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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Archive for September, 2013

Palm Directions

Posted by terrepruitt on September 28, 2013

We dance Palm Directions all the time in my Nia classes. It is an easy thing to do. Palm Directions is a great move to incorporate into freedance. It is also often one of the moves choreographed into a Nia routine. Palm Directions is one of Nia’s 52 Move.

It might not be something you think about, but the direction the palm is facing affects the shoulder joint. When the palm is facing down (or towards the body) the shoulder joint is closed and when the palm is facing up (or away from the body) the shoulder joint is open. When your arm is straight that is when the shoulder joint gets the open and closed action.  Along with the shoulder joint, the entire arm is affected. The arm bones are twisted with the movement of the palm.

It really is as simple as facing your palms in one direction then another. Unlike Webbed Spaces – another move in Nia’s 52 Moves (you can read about it by clicking here) – in Palm Directions the fingers are kept together. If practicing to affect the shoulder joint, lengthen the arm straight out in front of your body or straight down next to your body, then turn the palms up/face them out away from the body to open the shoulder, then turn the palms down/turn them towards your body to close the shoulder joint. You can observe the radius untwisting as it switches places with the ulna. You can sense the movement of your humerus, the upper arm bone.

In addition to opening the shoulder joint, the Nia Technique book reminds us that, “Palm Directions also express emotion. Palms up, for example, is a universal body language indicator of openness.” So it can open things other than the shoulder joint. Changing palm directions also moves the energy around. In Nia classes we move the arms all around the space around us, changing the palm directions, pushing and pulling and mixing up the energy.  Also, while we are dancing and our arms are moving around us with the palms facing different directions we vary the speed of our movement.  When Varying the speed that are arms are moving and our palms are changing direction allows us to play with agility – one of Nia’s five sensations (click here for more information on that).

This type of movement helps us connect with the space around us.  Palm Directions, the Nia Move, also helps with keep the shoulder joint mobile.

This move is also a great move with which Nia participant’s can practice their own body’s way.  The body was designed so the humerus rotates in the glenoid fossa or shoulder socket.  But life sometimes affects the body so that it cannot move the way it was designed, so all of us have different levels of how much we can move the arm.  So while playing with Palm Directions and dancing the arm around the space each individual can do it in their own body’s way.  This will allow them to get the work that their body is capable of and needs.

Ready?  Straighten your arms then change the direction of the palms.  Are you able to sense your arm bones twisting/untwisting?  Are you able to sense the action in the shoulder joints?  What do you sense when you move your arms around while playing with Palm Directions?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Goodie Jar – Check In #31

Posted by terrepruitt on September 27, 2013

I remembered the Goodie Jar check in!  Yay!  How about you?  Are you remembering to put good things in that jar?  I know that some weeks are easier to find good things than others, but that is part of this — to find good things to focus on even in the midst of the things that bring us down or try to keep that smiling from surfacing.

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, Gentle YogaMy birthday was last week so I received a few cards.  As I was pulling the cards out of the envelopes to display — yes, I put up my cards — I realized what great goodie note paper the envelopes would make.  As you may know not only am I filling my goodie jar, but I like to use colorful paper to document my good things.  I like different shapes and sizes and textures.  So to me it was a good thing to realize I could use the envelopes as paper for my jar.  Yay!  Now I will have bright pink, red, and yellow to add to the jar!  And do some recycling!

Fun stuff.

One of the good things I have added to my jar is my Nia students — again!  I know, huh? — this week the traffic was stopped as I tried to make my way to my Nia class.  When I looked on the freeway as I was getting on I thought it was just slowed for a bit because there were signs that said, “Shoulder work”.  The actually direction I need to travel is not visible from where I make the turn on to the entrance ramp.  When I made the turn onto the actual road to enter, it was stopped.  So I just got right back off.  But every single street I drove on had construction.  So at times two lanes were reduced to one lane.  Every time I was near a freeway entrance I thought I would get on the freeway there, but, nope, the traffic was backed up.  So I slowly made my way all the way across town via city streets.  I kept thinking I would make it to class on time or really close to it, so I didn’t pull over to call.  But finally I stopped to call and tell them I was on my way even though I was already late!  I finally made it, I was twenty minutes late!  And guess what?  My students were still there!  WOW!  I was so humbled and grateful it was JUST what a person needs after spending over an hour on the road to make a 20 minute trip.  My annoyance and embarrassment at being late was washed away by my understanding and eager-to-dance students.  They said, “That’s ok.  Let’s dance it away.”  And we did.  So grateful.  Definitely a GOOD THING for my goodie jar.

