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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Nia/Yoga, Similarities And Connections

Posted by terrepruitt on May 17, 2014

I was in a yoga workshop all day.  The day was beautiful and I was in Santa Cruz, but I was inside all day.  Well, most of the day.  I was in a class about “How do we make our yoga practice and our approach to teaching yoga more meaningful?”  A lot of people do yoga just for the physical exercise of it.  But some people are interested in making it more of practice.  Some people are interested in exploring the deeper aspects of it.  I often compare Nia to yoga because it is the same thing in that both are a great workouts in and by themselves, but there is the part that I call the “practice” where it is more than just doing the exercises it is it taking some of the “deeper aspects” out into the world.  Or even applying them in the class.  But first you have to be exposed to the deeper aspects.  This class touched upon that and throughout the class I smiled at the similarities between it and Nia.

Yes, Nia has taken aspects of yoga and used them to make the mix that is Nia, but I am not certain that all of the similarities were used on purpose.  As an example, several people have told me that they do not do yoga because it is a religion.  I have experienced debate on this.  I have read articles that exclaim angrily that Westerners have taken their religion and made it into an exercise.  Then I have had yoga instructors/owners of yoga studios vehemently deny that yoga has anything to do with religion.  I have had people say they will not come to Nia because we talk about “Spirit” and in a song or two there is an “Om.”

Today it was said that some people do use yoga to connect to God.  But “there is no God in Nia” (as quoted from Carlos Rosas during my Nia White Belt Intensive in 2008.)  Today’s workshop started out with the religious aspect.  Briefly exploring how to teach and stay true to oneself.

During the class there was a lot of talk about awareness and being present.  Something that is understandable when in a yoga class.  Sensing the body while moving through and holding asanas.  This is also something we employ in a Nia class.  Being able to dance in the now.  At one point Nia was NIA = Now I Am.  So during both types of workouts there is an emphasis on moving with awareness and being in the present.  Being aware of how your body moves.  Noticing the bends and flexes, the circles and lines.  Being present and not thinking about our to-do list we have to accomplish after class.  And, this is where I consider it a practice . . . where you take those ideals out into your everyday life.  Be aware of what you are doing while you are doing it and BEING in the moment.  (By the way:  This is particularly challenging for me right now.  As you might imagine.)

Then the topic of listening to students to learn what they needs was discussed.  It went along with teaching people as opposed to teaching poses.  I particularly loved this because just last week I told my students we were going to start doing a particular group of poses and they looked at me and said, “Why?”  And I said because you told me you needed to.  They hadn’t actually told me they needed to so I explained to them that what they told me led me to that conclusion.  As a teacher you might be able to relate to the eye rolls I received.  Of course, as I feel I do this (teach people), I know there is always room for improvement so I will continue to listen.

Most often I ask my Nia students if they are having any issues or would like to focus on anything in particular during the class.  I feel that allowing them to pick the focus or take part in picking it helps me teach to them and their needs.  I felt that was a Nia connection to this part of the yoga workshop.

In the workshop, I also kept hearing talk from the students about no judgment and self acceptance.  Two things which are also taught and emphasized in Nia.  No Judgment is part of witnessing which is a stage in Free Dance.  While dancing just witness what is happening but don’t judge.  Could be something like, “I kick to shin height.”  Instead of, “I am in such bad shape I can’t get my leg higher than my shin.”  Non-judgment.  Accept what you can do and work to do more if that is your desire.

It was a nice day.  And this about sums it up.  Plenty of things to think about and work on.

What did you do today?

2 Responses to “Nia/Yoga, Similarities And Connections”

  1. Jackie BOBERG said

    I’m looking for your classes in the Los Gatos area but info is sketchy on the web. Can you please email me your class schedule and location(s)

    Jackie

    Like

    • Jackie,

      Oh the information on the web might be sketchy because old information does not necessarily go away. So I did have a class or so in Los Gatos in the past. I no longer have classes in Los Gatos, but the Camden Community Center is a freeway exit away from Los Gatos. Hopefully that will be close enough for you.

      My current schedule is on my website: http://www.helpyouwell.com/nia-class-schedule.html

      I have a separate website for my class schedule and additional Nia information. The date on the lower left hand side of the website helps to show people how current the information is. So, while the web might be sketchy, my website is right on! 🙂

      A quick exploration of my site will show you various ways to view my schedule and the location of my classes.

      Like

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