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

    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 June, 2016

Big Hairy Feet

Posted by terrepruitt on June 24, 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, SJCityFitMany of you that have cats probably know that each cat’s litter box habits are different.  Well, I am convinced our first cat, Spot, was one of the tidiest cats ever.  I mean she didn’t make a mess in the litter box or out.  She kept her business off of the sides of the box.  In regards to getting out, it was as if she stepped out of the litter box instead of flying out of it with a trail of litter behind her.  She also had very tiny paws.  They weren’t very hairy.  One of our cats, I have written about her huge paws before, has long hair on her feet.  The fur goes past the pads and her feet are just huge.  I feel that her feet are litter trappers.  She goes into the litter box and when she comes out she has a tablespoon of litter trapped in each foot!  Ok, perhaps not that much, but a lot!  It just comes right on out with her.  I do not like stepping on litter.  First of all it is grainy, second of all, it is litter.  EWWWW!  So I was wondering how to try to cut down on the litter that was being tracked all over.  I came across this Cat Litter Trapper on Amazon.

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, SJCityFitWell, it might not be very pretty like the pretty flower carpet I have the litter box sitting on, but it really does cut down on the amount of litter tracked all over.  It doesn’t stop it entirely because sometimes I see the cats LAUNCH themselves out of the litter box practically missing the mat entirely.  But it does help a lot.  As they jump out or even launch themselves, I hear the litter pelting the mat.  Then, since it has the holes, it falls down into them and is trapped.  Ha.  Just like the name.  It really is better than having it all over.

When I first got it, for some reason, they were enjoying chewing on it.  Their litter box is in the room next to the bedroom so I would go to bed and hear this weird noise.  I would get up and one of them would be digging and chewing on it.  Again, many of you with cats, know that sometimes it is next to impossible to get a cat to stop doing whatever it is they have their mind set on doing.  So, I spritzed it very little with pure citrus.  Not enough to make them want to avoid the litter box, but enough to keep them from scratching and chewing on the mat.  I think that was just a case of “this is new, I must chew” because after a few days they left it alone and as far as I know, they have not dug at it or chewed on it.

Having two cats makes for a lot more litter mess than one cat, but this litter trapper really helps.  If you look at it, you will see that they say it is waterproof so if there are “accidents” it will keep the floor underneath from getting wet . . . I would imagine that is with a pad in between.  We don’t have use for it in that capacity yet, but I thought I would mention that for others that might want something like that.

What do you use for your cats?  Do your cats track as much litter around as mine do?

Update:  July 05, 2016 – I have had to update one of my posts.  I have replaced a picture with a pictures of my cats big hairy paw, click here for that!

Posted in Cats, Teagan and Nessa | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Our Tube Has A Tail

Posted by terrepruitt on June 22, 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, SJCityFitYeah, that is about it.  These tubes are from our first cat, Spot.  They can be connected to make a longer tube, but currently we have them separated.  Esmeralda, the Tortie, loves them.  One is in the dining area and one is in the living room.  They are somewhat lined up and Esmeralda runs through them.  She gets going very fast.  She runs the length of the house making laps.  One day one of the tubes was turned, but she zigged through it and then ran to the other one.  I have never even tried to record it because she is very fast and I don’t think, neither me nor my iPhone could capture it.    But I did record her playing with the mouse in the tube.

The mouse can be dragged around the floor in front of her for what seems like forever, but the second you touch the tube she will pounce.  The two cats seem to take turns playing.  One will wait patiently for the other to be done.  Sometimes the one waiting will get bored and leave, but sometimes the player leaves so the “waiter” takes over.  Today, Esmeralda was playing, and I caught Smokey drinking.

 


Then Smokey started to play, but just for a second.  Then Esmeralda played for a while.  The Smokey took over.  Esmeralda waited but then when Smoke stopped Esmeralda just sat in her tube looking at the mouse.  Then she walked away so I did too.

These are just short (1.19 minute’s tops) recordings of them playing.  Just cute to watch, well, if you are me, their mom.  Nothing exciting, except Esmeralda really is fast.

