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 May, 2016

Memorial Day and Cats

Posted by terrepruitt on May 30, 2016

Today is Memorial Day here in the United States.  I hope that you are able to take time to enjoy your day, celebrating the freedom that has come and continues to come at the cost of so many.  Perhaps you even took a moment to reflect and give thanks for the people and sacrifices they have made.  I have seen so many things posted on Facebook and I get teary-eyed with each one that I look at.  In 2012 I posted Three Day Weekends and Memorial Day’s National Moment Of Remembrance which has a bit of information about Memorial Day.  It is past 3:00 pm, but if you didn’t do it then, perhaps you can pause now.  Since I wrote that post with information about the day, I just thought I would mention the day and send my thanks out, but then post about something else.

If you are interested in cats or you read my blog you may have seen that my hubby and I adopted cats in July of 2015.  Not quite a year ago.  It all started after it had been a year that our cat had died.  My husband was patiently waiting for me to be “ready” to get another cat.  I had always wanted a kitten so I had it in my head that is what we needed to get.  But, then the idea of a young cat dawned on me.  There are always cats that need adopting.  About that same time my husband’s boss mentioned that her friend opened a “cat cafe” in San Jose.

I decided to go check it out.  It was opened by two women, who ran it with the help of volunteers.  So in addition to booking an hour of visiting, I was inspired to volunteer.  As I mentioned in a few post this place was only going to be open for 4 weeks.  I am not even sure how they ended up staying open for 6 months.  Perhaps it was the begging and pleading of all of us that had visited it and loved it.  Ann and Mary, to two women previously mentioned, realized that the community wanted and needed such a place.  But really, since they had only planned on being open about a month, they went ahead with closing it down.  I believe they were going to take some time to figure out what to do next.

Well, they are still looking for a bigger place, but for now they are open again in the previous location, which is in the Julian-St. James area of San Jose.  The first day open was Saturday, May 28, 2016.  I had nothing planned this weekend so I volunteered both Saturday and Sunday.  They are not normally open on Mondays but they are open Memorial Day this year.

To start, they have ten cats.  They range from small to large.  Aside from the two who are taking their time adjusting to the new space (they are hiding under the couch) they are all very pet-able.  Pretty much very friendly.  Some of them seem to get along with other cats and some of them seem like they would be best as the only cat in the household, but that is what is so great about a place like this when looking to adopt.

This type of space helps you get a glimpse into what the individual cat’s true nature will be.  Yes, there is always a chance that it might emerge entirely different when you get the cat home, but in general you can see who is bossy and who is timid.  Who will let you approach them and who will play with the toys.  We love our two cats.  I think I saw pretty much their true personalities there.  If you are not looking to adopt this is still a great place.  You can just go and hang out with cats.It is a nice place to be with cats.

This time around the cats are being obtained from The Silicon Valley Pet Project which is a group of volunteers that save at-risk pets by placing them in foster homes or The Dancing Cat.  In addition to saving the pets through rehabilitation and finding them homes, the project also works to educate the community in order to reduce the number of animals that end up in an “at-risk” situation.

If you like cats and you like to help out organizations that are helping the community, then make your reservations and go visit The Dancing Cat.  You’ll be able to sit and visit with cats.  And more-than-likely other people who like cats.  I am hoping that this will be a huge success and a permanent fixture in San Jose.

I am thankful for the people who make the world a better place.

 

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Posted in Cats | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Cat Guardians

Posted by terrepruitt on May 25, 2016

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, SJCityFitBecause it has been a while since I posted about my darling little cats, I thought I would share some pictures of them.  They are very good cats even though they do “cat” things that I would prefer they not do.  Such as pull the roses out of the vases or knock over the vases.  And knocking things off of tables and counters.  They, of course, are not allowed on places where we eat and/or have food, so that means tables and counters are off-limits.  They do a good job of not being on them — while we are able to see, but often times in the morning there will be evidence that someone has been on one of those forbidden surfaces and knocked somethings down or even off.  They are cats, they are curious.  They get a scolding that barely interrupts their whatever-it-is-that-they-are-doing when said offense is discovered.  But overall they are great girlies!  I have hundreds of pictures of them.  Most of the photos are of them while they are sleeping, they are so cute when they lie all over each other.  We enjoy having them.

