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 July, 2013

Goodie Jar – Check In #23

Posted by terrepruitt on July 12, 2013

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, Zumba, PiYo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday – Goodie Jar – Check In Day!  Not that it is an indication of a “bad” week, but I am gonna say it has been a long week.  Always strikes me as odd how time is constant, but sometimes time seems longer or shorter.  This week is the same amount of days, hours, minutes, and seconds as last week, but I keep thinking things I did on Monday happened a few Mondays ago.  I keep having to remind myself that it was just this past Monday that I ____________ (fill in the blank).

It has been a good week, maybe it has just been full of stuff?  So how about you?

Are you filling that Goodie Jar full of Good things? 

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Breathing – It’s A Good Thing

Posted by terrepruitt on July 11, 2013

Many people hold their breath while working out.  Or even just concentrating.  I was recently learning something and concentrating really hard and my husband said, “Are you holding your breath?”  I burst out laughing because I was in fact holding my breath.  I didn’t even realize it until he asked.  I thought it was funny that I was holding my breath and I thought it was extra funny because I remind people to breathe all the time.  Exercising and concentrating are two things that make people hold their breath so if they are concentrating while exercising it makes sense that it happens.  Also people tend to hold their breath when lifting something heavy.  This type of  maneuver or effect is called the valsalva maneuver or valsalva effect.  While some people who do heavy lifting claim it is good to do the valsalva maneuver and that it helps with the lifting others say it is not good and it does not help.  For me and my students breathing is ALWAYS in order.  How you breathe depends on what you are doing.  If you are lifting weights or doing exercises your breathing is different from when you are doing a cardio workout, such as Nia.

Breathing allows oxygen get to the muscles.  The muscles need that.  For me, I find that when I breathe I can move better.  That was actually the point of my husband asking me if I were breathing.  He could tell by the way I was moving that I was not breathing.  He was across the room and he could tell.  Even though the movement I was doing was very small by holding my breath my movements did not flow and were very sporadic.

One of my husband’s favorite sayings is “If you do not breathe correctly, you do not move correctly.”  He got that from a campy film called  Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins from 1985, but, I’ll be darned if it is not 100% accurate!

One way trainers and instructors ensure breathing is to have the client/student talk.  When you are talking you are breathing.  In Nia we sing, laugh, shout, and in general make all types of noises.  In Nia we call it sounding.  By engaging in sounding we are ensuring we are breathing.  It is necessary for the body, but it is also fun for the spirit.

A sound made my a sharp exhalation helps both with stabilization of the core, but to me it seems to do a better job of engaging the core muscles than just holding my breath.  This method could be utilized during lifting or an agility move.  Sometimes when doing an exercise that is challenging it can help to pant with either your tongue out as an animal would or with semi-pursed lips.  Also when a muscles seems fatigued it often helps to take that extra deep breath.  No matter how you breathe remember it really is important to do so.  And even though it might sound silly that we “forget” to breathe, it is a common occurrence.  So practice remembering to breathe.  Breathing is a good thing!

Do you ever find yourself holding your breath?  When?

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What IS PiYo?

Posted by terrepruitt on July 9, 2013

I am very shocked and somewhat embarrassed that I have had this blog for over four years and I have never written a post explaining PiYo™.  PiYo is a combination of Pilates (Pi) and Yoga (Yo), brought to us by Chalene Johnson.  Chalene is the creator of Turbo Jam®, Turbo Kick®, TurboFire®, Hip Hop Hustle®, and ChaLEAN Extreme®.  These programs are put out by either Beachbody or her company, Powder Blue Productions.  With PiYo the idea is to combine the two mind/body practices in order to appeal to a large audience.  Pilates and yoga are somewhat similar to begin with, both have a component of connecting the mind and the body in conscious movement.  Both have ideals on breathing and breath.  Both are a way to improve flexibility, stability, strength, and balance.  Depending on which type of yoga practice there could be agility and mobility involved as in Pilates.  Now this might sound familiar if you know about Nia.  In Nia we have the five sensations flexibility, agility, mobility, strength, and stability (FAMSS) which we play with in our dance.  In PiYo the same sensations can be experienced.  The manual states:  “PiYo is considered a ‘Western’ approach to the practices of mind/body fitness.”

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, Zumba, PiYoI believe that many people think yoga has been “Westernized”.  Since there are so many types of yoga there might not always be a spirituality in the yoga class or chanting, meditating, or even the Sanskrit terminology.  That is true with a PiYo class.  It is more about the physical with an awareness.

PiYo combines yoga breathing and Pilates breathing.  In general a yoga pose is done with yoga breathing and a Pilates exercise is done with Pilates breathing.  Of course, students are encouraged to breath in a way that is comfortable to them and that works with their individual body, the aforementioned is just a general guide.

