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

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle 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 October, 2011

Posture Creates Attitude

Posted by terrepruitt on October 29, 2011

Who designed airline seats?  Someone who knew the psychology of crowd control?  Think about it. No better yet let’s do a little exercise.  Sit in your chair.  Sit tall.  Allow your eyes – better yet, set your gaze forward.  Reach the top of your head to the sky, allowing the energy from above to assist in the lengthening of your spine.  Imagine space between each vertebrae.  Establish distance between your shoulders and your ears, creating a long neck.  Pull your shoulders back (shoulder blades in your pants pockets).  Sense your posture.  Sense the placement of your arm bones.  Let your arm bones hang straight down from your shoulders.  Now feel.  How do you feel?  Take a few moments to acknowledge and recognize what you feel and what you sense with your confident posture.

Now imagine you are on an airplane sitting in the typical (coach) airline seat.  I know many of us probably vary in height. But just imagine for a moment that you are seated on a plane.  Let your lower back round out toward the chair.  What happens to the rest of your body?  What do you sense?  How do you feel?  Do you feel subdued?  Do you feel controllable? Maybe just in comparison to the other posture?  When I push my lower back into the seat my postures becomes a slump, my shoulders round, my belly pushes out, and my head goes down.  I have always wondered about airplane seats.  I think they are very uncomfortable.  I could never understand why they were designed to be the opposite of the human spine.  I could never understand why they were designed to be so absolutely uncomfortable.  I think they are very bad for the human body.  I really think they are not designed at all for comfort.  Now after having been on a few planes after not having been on them for a long time, I think I might understand why.  I might actually sense why.  If I am in a state of mind where I feel I need to just comply it is easy for me to just do what I am told.  If my postures is “slumped” my head is already down and my shoulders are rounded, I can’t even take a full and proper breath, why not just sit there and be a blob.  I don’t want to think, I just want to get my free drink and get the ride over with.  I can see why people don’t want to make eye contact and be social.  It is almost as if our will has been sucked out of us.

Airline seats make me feel like a blob.  That is all I truly have room to be.  It just occurred to me on this past trip that this could be the feeling and the mentality that airlines are going after.  It is a lot easier to control 300+ people when they don’t feel very confident or very human for that matter.  I would think that people will just do what they are told when they can’t even take a full breath.  Since it is just for a short while and we “need” to be on the airplane we just put up with it.  With the advent of all the portable electronics it makes it even easier for us to just sit there like blobs all slumped over and compliant.

It is amazing how posture can affect attitude.  So the next time you aren’t feeling as chipper as you would like, check your posture.  Or if you are in a situation where you know you might get a little down, try sitting up or walking taller.  And when you are on a plane try to find a way to sit where your back can be straight, your posture good, and you can breathe fully.  I put my jacket in the small of my back so that I can sit up and not slumped over.  How about you?

Posted in Just stuff, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

It Is Good To Find A Way To Relax and De-stress

Posted by terrepruitt on October 27, 2011

How do you relax?  Or de-stress?  There are a lot of different things to do.  There is probably almost as many things to do as there are people who can do them.  There is eating.  Some people use food to release stress and tension.  They might eat comfort foods or just eat to eat.   There is drinking.  Some people drink to “calm their nerves” and relax.  Both eating and drinking can be abused and used in this way to excess.  There is also meditation.  Some people might find some sort of relief in a form of meditation.  There are many different ways to meditate.  At a basic level it is just a silencing of the mind to help calm the mind.  In many practices the person meditating can consciously affect the body after much practice, but others just affect the body through the act of slowing down and being calm.  Meditation can take the form of drumming, chanting, sitting, moving in a particular pattern . . . there are many forms.  There is also exercise to release stress and relax, either resistance training or aerobic exercise.

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress.  Exercise has physical effects that in turn help the body clam down.  Aerobic exercise produces endorphins.  Endorphins help to relieve pain.  Endorphins are also contributed with bringing on a state of euphoria.  The state produced by aerobic exercise can help relieve depression.  These little protein molecules release stress.  Exercise can relieve muscle tension through the simple act of contraction and release.