Also, it might be that I am inspired to do a cat post because the place where we found our two lovely cats is opening again.  It is the adoption venue called The Dancing Cat.  I used to call it a cat cafe, but they don’t really sell cafe food as do some cat cafes.  I’ve seen them call it a cat lounge and that sounds good, but then people might not know what that is.  In 2015 it was planned to be a 4 week “pop-up event”, but it proved to be a hit and ended up lasting 6 months.  So they are bringing it back in the same place — for now.  Information on the website says they are looking for a permanent location in San Jose.  They are opening again on Saturday, May 28, 2016.  You can make reservations and visit a cat.

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, SJCityFitWe are super happy with our cats.  They are fantastic girlies!  It has not even been a year since we adopted them.  I had been wondering how to get a cat because I had never been to a shelter to get an animal.  Our cat, Spot, landed – literally – in our yard.  She was an angel.  So I didn’t know how to pick a cat.  A place where you can go and visit with cats while they lounge around, play, and eat is so great.  I was able to meet our cats and observe them for a few days.  At first Smokey never came out of the bottom of one of the furnishings, but when a new cat came and ousted her she ended up high on a cat shelf.

Smokey is still a bit shy.  She is not fond of being held, she will put up with it, she doesn’t throw a cat fit, but I don’t think it is her favorite thing.  She likes to receive her hugs, kisses, and scratches while she is on the ground.  She is also a heavy girl.  Very solid.  She also has a lot, I really mean A LOT to say.  She has a lot on her mind and she shares often.  She is very fast and a great catcher.  If the doors are open in the house that is where she will be found, sitting by the open doors.  Smokey is as sweet as can be.

Esmeralda is light as a feather and she proves it with her leaps and bounds.  She is a little lover kitty and loves to be picked up and snuggled.  She is not as talkative as her sister, but she does tell us when she wants something.  She is not a “meower” but a mumbler.  She “murphs”.  She is the thinker.

They both seem to love each other.  They play often.  They run around the house at top speeds then stop and tumble around.  They bathe each other and sleep together.  Such cuties!  We are happy.

Do you have pets?  Where did you get your pet(s)?

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Smokey playing with two toys!

 

an Jose Cat Cafe, Cat adoption venue, Smokey and Esmeralda, Spot the cat, sister kitties

Every cat needs a matching boa!

 

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Yin and Yang.

 

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Beautiful Smokey!

 

an Jose Cat Cafe, Cat adoption venue, Smokey and Esmeralda, Spot the cat, sister kitties

Esmeralda and Smokey – sometimes Smokey just disappears into this blanket. Black on black.

 

Posted in Cats, Teagan and Nessa | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Socks Could Help You With The Pose

Posted by terrepruitt on May 23, 2016

I have written and posted about shavasana (savasana) before.  This asana can be used to start a class or be done anywhere in the sequence that you see fit to use it.  It is used in many yoga classes as the final pose.  I think of it as a Challenging Easy Pose.  It is a challenge because many of us have busy lives and things to do all the time.  Many of us have a lot to think about.  Many of us are challenged with quieting the mind.  Not necessarily having no thoughts because I am not sure that is even possible, but not having a lot of chatter in the mind.  Having focused thoughts.  The thoughts focusing on breath, body, and the practice just experienced.  Some people are further challenged with just being still.  So in addition to the busy, moving mind, there is the busy, moving body.  For some just relaxing and not fidgeting is a challenge.  I find that being comfortable really helps.  When doing shavasana as the final pose, I instruct my students to put on their jackets, if they want.  I encourage them bring blankets.  I almost plead with them to bring sock, nice, comfy, fluffy socks — and use them during shavasana.

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, SJCityFitI think this one simple thing will change your shavasana.  It doesn’t matter what the temperature is.  The room could be hot and the last thing you would think to do is put on socks, but I invite you to try it.  I reserve at least 7 minutes for shavasana.  I shoot for 10 minutes but sometimes that doesn’t work.  But we do at least 7 minutes.  So there is plenty of time to sink into relaxation.  It could be that in my classes, with all of that time the feet have a chance to cool off so socks are great.  When the feet are chilled it might keep you from completely relaxing.  You might not even realize they are chilled.  So socks can help.

Also air moving around your more than 7000 nerve endings (in each foot) might distract you.  With many yoga classes there are some standing poses, so you’ve activated the nerves in the feet.  Perhaps sensitized the feet during the class.  So nice socks could help keep the distraction to a minimum. COMFY socks might help bring some calm back to those nerves.  So if possible use warm and comfortable socks.  Not dress socks, because those do not help with warmth.