Also, I found these recordings on my phone.  They are from Christmas 2015.  My family has a big dog. I love this dog.  I love big dogs.  He is huge.  This dog is so nice and mellow it is amazing.  He is so good around everyone.  On this day he was a little sad because the house was full of people and he couldn’t come in.  He was excited to have some company and play with his toy.  I caught him running and playing with his toy.  The noise is the noise the toy is making as he squeezes it.

 

I love to watch pets play.  They are so funny.  It is so entertaining.  It is also amazing how focused they get.  And how joyful.  Do you like to watch them?

Posted in Cats, Teagan and Nessa | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Health Benefits Of Cardamom

Posted by terrepruitt on June 20, 2016

You may have read my post about Chai Tea.  A Nia Teacher friend gave me a yummy recipe for chai tea.  I had futzed with it because I wanted it a bit spicier — what?  Me?  I know.  But it is not HOT spice, just more flavorful.  Well, I was excited until I saw the price of cardamom.  And, as is my habit, I posted about how outrageous it was.  As is my friends’ way . . .one of them helped me out.  First of all she GAVE me some Cardamom, then she reminded me of where I live.  I live in one of the most diverse areas in the country – well, I think I do.  But whether that is true or not we have all types of different markets around.  There are Asian Markets, Hispanic Markets, Indian Markets, Spice Markets, Vegetable Markets, Fabric Markets . . . you name it, I bet there is one within 5 miles of me.  Well, Spice Markets have way more affordable spices then grocery stores.  I got a bag of cardamom and I have been using it in my tea.

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 was curious as to what benefits cardamom might have.  And also what else I can use it in besides tea.  Here are the results of my “research”.

First of all wiki states:  “It is the world’s third-most expensive spice, surpassed in price per weight only by vanilla and saffron.”  Well, that explains the high price at the store.  I did not know that!

Cardamom has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat many ailments.

According to several websites (Sunwarrior, Organic Facts, Food Facts, and The Health Site), cardamom is good for digestion.  Some compared it to ginger, in that it can aid in digestion. It can help relieve things like nausea, bloating, gas, heartburn, acidity, loss of appetite, and constipation.

It helps eliminate toxins from the body.

It helps with bad breath. And mouth ulcers and throat infections.

It is a diuretic, which could be one way it helps eliminate toxins.

It can act as an anti-depressant.

It can also help prevent colds and flus.

Studies on animals are showing it might help protect against some cancers.

Studies on humans have shown it helps lower blood pressure.

It controls cholesterol according to a study in India done on mice.

Can possibly prevent or aid in the prevention of blood clots, by improving circulation.

It is an antioxidant, an anti inflammatory, and an aphrodisiac.

It’s essential oil can be used in aromatherapy.

Research has been done at the King Saud University concluding that cardamom can be used to control muscle spasms on animals.

Cardamom can help with some respiratory issues such as asthma and bronchitis.

It can help with sore throats and hiccups.

It is said to cure impotency and a bevy of penis problems.  I occurred to me with better circulation, these types of problems could possibly be helped.  And then if these types of problems are improved upon it could definitely relieve some depression.  🙂

In a tablespoon of cardamom there is 80 percent of the recommended value of manganese, which is really important for healthy skin.

Cardamom is a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Well, I didn’t quiet get to the part on how to use it other than in tea.  But perhaps you can help.  Do you use cardamom?  How do you use it?

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

Bake Polenta “Fries”

Posted by terrepruitt on June 17, 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, SJCityFitWhen I make burgers I want fries.  Potato “fries”.  Even though, I don’t fry things . . . I bake ’em, I love fries with my burgers.  I do love baked “fries”.  But I also don’t always like to have potatoes because we are having buns.  I don’t do my burgers protein style.  Half the fun of a burger (to me) is the bun.  Often times I will make other types of fries, like Baked Golden Beet “Fries” or Squash Sticks (even though I breaded these).  Now, I don’t really think of corn as a vegetable, I mean, I know it is a vegetable, but I think of it as a starch.  I think of potatoes and corn in the same kinda category.  So, this isn’t really a great replacement for potatoes fries . . . if I am thinking starch, but they were good.  My husband really liked them.  I made polenta fries.