In addition to releasing endorphins exercise helps slow the production of stress hormones, like corticotrophin, cortisol, and catecholamines.  Stress hormones a can raise blood pressure and increase both heart rate and respiratory rate.

By the simple act of doing the exercise you are freeing up the brain from any problem you might have been concentrating on.  Having to think about the exercise you are doing is a great way to help get your mind off of anything that might be causing you stress.  So in that way alone exercise is a great way to relieve stress.  In addition to allowing you to get your mind off any issues that might be bothering you, exercise can also help you work off any frustration.  Negative emotions and frustrations can begin to melt away.

Blood pressure is lowered through exercise.  This has a very large effect on stress in the body.  If the body is functioning better the stress on the body itself is less.   Some people get headaches when they blood pressure is high.  It is difficult to relax when you have a headache.  Lower blood pressure can help in keeping the body calm.

Stress reduction is very important in this busy life that we lead.  There is so much to do and so much going on people need something to allow for just being.  They need time and space to allow for relaxing and de-stressing.

Nia is one of the unique exercises (like Yoga) because it is an aerobic exercise and it can be a bit of a meditation.  It is a great way to relieve stress and relax.  I couldn’t post about relaxing and aerobic exercise without mentioning Nia.  🙂

How do you relax?  Do you light candles and devour a cheesecake?  Do you fill the tub and drink a glass of wine?  Do you sit out in nature and enjoy the view?  Do you meditate?  Do you put on your exercise clothes and workout or go running?   I am curious to learn of what you do.  There are so many things and ways to relax and reduce stress, I would like to know what you do.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Human Body Fantastic

Posted by terrepruitt on October 25, 2011

Nia is a body centered practice. Nia came about partly because at that time, in the 80’s, popular exercise classes were very hard on the body and the industry in which the creators of Nia worked produced a lot of injuries. The couple that brought us Nia spent a lot of time examining many different forms of movement which in turn shaped Nia into a body-centered movement practice. Nia is a cardio dance workout that moves the body as it was designed to move. Debbie Rosas-Stewart, one of the creators of Nia, wanted to be a doctor, she has always been interested in the human body. Nia’s training material often refers to the science of the body. The body is fascinating and fantastic. I believe that Debbie’s love of medicine and the human body is evident in Nia. Here are some facts that I found interesting. They are facts easily found on the internet so they might not be new to you. Even if you have heard them before I hope you marvel at the human body as I do.

  • There are 10 human body parts having only three letters.  (Can you name all 10 human body parts having only 3 letters?)
  • Food is moved through the digestive tract by muscular contractions.
  • The pressure created from the human heart can squirt blood 30 feet.
  • Hydrochloric acid found in the stomach can dissolve certain metals.
  • The surface area of a human lung is equal to a tennis court.
  • Half of our taste buds are gone for most of us, by the time we are 60 years old.
  • The human brain is capable of storing everything it is exposed to, but it is the ability to recall the information that might be the challenge.
  • We are shorter at the end of the day due to cartilage being compressed throughout the day.
  • Kneecaps aren’t developed in a human until the child is between 2-6 years old.
  • The longer the finger the faster the nail grows.
  • Hair and nails do not continue to grow after death, but it appears as if they do since the skin shrinks and recedes as the moisture dries up.
  • The skin of a human body contains 45 miles of nerves.
  • The average human will breathe 23,040 times in a 24 hour period.
  • People with dark hair have less hair than blondes.
  • The stomach produces a new layer of mucus every 14 days in order to keep from digesting itself.
  • The “funny bone” is actually the ulnar nerve.
  • About 8% of the human body weight is blood.
  • A human snore can be a loud as a jack hammer.
  • Starvation takes a few weeks, but a total lack of sleep would cause death in roughly 10 days.
  • A human sneeze has been measured to exceed 100 miles per hour, whereas the average cough is only 60 miles per hour.
  • “Veins in the skin appear blue for a variety of reasons only weakly dependent on the color of the blood. Light scattering in the skin, and the visual processing of color play roles as well.” **

The 10 human body parts with only three letters: eye, ear, lip, gum, jaw, arm, rib, hip, leg, and toe.