I am not sure the ancient yogis would endorse or even agree with such a recommendation, but I think of socks as a prop to help me achieve the purpose of the pose.  If props are used and recommended for other poses why not shavasana.  I do know that some people use bolsters when they are available, so why not use socks?

For me, once I started using socks, my shavasana changed.  I hadn’t even really thought about my feet affecting the pose until one day I decided to put on socks.  The few students of mine that have decided to use socks during their shavasana mentioned how it made a difference.  We all marvel at how it did!

So . . . whether you love shavasana or not . . . whether you are challenged by it or not . . . I suggest trying it with socks on.  See what you think.  Then let me know.

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stuffed Zucchini

Posted by terrepruitt on May 18, 2016

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, SJCityFitSo, do you know that we have gone in with a friend to by a cow?  We get a small portion of a grass-fed cow.  If you have read any of my post regarding food you have probably heard that we do this.  You might also know that our favorite type of meat is the ground beef.  My hubby and I love hamburgers.  We usually have two “regular-sized” burgers and then some.  By “regular-sized” I mean big enough to fit a bun but not really thick.  I am still working on trying to get the burger to actually fit the bun.  It doesn’t have to be perfect but I would like it just a little closer to the edges of the bun. Anyway . . . I end up with a little meat leftover.  I could just make two burgers out of it, but I really don’t want to have 1/2 pound burgers.  We ALMOST have them that big, but not quite.  Without using the entire package to make two burgers I have a little left over.  The challenge is always, what to do with that little bit left over.  I often throw it over pasta.  Yum!  Always a quick, easy dinner.  The other day, though, I looked in my fridge and saw two zucchinis I need to use up.  And you know, if you have read some of my other recipes, how much I love stuff pumpkin.  So I decided to stuff the zucchini.

I didn’t get all fancy with the ingredients.  I just basically used the meat, the zucchinis, onions, and cheese.

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Stuffed Zucchini

coconut oil
2 zucchini
1/2 of a large onion (I prefer white)
1/4 lb of ground beef
garlic salt
salt
pepper
3/4 cups shredded cheese (your favorite)

Preheat the oven to 450° F.  Wash the zucchini.  Slice them in half length-wise.  Use a spoon and drag it down the inside of the zucchini.  Only remove a little bit.  Just enough to make a little shallow “gully” down the middle of the zucchini.  Spread a little bit of coconut oil on both sides of each half.  Then place all four halves face down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Let them bake for 10 minutes.  Then take them out of the oven and salt all eight sides.  Then put them back in the oven for 10 minutes.

While they are baking, heat up a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan.  Chop up two thirds of the onion then heat them in the pan.  Once they are starting to get translucent add the meat.  Let the meat begin to cook then start adding the garlic salt and pepper if you would like.  Since the meat is going to be baked in the oven you might want to be certain not to cook it TOO much.

If you have to grate your cheese do that while everything is cooking.  Also finely chop/mince the rest of the onion.

Check on the zucchini, I like the “inside” to start browning.  Then once it is the color I like it, I flip them over and bake them some more.  I would say I roast/bake the zucchini 20 to 30 minutes before I stuff them.  So keep an eye on them so they are cooked to your liking.

Then once your zucchini are roasted to the way you like and the meat is cooked and drained, if need be.  You can “stuff” the zucchini.

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, SJCityFitI always add more garlic salt.  And a little pepper for my hubby.  Then “sprinkle” the minced onion . . . some on each half of zucchini.  I don’t necessarily measure here because I like less onion than my hubby.  So just put the amount on that you want.  Then put the meat on top.  Distributing it as you see fit.  Then top with cheese.  You might want to press down on top of each half to ensure (for the most part) that everything stays on while you are baking.

Then put the pan with the stuffed zucchini back in the oven until the cheese is browned.

Then you can serve it.

We usually eat it as an entrée, but you can serve it however you would like.

______________________________

Dang, as usually when I type up the recipes I end up wanting to have it for dinner.  Also, as usually I hadn’t planned to post about this, but then I thought, why not?

Do you like zucchini?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Finger Extensions – One Of The Fifty Moves Of Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on May 13, 2016

Finger Extensions, one of the Fifty-two Moves of Nia.  Yeah, extending your fingers is a Nia move.  It may sound odd, but it makes sense.  Extending the fingers helps move energy.  Each finger holds its own energy.  The finger movements also have emotional connections so these type of movements tie in very well with the whole body experience, the Body, Mind, Emotion, Spirit (BMES) connection.  The finger extensions are the thumb, the index, the middle, the ring, and the pinky.

