Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach yoga, Nia, and stretch online!


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Archive for August, 2009

Good Nutrition Makes A Difference

Posted by terrepruitt on August 29, 2009

You know when you are feeling tired or can’t make it through a workout think about what you have eaten.  It really makes a difference.  We don’t have to rely on the experts to tell us that, just think about it.  There are a lot of ways people can eat, vegan, raw, vegetarian, etc., but stepping away from a diet that has a name and just trying to eat less processed foods and foods that are less processed can really make a difference in how you feel. 

If you pay attention to how you feel for a week or so, then try to cut out some of the processed foods that you normally eat you will notice a difference if you take note.

Sometimes you might not need to adjust your workout or the exercise it could be just fine, it could just be that you don’t have the proper nutrition to fuel your body.  A blog is not the place to get informaiton on what your body actually needs because everyone is different.  I am just suggesting that you take a look at your diet and see if you could make a few adjustments to get better NUTRITION and see how that affects you.  If you want specifics you need to see a nutritionist or work with a personal trainer.

Sometimes we think we are eating healthy because the packaging claims it is “natural” or “wholesome”, but the truth is more processed foods are just full of chemicals.  Just look at what you are eating.  Check the INGREDIENTS, not just the big words on the package that make claims.

I believe that good nutrition affects your ENTIRE body: you physical body and your mental state. If your body has property nutrition you have more energy and you FEEL better.  You can actually make it through a workout without just wanting it to be over, and then that makes your body feel good and then your mind feels great because you feel like you can conquer the world.

We were at a gathering today in San Jose with a lot of good food.  Not too much processed food.  A lot of vegetables.  I am sure I am going to feel great tomorrow.  Good nutrition makes a difference.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Perfect Rice

Posted by terrepruitt on August 27, 2009

I was making rice tonight and I thought, this is so easy, but not everyone knows about this funny little trick, so I wanted to share.

I was not familiar with a rice maker until I met my husband.  I was accustom to Uncle Ben’s white rice you make in a pot on the stove.  The whole point being to make it fluffy and NOT sticky.  But my husband wouldn’t eat that.  He only ate “sticky rice”.  And he makes it with a rice maker.  Since my apartment in San Jose was really small I received a small one as a gift.  It was so cute.  We don’t have that one any longer.

Anyway, the way he taught me how to cook rice in a rice cooker was to pour the rice in.  To me it doesn’t matter how much because to me left over rice is fine.  So, pour the rice in.  And if it is white rice, rinse it.  I hate this part.  I always lose  rice because in our present rice maker my hand is just that little bit too small that rice escapes when I try to get out most of the water.  But usually I only lose a little bit so it works out ok.  After you rinse it all you have to do it make sure you have enough water to cover the rice up to the mid-point of your first finger’s knuckle.  What?  Yeah, I know, odd, but it works.

You put your finger on top of the rice and make sure the water reaches up to half way up your finger only to the first joint.  Always works.  Rice comes out perfect.  How, because Hubby and I have different size fingers, I don’t know.  But it works.

But low and behold, that only works for white rice.  We found out that you have to add more water for brown rice and then that also means it takes longer to cook.  Took two times of waiting for the rice to be done and then having it be crunchy for me to figure that one out!

Sometimes I put a little bit of garlic olive oil in there or lemon infused oil (learned the lemon one from a friend—yum!).  Either oil gives the rice a slight flavor plus helps it NOT stick to the pot.  Love that.

As you can see from the picture there are measures on the actual pot, never used those.  Sounds like an exercise in patience to me.  I just dump, rinse, and fill.  I rinse white rice well, but not the brown rice.  What about you, do you use the finger water level method?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Tips To Help You Move – Nia

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »


Posted by terrepruitt on August 22, 2009

This is one of Nia’s 52 Moves.  The Releve.  First you touch your heel to the ground.

Then you weight on one foot.

Then you come up on what we usually call your toe, but is really the ball of your foot.

Usually this is done in a quick step like motion.  During a workout routine we usually step to a releve then move on.  Sometime though we do stay on the balls of our feet in releve and walk.  It all depends on the workout and routine and if that will even work for you and your body.  It is great for the ankles and the lower leg.  It also strengthens your foot.

