Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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  • My Bloggey Past

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Archive for September, 2009

Nia and Jazz Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on September 29, 2009

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaA Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts.

From the dance arts, one dance we call upon is Jazz Dance.  Jazz Dance allows us to bring in the fun!  With Jazz it is about fun, showmanship, and expression.  It is about big and little.  Many elements from Jazz are incorporated into Nia.  Isolations, syncopations, combinations, rhythm steps.*  We could do a little flick of the wrist or full body shimmy, enabling us to exercise our intrinsic muscles and show the playful side, the sexy side.  We could do a jazz square, a hip bump, or big arm circles allowing us to express ourselves.  Bringing Jazz Dance into Nia helps bring in the rhythm and it can be a lesson in agility–where we start or move a body part and quickly bring it to a stop.

There is also facial expressions that can be associated with Jazz Dance; the big smiles, the teeth, the pout, the laugh, the wink—all can be jazzy!  And of course, the hands, can’t forget “jazz hands” for one.  With that it can be an expression of self, or beats of the music, or whatever you want.  We can also do a lot of finger motions, pointing, flicking, “come here, Sexy!” gestures—all assisting in the health of the hand.

Jazz Dance brings a lot to Nia, it helps us be playful and have fun.

What moves, gestures, steps, etc. make you think “jazzy”?  What movements do you do that you could add a “jazzy sparkle” to?  And how?

Some of this information is from the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual, V3.  Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.

*V3 – White Belt Manual.

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nia and Tai Chi

Posted by terrepruitt on September 26, 2009

A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts.  

From the martial arts, we use moves from T’ai chi.  Actually it is not just “moves” from Tai Chi but also some of the “ideals” from Tai Chi.  Nia calls Tai Chi “The Slow Dance”.*  Tai Chi allows for the elements of grace, ease, precision, power, and lightness to be accessed and brought in to our dance that is our workout. 

So while we do not do the sequences of postures that form a Tai Chi routine or exercise we might have some of the Tai Chi moves incorporated into a routine.  And/or we might take a portion of the routine and execute it “Tai Chi like”, moving slow and graceful.  Being mindful of our movements and moving from the feet with relaxed joints establishing that fluid Tai Chi like flow.  We might also incorporate circular movements and shift our weight to assist in balance, all the while sensing the gentle flow of chi. 

Some things we do in class to assist us in moving “Tai Chi like” is leading with our heels when we step, using our eyes to allow for our head to be included in our movement, keeping our joints open and soft, focusing on moving from our energy center, using our breath to generate power and support for movement, and moving systemically.** 

Hopefully this post will serve to address some of the inquires about the aspect of Tai Chi in Nia. This will give you an idea of how Tai Chi is brought into Nia. 

I love to watch the people in the parks of San Jose doing Tai Chi.  I actually see them all over the Bay Area.  In Nia we don’t “DO” Tai Chi, we glean from it and allow what we’ve gleaned to mix with aspects of Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Yoga, the Alexander Technique and the teachings from Feldenkrais.  It is all combined to be Nia.

 
*Both the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual state this.  Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.

**V3 of The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Santa Cruz, California

Posted by terrepruitt on September 24, 2009

My husband and I live in San Jose. We are pretty close to Santa Cruz, I think. It is about 45 minutes away. But usually it takes longer than that to get there due to traffic. We don’t go there often.

Yesterday I went “over the hill”, we call it because we have to go over the hills to get out of the Santa Clara Valley/Silicon Valley to the ocean side.

While there, I thought, I don’t come here enough. This is beautiful. And I took a few shots, thinking I would share Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Niathem with you. Then I was thinking I should write something to post. But then I was invited to coffee today, when I “should have” been writing my blog, I was having coffee. When I accepted the invitation I had a feeling that going to coffee was where I needed to be and posting the pictures of Santa Cruz was what I would end up doing.

Well, it turned out that I was at coffee for three hours. I had been correct. I needed to be on that coffee date making a connection with someone. And these pictures are beautiful and they really should be shared. Because California is beautiful. Santa Cruz is awesome. Yesterday was the most gorgeous day there.