Aside from what was **copied directly from Wiki, the above information was gleaned from the following sites:

The Nurse Nut, Yes, ICantSeeYouMawlana Faizani International, and ESZlinger.  I have seen many sites contain the same information and more.  I just found these ones particularly fascinating.  I think the body is fantastic.

Posted in Just stuff, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Ready to Receive – Natural Time

Posted by terrepruitt on October 22, 2011

Nia class, Nia Teacher, Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia, cardio workout, cardio dance class, fun exerciseI have learned a lot in my 43 years.  I know there is a lot more I could learn, but one thing I have learned AND that I find fascinating is that I need to be ready to receive.  Have you ever shared something with someone and they “pishawed” you?  You had tried to tell them something you found fascinating/interesting/money-saving/yummy/good to do and they had acted as if you didn’t know what you were talking about.  Then two weeks later they come to you to tell you the very thing you tried to share with them?  I used to get offended, even upset, but I am starting to see it differently.  I am starting to see that when I tell people things and I feel as if I have been “pishawed” it is not as I once perceived it . . . it is not their mind is snapping closed . . . but, maybe, just maybe it is the mind just saying, “What? I have never heard of that . . . let me deal with that later . . .” And then when it is heard again the mind has a space for it because they had heard it before, so their mind is more open to accepting and listening.

It is somewhat like Natural Time in a Nia workout.  In Nia, in our workouts, we have natural time allowing individuals to move their bodies in their own time.  Could be they are not ready to do the move the first time they see it, but after a few repetitions they are ready to receive.  Their bodies are ready.  — Funny.  I didn’t start this post off as relating to Nia, but as I was sitting here typing it dawned on me that being ready to receive is Natural Time.  And as you know, all of the Nia White Belt Principles can be applied to everyday life.  Just as many principles from any practice; Yoga, Jujitsu, aikido, Ballet, etc. can be applied to life.

Sometimes we have so much on our minds that adding something new just isn’t gonna work.  So maybe when we first hear something we just say, “NO!”  Then our brains move on.  But maybe the new “thing” left a spot, like rust . . . . but good, where it just stays and either it actually starts seeping into our brain or it just sits there until we hear it again.  Then we are able to open to the idea.  It is like the old idea of a seed.  Sometimes it is not ready to be planted, but it is there in its own little space.

I can actually remember specific times when this has happened, especially with my hubby, but I am posting about it because I recognized awhile ago that I do this.  Because I have heard something and pishawed it then later examined it.  It fascinates me.  It makes me wonder why I didn’t recognize good advice/information when I first heard it.  I wonder why I am not smart enough to recognize beneficial information when I see it.  So that is why I think that we have to be ready to receive.  It really doesn’t have to do with being intelligent.  Sometimes being ready is something of natural time.  We have to be ready in our own time.  In our own time is the best time in which to learn.  Amazes me.

Have you ever learned or heard something and when you really thought about it realized that you had heard the same thing before but it didn’t sink in?  Have you ever experienced the second time around as being the time you benefited from something?