I hope that you use this check in as a reminder to take a moment and think of the good things that you have experienced this week and make a note.

Well, how many were you able to think of?

Posted in Good Things in the Goodie Jar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Right Shoe

Posted by terrepruitt on September 26, 2013

Today after Nia Class a Nia White Belt and I were talking.  We were talking Nia over coffee and a friend from her past happened by.  So she joined us.  She was coming from Jazzercise and so, of course the conversation turned to us sharing some information about Nia with her.  She sounded as if she was willing to try it but also as if she was never going to move away from Jazzercise.  I love that she is moving.  I think it is important that people exercise and one of the ,best ways to ensure that is to find something you like or better yet — love.  I appreciate that there is so much out there for people to participate in.  Of course, I would love for you to come to my Nia class.  I would love for you to love Nia.  I think it is great because it addresses the BMES, but not everyone likes that in their exercise.  In the course of our conversation she said she tried Zumba, but it didn’t work for her that well.  She had already mentioned that she takes it easy on her knee so I felt justified in recommending the correct type of shoe.  I often hear people don’t like Zumba because it hurts their knees and it often has to do with the shoes they are wearing.  In Nia we dance bare foot.  We do not twist on our foot or scoot, we pick our feet up off the ground.  When doing a dance exercise or a fitness class, like Zumba the need for shoes is apparent.  In Zumba there is a lot of twisting, shuffling, and sliding.  You need the right shoe for that.

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, Gentle YogaExercise sneakers, tennis shoes, cross trainers, and running shoes are not the correct shoe for doing Zumba or any type of dance that requires shoes for that matter.  An exercise sneaker or tennis shoe has what you want in regards to cushion, construction and support.  A cross trainer has even more support in the shoe because with cross training you are moving forward, backward, side to side, and even up and down. So the shoe itself is made to support your foot and keep it secured in the shoe.  And running shoes are great for the cushion.  They cushion your step and help absorb the shock of your foot landing on the earth.  So these types of shoes are great, the “upper”, because they are built for impact and moving in different directions, but it is the sole you do not want to dance on.  These shoes are made for traction.  They are made to stop you from twisting and sliding.  When you are playing tennis, doing cross training, or running you don’t want to be slipping, sliding, and twisting around.  So the soles are made to keep that from happen.  I mean, have you seen some of those soles?  They look like tire treads.  Great for outdoors.

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, Gentle YogaNow a dance shoe, say a jazz shoe or a ballet slipper is perfect for dance.   Without all of the cushion and support that is an athletic shoe they are usually light and easy to lift and move in.  The bottom of the shoe has material that allows you to slide and glide, spin, turn, and twirl on the dance floor.  Perfect for moving to the music and getting your groove on.  And THAT is the kind of sole you want.  Something you can twist in.  Something you can slide in.  Something that won’t stop you foot dead as you dance across the floor.  But then again, those shoes have the SOLES you want, but not the support.  Since you are doing cross training type of motion (forward, backward, side to side, and even up and down) you want that type of support.  And it would be nice to have some cushion too, huh?

Well, do your knees a favor and do not do Zumba in tennis shoes, cross trainers, and running shoes.  And do your feet a favor and do not do Zumba in a jazz shoe or a ballet slipper.  What you need is a dance sneaker.  Someone, somewhere – I don’t know the origin of them – decided to combine the two.  Brilliant.  Someone added the support, cushion, and comfort of an athletic shoe to a sole that can slide and glide.  Whew!  This is genius.  This will help save your knees and other joints!

I know Zumba has a brand of shoe that has a great dance sole, I don’t know about the cushion and support of the shoe.  I bought Capezios because they don’t have a sole over the arch so they allow for the foot to really move.

Since you are investing in your health and wellness by going to a dance exercise class, please take it a one step further and splurge for those dance sneakers.  They don’t have to cost more than $50.00, and you will be saving yourself so much more in the long run.  You will be allowing your body to move with greater comfort on the dance floor.

What do you think?  Do you think a shoe that allows you to slide a bit is better for dancing?  Doesn’t it make sense to have a dance sneaker?