I had purchased a tube of polenta a week or maybe more ago.  The idea for which I bought the polenta changed.  Do you ever do that?  Buy an ingredient for one thing but then change your mind.  Then you are stuck with that ingredient wondering what to do with it.  I turned to Google  looking up how to cook tube polenta.  If you look up polenta it has ideas on how to cook the porridge style polenta.  Usually polenta is corn meal mush.  But if you buy it in a tube it is a solid.  My search led me to Our Everyday Life that gave three different ways to cook polenta from a tube, oven fries was one of them.  I didn’t even read the full recipe because I figured I could do it.

Here is what I did, next time I will use less oil . . . and now that I look at the recipe on the website it calls for no oil, but I want crispy fries so I will continue to use oil, just less.

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Oven Polenta FriesDance 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, SJCityFit

1 tube of polenta
olive oil
garlic salt

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 450° F.  After cutting the polenta out of the tube cut the tube in half, then cut the polenta into 1/4 of an inch strips.  Try to cut the whole tube into equal sized strips.

Then spread the strips out on the pan.  Sprinkle with a little oil.  Sprinkle with the garlic salt.  Place pan in the oven.  Let the fries bake for 15 minutes.  Then take the pan out of the oven and turn the fries.  Then put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes.  Then check the fries.  If they are done to your liking, take them out and serve.  If you want them cooked more, flip ’em or toss them on the pan, then put it in for 10 (or whatever) minutes.

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Of course ovens vary and people desires of doneness varies so keep an eye on them and cook them to your liking.  Also, try your favorite seasoning.  Mine is garlic salt.  Presently I have garlic salt with parsley in it, so that was good.  Also . . . I used garlic basil polenta.  Again, I didn’t buy the tube for the fries so it was not a plain flavor.  But I might try that next time.

As with many of my food posts, I didn’t plan on blogging about this.  I did snap a few pictures after they had already been baking, but I didn’t document it from the beginning, but really that would have just been the tube of polenta.  I did take a few shots of them on my plate, but I really like my husband’s shots, so I am using his, too!

What do you do with a tube of polenta?  Share, please, I need some ideas!

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Hummingbirds On A BEAUTIFUL Day

Posted by terrepruitt on June 15, 2016

Wow.  We are having the best weather here in the South Bay Area.  It is June and I have my windows open!  Usually it is too hot and we have everything shut up until it cools down.  At about 8:30 or 9:00 pm we open the house and try to let it cool down.  We keep the windows open for as long as we can hoping that will help keep it cool for the next day’s heat.  But we have not been having heat!  YAY!  So excited.  So loving it.  The other day when I got up, I was enjoying the hummingbirds around the feeders.  There was four to five of them.  When I got home from teaching Nia and yoga, I noticed the feeders were empty, so I texted my hubby asking him if he would make food that night.  He is the expert hummingbird food maker.  That is his job.  I made sure they were cleaned out so all he had to do was “cook” and fill the feeders.  And, today, I was able to enjoy the fruits of his labor.  With the weather being so awesome, I had the doors open so I could hear their chittering.  I can also hear the buzz of their wings.  So awesome.  I love it.

I was watching them fly all around and I was able to take this video.  As I often say when I take pictures or videos – and it sounds lame, but hey, that is the way it is – I couldn’t see what I was shooting.  The sun was very bright and I was at an odd angle – half in, half out of the house.  I was trying not to disturb the birds.  I THOUGHT I was capturing two birds on the feeder.  I also was fascinated by the crazy one that is off in the distance.  See him?  He was flying around as if he were drunk.  It was so funny.  When I looked at the video I was so surprised to see FOUR on the feeder.  I mean, that happens, that is why I wanted to be sure to fill the feeders again right away.  But I didn’t even see them, when I was recording.  That portion of the feeder was out of sight.  Basically only my arms were sticking out of the house trying to capture the birds eating.

I could sit there all day and take pictures and make recordings, but . . . I do have other things to do.

I have not been able to get a good picture of an oriole yet.  They are very shy and fly away the moment I move towards the door or window.  I hope to have all summer long to try to get a good photo.