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

Nia Might Not Be Pretty — To Some

Posted by terrepruitt on October 20, 2011

Nia routines are choreographed movements to music.  Nia’s choreography is pretty.  In fact in many cases it is beautiful.  Most Nia katas are based on the 52 Nia moves.  Steps and moves have been carefully selected to fit with the music, for the most part.  There are times when we are invited to just dance without a design.  No matter the choreography we are always encouraged to dance in our own way–and that just might not be “pretty” to some people.  The body — our bodies — the human body is put together in a specific way.  Our parts are connected in a specific way.  Movement is allowed and restricted by the way the body is constructed.  Some bodies cannot move as was intended.  Some bodies might have actual physical limitations that do not allow for soft, fluid, “pretty” movement.  For some lifting their arm over their head might cause discomfort.  It could be that they are not accustomed to lifting their arm that high so it might not be easy—at first.  Some might have tight hamstrings or other muscles so their movement might be less than natural.  But Nia is a journey, a practice.  Over time the joints will loosen with practice and/or the muscles will become more flexible and be able to move with ease.  It could become “pretty” or not.  Nia might not be pretty, but it is authentic.  It is not a performance.  It is how our bodies move.  Your body, my body, not the same body so we will move differently and it could be pretty or not.  What I might think is pretty you might not.   Let it be authentic.

Some bodies have other types of restrictions, could be mental or emotional.  It could be, having been taught all her life “ladies” don’t move their hips “like that”, there is an automatic stop placed in her mind so her hips don’t thrust or gyrate.  It could be that she thinks that movement is “ugly” so she won’t allow her body to do it.  It could be that chipping away at that barrier will take time.  And the learning might not be “pretty”.  It might be choppy and not happen all at once.  It could be that there is an emotion attached to a particular movement.  An emotion can act as another type of mental block and not enable or allow the Nia participant to move as the body was designed.  And that could, in turn, result in something that isn’t “pretty”.  Nia might not be pretty, but it is authentic.

It could also be as previously mentioned — some have an idea of what moves are “pretty” and what moves are not, so for them maybe the “ugly” moves should be kept off of the dance floor, but Nia is not a performance.  It is authentic movement of the body.

It could be an arm-raising, hair-whipping, sweat-dripping, face-reddening, body-jiggling, foot-stomping, voice-howling, eyes-crying, heart-softening, spirit-raising, mind-opening, body-moving dance exercise which, to some, just might not be pretty.  It is not a show, it is not a performance it is a movement, it is a practice, it is a dance, it is an exercise, it is a workout, it is an experience, it is authentic.  It is what you allow your body to do.  It is what you want it to be.  It is what you sense.

When we allow our bodies to move in an honest way we defer to the body’s intelligence.  The body speaks to us, but we need to listen.  It will tell us if what we are doing is causing pain so we can tweak the movement and move towards pleasure.  Also we can learn which areas of our bodies would benefit from more flexibility or more strength if we listen.  All the while, to someone who is expecting a performance this might appear “not pretty”.  But to those who have experienced the freedom of listening to the body’s intelligence we see it as beautiful.  We know there is a path, there is a journey.

I personally feel that it is beautiful when a participant moves to the music in a way that only s/he can move.  Sometimes I might catch a glimpse of one of my Nia students and I have to remind myself that I too need to move according to the sense of the music because otherwise I would stop and watch.  It is an amazing wonder to witness a surrender to the music. To some it might not be “pretty”, but it is truly beautiful.  So dance your dance.  Dance in your body’s way.  Don’t judge.  Don’t worry about if it is “pretty”. Movement is a glorious and beautiful gift to be enjoyed and not stifled.  Let your movements be authentic and don’t worry about those who might think it is not pretty.

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

Relaxed, Alert, and Waiting – Nia RAW

Posted by terrepruitt on October 18, 2011

One of the things we practice in Nia is something we call RAW.  We are Relaxed, Alert, and Waiting.  It is listening to music by listening to the silence and the sound.  The body is relaxed.  The mind is alert.  The conscious is waiting.  We sit and listen.  Our spines are upright, tall, and lengthened, even though the body is relaxed.  Our muscles are not tense, but they are ready.   Within our spines there is space around each vertebrae.  The mind is alert.  There is no inner dialog with ourselves going on in our head.  We are waiting.  What we are waiting for is the next sound or the next silence.  We are listening to both the instruments and the silence.  We are curious.  We are listening to the music as a whole.  Listening for specific sounds and silences that can allow us to sense many things.  The specific sounds and silences can also be used as cues when teaching a Nia class. We might hear a flute every so often.  So we might train ourselves to listen for that soft sound.  Then we might notice that always after the flute there is a ting of a triangle.  Eventually we might notice that right after the triangle there is a moment of silence. We are relaxed.  We are alert.  We are waiting, either for a sound coming out of silence or a sound of a familiar pattern, as in the triangle after the flute.