You can see a list of Nia’s 52 Moves on my site or in the Nia Technique book.

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Baby Blue Jays – August 2009

Posted by terrepruitt on August 20, 2009

We have recently had baby blue jays surface.  For the most part I don’t even know they are there.  When they do make noise it is hilarious.  I can’t tell how many there are.  I think there are at least two, maybe three, but at least one has a hilarious voice.  It is not the squawk of a blue jay yet.  I can’t even describe it, but it makes me laugh.  Whatever I am doing I will stop to listen to him.  It is so funny.  I tried to record it today, but . . . I only have my iPhone and the baby stopped the second I pressed record.  Then all the other birds started in and drowned out his little voice. 

Anyway, it is Thursday, and I haven’t posted birds once this month so I thought I would share some baby pictures.  The babies are deceptively large.  At first, you don’t realize that the baby is the baby because he is so much bigger than the adults then it opens its mouth and makes this pathetic noise or it walks and has absolutely no grace. 

So, please keep in mind I am not posting this pictures because they are good pictures and I wanted to share, I am posting them because they are our babies and I wanted to share.






Its a beautiful day in San Jose for this bird to sit by the water. 





 Do you see his brother (sister?) on the rock behind him?
















I think the one on the rock is the one that is has the funny little voice.  It is so funny. 

















Babies just stand different.  They are still learning.  It is so funny to watch them move.







I think the one on the rock still wants to be fed because he will open his wings and make his little noise.  He “screams” at the top of his voice.  But scream is a harsh word since it sounds so cute, but . . . you can tell it is a workout for him.  He puts a lot of effort into it.

















 Ooooh, balancing on one foot.  Good.



Posted in Birds | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Few Benefits of Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on August 18, 2009

You will notice that the numbers are not sequential, that is because this is just a few of the sixteen main benefits of Nia stated in the Nia Technique Book by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.   

1.  Nia increases the pleasure of living in your body.

2.  Nia creates weight loss and proper weight maintenance.

6.  Nia increases grace and flexibility.

10. Nia enhances sensory awareness.

11. Nia heightens sexual function.

12. Nia builds reservoirs of chi.

14. Nia improves circulation of blood and improves lymphatic drainage.

Please remember that these are benefits that people practicing Nia have had.  I invite you to share your experiences and tell me what benefits you have gained from Nia.  You can post a comment here or send me information through my site (you can scroll down the drop down menu to “share my benefit(s) of Nia”). 

Nia is a journey where you are invited to discover the wonders of your own Body. 


Nia is practiced in the Bay Area (San Jose, Mountain View, Cupertino, Los Gatos, etc.) and the East Bay (San Ramon, Oakland, Walnut Creek, etc.).

Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nia Spear Fingers

Posted by terrepruitt on August 15, 2009

Here is a picture of the Nia spear fingers, one of the 52 Nia moves.  You pose your hand as if you are going to salute someone.

The benefits according to The Nia Technique book (page 161) are that it will help with tension that “tends to build up in your wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and jaw.”

Also pictured is a modified version of the spear finger.  At this point I use this version in a song that I lead.  Throughout the entire song our hands/fingers are in the spear finger position and I find that is too stressful on my wrists.  And Nia is about exercising and working out in a pleasurable manner so, I have adapted the spear finger to a more comfortable position for me.  In other instances where we use spear finger for not such a long time, I employ the actual technique.

Nia is about so many things, but one thing we want to ensure participants do is modify and adapt to their own body’s way.  My body’s way for that move is to cross my thumb over my bent ring finger and little finger.  When you come to class you will be encouraged to listen to your own body and move the routine as your body wants to move.  You will be encouraged to sense pleasure.  Come experience it for yourself.

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Poem Says A Lot

Posted by terrepruitt on August 13, 2009

The moment I read this I wanted to post it on my blog.  But then I didn’t want to post someone else’s stuff on my blog.  But then I thought if I gave full credit it would be ok and I knew that one of these days (whether it was today or not) I would be compelled to post someone’s something.  So all day I have been debating with myself.  And after teaching my class today at the Los Gatos Swim and Raquet Club I decided to post it.