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

More Dance Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on September 24, 2013

I have stated in previous posts that we do moves in Nia that are not exclusive to Nia.  Since Nia is three different arts; Martial Arts, Dances Arts, and Healing Arts, with three different movement forms in each art there is a large possibility that you have experienced the move before if you have participated in any of the movement forms.  The nine basic Nia movement forms are T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Yoga.  Even if you have not practiced any of the movement forms you still might have found yourself doing the cha-cha, a jazz square, a side kick, or sitting cross legged.  Nia does however have moves that are a part of Nia, say the core movements.  We call them the 52 Moves of Nia or Nia’s 52 Moves.  Two of the 52 moves are crosses.  There is the Cross Front and the Cross Behind.  The action of the cross is done with the feet.

The Cross Front is where you step across your body to the other side.  Some what like taking a diagonal step forward.  To practice this you can stand in an open stance and use one leg to step in a forward and diagonal direction.  The ideal of the Cross Front is with a heel lead.  Practice is done with arms and hands swinging freely.

The Nia Technique book states that benefits from this move is the strengthen of your inner thigh muscles.

This is a great practice in stability.  Especially since often when we are doing the cross front it is combined with another move.  We do not normally cross front continually from a standing still open position.  So the cross front often takes on a personality of its own.  Knowing how to do it in it simplest form allows for the energy and playfulness that it is normally supplied while dancing to come out.  This is often a move used to play with agility because in the dance we are moving and there is a start and a stop as we cross front.

The Cross Behind, like all moves, even the one mentioned above, has its proper way to be done.  To practice the cross behind start in an open stance then step with one foot back/behind on the diagonal so the moving foot comes behind and to the side of the stationary foot.  The moving foot lands on “ball of foot“.  The end result is the ankles look like an “x” is being made.  With this further practice can be done to allow for you to sink into a lower position . . . just a little bend in the knees.  But you keep the foot that crossed behind on the ball of foot.  Further practice has you rising on BOTH feet onto the ball of your foot. This move helps with mobility and stability in the legs.

Again, that is the way to do it in practice.  While moving, practicing, and playing with all the moves.  There are routines that call for the movement to be done exactly like stated.  We have our ankles crossed in the X and we are on ball of foot.  That is a true cross behind.  But in dancing it is often adjusted into looking a little different.

It could be that the ankles do not land that close together as we start to sense the music and dance it in our own bodies way.  Could be we land on whole foot.  There are many ways to dance and find this move adjusted.  But as with many things, it is important to learn the base, the correct way to do it and then play from there.

So as you can tell we do a lot of moves in Nia that are familiar.  I would not be surprised at all if you have done these on the dance floor at a club or a wedding reception.  Maybe not exactly as we do in Nia when executing them with precision to allow us the flexibility, agility, mobility, strength, and stability available, but in a way that would make doing it in a Nia class familiar.

So where have you done the Cross Front?  And the Cross Behind?  Are you a grocery store dancer?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Broken Blendtec – Smoothie With Arugula

Posted by terrepruitt on September 21, 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, Gentle YogaThe other day I was using my Blendtec with the Wildside jar.  I had it on Ice Cream – Frozen Yogurt.  I usually press that button and let it blend a bit then stop it.  I don’t let it finish the entire cycle.  Then I pulse it for a little.  Then add more ingredients and let it blend.  Well, I pressed the button to make it stop then pressed pulse and it sounded odd.  I didn’t understand the sound, so I pulsed it a few more times.  As I think about it I realize what I was hearing.  I was hearing the motor whir, but not the items in the jar being blended.  When I opened the jar and started to scrape the sides, I was really confused as to why my spoon was not coming in contact with the blade.  Then I was REALLY confused when I saw a piece of metal near the side of the jar.  It took me a few seconds to realize that I was not feeling the blade at the bottom because the metal I was seeing was the blade.  The blade assembly broke.  I was so sad.  I was sad and I was concerned because I had not sent in the registration.  Ya know those cards just never seem to get in the mail.  I told my husband and he said it didn’t matter they could look it up.  I was not as confident.  I thought it was going to be a hassle.  Later on I realized that it really wasn’t the whole blender that was broken.  It was just the jar.  In my surprise and concern I was thinking “broken blender” not broken jar as was the actual case.  And I have another jar.  That is one reason why I got the blender it was a good deal because it came with two jars.  One regular and the Wildside.

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, Gentle YogaBecause I was putting it off thinking it would be a hassle I didn’t call Blendtec until a day later.  I got my headset on and got all prepared for a long wait and the hassle that it was going to be.  It was not.  The customer service person did ask that I return the jar because she thought the WAY it broke sounded unusual, but they shipped the new jar out to me the next day with a label for returning the broken one.  Cool and easy.  I was so relieved.