The PiYo class follows the tried and true module of a typical exercise class.  There is a section for warming up, a section for general strength and balance, a section with more of a focus specific area of the body (say a core, upper body, or lower body), then a cool down and relaxation section.  While yoga poses could meet all the requirement of each section and Pilates exercises could also, it is often the case that each section will have a majority of one or the other.  Although, you might be like me and think that there is such a huge cross over it is difficult with some moves to claim it is only a yoga move or only a Pilates move.  While I am certain the move did originate from one or the other practice specifically it seems as though currently there is a huge cross over.  That is one reason why I think Pilates and yoga marry ups so well.  They can be considered very similar.

So throughout the class there will be yoga poses and Pilates exercises.  It is up to the instructor and the make-up of the class as to whether the yoga poses will be held for a measured amount of time or done in a flow.  No matter which is chosen it will be a sequences of poses.  Whereas the Pilates exercises are done in repetition.  Generally sequences of repetitions.

A PiYo class is allowed the freedom of design.  As mentioned there is a class format, but then the way it is carried out is dependent on the instructor and students.  The consistence of a PiYo class is that it is for the body and the mind using both yoga poses and Pilates moves.

Do you practice yoga?  Do you practice Pilates?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Yogurt Starter

Posted by terrepruitt on July 6, 2013

Six weeks ago I met a friend after teaching Nia and she mentioned making yogurt.  I love yogurt.  I get frustrated because all that I can find in the store is either non-fat or full fat.  I want either 1% or 2%, but I can’t find it.  Plus I am not a fan of most of the flavors of yogurt.  I don’t care for berries and that is a HUGE portion of the flavors out there; strawberry, cherry, raspberry, etc.  Not my thing.  What I sometimes do is I buy plain non-fat yogurt and I mix it a full fat flavored kind, but lately I have not been able to find a flavor that I like.  I love the Greek yogurt, but again I run into the same flavor and fat issue as non-Greek yogurt.  So anyway, when she said she makes yogurt, I know my eyes got big because I think that is difficult.  I also thought it required a yogurt MAKER.  But nope, she uses a two pots and a cooler.  So she invited me over to make it with her.  It was super easy.  I can honestly say the most difficult part is filling the jars without spilling — so I gave up on that.  So the part that is actually most difficult is washing the equipment.  Yeah, really, the “hardest” part of making yogurt is washing everything you are going to need to make the yogurt.  Doesn’t that tell you how easy making yogurt is?

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, ZumbaSo the very first time I made yogurt I did it with my friend.  Actually she did it and I just assisted.  But, again, it really is so easy there is not much to do.  The second time I made yogurt I did it on my own.  One thing you need to make yogurt is a thermometer.  See with yogurt you are heating the milk up to kill off the bad bacteria, then cooling it down to a nice cozy temperature to allow the good bacteria to grow.  So it helps to have a thermometer.  It actually seems wise to have one.  Although when I made my second batch, the one I did all by myself, I didn’t have a thermometer.  Well, I did, it just didn’t work.  It is not calibrated.  It started off at 180° (I got is down to 160° prior to using it).  It registered that the milk did heat up but I am not certain exactly how hot it actually got.  The instructions I have state that slowly heating the milk shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes.  So I heated the milk for almost 20 minutes.  Then I began to smell it.  I remembered when I made it with my friend I smelled it too.  So I figured I was doing ok.  At 20 minutes I took it of the burner and put it in the ice bath and even though my thermometer was not registering the CORRECT temperature, I watched it go down the 60 or 70° needed.

Two things I had wanted to do different with my second batch was heat it higher than the first batch and let it ferment longer.  Well, I don’t think I heated it higher because I didn’t have a good thermometer, but I did let it sit longer.  And that is the second most difficult part of making yogurt.  Letting it set without bothering it.  Without checking it.  Just leaving it alone.

As far as I can tell it came out fine.  It didn’t seem as tart as the first batch, but it seemed a tad bit thicker.  A half gallon of milk made 11 canning jars.  I have one and a half left and today I made my third batch.  Second on my own.  This time I had a thermometer.  I heated the milk to the temperature I wanted and I will let the yogurt ferment for 12 hours.

I started to write up the instructions, but I thought I had better make sure this batch comes out before I claim the recipe with the changes I have made a success.  After making the first batch I started looking up things and there is so much information out there I kind of was able to pick and choose.  After my second batch, I chose to believe the woman who said she never uses a thermometer and goes by steam and smell.  I hadn’t remembered it steaming so I was a bit worried, but it was fine.  I am working off of the people who want thicker yogurt and they heat it higher and let it sit longer.  I have not yet strained any yogurt, so my product is very runny.  But I like it.  It is good.