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 love our hummingbirds – oh, except the on that was getting back at me for walking by him.  I was outside, there was a bird on the feeder.  I didn’t want to wait for him to finish so I squeezed by as close to our yard furniture as I could . . . giving him as wide of a berth as I could.  He flew off the feeder.  I turned around to and said, “Sorry about that.”  And he flew up and then flew straight at me!  Bugger!

They are so entertaining.

As a note . . . there is no added coloring to the water, it is that color because of the sugar.  You can read about that in my post Another Case Where Less Might Be More.

Do you have hummingbirds?  Do you have other birds? 

Posted in Birds, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

In The Looking Glass

Posted by terrepruitt on June 13, 2016

In Nia we teach facing a mirror with our backs to the students.  The mirrors help me stay connected to the class.  I can look in the mirror and make eye-contact with someone.  I can peruse the room and see what is going on.  It is different from the way it used to be when I took Jazzercise so many moons ago.  The teacher faced us and would do mirror actions.  When the class went left the teacher would actually go to his right.  When we went right the teacher went to his left.  When we moved forward the teacher also moved forward coming toward the class. When the class moved back the teacher would go back.  The teacher facing the class allowed for face-to-face connection.  The other day I was teaching a class and I was doing the “mirroring” and as I was pausing in the movement, I realized why I didn’t like “mirroring” as much as teaching with my back to them.  I couldn’t share my sensation.  I could not teach what I was sensing.

I think part of what makes Nia so joyful and fun is that the teacher is having fun.  We are taught to be in our bodies and dance.  We learn routines, but if while teaching the music motivates us to do something off from the choreography, that is fine.  We get to play.  We get to sense what is happening in our bodies and share it with the class.  Then the class gets motivated to dance what is in their bodies . . . their individual body.

When I was paused in that stretch I wanted to tell them what I was sensing and have them explore their bodies sensation, but I couldn’t.  I had to pause and adjust my mind and my words because we were not bending the same way.  So, yes, I could say, “side” leaving out which side, but it felt less authentic because we were not experiencing the same side.  Silly, I know, but it was a thought that popped into my head as I was teaching.  Sometimes there are no mirrors available in the classrooms I am assigned to teach in, so I have to teach facing the class and that is fine, but I really like having mirrors.

Also, I notice that when I am facing the students even when I used left or right or even use a landmark in the room . . . there are some that pause for a second in confusion.  They are looking at me and seeing me do the opposite from what I am asking them to do and you can just see the internal struggle in the face.   This is especially the case when instructing twists.  Twists are already a little challenge for the brain so when the arm goes up and around and the leg goes up and around, crossing over the mid-line of the body, the brain really likes to see it as the body is to do it.  The mirrored way really has people all twisted.

While we don’t have really complicated steps in Nia, it seems like the students learn them faster when they can see exactly how it is to be done.  They don’t have that extra brain work to do of adjusting for left and right.  They see my left foot going over to the right side and they get it.  It takes a lot to see the right foot going towards them and over to the left while I am telling them to take their left foot front and over to the right.

It is nice to dance without the mirrors sometimes, as I wrote about in my post Mirrorless Inward Reflection.  For some it helps them be less concerned about how they look while they are dancing.  It can allow people to be more introspective.  It can enable people to connect to their own Conscious Personal trainer.  It is a good thing and definitely something I / we can do when we do not have access to mirrors, I just happened upon an insight recently and thought I could share.

Do you like to take classes with mirrors?  Do you find it easier to follow when the teacher has his/her back to you?

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

My Schedule

Posted by terrepruitt on June 10, 2016

I am just going to put this out there.  I have this on my website, but not everyone goes there and someone might see it here and . . . well, why not, right?  I could be teaching a class at a time when you want to take a class.  You could be somewhat curious about Nia, but maybe haven’t gotten around to clicking on my website to see my schedule.  It could be on your list of things to do.  Maybe you are looking for a yoga class.  I teach Nia three times a week.  I teach yoga twice a week.  I just started teaching a stretch class but we are taking an eight week hiatus (until August 11, 2016) during the busy summer months because the community center doesn’t have the room for us.  They have so many summer programs for kids, it is crazy (good).  I am subbing a gentle yoga class for three weeks at Mind Body Zone.  And I have one Sunday Nia class rotation at the NW YMCA this month.

