Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

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

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 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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Observe, Listen, Guide

Posted by terrepruitt on February 2, 2013

This is Nia Blue Belt Principle #12, Observe, Listen, Guide, Co-Creating Movement.  This is something that we can do as part of the practice of Nia.  This is something we can do in a live Nia class or even while doing a Nia DVD.  Observe the teacher, listen-observe ourselves, then guide our own bodies to match what the teacher is doing.  So watch and follow.  Then really pay attention to what it is you are doing.  Sometimes we might think we are doing the same thing but we are not.  Then guide yourself to match what the teacher is doing.  It does not have to be rushed.  The moves do not have to match right away.

All of it is done with X-Ray Anatomy which is principle #10 of the Nia White Belt.  X-Ray Anatomy does not mean we have X-ray vision, but it does mean that we see the way the body moves.  We look at the body and observe the movement of the bones.  As we dance and observe the teacher we see the placement of the bones.  We see the vertical and the horizontal.  We see the different planes.

Then, with X-Ray Anatomy, we listen to our own bodies.  We acknowledge where our bones are.  We notice the alignment.  We pay attention to the structure.  We monitor our vertical and horizontal.  We discover how our bodies do the move.  We witness it.  We can stay here until we are ready to guide ourselves to match the teacher.  If we are playing with the principle in a live class it is recommended to speak with the teacher beforehand so that they understand that we might not move onto the move they are doing until we are ready.  It is also a good idea to stand in the back of the class so as not to distract the other students.  Most people will move on to the next move, following the teacher, within one or two repetitions, but with practicing, play with, and the dancing of Nia Blue Belt Principle #12, Observe, Listen, Guide an entire sequence of moves could possibly be “missed” while in the “listening” stage.

Then when you are ready — no rush — you move onto matching the teacher.  Have your bones and your angles match hers/his.  Have your alignment match, your vertical and horizontal match.

This also works as a teacher observing the student.  We can observe the student.  We can watch the way they are doing a move.  Then we listen to our body.  We pay attention to how we are doing it.  Then without rushing we can model our student’s move.  It is a way of Co-Creating Movement.  The practice of this principle also entails Nia Blue Belt Principle #6, because there is going to be some Split, Ellipt, Blend with this.  But the order would be more of an Ellipt, Split, Blend.  We would be ellipting onto the teacher or student to observe.  Then splitting into self to listen.  Then blending in the guide portion.

This is another interesting aspect of the practice of Nia.  This is another way that Nia is unique.  We Co-Create Movement to dance with our students.  With music as our main guide we have all these principles to play with.

Can you see how the practice of Observe, Listen, Guide is a way to Co-Create Movement in a class?

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