Here is to future posts about yogurt!  Can’t wait!  (Yogurt Making Tips post – 07.23.13 / Yogurt Instructions post 07.25.13)

Do you like yogurt?  What brand?  What flavor?

Posted in Food, Yogurt | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Goodie Jar – Check In #22

Posted by terrepruitt on July 5, 2013

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, Zumba, WeddingThis is the 22nd Goodie Jar check in.  I forgot to post a check in post last week.  So IF I had remembered this would actually be the 23rd check in since we started with a Good Things Jar, but since I forgot, this is 22!

How about a share?

This week it was really, really, really hot for our area.  I do not like heat at all.  I just melt.  So while I in no way consider the heat a good thing, I do feel very blessed and consider the fact that we did not lose our electricity at all — a very good thing.  Seems that in the last few heat waves we have had our power has been cut or we have had “brown outs”.  So that fact that we have been able to have fans on through out the heat wave was fantastic!  I put that in my jar.

I had an extra fabulous Nia Class on Tuesday.  It is always nice when students contact you after class to comment on their experience.

I had a fun time at the annual 4th of July party.  The hostess always does a great job with the food and this year was really good.  It was a small crowd so it makes for a more intimate evening where you actually get to have longer conversations than when you are busy trying to jump from person to person to make sure you get in at least a quick visit.

Time off with hubby is always a nice thing to add to the jar.

And for last week at least one good thing I added was a wedding.  Fun stuff!  These are photos from the photo booth at the wedding.

So what are the good things you’ve added to your good things jar in the past two weeks?

Posted in Good Things in the Goodie Jar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Happy Fourth Of July

Posted by terrepruitt on July 4, 2013

While I realize not everyone celebrates Independence Day on Fourth of July, I figure I could wish EVERYONE a happy day!

I decided that since I spent the morning working on research* separate from my blog I would take today off from posting.  I know that might seem silly because it is not as if I post every day, but I think today is a good day to just say, “Cheers!”

I hope that whatever you do today, you are safe, you are BEING safe, and you are enjoying life.

*Which will probably end up being a post or two, even though that is not how it has started out.  🙂

Happy Fourth of July!

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, Zumba

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Relief From Too Hot To Sleep

Posted by terrepruitt on July 2, 2013

I am so grateful that all of the Nia classes I teach are in air conditioning because it is has been really hot the last few days and the weather predictions for the next few days are just as hot if not hotter.  I know that a lot of areas get hotter than us, but we usually don’t have such hot weather.  Since the San Francisco Bay Area doesn’t always get into the triple digits it is not uncommon for people to NOT have air conditioning.  We don’t have air conditioning.  Usually with the few days of heat that we do get it is ok.  Our traditional — and wonderful, I might add — weather patterns consist of cooled off nights even when the days are blistering.  But sometimes or when the days of heat drag onto six or seven days in a row, it just doesn’t seem to cool off and it makes sleeping difficult.  I often see posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter about how people can’t sleep because it is too hot.  When it has been too hot for me to sleep it is usually immediately.  As in when I go to bed it is too hot for me to fall asleep.  I have a little method of cooling down that at least allows me to sleep.  I wanted to share it in hopes that it might allow you, if you are too hot, a few hours of sleep.

Even if this is not new to you or sounds elementary, it might help someone.  I know when I mentioned it to someone once they said, “Oh, I never thought of that.”  So — hey, it might help.

So what you do before you go to bed is take a cold shower.  As cold as you can stand.  Now I don’t know what it is about showers, but the other day I got into take a shower and even though the weather was really hot I started taking a warm shower, then I realized that it was really hot and I should try a cool shower at least.  So when I say take a cold shower, I really mean COLD.  As in jump-in-the-pool-stop-your-breathe type of cold.  Now if you are actually taking a shower than I supposed that would be long enough, but if you are just in there to cool down stay as long as you can to actually get cool maybe even chilled.  Once you are done don’t dry off all the way.  Yeah, that is the big part of this.  First cool your body down.  Drop your temperature as low as you can in cool/cold water then don’t dry off.  Then set a fan up to blow on you while you are in bed.  Then go to bed, wet hair, damp body, and all.

Part of the sleep process is lowering your body temperature so when it is hot outside and your body can’t cool down it makes it difficult to sleep.  But if you HELP your body’s natural sleep process by cooling your body down you are a step closer to sleep.  The fan is an added bonus to help keep you cool.  Of course have the air blowing on you however you prefer.  I don’t like it on my face and I don’t care for it on my back so often I just have it on my feet, either in a constant rush or the breezy kind.

So this is a simple procedure that might assist you in getting to sleep.  For many people once they are asleep they can stay asleep, but if you wake up because it is too hot at least you got a few hours (hopefully) in.  You could always repeat the process if you’d like.  Usually it helps me get through the night.

What do you think?

Sweet dreams.

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