With this tool we are to listen and observe what transpires in the music.  We aren’t to form an opinion of whether it is “good” or “bad” or whether we like it or not.  We are just listening and learning.  Part of RAW is not moving.  This to me is one of the most challenging parts of RAW.  We are to listen and not dance.  We are to listen and not move to really be able to LISTEN and in order to be in the sensation of RAW and not allow the sensations of the body interfere.  Sometimes it is really hard to do.  Nia routines are set to music that inspires the body to move so to have to sit still and just listen is not always easy.

Additionally, I slip out of the tall, upright, and lengthened spine.  Once I start barring the music I tend to lean on my arm.  Ya know, elbow on the desk, forearm upright, chin resting in the palm of your hand?  Without fail this makes me sleepy.  The combination of being relaxed, and alert – so I have no conversation going on in my head, and I am waiting.  I start to fall asleep.  Then I realize I missed the instrument I was waiting for.  So I sit up and start again.  Sitting up tall and with a lengthened spine really is the key.

It’s a practice; Nia and RAW.  It works too.  Listening to the music in this state of concentration really helps me learn my music.  It is fascinating to think of the silence as music just as much as the instruments are.  RAW is a great tool that Nia has taught us to help with our Nia practice both as teachers and as students.

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

Pecans – A Rich Treat

Posted by terrepruitt on October 15, 2011

PNia Teacher, Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia, Cardio Workoutecans are so rich they are like a pastry.  Full of fat and sweetness.  As you can see the nutritional facts are:

(for) About a ¼ cup

200 Calories
20 g of saturated fat
0 g cholesterol
0 mg sodium
4 g carbs
2 g dietary fiber
3 g protein

So as a dessert they are great, with 0 cholesterol, 2 g of saturated fat, and 0 sodium.  One fourth cup makes a great treat.  They have a natural sweetness that could assist in curbing the desire for sugar.

According to Power Your Diet, pecans contain monounsaturated fatty acids (which are said to assist in the reduction of  low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol).  They are a source of antioxidants.  Antioxidants are thought to help in the fight against certain diseases.  Studies have shown that antioxidants help protect against cell damage.  Cell damage is thought to be the cause of diseases such as some cancers, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and Parkinson’s.

Pecans have many phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are presently believed to help reduce the risk of cancer.  As with many foods it has to do with fiber and their anti-inflammatory properties.  Medical research is proving that chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases.  It is not good for the body to remain in a state of chronic inflammation.  Foods that have anti-inflammatory properties can serve as a great addition to many diets.

Pecans have a large group of the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, Folate, and pantothenic acid) and also contain minerals such as iron, calcium, iron manganese (which is different from magnesium), magnesium, zinc, potassium, and selenium.

Also, pecans have proved in studies to help lower total cholesterol by over 10%, and the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) by OVER 15%.

And I don’t know about you, but I love pecans.  I can eat them plain, just a handful all by themselves.  Or they make a great addition to a salad.  The salad can be a combination of sweet and savory or just full of veggies.  They also make a great addition to cookies.  Lately – since I have a huge bag of them (I bought a wholesale bag . . . two pounds) I add them to cookie recipes that call for walnuts.  I actually think of them as interchangeable and use them in place of walnuts when I have a bag of pecans and not walnuts.

Pecans with a salty soft cheese makes a great appetizer.  The mixture can be spread on crackers, bread, or can be used to fill celery.  If you mix some chopped nuts with a crumbled cheese you can put it in lettuce boats.

