while any one can take an White, Blue, Brown, or Black belt intensive only teachers can take the green. That is because Green is focused on assisting teachers. It is just another aspect of the continuing education that Nia offers and recommends.
So, again I will say, anyone can participate in Nia as a workout and that is great and that is fine. You will gain many, many benefits from it. No one has to think about belts and the levels. Only if you are interested in making Nia a practice and learning more about it do you need to even think about the belts. Just come and enjoy the way your body feels during and after a Nia workout. Then if you arrive at wanting more you will do so . . . in your own time . . . in your own way.
Posted in Nia | Tagged: Belt System, Black Belt, Blue Belt, Brown Belt, Green Belt, martial arts, Martial Arts Belt System, Nia, Nia Articles, Nia Practice, Nia teachers, Nia workout, White Belt, work out, workout, Yoga Practice | 3 Comments »
Posted by terrepruitt on April 11, 2009
I want to remind everyone that Nia™ or Nia Technique® is a specific practice.** It was created in 1983 by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas. They were married and now they are not, but Nia is such an important part of their lives and so important to them, that they continue to work together.
Nia has different belt levels; White Belt, the newly added Green Belt, Blue Belt, Brown Belt, and Black Belt. Each Belt has its own set of principles, except for Green. You must wait a year in between belts before you can take the next intensive. (Except for green because it a newly added in the system to assist teachers.)
Click here for more info on classes and Nia
I am a White Belt, so I continue to work with the thirteen White Belt Principles:
1–The Joy of Movement
2–Natural Time and the Movement Forms
3–Music and the 8BC System
5–Awareness – Dancing Through Life
6–The Base; Feet and Legs
7–The Three Planes and the Three Levels of Intensity
8–The Core of the Body; Pelvis, Chest, and Head
9–Creative Arm and Hand Expressions
11–Business and Marketing
13–Dance What You Sense / Teach What You Sense
When I talk about Nia it is based on what Debbie and Carlos have created. They have been working and growing with Nia for 25 years. And if you look at their work and information you will see that it has morphed a little. It is the same basic practice but I believe it gets refined as they grow and change.
So please keep in mind when I talk about Nia, I am talking about something wonderful and specific and it is entirely based on the work of Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.
Please join me in San Jose for a Nia class. Visit my website for the schedule http://www.helpyouwell.com/
**This post is to explain that “Nia” and “Nia-things” I talk about are primarily from the creators of Nia BUT please keep in mind . . . . Nia is also a workout that can be experienced, just like a Yoga, Zumba, Jazzercise, or any group exercise class. One can show up to class and just move and get a great workout. One does not have to participant in the intensive and the belt levels.
Visit Nia’s main website at: http://www.nianow.com
Posted in Nia | Tagged: 8BCs, Carlos Rosas, Debbie Rosas, exercise class, exercise classes, great workout, group exercise, group exercise class, Jazzercise, joy, Nia, Nia Belt levels, Nia Practice, Nia San Jose, Nia Technique, Nia White Belt, Nia workout, San Jose exercise class, San Jose exercise classes, San Jose Nia, the joy of movement, thirteen White Belt Principles, workout class, Yoga, Yoga class, Yoga Practice, Zumba, Zumba class | 3 Comments »