The pictures are beautiful not because of the skill of the photographer, but because of the skill of the maker—-no one could have taken a bad picture of yesterday’s masterpiece. It has worked out as it should. I have been studying the Nia 5 Stages, it is a “self-healing” movement practice. I took a break from it with friends and wow—the break was another way of self healing. Friends, the ocean, coffee, conversation, an exercise in listening, it is all very healing!

Is there something you do for you that is self-healing?

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Nia and Self-Healing

Posted by terrepruitt on September 22, 2009

I believe that positive thinking can go a long way in helping someone get better. I also believe that “happy” and “positive” can assist with improving someone’s heath and/or keeping them healthy to begin with. I believe there are a lot of things people can do to be responsible for their own health and make themselves better. But I didn’t use the term healing or self-healing. So when I first heard Nia using that term I thought, “Uh-oh, what is this?”

But it is not meant as a proclamation that any or all ills will be cured with Nia. It really is “self-healing” as in feeling better. There is always room for improvement and even just a little better is still BETTER.

More and more people, and even the medical field, are realizing that the body has its own intelligence and sometimes we need to listen to it. One BIG thing that a lot more people are paying attention to is things like “a cold”. I have recently experienced a larger number of people realizing that when they get a cold it is their body saying, “Whoa! Slow down. Rest.” And yes, most of the time that is very difficult but these people are saying, “I better take one day to rest because if I don’t it is going to be worse.” And they exercise a little self-healing, by taking one day and then taking it easy for a few more days and it seems like they can “heal” themselves faster. And taking one day off, can work out so much better than having to take a week.

See?  That is self-healing? Our bodies will basically heal themselves.

Yes, there are illness and situations where we need medical attention. But there are a lot of things that we can do to feel better/self-heal.

For example:  One thing I did to “heal myself” years ago was stop talking on the phone with my shoulder and head holding the phone. I used to get terrible neck aches and I talked on the phone at work a lot. It got to a point that I could no longer hold the phone like that as much as I needed to so my employer got me a headset. Ahhhh! I felt a little better. Then I realized I needed a headset for home. Ahhhhh. Totally better. Now I don’t talk on any phone holding it between my head and shoulder. Voilà!  Self-healed.

So . . . Nia uses the term, self-healing, a lot because it is believed that movement is a healing act. Nia used to say: “Through Movement We Find Health”.

One of the incredible tools that Nia has (and there are many) to assist in self-healing is the Nia 5 Stages. It used to be called the Nia 5 Stages of Healing. I recently took a two day training so that I can now assist people in self-healing with the Nia 5 Stages.

I am confident that living in the Bay Area with San Jose, Mountain View, Cupertino, and Santa Clara having so many great technologies around us I can easily add the technology of the body to the Silicon Valley.

Posted in Misc, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Not All Certifications Are the Same

Posted by terrepruitt on September 19, 2009

This is a bit of a continuation of my CPR, AED, First Aid Training post. Things to think about and figure out:

1 (first and foremost) You have to figure out what you need. Do you need CPR/AED AND First Aid? Or just CPR and AED? Do you need Professional certification? Child CPR? There area lot of certificaitons out there, so you want to make sure that you get the one you need.

2 Find out if the places you are planning on working (if that is why you are getting it) take only certain certifications (Red Cross, American Heart Association, etc.) Most gyms that I have seen will NOT take certifications received online.

(Yes, you can get CPR certified online. Go figure.)

3 Find out how long the cert is good for. If you find one class for $50 and the cert is good for a year and another class for $75 and the cert is good for 2 years, you’d save yourself $25 by taking the more expensive class. Not to mention the time.

4 Does the training facility have dummies that you will get to practice on? Do they have AEDs that you will get to practice with? If you are going for a certification for child CPR does the facility have “child” dummies?

5 How long is the training? I have seen two hour ones and eight hour ones.

6 Does the training include information to take home? The first time I was certified I got a couple of booklets and posters and all kinds of information to use as reference material, I got something tonight too, but one of my classmates, who has been certified a few times said she had never before received anything. It is really great to have reference material to look at later.