They can add their buttery goodness to any recipe.  Because they add a flavor of buttery richness it is possible to cut down on the butter or added fat when you add them to a recipe where butter is just used as flavor.  They can be chopped and used as breading for chicken or pork  I like to use a mixture of shredded parmesan cheese and pecans to bread pork.  It can be cooked in the oven or cooked in a pan.  Either way, the butter taste from the pecans adds a decadent richness.

In their chopped form they can also be added to a chicken salad.  Than can be added to your regular chicken salad recipe or substitute, pecans and apple for the celery and onions.  Sometimes I crush some to coat the outside of the sandwich when I am making chicken/pecan sandwiches for a tea.

Nuts contain a high amount of fat but all of the additional health benefits they supply make them the perfect desert.  A little cheese and honey or jam — ahhh.  So much more satisfying than a package dessert full of chemicals.

Do you like pecans?  What do you do with them?

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

Dance Conditioning Tips — Not Just For Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on October 13, 2011

Almost a year ago one of my Nia students let me borrow a book, Conditioning for Dance.  Even though I had it for a week I didn’t take time to look at it in-depth.  But I like what I saw enough to buy the book.  A year later and I still have not looked at it in-depth, but again, when I pick it up and thumb through it, pausing to read here and there I love what I see.  Eric Franklin’s idea coincide a lot with Nia and many mind body practices.  I touched upon this in my original post Dance Conditioning.

The ideas he has shared in this book are somewhat like the Nia White Belt Principles in that they can be applied to more than just the workout or the technique, they can be applied to life.  In th beginning portion of the book Franklin talks about how sometimes when dancers are unable to perform a step, often the first thought is it is because the dancer is not strong enough.  So the dancer then works to build strength in the muscles required to do the particular step.  But it is not always because they are not strong enough, sometimes it is because they have other issues.  So getting stronger to power through the move will not necessarily allow them to do the move correctly, but it allows the issues to be reinforced.  If you are doing something incorrectly because of other issues continuing to do it without resolving those issues just enforces the issues.

His tips in regards to the above can be applied to life.

-When doing a task sense your body.  Learn to recognize when it is out of alignment or what behavior causes it to be out of alignment then practice doing that same task in a different way that allows your body to stay in alignment.

I know so many people who are in physical pain, it is my belief that many of them are because we do things without thinking and we do things that actually cause our bodies to be out of alignment.  When sitting at your desk at work do a body check.  Are you sitting up or are you slouched over?  Are your legs crossed?  Is your mouse so far away from your hand that you have to lean forward and/or really extend your arm?  These types of things that we do over and over and actually work our bodies into a state of misalignment.  I remember walking into a friend’s cube while she was working and after watching for a second I asked her what she was doing?  She responded that she didn’t know what I was talking about.  I said she was having to practically get out of her chair as she leaned forward to use her mouse.  She looked confused and then shrugged.  I suggested she move her mouse pad closer to her and she shrugged and did.  No, my friend is not stupid, she was just focused on working and never stopped to really think about her body and its alignment.  She just “did” because that was the way it was.  There are probably a lot of things — little things, just like that — we can do to help our body’s alignment.  Just sense your body as you go through your daily tasks.

-Imagine yourself doing the task.  Imagine all that it will require to complete the job then go through it mentally.  While imagining, sense the muscles that are used.

This is an easy one to apply to everyday. Whatever it is that you want to do imagine doing it beforehand and it will help you be aware of your body before you even begin the task. And this could also allow you to think of things that might slow you down if you had not thought of it before had. It will allow you to be better prepared.

-Seek the help of experts.

People that have done what you want to do before are always a great resource in life.

-Think positive.  If there are problems or issues think about them work to find solutions, but don’t dwell on them and allow them to affect your performance.

Thinking positive is a great tool and becoming so much more widely accepted as actually having benefit. Everyone has problems. Thinking positive doesn’t mean you don’t have problems it just means you don’t dwell on them.

