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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Practice Does Not Make Perfect

Posted by terrepruitt on September 5, 2013

When I typed in the word practice this is what came up in Google:

prac·tice  /ˈpraktəs/

noun
1. the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use.

2. repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.

verb
1. perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.
2. carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly.

Nia is a practice.  Yoga is a practice.  Playing a musical instrument takes practice.  One does not just step into a Nia class and do it exactly right the first time.  One does not move into a yoga pose and get it exactly right the first time.  One does not start to play a song and do it exactly right the first time.  It all takes practice.  With Nia the emphasis is on the body’s way.  I have said it before, but I will say it again, there is a right way to do the moves, the body’s way, the way the body was designed to move.  But every body is different.  Some bodies do not move the way they were designed.  Some bodies never will, but some just need time.  Yoga is a little different in that the positions are a bit more exact, but still, if your body does not move or bend that way do not force it.  It could be that your body needs to work toward that pose, it needs to practice or it could be that the actual structure of your body will not allow for the exact post to be attained.  Either way it is a practice.

Nia is more forgiving.  Since it is a dance there is a lot of room for freedom.  With yoga people expect there to be one way to do the pose but again, not exactly true.  The individual’s body needs to be taken into account.  Some bodies will just not bend or fold certain ways.  They might be able to bend more or fold more than the first time a yoga asana is attempted, but it might never look exactly like that magazine picture.  Most pictures of people in yoga positions are just like that of high fashion and/or make up models.  They are the exception not the norm.  They are showing an example of what the pose in its absolute perfection is supposed to look like.  They should be required to disclose how many years that person has been doing yoga or how long they were actually in that pose.  JUST like people are telling young girls to give up the idea of looking like the women in magazines, some people need to go a little easier on themselves when it comes to yoga poses.

The idea is not “to look like the picture” but to be better and more comfortable at doing the pose as time goes on.  In the picture the person might have their elbows on the ground and when you start you can barely touch the floor.  Well, the proper way to learn (at least one way . . . another is props, but for this example we are using progression) is to practice until you can touch the floor.  Practice with good form.  Then practice until you can stay touching the floor – with good form.  Then practice until you can stay longer each time at touching the floor – with good form.  Don’t injure yourself trying to put your elbows on the ground and all the while not achieve good form.

I do not believe that practice makes perfect.  Practice just makes time get used up.  But good practice, practice with good form, practice that allows you to get better than you were is good.  “Perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.”  Yeah that.  Being patient with oneself and allowing one to practice and make it good practice will get one further on a the path of proficiency than just trying to get to that pose without working into it.  While we all know this, I was reminded that many of us need to be reminded of this.

Nia is a practice.  Yoga is a practice.  Playing a musical instrument takes practice.

How are you are practicing?  Do you like the process of learning or do you like to just jump right in and do it right and all the way the first time?

2 Responses to “Practice Does Not Make Perfect”

  1. So true! English is such a tricky language. I need to “practice” better habits in general. Hubby and I have started trying juice for two meals. We are buying fresh squeezed. I can’t believe how good they taste! I think you posted about juicing too. I am going to have to go back and find those (but maybe yours were smoothies?).

    Like

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