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Nia is a cardio dance . . . meaning it is an aerobic workout.  It is low impact, meaning we don’t jump high and land hard, but it can be INTENSE.  You control that part.  If you get low and reach high and move a lot you will get a big workout, if you don’t get down and keep your movements small then you will get a smaller workout.  You get to decide what type of workout you want when you attend class.  The music is varied from a little bit of Pop, with some Jazz, all the way to Rock.  It is a place you can go to get some “me” time and have fun.

Since there really is no standard definition of gentle yoga you might not know what you are getting when you go to a yoga class.  So you might want to know that I make yoga gentle by not holding the poses for a long time or flowing through poses.  We do a pose at least two times so that we can tryout the modifications.  If you know a pose we are doing and you want to get right into it right away, that is fine.  We general do a few poses either standing or on the floor then we switch.  It is an important thing to be able to get down on the floor and get up again.  So we make that part of the routine.  “Gentle yoga” does not mean beginner, it means that we do yoga gently.

In stretch we just work our way down the body.  We stretch from head to toe.  We hold the stretch from 20 to 30/40 seconds.  We do standing, sitting, supine/reclined (on the back), and even some prone (on the belly) poses.  Sometimes we use straps.  Everyone is encouraged to stretch honoring their own body.

Perhaps you see a class that interests you?

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

Another Case Where Less Might Be More

Posted by terrepruitt on June 8, 2016

One day I was in the store and I decided to buy sugar.  I was in the Grocery Outlet.  Do you have those in your area?  Have you ever been to one?  My parents used to go and I wrinkled my nose at that, thinking it was a bunch of weird off-brand stuff.  Then one day I went in there and I discovered brand name stuff for about half the price as you find in regular grocery stores.  Granted most of the stuff in there is snack food and basically over-processed food, but we do eat bread and often times you can find it there for half the price as the other stores.  I had seen C&H Pure Cane sugar there before so I thought I would drop in and get some.  I mean, if I am going to buy what I consider to be less-than-healthy food, I might as well spend less.  Well, they didn’t have any and I didn’t want to go to another store, because really?  It’s sugar.  So I saw something that attracted my attention.  It was  Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar.  The package said that it was less processed than other sugar and it was organic so I thought I would give it a try.  I discovered something interesting about it.

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, SJCityFitThis sugar is not white like C&H Pure Cane white sugar yet it is not brown either.  It is off white.  Well, when I used it I notice things in it.  What type of things, I don’t know.  They could be pieces of bugs or leaves.  They kind of look like pieces of leaves.  But it somewhat turned me off of using it.  I put it in my sugar container, but I would reach for some other sugar I had before I reached for it.

One day my husband told me to stop by the store to pick up sugar because he was going to make hummingbird food, I said we have sugar.  I actually thought I had seen another bag of white sugar in the closet, but when I got home and looked all we had was the Zulka Morena.  It is used like regular sugar.  It is “regular” sugar it is just processed less.  So I talked him into using it.  He didn’t want to.**updated 04.29.18

Well, he made the food and it came out kinda tan.  It was not clear/white like when we use our familiar white sugar.  It wasn’t cloudy, it was just colored.  I was kind of concerned, thinking perhaps it wouldn’t be good for the birds.  I wondered if they would care.  I wondered if they would notice a difference.  I wondered if they would like it.

The reason I had him make the food (he is the hummingbird food maker in the house so when it is needed, he makes it) was because I had seen some hummingbirds flitting around the empty feeders.  So I was thinking when he put full ones up they would be there.  But there were not. I was worried.  I thought that the food must not be good.  I thought they didn’t like it.  Usually, when we see them at the feeders and we put food out they are right there!  But they weren’t.

I am gonna say it took at least a week for them to come.  But then, it seemed like when I looked out the window, they were always there.  But oddly enough, they were only at one feeder.  Usually they will eat off of both.  One more than the other, but both.  This time – I had seen them at the other feeder once or twice, but they actually emptied one out before they used the other.  So that means that the unused one was there for even longer than the first one.