Each finger holds specific energy and whether you can think about that and believe it or not, when you really think about it you can believe it.  Each finger has an emotional association.  The thumb is associated with nurture.  It is the finger babies suckle, it gives them comfort.  The index finger is the desire finger.  It is the finger a child uses to indicate what she wants.  We use our “pointer” finger to point to what we desire.  The middle finger is our power finger.  When used with an extended arm pointing down it is the Balance Finger. Sometimes when pointed up it is used as a way of communication.

The ring finger is the commitment finger.  It is where engagement rings and weddings bands are placed to signify commitment.  It is the point in which a hand hold is fully committed.  The pinky finger is on the edge of the hand it represents the boundaries.  Boundaries that are respected yet can be nudged and expanded.

With the emotional attachments of each finger, can you see how there can be energy linked with each finger?  Can you acknowledge how extending your thumb might elicit energy associated with nurturing because we or babies we know have sucked their thumb?  Can you fathom how extending your desire finger might cause you to have an emotional response?  And with our emotions there is energy attached.

I know that when I am dancing in a Nia Class and I extend my various fingers it often affects my feet.  When I am extending my desire finger sometimes I feel happy because I am pointing at what I want.  Sometimes that happy translates to strong movements of my feet because I am identifying my desire.  Dancing my pinky, the edge, sometimes makes me feel brave.  When I feel brave my movements, the energy, is different than when I am relaxed or feeling timid.

So now that you have an idea of how a simply hand movement can be used in an exercise class, in a cardio dance class, let me share how we do them.  It really is somewhat simple.  Just extend your arm and then point each finger one at a time, then take a moment to sense the “different qualities of energy”.

Some benefits to doing these extensions, as stated in The Nia Technique book, are that it “helps move energy in and out of the upper body, and keeps it from getting clogged in the next and shoulders.”. Finger extensions also help you move your fingers in a precise way which exercises the brain and the body.

So really this is an easy move and some might not even think of it as an exercise, but it is important to keep our hands strong and flexible.  And if, when we do this it activates our brain, that is even better.  And . . . if we can do it while we are dancing and having fun, then why wouldn’t we?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Routine Really is AMAZING

Posted by terrepruitt on May 11, 2016

You may have seen me announce that I was producing another Nia class with a guest teacher.  “Producing” just means that I communicate with the teacher, secure a venue, and promote it as much as I can.  The guest teacher does the routine or playshop work and presents the material.  I have had this guest teacher come teach a couple of times before.  Jason Alan Griffin is a first degree Nia Black Belt and he travels the country with his dog River, and he teaches Nia.  In March of 2015, he was going to be in our area so I invited him to present his FreeDance Playshop.  Then since he was going to be here on Friday, I asked him to do his based-on-Nia-routine Frankie Say Nia.  So we had a Nia class on Friday, then the playshop and a class on Saturday.  He happened to be passing through our area in August so I invited him back to do Frankie Say Nia again because it was so fun the first time.  This time around he was traveling with a few routines and the one I thought would be the best for the Nia community here was “Amazing”.  It is appropriately named.  A small group of us danced Amazing with Jason on Friday, May 06, 2016.

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, SJCityFitAmazing came about through Jason’s desire to share all the wonderful Nia energy he experiences during his trips.  He said he was bringing his work and sharing it, but sensed a lot of creativity out there and he wanted to embrace it.  So he invited Nia communities to contribute songs from their areas.  Then as he visited each area and each Nia community the choreography was revealed.  It was either revealed by the community already having done it or by a collaboration.

Now he is spending several months on the road bringing this routine to many Nia communities around the country.  He has a few other routines that are on the menu Orchestra, Woodstock Experience, and Floorplay . . . all sound super fun by their descriptions.

The focus of Amazing is on connections and directions.  We moved in all directions and were encouraged to sense the connection.  As with many things in Nia the connection could be one of or all of the BMES.  So we could have been connecting with the Body, the Mind, our Emotions, or Spirit.  We were invited to connect with people in the room, in the Nia community, and any where.  The intent was to explore something new and return home renewed.  And again, as with many things in Nia, that could relate to the BMES.  As an example we would extend our arm and try a new movement for our hand, then return our hand back to our center or our “home” and sense if there was a change or some new or different kind of sensation.