7 Is the instructor just an instructor or has sh/e been an actual rescue work experience?

NOT ALL CERTIFICATIONS ARE THE SAME, neither are the instructors. Do your homework. Do research online, talk to people who have taken courses, talk to rescue workers—they will have opinions on which course they like best. Its your money and your time and if it is for your job or business it pays to do a little bit of checking first.

Posted in Helpful Hints | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Amazed By the Townspeople Where Lars Lives

Posted by terrepruitt on September 17, 2009

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaI love the movie “Lars And the Real Girl”. For those of you that are not inclined to watch it because you think it is about a man and his blow-up doll, you are somewhat correct. There is a man in it who has a “life-sized doll named Bianca”. But it might not be what you think. Even the back of the DVD cover does not describe the movie the way I see it.

I can’t remember what made me actually want to watch it, but something did and I am so glad because it was NOTHING like I expected. I expected a comedy. While there is some humor in it and it makes me laugh, it makes me cry more. It is, in my opinion a very, very touching movie.

Now, I think that might be enough for those of you that don’t like to know too much, but thought this was a silly movie. For those of you that don’t mind knowing more, read on.

It is a silly movie, there is a life-size doll in it for heaven’s sake, but it also an amazing movie. It is really about a person having “stuff” in his life and how he deals with it. We all handle different things in different ways. This movie is about how Lars handles his “stuff”. But what I find amazing and I am getting teary-eyed just thinking about it, is how the town handles the way he handles his stuff. They are the most amazing people that I could ever hope to meet.

It is a small town so the whole town can get involved. In big cities like San Jose or big areas like the Bay Area, I don’t think this would have worked as well.

The Townspeople where Lars live rally around him. They do everything—they go out of their way—to support Lars and to help him through this period in his life. They are so incredible. I have only seen this movie twice. And the first time I was just in awe and wondering what was going to happen and how it was going to work out. The second time, I knew what was going to happen (basically, I didn’t remember everything), but I was still in awe. In fact I had more of achance to be in awe because I wasn’t wondering what was going to happen.

I  honestly can’t say that I would be as strong and wonderful as the people in this movie.  Their patience was exercised to the fullest!  I don’t think I could or would take time out of my life for a plastic doll, but then again, they didn’t do it for the doll, they did it for Lars. They decided to particpate in his delusion because they realized that it was what he needed. So maybe I could, but I don’t know, I just think they were so amazing.

This is my “whatever” day —- Thursday, so I am just sharing a bit about a movie that I think was really good, but I think might get overlooked by some who would really enjoy it, but are turned off by the name and the idea of it. So, if you have not seen it and you are still reading, please, rent it or see it however you view movies. I think you will like it.

Just as I was about to post this I had another thought, that my Nia Friends might really enjoy this because it is about letting someone do what they need to do.  In a sense, allowing someone to follow their own “body’s way” (even though it was more his mind).

If you have seen it, what did you think?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CPR, AED, First Aid Training

Posted by terrepruitt on September 15, 2009

Wow.  There are different types of training.  I am not going to get into all of the different types because you need to determine what you need yourself, so you’ll need to do a bit of research.  Once you know what you need, shop around and find out the best one that will work for you.  I just want to share with you some information that you might not think about when shopping around.

I took my first CPR/AED/FA training a year ago.  The certification for CPR/AED-Adult lasted one year.  That certification for the Standard First Aid lasts three years.  I think it was an excellent course.  It was long, it was 7 or 8 hours.  But the instructor had been doing it a long time and he was very good.  He was entertaining and injected just the right amount of humor so as not to let the class be boring or to have us falling asleep.

I would recommend this long, extensive class for anyone that is getting certified for the very first time.  It was very detailed and we did a lot of practical practice.  We used dummies to do CPR, plus each group practiced with an AED.  Then we practice basic first aid on each other.

I also liked this class because it was really close to my house in San Jose.

This latest class I took was CPR/AED and the certification lasts for two years!  Yay!  I love that!  It will be perfect timing because that is when I will need a recert in First Aid.

This was the perfect re-cert class.  It moved much more quickly and there was not as much practice on the dummy.  Right now the ratio is 30 compression to 2 ventilations performed 5 times in two minutes.  Doing that three or four times is enough.  It takes a good amount of pressure to get that dummy’s chest to click.

With this class I think I got a little bit of a different idea about the whole thing.  The first class I took was with an instructor.  I don’t think he actually ever performed CPR.  Tonight the teacher was a fire chief (I think that is what he said).  He had a long list of in the field experience.  He had even worked an an EMT. He has actually done CPR and used and AED.    So a few of the questions actually made him pause.  You could tell he had an answer, but he was not going to just blurt out the truth, but he wasn’t going to lie about it either.

Both teachers were great, just in different ways.  It was just really interesting to get information from someone who had actually performed CPR and used an AED.  I honestly don’t remember my last instruction including the information that it would be “crunchy”.  The amount of pressure required to compress someone’s chest to get the heart to force it into pumping blood just might break bones.  He  said it probably would and it was ok.  I thought that was really important to hear, because I think I might have backed off from pressing as firmly as they are now saying you need to, if I had not been told that bones will break.  I thought that was invaluable information.  Need to know kind of stuff.

CPR/AED/FA training is one of those things, like insurance, that you hope you never, ever, ever need.  I hope it works out that I never need to exercise my knowledge.  It is good to have it, I just don’t ever wanna use it.  Are you certified?  Do you have any stories to tell about a certiciation class you have taken?

Posted in Helpful Hints | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Yoga Is Very Nia-Like

Posted by terrepruitt on September 12, 2009

I have only taken two yoga classes.  One was this evening and throughout the entire class, while the teacher was instructing I kept thinking, “Oh that is so Nia.  Oh this is so Nia. . . . . .Oh THAT is so Nia.”  Even though earlier in the class I realized that maybe Nia was “so Yoga”.

Yoga was first.  It has been around for thousands of years.  For some it is rooted in religion, where as Nia has been around for 25 years and is rooted in the body.  I just couldn’t help thinking that this yoga class was so like a Nia class, except much slower.  Slower, in the sense that in this class the movement wass not to the music, but to the breath.  There was no rhythmic quality to the movement, just the flow of your breath.  Every once in awhile I would hear the music and to start sway to it and realize that I was supposed to be holding a pose so I would stop my body from moving but my spirit continued to boogey away.

This yoga class is about joy in yoga, allowing for another comparison, comparing to the first principle of the Nia White Belt which is the Joy of Movement.  The Joy of movement is actually found as a sensation and not a feeling.  In Nia it is something that is sensed in the body and not felts as an emotion.

The teacher started the class with the suggestion that you set an intention.  I actually wiggled with happiness at this because in every Nia class we set a focus and an intent (in cycle one).

This yoga class made me realize why so many people that practice yoga also practice Nia because there are many things in common.  In yoga there are poses that open areas of the body, in Nia we have movements and poses that open the body and get the joints juicy.  Yoga has muscle strengtheners and ligaments and tendon lengtheners and so does Nia.  But with yoga it is a pose and in Nia it is primarily movements linked together in a more cardio-dance fashion.  In the cool down we do poses or stretches and sometimes there are yoga poses.  It just amazed me how similar they were.  With the request of awareness that the teacher was giving during the ending meditation, something that we request during the entire Nia workout, I was extremely delighted to realize that yoga and Nia aren’t competing practices, but companion practices.  They are so similar that you can apply a lot of the principles to both.  You can have a non-impact booty shaking cardio and strength workout (Nia) that you balance with the complete stretching and strength workout (yoga).

I truly was amazed at how Nia has taken so much of what is “yoga” and created a practice that can be such a great companion.  With so many similarities it really allows for an expansion of exercise and workout possibilities for so many people who do yoga in San Jose and in the Bay Area.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Are You Really Bad?

Posted by terrepruitt on September 10, 2009

I have heard many people use it.  Recently I was having coffee in Willow Glen and I overheard someone say they were bad for eating something.  Or sometimes we say we are eating something bad.  For example, “I was bad because I ate four pieces of pizza.” or “I ordered a sandwich and was bad because I got fries.”  The use of the word bad gets no reaction.  Most of us just shrug and say nothing.  Some people even like it when you are bad.  Some people even think bad is good.  So it really doesn’t have an impact.  It really doesn’t matter.  Think about it?  Is there something you ate today, that you would consider “bad”?  Or HOW MUCH you ate, would you consider it bad?  If there is, try this exercise, say it out loud.  “I was bad because I ate a half dozen cookies.”  “I was bad because I ate my chips with my sandwich.”  Or whatever . . . . just say it out loud. 

What if instead of saying “bad” we identified it a little more clearly?  What if instead of saying “bad” we said “unhealthy”?  I keep hear “health” lately, so what if we actually said, “unhealthy”?  Do you think that would make a difference?  Do you think if we actually used a word that is a little more clear and can actually be associated with a huge topic right now, that we might actually NOT eat that unhealthy food item or that extra unhealthy portion? 

Do you think people might actually pause and think, “Yeah, that is unhealthy, maybe I won’t.” Instead of giggling because you were “bad”? 

Now instead of saying “bad” as you did previously, say, “unhealthy“.  “I was unhealthy because I ate a half dozen cookies.”  “I was unhealthy because I ate my chips with my sandwich.”  If we start saying it differently do you think we might start eating differently?

Maybe the same can go for working out.  Haven’t you heard someone say, “I was bad because I didn’t workout.”  What if we started saying, “I was unhealthy today, because I didn’t workout.”  I’m just wondering if changing how we say it might help us change and care about our health.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

TweetDeck — Just A Little

Posted by terrepruitt on September 8, 2009

This is a simple overview of TweetDeck.  And by simple I mean it does not include all the features and tips and tricks of TweetDeck.  My posts regarding Twitter are not for the power users to learn from.  It would be great if they commented and shared information, but basically I am sharing what I know and I feel as if I have barely scratched the surface of what Twitter and all its hundreds of applications can do.  In this post I do not cover all that TweetDeck can do.  I only briefly address what I do, so far, with TweetDeck.

First off, one of the things that some people love about TweetDeck is that you can manage multiple Twitter Accounts with it.  I don’t have multiple accounts so I don’t use TweetDeck like that so I won’t be talking about that here.  All I can tell you about multiple accounts and TweetDeck is that there is something that says, “Add more accounts” and above the box you type in it says “From” and I am guessing that if you have multiple accounts it will list them there and you can indicate which account you are sending from.  (I circled that in the photo.  At the bottom.)

For my one account, I use TweetDeck to see various tweets all on one screen.  I have an “All” column set up so that I can see tweets from all of the people that I follow.  But, I am beginning to think that only the people I recently follow show up because I don’t see tweets from people that I started following when I first signed up for Twitter.  So I made another column for those Twitterers.

I also have a column for “Nia People”.  This is a “Group”, these are the people that I have met online that teach, do, practice, and love Nia.  With this column I have actually set it up so that I see certain people that I am following that I know have something to do with Nia.

I have a “YelpSV” search column.  With this column it is set up so that I see people that send a Tweet that mentions YelpSV.  It searches for tweets that contain @YelpSV.

See? You can set up different columns and you can set them up different ways.  You can set up a column for a search on “Workouts” and it will capture tweets that have that word in them or you can set up a column for a group called, for example “San Jose” or “Exercise Classes” and actually indicate certain people whose tweets you want to see in either of those columns.

It is quick and easy to set up columns so you can change them whenever you would like.

I also have a mentions column of HelpYouWell set up so when people @HelpYouWell I see those in a separate column—although they sometimes show up after the ones in the other columns.   And I have DM (Direct Message) column so I can see messages sent directly to me, HelpYouWell.

I don’t have an issue with “API” (whatever that stands for), but I hear of people that do. Apparently Twitter only allows third party applications (systems? programs? Whatever.) 100 “touches” (that’s what I am calling them) per hour.  So if your account “touches” twitter (either sending, receiving, dealing with, whatever) 100 times in an hour you have to wait for the next hour in order to “touch” twitter again.  But this is only with third party stuff, like TweetDeck.  If you are on Twitter.com it does not do that.  So use TweetDeck and if you max out, use Twitter.com until the hour is up and go back to TweetDeck.

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