I haven’t actually been making green smoothies, but I do use the blender.  In our organic produce delivery this week we received lettuce.  We have lettuce . . . A LOT of lettuce so I thought to use the spinach I have in a smoothie.  Then I thought, “Oh, I should put some arugula in it.”  WOW!  What a treat.  It makes it fun.  I don’t know why but when I sip the smoothie I think, “How fun!”  So I give arugula smoothies two thumbs up.

_________________________________

Arugula and Spinach Smoothie

8 ounces of water
1 small apple
1/4 (a little more than) a small avocado
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup arugula
3/4 of a frozen banana
7 ice moons

Blend according to your blenders instructions.

_____________________________________

I list the ingredients in the order that my blender instructs items to be put in the jar.

It was really good.  I really like arugula as you might know.

Ahhhh.  So . . . . I am very happy with the wonderful customer service I received from Blendtec and I am very happy with the arugula in the green smoothie.

So have you tried it?  Have you put arugula in a green smoothie?

Posted in "Recipes", Food, Smoothies | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Goodie Jar – Check In #30

Posted by terrepruitt on September 20, 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, Gentle YogaEEEEKKKK!  I cannot believe I forgot two check ins a row!  Wow!  My Thursdays got a little busier with the addition of the morning Nia class.  Definitely a good thing, but my schedule got a bit off.  Even though it has been almost a month since the first class, I need to work on my schedule a bit more.

This is a reminder about the Good Things Jar!  Ya know where we put notes of good things that have happened throughout the week?  Are you putting things in yours?  The reason we are doing this is to keep the good things at the forefront in our minds, in our hearts, and in our lives.  Yes, there are things that we can easily let bring us down . . . . believe me, I know, but that is when it is most important to remember the positive.

I am not a believer that you have to be positive all the time.  I believe that it is important to feel your feelings.  If you are sad go ahead be sad.  If you are angry go ahead be angry.  If you are frustrated go ahead be frustrated.  Experience all the emotions that you have.  BUT . . . . my point is don’t deny the good.  Don’t let all the things that CAN bring you down, bring you down and KEEP you so low that you don’t recognize the good stuff.

It could even be a matter of having to look at your Goodie Jar . . . . look how full it is and realize that there are a lot of good things that have happened.  Maybe you are struggling to find a good thing NOW, but that jar is full of good things . . . . and that in itself is a good thing, right?

Well . . . . . even though I forgot to remind you, are you still filling up that Goodie Jar?

Posted in Good Things in the Goodie Jar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Bozo The Clown

Posted by terrepruitt on September 19, 2013

Some of you might remember Bozo the Clown.  He was a clown character in the 1960’s.  There have been a few people who played the Bozo the Clown character.  Seems as if Larry Harmon might have been the most popular or recognizable.  I honestly don’t remember watching a TV show with Bozo.  But I do remember the name Bozo the Clown.  I grew up with it being used as a phrase as in -doing something (your walking/talking/acting)- like Bozo the Clown.  I do remember a Bozo the Clown toy.  I don’t remember if I owned it or where I experienced it, but I do know I have punched it way back when.  It was a toy that was three or four feet tall and made of blow up type of plastic.  It was shaped like a long skinny potato, but with a wider bottom than top.  And the bottom was weighted.  It had sand in it.  It was a punch “bag”.  It sat on the ground and you punched it and it would “fall” backwards, but then pop right back up.  I was reminded of it recently when I decided I normally was like that.  Ya know where things just come at you, and you might go down for a second from the initial “punch”, but you just pop right back up with a smile on your face.

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, Gentle YogaIt is not always easy to pop back up with a smile, especially when it seems as if there are a lot of “punches” in a row.  Or a lot of BIG life changing “punches”.  But I generally try to examine a situation then focus on the positive.  With so much positive I don’t feel it is appreciative and in the correct spirit of things to just remain negative for a long time.

In my examination of things I usually look at it, I might do some research I might learn somethings I might have been happier not knowing.  Then my exam could include crying about it or yelling about it or dancing about it or talking about it.  Whatever.  But I try to let it go or let it be, or accept it and really focus on all the great things going on.  I also don’t like to have one negative moment or happening dictate my day and say it is a BAD day.  Recently though, I just had a day when I decided to take the day off.  I decided to stay down.  I wasn’t going to pop back up with that smiley face.  I still did not label my day as a bad day, but I just didn’t fight against the grump and the negative and the rude and the annoying and the inconsiderate.  I just said, “Today, I am not going to be Polly Positive.  I am not going to pop up smiling.  Today I am gonna kinda pout about the crap that was thrown on me.  I am just gonna let it stick and just go about my day all stinky.”

