Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Archive for August 1st, 2009

Mind Body or Body Mind

Posted by terrepruitt on August 1, 2009

A lot of practices claim to be mind-body practices. I believe the idea is to engage our mind to control our body.

Well, I like to call Nia body-mind. For me calling it body-mind reminds me that we are first going to the body. We are engaging our bodies in movement and allowing them to move freely. Then we can allow our minds to loosely focus on what we are doing. So we don’t want our minds controlling our movement, but we want our minds registering the sensation so as to give it full power and allow us to acknowledge what feels right.

Let me give you an example of what can happen:

The music starts, and like a lot of people, we begin to move without even thinking, we start to sway or wiggle, or whatever the body senses the music is telling it to do. But then—CLICK!   The mind engages and then we start to THINK about how to move, then we start judging  movement, then we start choreographing movements, then we realize that we are thinking, thinking, thinking. UGH! I would be the latter as mind-body, my brain is thinking and I am doing what it tells me.

In Nia, one of the greatest tools to learn is to be body-mind and just let the body go. The body can listen to the music on its own. Then when you are able to do that, it is amazing how the body knows what it needs. It can move you in a way that your mind might keep you from. Your hips can thrust or gyrate, your shoulders can shimmy, your feet and skip and jump, and your voice can be heard—all without judgment from yourself.

Also, if we let our bodies lead us, it will keep us from doing something that is too much or not in the best interest of our bodies. Our bodies seek balance and health. When we are working out, if we are allowing our bodies to be the guide we can get the exact kind of workout we need. As our bodies guide us to what we need we can concentrate with our mind to understand the sensation that we are sensing with our bodies. When our bodies get the workout it needs both our body and our mind feel great.

I think if you have not tried Nia it will be difficult for you to “get” what I am saying. I would like to invite you to go to the Nia website and see if there is a class near you or look at my class schedule and see if one of my classes (I teach four per week) works for you.  There are Nia classes in San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountian View, San Ramon, Oakland, Pleasanton, Palo Alto, Los Altos, all over, one of them has to work for you.  Go out and try it!

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