It was super fun.  A question occurred to me today as I was thinking about writing this post,  “Do I just think it is fun because I am not a student often and so any chance to dance Nia is fun?”  Then I pictured the e-mails I received telling me it was fun.  I remembered the comments after class.  It was fun.  We have fun when Jason teaches us.  So, even though he is planning on taking a year off from traveling, I am hoping that a quick jaunt down the coast to us won’t be considered “traveling” and he will come back next year to teach us again.  I really want to try that Orchestra class.

Below are some pictures from the class.  I do hope one day you’ll come dance with me!

 

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If you want to see MORE pictures and a video from the class please visit my site.

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

Signs You Are Dancing In A Nia Class

Posted by terrepruitt on May 9, 2016

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, SJCityFitSo, I was so blessed yesterday to have two fellow Nia Teachers attend the class I was teaching.  There are three of us that teach a Sunday Nia class at the Northwest YMCA in Cupertino on a rotating basis.  We have general “dibbs” on Sundays; Anita likes the first Sunday of the month, I like the second Sunday of the month, and Joan has the fourth Sunday of the month.  At one point we had a fourth teacher and she usually took the third Sunday.  But now that it is just us three, we each take the third Sunday when we are available.  It seems to work out amazingly well that when one (or even two of us) is not available the other two or at least one is.  So it works out.  Sometimes there is even a fifth Sunday and we make sure one of us is available.  Plus we work together when something comes up and we have to switch Sundays.  The class is at 12:30 so it is late enough that one can get up and enjoy a nice Sunday morning and not have to rush off to teach.  Then we teach and are home in time for a late lunch.  🙂

Well, after class yesterday we were talking about Nia, of course . . . and Anita asked us if we had seen her list of top ten signs you are dancing in a Nia class.  I had remembered seeing it, but I didn’t remember them until she started reading them.  Then I remembered I saw the list.  I had glanced at it, but saved the e-mail to read later.  When she brought it up I had asked her if I could share the list on my blog and she kindly agreed.  So here ya go:

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Anita Christensen’s top ten signs you are dancing in a Nia class:

1.    They like to freedance without judgement of themselves or others.

2.    They are the nicest people.

3.    They are all so grateful for the day she, Debbie*, took off her shoes.

4.    They make claws with their fingers and scratch the air….sounding grrr…healing emotional issues related to power, abandonment, fear, and anger.**

5.    They shimmy and shake their shoulders to express sassy gestures that play with each other in seductive and joyful ways.**

6.    They fully acknowledge and embrace that this is THEIR adult play time!

7.    They kick to the front, side, and back with authority settling on a supportive leg.

8.    As a collective group they yell out “yes” or “no” for all to hear.

9.    They choose, sustain, and tweak their JOY of movement to sense life force energy….

10.   They invite you to come and be open to a life affirming experience.

It is true Nia is fun, healing and joyful! Do you have anything to add to my top ten list? How I would enJOY hearing your top ten list! The bay area teachers are THRIVING and we want you to join us.”

*”Debbie” is Debbie Rosas is the founder and co-creator of Nia.

**Referenced from the Language of Nia

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Anita Christensen is Nia Black Belt and she teaches several classes in the South Bay and the Peninsula.  Check out her profile on NiaNow.com.

This is such a great list!  I am going to use some of these as focuses and/or intents in my Nia classes!!

As Anita invited readers at the end of her list . . . do you have any signs to add to the list?  Please share!

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Using Your Middle Finger

Posted by terrepruitt on May 4, 2016

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, SJCityFitIf you have ever taken a moment to look at the list of the Fifty-Two Nia Moves you might have wondered what the “Power Finger Crossover” is.  You probably figured out it has something to do with fingers as the name contains “finger” but perhaps that is as far as you had gotten.  You may have thought, “What is crossed over what?”  Well, the middle finger is considered the power finger in Nia.  It has a lot of power.  In some cultures it is considered a finger of communication ;-).  In Nia it is also called the balance finger.  With the power finger crossover in the 52 Nia Moves it can be used at many different times during a Nia routine.

First: how to – the way you do the power finger is to cross the middle finger, the power finger over the index finger.  Then you release the index finger and cross the power finger over the ring finger.  The arms remain long and extended.  The cross of the fingers is small.  Use both hands, doing the crossover at the same time on both hands.

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, SJCityFitGo ahead, try it.

I can do the middle finger crossed over the index finger on both hands.  I can do the middle finger crossed over the ring finger on the left hand with out help.  But I have to use my left hand to cross my right middle finger over my right ring finger.  As you can imagine it takes a little strength and dexterity to cross the fingers over each other unaided.  It is obvious to me I need to practice more.