It was interesting.  I am not going to say it was good or bad, just interesting.  I will say that I felt it was a lot less exhausting.  I mean fighting against all the crap everyday, all the time . . . .whew, gets tiring.  But as I type this I am reminded that I don’t do it by myself.  I do get energy from other sources so that helps.  The same sources that are the energy on some days can be the source of the “punches” on some others days, again, normally, that is fine  – but it was nice to have the day off.

I woke up the next day back up and ready for some more “punches”.  It was kind of a little reset.  As if the sand got off to one side and stuck Bozo down.  But the day off was the shift and here we go again.

How about you?  What do you think?  Ever have a day where you just decide to let it stick?

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

Touching – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on September 17, 2013

I am not certain “touching” is included in any other workout.  I am not certain if it is included in any other cardio dance exercise.  Now I am not talking about “putting your hands on your hips as you shake them” or “putting your hands behind your head as you advance forward” or “touch your elbow to your knee” or “putting your hands on your shoulders”.  I am not talking about that type of touching.  I am talking about touching.  Touching for the sake of touching.  Touching to gather sensation from your hands.  Gathering information from the nerves in your fingers, palms, and the backs of your hands.  In Nia we touch.

Touching gives us a lot of information.  A Nia Routine might have us touching the air around us.  We touch to sense the air.  We touch the space around us.  All around us.  Above our heads, behind us, below us.  We use our open palms and webbed spaces.  We use the backs of our hands.  We push and pull the energy.  The Nia Technique book, by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, states “Practicing Touching is excellent training for increasing your Sensory IQ and for improving body awareness.”  Touching the space that surrounds the body also moves the energy around — as mentioned the push and the pull.  In addition to moving the energy you can draw energy in through the touch or send it out.

There is also the touching we do to things.  We can touch things while we dance in a Nia class or throughout our day.  In a dance class we can touch the floor, the walls, the mirror, the other things in the room.  They give us information through touch.

We can also touch our skin and our own bodies to gather information.  We can touch to create heat.  We can touch to supply energy to a specific body part.  We can touch to heal.  We can touch to allow for sensation or attention.  Touching brings awareness.  If you are touching your elbow, as an example, with the touch you receive information from two sources.  One is your hand that is doing the touching.  It senses your elbow.  It might feel dry skin, causing you to think you need lotion.  The second source is your elbow.  Your elbow senses the hand.  You might think, your hand is soft/warm/moist.  Exchange of information.  Awareness.  Attention.  Touch is amazing.

No matter whether we are touching the space around us, the things around us, or our own bodies we can use fingers, palms, and back of hands.  With different “touches” we are exchanging different information.  Moving and/or releasing and/or gathering energy.  Touch is a powerful tool in the Nia toy box.

Another way touch can be applied is in the common way of touching as measurement.  In the beginning of class, say, before your body is warmed up, you can only touch as far as your shins.  Then after was have moved warming the muscles all of the attachments you can easily bend all the way over to touch your toes.  Touch.  It is a great thing to use for many reasons.  In Nia we use touch.  Touching is one of Nia’s 52 Moves.

What sensations have you received today from things you have touched?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Finding Balance In The Gate

Posted by terrepruitt on September 14, 2013

In Nia we have the five sensations that we dance and move with. I always feel that one of them is a personal favorite of one of the co-founders of The Nia Technique. I think that Debbie Rosas really loves stability. I imagine she loves them all because she does a superb job of ensuring they are all included in a each Nia Routine, but sometimes I just get this feeling that practicing balance is her favorite. It could be because sometimes stability, being balanced, requires flexibility and/or agility and/or mobility and/or strength. So you can practice and play with all of the five sensations when practicing balance. In yoga there is at least three of the five sensations we experience in Nia. In yoga there is flexibility and/or strength and/or stability/balance. In the Gentle Yoga class I am teaching I really like to put a huge emphasis on balance. I think balance is very important and yoga is a great way to practice it. There are many poses in yoga that are balance poses. Not all of them are standing poses.

One pose I really like to use for enhancing balance is the Gate pose. This pose is a kneeling pose, somewhat.