To me, it is very “Nia“.  We don’t dance for others, we dance for ourselves.  And when we dance it is a workout and it is very much exercise, yet healing and spiritual, like Yoga.

The author had other reasons for writing it.  I’ve read some of her other poems posted on her blog.  She has been through a lot.  She expresses it well.  I hope you enjoy it:

We Have Come To Be Danced  by Jewel Mathieson

We have come to be danced
Not the pretty dance
Not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the belly
Of the sacred, sensual animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
Of our hands and feet dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The blow the chip off our shoulder dance.
The slap the apology from our posture dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two dance like you
One two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open dance
The rub the rhythm raw against our soul dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
Shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
The strip us from our casings, return our wings
Sharpen our claws and tongues dance
The shed dead cells and slip into
The luminous skin of love dance.

We have come to be danced
Not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
But the meeting of the trinity, the body breath and beat dance
The shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
The mother may I?
Yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
The olly olly oxen free free free dance
The everyone can come to our heaven dance.

We have come to be danced
Where the kingdom’s collide
In the cathedral of flesh
To burn back into the light
To unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
To root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced

We have come.

Thank you Jewel Mathieson for this might have been about your anger and your pain and your healing, to me it is also about joy and healing, and being one own’s self and being ok with that.  Thank you for sharing, Ms. Mathieson.

I also need to thank Danielle Eastman for posting this on Facebook and bringing it to my attention.  Thanks Danielle, I learn so much from you.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

The 52 Nia Moves Highlighted at the Recent Nia Jam

Posted by terrepruitt on August 11, 2009

The focus for the most recent Nia Jam was the 52 Nia Moves.  We were to pick songs in which we could highlight one or more of the 52 Nia moves.  So we moved a lot because we all wanted to really highlight the moves.  The idea was to pick one song that highlighted the move then pick another song that contained the same move that you could play with.  There was a couple of us that picked two songs with different moves so we highlighted more moves instead.  I think it worked out fine.   

Movements Highlighted included:
~Pelvic Circle             
~Spinal Roll  
~Heel Lead & Ball of Foot  
~Closed Stance, Open Stance, “A” Stance, and Sumo Stance,   
~Front Kick, Side Kick, and Back kicks 
~Lateral Traveling   
~Wrist & Hand movements 

We do not do all 52 Nia moves in every workout (unless we are doing the 52 Nia Move routine), but we do cover a lot of them.  The moves are not necessarily new moves, some are quite common and you will be familiar with them.  Some you could be familiar with, but not familiar with DOING, but that is part of the fun.  Come to a class and see.  I have classes in San Jose and Los Gatos.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Nia Jam

Posted by terrepruitt on August 8, 2009

You might have seen me “talk” about it somewhere. They have them four times a year in the wide Bay Area (and beyond) recently I went to my first one. Not only was it my first Nia Jam, but I was going to teach. Nice.

It is somewhat like a “Jam Session” we’ve all heard of, a bunch of musicians get together and play, sometimes certain songs, sometimes making stuff up as they go . . . whatever, it is a jam.

Well, with the Nia Jam they pick a focus and arrange the music to comply with the Nia Workout cycles and to assist in sticking with the focus. And then a group of teachers teach and just have a good time. Students that attend the jams get treated to a variety of styles and music. It is just like one big party.

It was so fun to be able to workout with all the different teachers getting a sample of all the different Nia classes around the area**.

The room we held the class in was awesome. It was in a open room at Stanford University in Palo Alto. The room was rectangle shape and there were mirrors on one of the longs walls and the other long wall opened up, it was glass doors. The floor was wood, I believe, I want to say it was cushioned because It felt somewhat like the floor at the studio where I teach in San Jose. We danced a lot and it didn’t feel like cement directly under the floor.

The wall that opened up, opened onto a patio we had all to ourselves. The weather was perfect.

The Nia Jam was fabulous, it was freeing, it was inspirational. I met a lovely group of Nia Teachers from around the area and beyond. It left me feeling really sweaty and alive. Very energized. I would like to invite you to our next one. When I have the details I will let you know.


**Check the main website for regular classes, if you don’t see one in your area call the nearest instructor, she might know about one that is NOT on the main website. NiaNow.com  Or visit my site for current information about classes in San Jose and Los Gatos.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »