Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Same ol’ Nia Routine – NOT!

Posted by terrepruitt on February 23, 2010

When we do a Nia routine we set a focus and an intent.  In my classes I set a class focus and intent but participants are always welcome to set their own.  To focus on whatever they need at that moment.  I am not sure if I have mentioned it before on my blog, but a focus and an intent can greatly alter the Nia routine.  Recently I subbed a Nia class for another Nia teacher, in a different part of San Jose.  I had planned and practiced the routine I wanted to teach.  I had a feeling that the teacher had taught it because it is a new routine and a lot of teachers tend to start teaching those right away.  When I arrived I announced to the class that I would be teaching Sexi.  A few of the women, voiced some concerns.  They mentioned that their shoulders hurt.  They said that it was the routine that made their shoulders hurt. 

Well, there is so much to be said about that.  Nia is designed specifically NOT to hurt.  So it could be that their shoulders had been pushed too hard, but not by the routine.  🙂  It could be that their shoulders weren’t injured but were just sore.  Sometimes soreness, because it is a form of “pain”, is perceived as pain that one needs to be concerned about because there is an injury instead of just the “pain” that comes with moving a body part that has not been moved in a long time or has been moved in a way it is not accustomed to.  And that is just a FEW things that can be said.  At the beginning of a class where there is other classes that follow and a group of people to be attended it is not always possible to give each individual personal attention required—as they would get from a personal training session.  So what I suggested was for them to NOT move so vigorously. 

Before we started, I gave them the option of changing the routine.  I would have gladly done a different Nia routine in order for them to have a good time in their workout and to not be doing a routine they were tired of or a routine they felt injured them. But they said that it was ok, I could do Sexi.  And I was so happy, because I knew it would be different.  I advised them that even though we were going to do the same routine, we were going to use a different focus.

The original focus of Sexi is the spine.  When the spine is mentioned one thing people might think of is the back.  Even though this routine employs many movements to move the spine, with the focus being the spine one might be thinking “back”. 

Well, I changed the focus to the front.  The focus I set forth was actually the Fourth Chakra, the Heart Chakra. And I read out of the Nia Technique Book, as Debbie Rosas is always encouraging us to do.  The book states that this energy center is affected most by the motions of your rib cage and chest.  With that information it moved the physical focus to the front.

So we danced Sexi.  We danced Sexi sexy.  Oh yeah.  With our focus being the heart chakra and the intention being to allow a connection with love, compassion, joy, and sorrow–we danced.

While we danced I reminded the group to be aware of their shoulders and to try NOT to move them in the way that caused the pain.  Afterwards, the ones that had voiced concerns said they were glad that we did it.  They were able to do the same routine, but change the focus and therefore changing the routine.  I love that about Nia.  Because the focus is different the same routine is different.  Because I am different the routine is different.  Because the moves are basically the same, but the focus is different they were able to get an entirely different workout.  Just another wonderful aspect of Nia.

4 Responses to “Same ol’ Nia Routine – NOT!”

  1. Always reminds me of the story of the patient who said “Doctor, my arm hurts whenever I hold it like this”
    and the doctor says “Well? Don’t hold it like that!”


    • Ha, ha!

      And yeah, that is it, but we say “tweak it”. So if you are moving your arm (or whatever) in a way that causes pain, try moving it differently, “tweak it”.

      Thanks for stopping by. Happy Birthday.



  2. Hi Terre!!!

    I love your blogs. They have an earthy-ness about them that is so important for readers, and yet so much is contained within your blog -great information about focus and intent. I was delighted to read that the students liked the focus you used for Sexi (and interestingly enough, when one is focusing on the “front” of the body, the “back” of the body moves, too — it’s the intent and focus that is the key and you were spot on with it.

    It was great to hear that you read out of the Nia book. I use parts of the book in my classes, too, but more often than not, I’ll take something from one of the current Newsletters. Last night, I used Debbie’s words to create a focus for our class on listening to the music. Debbie’s words are always so powerful and connect me as well as my students to the depth of Nia and why Nia is so different from other cardio fitness programs.

    Much love to you my friend. Nice job (as usual).



    • Hi Jill!

      Thank you. I am glad you love my blogs.

      When I write about Nia it is so difficult to keep it short and on ONE specific topic because Nia has so many sides and facets. So that is why sometimes there are so many links within a post because it is all connected——-ha, just like the body!

      Since the body is all connected, when you move one part others usually move too. So yes, when you move the front the back moves, just like when the focus is the spine we aren’t just focusing on THE SPINE itself we are focusing on the other parts of the body that move the spine. Then we realize when we move our ribs this way our spine moves, etc.

      I like to read out of the book because I hope people will be curious enough to buy it and want to learn more. So that would be the same with the Newsletter (thanks for that), they can be curious and sign up for that. Yay! The more people know the better . . . . if knowing is what they want. Some people just want to work out . . . that’s fine too!

      Thanks you so much for reading and commenting!


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