In the gentle yoga class we start on our knees. Up off our calves, as in we are not sitting on our legs. Then we lean forward and over to one side, say the left. We lean forward to the left placing both our hands on the ground in front of the left knee. Then we swing our right leg out so it is pointed out to the side. The heel of the right foot is aligned with the left knee or slightly in front. The right foot is flat on the ground and the toes are pointed away from the body. We then lift up so we are kneeling on our left leg with our right leg posed out to the right of our body. Then the left arm comes up reaching straight over the head. Palm towards the right. The right hand is palm up resting on the right thigh. If stability and balance is achieved then those that are comfortable lean over to the right, allowing the right hand to rest lower on the leg, at the shin, not the knee. If comfortable we turn the head to gaze past our left arm. All the while the crown of the head is moving away from our body and the tail is moving in the opposite direction. We are lengthening our spine. The shoulders are being drawn back and down. Even though one arm is up we still keep the space between the ear and the shoulder open and large. The same with the side we are leaning towards.

Whether you are staying up right or leaning over to the side, keep your body from leaning forward. Stay in the pose for a few breaths. After you perform this pose on one side, do the other.

Parighasana, the Gate pose, is a nice way to pursue balance.  The foot that is out can be adjusted to a parallel (to the body) position if that allows it to be more comfortable or stable.  Or the foot can be lifted leaving just the heel on the ground.  The depth of the side bend is always a point that can be adjusted for the individual’s needs at the moment.

I love all the poses in yoga that allow for balance practice.  I think this is a great post with which to practice balance.

Are you familiar with the Gate pose?  Do you like this pose?

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

I Smell Something

Posted by terrepruitt on September 12, 2013

I have mentioned that I have been using essential oils for aromatherapy. I put a few drops of the oil in an unscented tealight and let it burn. While I believe that is not the best way to diffuse the oil, that is one way I do it. One of the popular brands of essential oils that I am familiar with sells diffusers, but they are – in my opinion – very expensive and at this point, way out of my budget. I believe that diffusing them in the air via steam is the best way. So I had been looking for one that was affordable. I found a decent one on Amazon.

After reading the reviews on some diffusers I decided it was important to have one that indicated when the water was low. Also I wanted one that held a good amount of water and could diffuse for hours.

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, Gentle YogaThe reviews on the one I ended up getting were mixed, as often in the case. A few people said it was cheaply made, well, it was a very inexpensive product compared to some that I had been seeing. But even a cheaply made product should work, or why bother? Reviews are funny aren’t they? There are usually people who LOVE the product and ones who HATE it. Well, this product was no exception. There was one review that kept me from buying it, but, then when I thought about how much oil I was wasting burning it in candles that same review actually made me take a chance.

The person had said they had bought three. Two worked and one didn’t. So I figured it was kind of a crap shoot. I figured the people who said it didn’t work probably got one that didn’t work or they didn’t use it correctly. I figured my chances were good of getting a good one. And I was going to be very careful and use it correctly.

Some people had said it didn’t diffuse the aroma in a large room. Well, I was planning on using it in a small room. What I find is that it works great in the small room and that the fragrance actually travels into the big room. There are two settings for different sized rooms. I usually use the “small room” setting, but that still gets the scent around. But I find that the “large room” setting works good in the big room too!

I am happy with my purchase. I think it does a great job with diffusing scent of the oils.  It acts as a humidifier.  It even has a light that rotates through several colors.  You might be able to see the steam rising out of it in this picture.

One new oil I bought was Bergamot.  Even though Bergamot is a type of an orange, it does not smell like an orange at all, to me.  That could be the brand I purchased.  This essential oils is associated with the throat chakra and the sacral chakra.  According to Wiki, Bergamot is a common top note** in perfumes.  Multiple internet sources say that bergamot oil is an analgesic, an antidepressant, an antiseptic, an antibiotic, an anti-spasmodic, a stimulant, a relaxant, a sedative, stomachic, calmative, cicatrisant, deodorant, digestive, febrifuge, vermifuge and vulnerary.

And can be used to treat depression, stress, tension, fear, hysteria, infection (all types including skin), anorexia, psoriasis, eczema and general convalescence.

At this point I am still only using my oils as aromatherapy – as in using their scent in the air.  I do not usually (except once) put them on my skin.  And I do not ingest them.  I strongly recommend that if you plan on using them on your skin and/or ingesting them you enlist the aid of an experienced Aromatherapist.

I thought I would give you a heads up on an affordable diffuser.

**Top notes are the most volatile and will evaporate first on your skin.

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