Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Ideas For Focuses And Intents

Posted by terrepruitt on January 18, 2016

I have shared before that in a Nia class we have a focus.  In my classes we always have a focus and an intent.  Sometimes our focus and/or our intent might be loose or flexible or maybe even not clear, but we always have one.  Setting the focus and intent is the first of seven cycles in a Nia class.  I often ask my students what is going on with them and their bodies so that we can set the focus and intent together.  I think that if they are the ones coming up with the focus for the class then they will be more apt to stay focused on it.  A focus the take part in setting will be something more relevant to them and their bodies.  We focus on backs, shoulders, and necks a lot.  It seems as if a lot of us carry our stress in our shoulders.  And I say the because often times that seems to be what it is, but there are also a lot of reasons there is “something going on” with our neck and shoulders.  We do focus on other things, since there are so many things to focus on.  Here are some things we have focused on.

Focus on the shoulders with the intent of bringing relaxation to them.  Focusing on any body party with the intent of bringing relaxation to it/them, is a great one.  So often we hold tension in our body and this can help relieve some of that.  The focus could be the next with the intent of allowing it to relax.

Focusing on the shoulders with the intent of seeing how they are affected by the movement of our hands and arms.  Sometimes this one is a good one to do followed the next day by the first one because we can see how sometimes MOVEMENT can bring tension to a body part!

Focus on the toes with the intent of seeing how their movement affects the knees.  Focusing on a body part to allow awareness of how it is affected by other body parts is always interesting.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitFocusing on the spine with the intent of creating length and space.  So this could help our posture.  We might dance taller as we reach up or reach away from our bodies with the crown of our heads to help bring a sensation of lengthening.

Sometimes we focus on a body part or area with just the intent of bringing awareness to it.  Sometimes as we move through life, since the world seems bent on teaching us to ignore things our bodies are telling us (“here take this pill to mask your symptoms and go on with your life”), it is important to just pay attention to our knees or our elbows (as an example).  It is important to check in with our hamstrings and/or our calves.  So sometimes we just dance with specific body parts or areas in mind.  This allows participants to think freely about something and receive sensation without a particular goal.

What do you think would be a good focus and intent for a Nia class?  What do you think would be a good focus and intent for you?

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