Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Sweaty Goodness

Posted by terrepruitt on July 22, 2014

When a body moves it expends energy.  The bigger the movements the more energy expended.  The faster the movements the more energy expended.  The longer the body is in motion the more energy it expends.  I teach Nia.  It is not a boot camp where the higher ranked officer is yelling at you to move more, to more bigger to move longer.  It is a cardio dance workout where you get to move your body in your own body’s way.  You move to your level of movement.  You move to the level you want to move at the time you are in the class.  The more you move, the more energy you will use up.  For some of us, the more we move the more we sweat.  Honestly, if you don’t move you will not sweat.  A lot of people equate a “good workout” with sweat.  Not everyone sweats, but most people do sweat when they move.  In Nia we don’t yell at participants to run faster, to reach higher, to go lower, to do more.  We use words to help you move in a way that you want to move.  Some people cannot move their bodies without being told exactly how to move.  Some people just need the time and space and they either know exactly what to do OR they are able to just let go and let their bodies move.  I have experienced the type of person that tells me they don’t sweat in Nia and the type that does.

One time, after teaching a class, I was walking out and mopping my face and neck with a towel.  I was dripping wet.  And a woman approached me and said, “You don’t sweat in Nia, do you?”  I just looked at her and said, “No, YOU don’t.”  She was the one that stood behind me the entire class and I never saw her body.  I never saw her limbs and I never saw her.  Now, I am not the smallest of people so it is perfectly feasible that she could hide behind me and me not see her.  But it is NOT feasible to MOVE and not be seen standing behind me.  If she would have lifted her arm once, I would have seen it.  If she would have lifted her leg once, I would have seen it.  If she would have MOVED, her body MIGHT have produced some sweat.  I cannot tell you why she didn’t move her body except to stand behind me, but I can tell you since she did not she did not get a “good workout.”

Once a woman walked by me and a student talking after Nia class and she asked where the pool was.  We were confused.  Then we realized we were so wet with sweat we looked as if we had been swimming.

Then more recently, I experienced at participant in a class who, when we were done said, “Wow!  I got sweaty.”  And I said, “Yes, yes you did.”  And that was because she moved. She participated.  While she was not standing behind me, I did see her move in her own body’s way to the suggestions such as “dancing big”, “drumming the sky”, “body drum”.  She moved in her own way to all of the suggestions even though she had no idea what Nia was when she entered the dance studio.  But it was obvious she was there to get a “good workout” so she participated.  She moved.  She expended energy.  She got sweaty.

In Nia, as with ALL workouts, you get out of it what you put in.  If you don’t move, you are not going to expend energy.  If you don’t expend energy, you probably are not going to sweat.  You need to MOVE to get a workout.  It is not accurate to say that Nia is not a “good workout” when you do move.  If you don’t actually try it you can’t actually say whether it is good or not.

This is what I experience a lot.  Remember I am a substitute for other classes besides Nia.  So they are not always looking for something new and different.  Some are excellent sports and try it.  Some are not and so they don’t participate.  Again . . . . they get out of of it what they put in.

Have you noticed that you get less of a workout when you move less?  Do you agree that you get out of it what you put into it?

6 Responses to “Sweaty Goodness”

  1. paywindow7 said

    Another great post Terre.The Nia excercise experience is becoming more interesting to me. Over the years my work out routine has “devolved” (instead of evolved) into the drill I go through nowadays because of some lifelong physical problems that have become aggravated because I have now reached the dubious title of “Ancient”. While I have pretty good upper body tone what I lack is core strength. I’ve tried yoga and Pilates and both tripped the switch on problems that closed the gym door in my face for a month until those outraged nerve endings had been pacified, cajoled and convinced by my promise to them that ” I would never do that again”. As I read your posts I’m thinking maybe the Nia moves would help me regain the lost core strength. So now I’m looking locally for to see if those classes are being conducted here at the edge of civilization.


    • Your next comment says to forget this comment, but NO WAY. You are such a writer. Love the way you wrote this. You are funny. I always feel bad when someone writes of their suffering in a funny way that has me giggling. I do not giggle at people’s suffering, but you have a way with words.

      I tend to feel that if someone has “issues” or pain — perhaps from injuries or unknown . . . it is a good idea to do things like yoga and Pilates one-on-one. A GROUP class is too general. With both yoga and Pilates there is a specific way to do the pose so a group class is not going to cater to a specific need. With Nia there is more emphasis on doing the movements in your own body’s way so known issues can guide the participant.

      I am happy that you are interesting in Nia.


  2. paywindow7 said

    Hey Terre forget my previous comment above I found a class near me.


    • So where? You have my e-mail address and can e-mail me where (and who?) if you don’t want to make it public here. But I am curious where and who? Are you going to go? How fun! If you go I hope you report back. Perhaps a post on your blog about your Nia experience? 🙂


  3. paywindow7 said

    Thanks for your comment about my writing, you’ve made my day. I had some more posts I was about to put up on my blog but my computer crashed and burned last week and, among other things, took the newbie posts with it. It also took all of my email addresses. I’m working to reconstruct all of that and I need yours also. I thought yours was on your gravatar but it’s not. Mine is signpilot@sbcglobal.net. Then I can send you the information on the local Nia resources near me.


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