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, SJCityFitThere is a routine in which we cross the ring finger over the pinky finger and for the longest time I could do it on my left hand, but had to help my right hand out.  But now I can cross both ring fingers over both pinky fingers without help.  So it really is just a matter of practice.

If you can do the crossing without helping great!  But if you can’t, it is fine to help your fingers until you can do it without the help of the other hand.  The fingers still get the benefit of flexibility.  And your brain gets the benefit of your digits being crossed.

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, SJCityFitAccording to The Nia Technique (page 164) “practicing this move helps you extend energy along your arm bones and out through your hands, which keeps your neck and shoulders relaxes.  It creates positive tension in the hand and adds to awareness of the integration of the hand and arm.”

And as I said it helps strengthen the hands/fingers and brings dexterity to them.

This move is part of the moves of the upper extremities and is grouped under “Fingers”.  It can be done in combination with many of The Fifty-Two Nia Moves and during many of the Nia Routines.  It can be done at almost anytime in a Nia class.  During FreeDance or as part of a routine.   It can also be practiced throughout your day.

So did you try it?  Can you do it?  Can you do it on both hands without the help of the other hand?

 

 

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Yoga Bodies

Posted by terrepruitt on May 2, 2016

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, SJCityFitRecently I attended a yoga class just to observe.  Sometimes just observing is difficult because the desire to get up and participate is often there.  But I thought this class was beyond my level of doing.  I like slow mindful classes.  I am not a fan of the speed of a flow class.  I also know this teacher to be a bit of a tough cookie.  And I have come to the studio AFTER this class – in the past – and the participants are just dripping and wobbly legged, so I had never thought to participate before.  So . . . I thought that observing would be a piece of cake.  There would be no desire to jump to participate.  Now, let me explain this “observing,” it is for me to become a better teacher.  I am not there to judge or criticize the students nor the teacher.  But I am there to gain knowledge.  Observe how one sequences a class.  To observe how assistance is given.  To observe the yoga teacher’s pacing and volume.  To learn by observing.  I have three separate papers for three separate types of notes.  I have POSES, for poses I want to either do myself or bring to my classes.  I have Cues and Things I want to bring to my classes.  And I have just notes that I will refer back to.  While I was doing my best to listen and look without staring at the participants I got a little misty eyed.  My breath caught in my throat and I thought, “Damn!  Bodies are beautiful!”

You probably know I have a tendency to ramble on and on when all I really wanted to tell you is –  if you want to learn yoga stop staring at the Yoga Journal, stop looking at models on websites – GO TO A CLASS TO OBSERVE!!!!!  Look at REAL people DOING yoga.  Look at REAL bodies doing yoga.  Just watch, just observe, don’t judge.  We do this in Nia all the time, we call it witnessing.  We “witness” without judgment.  So just go to a class and witness.  Appreciate what you see.  Notice the strength.  Notice the weakness.  Notice the flexibility.  Notice the stiffness.  Notice the intention.  Notice the determination.  Notice the frustration.  Notice the effort.  Notice the triumphs.  Notice the concentration.  Notice the distraction.  Notice the trying.  Notice it all!

I was struck by it all when I looked up and saw someone in a pose perfectly.  I thought, “Dang.  I will glance back over throughout the class because that is awesome and I want to see more of that.”  Then I looked back a few poses later and I thought the person had moved spots because what I saw was misery.  The person could barely get into the pose.  And the next person was Yoga Journal perfect whereas they couldn’t do the previous pose.  A few of the people I noticed in pose “perfection” in one pose were in the total opposite of perfection in other poses.  The class was full of perfect poses and not perfect poses . . . all at different times by the same and by different people.  And I wanted to jump up and join in!

This was not a beginner class, it was a class of real people doing yoga in real bodies.  Some bodies whose arms are not long enough to hold the foot when the leg is extended.  Some bodies whose hamstrings are too tight or too short to do a straight legged fold.  Some bodies whose bones or bodies get in the way.   Bodies that come to class and do real yoga.

The models in the magazine and on the websites more-than-likely were chosen to do that particular pose because they can.  Their limbs are just the right length to do the poses.  Could also be that the model only did that one pose or was put into that pose whereas in a yoga class there is a sequence and it could be that by the time you get half way through your muscles are tired and so the poses might not be picture perfect.  Yoga is a practice not a photo.

So, while there are correct and more importantly SAFE ways to do the asana try not to get caught up in doing it “perfect” or doing it exactly like someone in a magazine.  Do what you can and keep practicing.  Remember to breath.

Namaste~

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