Our feeders are in the sun.  SUN.  Sometimes the bottles start to have stuff grow in them.  This isn’t good for the birds.  So it is a drag when that happens.  And sometimes it can happen fast.  I mentioned the sun because I figure that the sun is a contributing factor to the growth in the bottles.  It could be the shade.  Either way, sometimes it happens really fast.

You may or may not know that hummingbirds don’t suck the nectar out of the feeders.  Their beaks are not straws.  I had thought that until I saw one stick its tongue out.  So they actually stick their tongue into the feeder.  I believe that the way they eat helps contribute to the stuff growing in the bottles.  So a busy feeder with a few hot days stuff can grow pretty fast.

Well, it is my opinion – I don’t think my hubby agrees with me – that this sugar does not grow stuff as fast.  We had the bottles out there a long time and there wasn’t the weird stringy black stuff that has seen to pop up really fast in the feeders in the batches we made before these last ones.  I think it is cool.

I just cleaned the feeders and my hubby is going to come home and make food tonight.  So we will have them up again by tomorrow.  I am going to watch them again closely and see.  I know there are many things that can contribute to the stuff growing in them, but it seems our last few batches have gotten it awful fast.  So we will see how this new batch fares.

At least the birds seem to like the sugar.  They don’t care about the color.  Who cares that it is not clear, as long as it is not red (the red dye is not good for the birds).

Do you feed the hummingbirds?  Do you have hummingbird feeders?  What type of sugar do you use? What is your recipe?  What type of sugar do you use?

**updated 04.29.18 – please see comments below, as this type of sugar has traces of iron in it and hummingbirds have a low tolerance to iron.

Posted in Birds, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Elbow Strikes – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on June 6, 2016

You may know from reading my posts about Nia, or even other material about Nia, that it is made up of three groups of movement forms.  Those three groups of movement forms are made up of three movement forms.  The first group is Martial Arts, which include T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, and Aikido.  In martial arts we can have moves like punches, kicks, blocks, and strikes. The elbow strike is one of Nia’s 52 Moves.  Now remember, the 52 Moves of Nia are not moves that Nia claims are unique to Nia or that only Nia does.  The 52 Moves of Nia are named that because they are incorporated into the Nia Routines.  The Elbow Strike might even be able to be counted as three moves . . . perhaps not, but there are three ways to do it.  I am betting you understand that all three ways involve the elbow.  There is the elbow strike down, the elbow strike out, and the elbow strike back or the Downward Strike, the Outward Strike, and the Backward Strike.

To do this move you would first get into Riding Stance also know as Sumo Stance.  Have a strong and stable base.  Push into the earth with your feet. Engage through the core and the whole body.  The fists are in ready position, which is palms up, at chest height and at the side of the chest . . . so elbows are drawn back past the rib cage.  The downward strike is with the elbow moving downward into the open palm of the opposite hand.  The outward strike is the elbow moving out away from the body using the opposite hand to push the power through the elbow.  The backward strike has the opposite hand pushing the elbow backwards away from the body.  All of these are done on one side then the other.

As I have mentioned with all the moves, there is an exact way to practice it or them, in this case, if you are just practicing each move.  But when you are dancing the exactness can change.  In a Nia class, we might do elbow strikes from an A Stance or while we are stepping into a stance.  Or we might do them from a bow stance.  Sometimes we might not use the opposite hand to help push the power, or strike down into the open palm of the opposite hand.  It all depends on the dance.  The above is just to help you learn the move and how you would practice it on its own.

The Nia Technique Book says:  “Benefits:  Practicing Elbow Strikes is excellent for releasing stress and anxiety.  These moves will strengthen and define upper chest, back, hands, and arms and will enhance your sense of confident determination.”

Elbows strikes do feel powerful and give you a sense of confidence.  It is really fun to do them while sounding, perhaps saying, “HA!” or even just saying, “Strike!”

Well, what do you think?  Did you try it?  Can you feel the power in this move?

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