-Work on flexibility making sure it the body is balanced.

In life it is good to be flexible, but you also need to have balance. Can’t be so flexible you become wishy-washy.

-Participate in strength training and do exercise that will help you reach your goal.

Strength training has so many benefits in everyday life, it is good for anyone at any age.

-Find ways to increase alignment without causing tension.

Everyone has different ideas on how to be aligned and in balance. But it should become a source of great stress in your life, so try to find ways to be balanced that will add to the ease and relaxation.

In his book Franklin goes into more detail and relates it specifically to dance. Here I was using my own words and trying to “vague it” up a bit so that it would be obvious how dance training tips could be applied directly to anyone’s life.

So amazing.  I am always amazed how our Nia White Belt Principles that we use in our dance practice can be applied to life.  But then, to me, that is what makes it a practice.  So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised .  . . and I really wasn’t, I was excited, that these tips for dance could be applied to more than just dance conditioning.

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

Flashing Is a Great Course of Action

Posted by terrepruitt on October 11, 2011

I never wanted an iPod or a cell phone until I started teaching Nia.  After I got it, I realized how great it is to be able to create playlists from Nia routine music and not have to burn a CD. Same thing with a cell phone, I have a business so I have a cell phone.  I don’t really need a cell phone, but a business does.  A business needs to have a number to use for business.  Which brings me to . . .  when I first met my husband he was a “Mac” man.  Always had been, always would be . . . . . until, that is, we moved in next door to a guy who gave us a computer that was not a Mac.  Then all of a sudden my hubby had something new to learn.  He decided to learn how to put computer components together to make a personal computer.  He realized that he could buy all the parts and put it together for a lot less than a Mac costs.  PLUS the money spent would allow him a machine that would be faster and more powerful than the least expensive Mac.  So we got rid of our Macs.  Then the iPhone came out.  At about that time I was thinking about getting a cell phone and I would need something to play music AND . . . . it was a new toy for hubby to have.  So we got iPhones and they stoked the burning embers of love for Apple that had never actually gone out in my hubby’s heart.  THEN he started working at a Mac company . . . you know one of those companies whose computers are Macs and not the “other” ones.  Then there is the iPad.  (eyes rolling). Whenever I have a problem with either of my “i-s”, my hubby says, “Well did you flash it?”

When we first got our iPhones, they had a few issues or kinks, whatever you call them it would often not work properly.  My husband being familiar with Macs figured out how to “Flash” the phone.  He said it resets the parameter random access memory.  This is the memory that is stored which allows the for quick start-up.  Since my iPhone frequently went squirrelly back then, I got really used to doing it.  I would do it probably at least once a week without being prompted.  Then with one of the updates it went away.  It either went away and then came back with another update or it changed.  I actually think it went away, then came back different.  The way the device responded when flashed was different so it seemed as if it was not going to actually do it.  Whatever the actual case was, I got out of the habit.  Plus the phone stopped being so buggy.  So not only did it change so I thought the option of Flashing wasn’t there, I didn’t need to do it that often.  So I forget that I can do it and sometimes need to do it.

Have you ever worked for a company that has an IT department?  When you have a computer issue what is the first thing the IT department asks you to do or ask you if you did it?  “Turn it off then turn it back on.”  Right?  And then even once you do that, if they have to come to your work area to work on the computer that is the first thing they will do again.  So we are all used to turning electronics off than on again, right?  That is the FIRST thing we do.  Well, flashing it is not quite turning it off and then turning it on.  It resets the PRAM.

Yesterday I wanted to listen to the music for a Nia routine for class, I plugged my little iHome Speaker into my iPad and it didn’t work.  I rolled my eyes and thought, “Well so much for that.”  I got my iPhone to see if the speaker worked with that. It did.  So I plugged my earbuds into the iPad to see if they worked.  They didn’t. So I just figured I broke it somehow.  I mentioned it to my hubby when he was on his way home from work and he said, “Did you flash it?”  I felt so silly for not having done it that I said, “Well, of course I did because that is always the first thing you ask.”  And then I went on to say that I didn’t and I hung my head like a scolded puppy.

