Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Archive for January 8th, 2013

Ride ‘Em Cowboy

Posted by terrepruitt on January 8, 2013

There is a stance in Nia called the Riding Stance.  It is part of Nia’s 52 Moves.  I actually think of it as the Sumo Stance.  It is called both.  I bet if I actually were to really let my body doing the thinking, my riding stance would be taller than my sumo stance.  Stop and think about it.  Do you picture a rider with legs straddling a horse and sitting up tall?  And a sumo wrestler as legs wider than a horse with his body lower to the ground?  A sumo wrestler is still upright and “tall”, but he is closer to the ground. with a wider stance than a horse  Ha!  I love that.  As I am typing and thinking, this is what I come up with.  An insight.  That is what I love about Nia.  Even though there is an ideal there is still the way a body does it.  And sometimes a body does it the way the mind thinks about it.  My body translates sumo stance as low to the ground.  I am going to go to class and use the different terms and see what my student’s bodies do!  The Nia Technique states the Riding stance is as if you are riding a horse.

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, ZumbaAs I stated, riding a horse – to me is at a higher level than a sumo wrestler.  So, I actually do this stance much lower and that is because I THINK of it as a sumo stance.  I am going to practice this stance as a RIDING stance and see where my body goes.

The book says:  “your knees slightly bent and your feet apart, as if you were riding a horse”.  I think I have always had a really wide horse!  Whether the horse is wide or not, the feet are parallel.

Again, to be clear, the Riding Stance in the Nia 52 Moves is with the knees slightly bent and the feet apart.  The feet are as far apart as if you are riding a horse.  As I recently posted the sound to make while doing this stance is “ha!”

I think that it would be fun to say, “Yehaw!”

This stance is a great way to condition the legs.  It is fun to play with this stance and try different levels.  By levels I mean both the planes and levels of intensity.  A level/intensity 1 would be a high plane.  Then a level/intensity 2, could be the middle plane.  And the level/intensity 3 could be the low plane and maybe more of  what I think of as a sumo stance.  With all moves in Nia the key is pleasure.  So the move is not meant to be painful.  If you are sensing pain in any part of the leg adjust your stance.  If you sense pain in the knees, check your feet, are your toes facing forward?  Are you evenly distributing your weight over your whole foot (feet)?  Ankle pain?  Are your legs/feet too wide apart?  So it is important to not always go as low or as wide as you CAN, but to go as low and as wide as is reasonably comfortable.

I love that as I write I learn.  That is one of the reasons I am writing a blog.  It is so helpful to put things in writing.  It is helpful to stop and examine what you already know, right?  Sometimes you see things differently.

Either way . . . . Riding or sumo stance, the stance is with knees bent, feet apart and parallel. Everyone’s stance, every BODY’s stance is different.  Got it?  Horse riding.  Ride ’em cowboy.

I am fortunate enough to have wonderful students that are willing to pose.  Here are the “riders” of the group.

Are you ready to ride?

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