I forgot about it until today and guess what?  Of course.  I flashed the iPad and my speaker works.  I got so caught up in telling my story that I almost forgot the point of this post—to tell you how to flash your phone.  Sometimes the rewritable section of memory get to full or a little messed up so it needs to be reset.  For the iPhone and the iPad, you hold the On/Off button down at the same time as the Home button.  Hold them both down until the screen goes blank AND the Apple logo appears.  Then let go and let the device do its thing.  Then it will be ready to wake up again shortly.  See if that works for you the next time your iPhone or iPad is acting buggy.  I don’t know if works for the other iProducts.  But it has always worked for mine . . . . . when I remember to do it.  🙂

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Changing Up my Turbo Jam

Posted by terrepruitt on October 8, 2011

I teach NiaNia is a cardio dance workout done in bare feet.  It is no impact (or very low – I tend to hop a bit because I am having so much fun!) but allows for high intensity.  Impact and intensity are different.  I love Nia, but I also love other types of workouts.  When I do other types of workouts they usually require shoes because often times the workouts get their intensity from impact.  You might already know all of this because I have shared it before.  You might also know — because I have shared this before — that I also love Turbo Jam.  That is the exercise program designed for home use, as in DVDs, by the incredibly cute and bubbly Chalene Johnson.  You have probably read me say before, “No matter how many times I do Chalene’s DVDs she makes me smile.”  Her energy is infectious.  Well, I’ve done the DVDs I have a lot over the years so today I decided to do them a little different.  I decided to combine two things I love.  I wore my MBTs while doing Turbo Jam.

dance exercise, Turbo Jam workout, Nia Teacher, MBTs, Nia Class, Nia workout, Nia San Jose, San Jose NiaBecause of my toe/foot situation I had not been doing Turbo Jam a lot, but I am starting to do it again.  I do it regular tennis shoes, just some cross trainers, and I sometimes have to think a lot to not move my foot in a toe position that hurts.  When you do any type of workout in which you wear shoes you have to think about it a bit more when you are on carpet.  Carpet tends to make it a little more difficult to twist on your toes and things, so sometimes it is better to not do that so much in order to 1) save the carpet and 2) save your knees.  Even though I have always wanted to do a Turbo Jam workout in my MBTs I thought it would be more strenuous on my recovering foot.  But it wasn’t really.  It was fine.  It was fun.  MBTs really have the body using different muscles because the way the sole is engineered.  So it was really fun to do a workout I have done at least a hundred times and have it feel different.

The MBTs really made me concentrate on what I was doing.  When I do my Turbo Jam DVDs I have a tendency to think about other things.  I just follow the moves and think or sing, I am not always concentrating on what I am doing.  The Masai Barefoot Technology footwear really had me thinking about balancing properly and not just throwing my limb out.  When I threw it out too far without being aware then I somewhat got off balance.  Not just off balance in a way that the shoe is designed to make you be unbalanced, but my foot was positioned incorrectly in the MBT so I had to be aware of how I was extending.  It was really nice.  As I said it was nice to experience the workout in a very new way even though I have done it at least a hundred times.  It was nice to have to really think about the muscles that enable balance.  It was nice to have to think about balance in order to make certain my alignment was not off.

Now that my foot is so much better and I have confirmed that using my MBTs to do my cardio workouts that require shoes will not bother my foot, I plan to use them all the time.  That is really one of the reasons I bought them.  But I was not ready until now  because I thought it would challenge my foot too much.  It actually made toe movements easier because of the curve of the sole.  The curve allows for easy almost automatic ball of foot or on the toe movements.

Yay!  Newness in an old-but-beloved workout!  Do you workout to DVDs?  If you do, what is your favorite?  Have you done them enough that you are ready to change ’em up a bit?

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