Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach yoga, Nia, and stretch online!

    ALL CLASSES ARE ON ZOOM

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:00 am

    Nia: Wednesday at 10:00 am

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:00 am

    Please see my website for details!

    I am also teaching a yoga class for the City of San Jose on Wednesdays through June at 5pm

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training all virtual, of course!

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  • My Bloggey Past

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Archive for May, 2020

Friday Flowers?

Posted by terrepruitt on May 29, 2020

Oh, maybe I should turn “Friday Photos” into Friday Flowers. It seems I have been posting flowers for the last month and beyond on Fridays. And I just found a lot more. I hope you enjoy.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, Zoom meetings, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga

Posted in Friday Photo | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Latest Zoom Discovery

Posted by terrepruitt on May 27, 2020

I am confident that somewhere on the Zoom website it tells me all the information that I keep discovering and sharing with you. But I haven’t looked at everything they have on their site and I haven’t joined any of their training sessions, which I am sure . . . probably would have informed me of my new discovery. Since my students have confirmed that they want to continue taking classes online I figure there might be other people that will be continuing to use Zoom even as areas begin to re-open. Where you live is dictating what phase of re-opening you are experiencing. I live in one of the “strictest” counties in California. So we can’t do what some areas are doing. So . . . as I continue to discover stuff on Zoom I will continue to share it. My latest discovery could be something I just noticed or it could be a change with the latest version of Zoom, I don’t know, but I really appreciate it. And I am sure it has an official name or description, but I’m gonna call it “small screen set-up”.

Some of you are familiar with Zoom and some are not, so I will explain a little bit. When you join a Zoom meeting you have the option to allow your device’s camera to transmit a video. I’ve talked about “non-video participants” before in a post. There are a gazillion reasons why one might not want to have their camera on so it is truly up to the individual. If you choose not to have the video on it can be just a black screen or you can upload a picture so that participants will see that instead of a black screen with your name. I have a picture showing when my video is off.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, Zoom meetings, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yogaWhat I just discovered . . . . so excited . . . is that when I have my video settings screen open I can still see myself even when my video is off. So, this is very important to me because I encourage my students to join a class early – before the actual start time! I want them to be able to say hello to their friends AND be able to set up their device so they can see and be seen if they so choose. But sometimes I am still readying my space so I want them to be able to join the meeting and ready their camera, but I am still getting mine set up. I used to start the meeting and start transmitting and just shuffle around on screen, but now I can have my picture up and still see what the camera sees and what the class will look like.

Could be that I hadn’t noticed this because I only really needed it once or maybe twice. I like to try to sign on and be all set up when students show up but even though there isn’t a lot going on right now, a couple of times I was not able to be that timely so this is cool!

If you use the Zoom application then you have access to your video settings and you can do this.  I wasn’t sure if it only worked because I was host, but it works even if you are a meeting participant.

So . . . how do you Zoom?

Posted in Online Classes, Zoom | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Online Changes

Posted by terrepruitt on May 25, 2020

Teaching online is different than teaching in person. As you can imagine. If you have taken an exercise class online, especially from your same teacher, you have probably noticed some differences. I thought I would just share some of the things I am doing different.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, Zoom meetings, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes-I am facing my students. When teaching Nia I like to face away from my students because one of the thirteen principles I was taught when I attended my White Belt training about 12 years ago was “Teach what you sense.” So it is easier for me to teach to my left arm (as an example) when I am actually USING my left arm. Now when I instruct students to use their left arm I am using my right.  So I am not using sensation to teach as much. When I had taught yoga in person I often faced my students, but pretty much always faced away when doing twists. It seems twists really twist people’s brains.

-I am moving “smaller”. For Nia, the space I am using is large enough to move around fully, but if I use the whole space it can take me off camera. So I try to stick to what the camera can see.  Staying in camera might have me focused on that at times.  Sometimes I might go out of view a bit, but hopefully that is on a repeated time and students know by what the choreography is – and this is in regards to Nia.  With yoga I make sure students can see head and feet and I am not moving enough to move out of frame.

-I am quieter. I used to be loud and make all kinds of sounds, while dancing, but since I am in a house where someone is working, I don’t make as much noise. I do hope my students do. I sometimes felt they didn’t make noise because they didn’t want to be the only one, but now that they are home, I am hoping they are taking advantage of the benefits sounding provides. I do make sounds, but not as loud.

-I point more. It is kinda like in Zumba where I point or make a hand signal because I am not sure they can hear me (and again I don’t want to shout all the time).  I talk less

-I “check in” differently. In-person I would ask how people are doing and encourage them to answer. That allowed me to know how they were doing and (instructor “trick”) forced people to breathe. Now I try to be very conscious of the pose/stretch because I don’t always want them moving their head or arm to give me a thumbs up. And we mute people because we are all doing this in our homes where there is other stuff going on. I have to restrict my “check-in” to in between poses/stretches.  So I am not getting to use the “trick ’em into breathing” instructor thing.

-We start standing then go to the earth. In stretch and yoga we used to start one way and then switch off. We would move up and down (or down and up) to enable us to retain that ability. But with the devices it is easier to start up and then when it is time to get down – stop and adjust the device, then get down. If I start yoga in corpse pose then I don’t instruct on any poses that I may need to see so we just leave the camera “up” and then when we get up it is set fine, then we do our standing poses then adjust and get down.

*****Update 05.26.20*****

I forgot one of the most important ones, I kind of said it when I said I point more, but that is for Nia.

-I don’t always demo the pose or DO the pose/stretch.  When I have my face on the floor or in my lap, no one can hear me.  When I am talking and my voice is too muffled for people to hear they look up to see what I am doing and they are not doing the pose.  So I don’t always do the pose/stretch.  I didn’t always put my face down when teaching in-person classes either, but online there are a few more poses/stretches I don’t do just so I can instruct.  And, honestly, sometimes I forget.  This morning while I was talking to my lap I realized I needed to be up and not folded over – AND, I realized I didn’t include this change in the post.

**********

I am very grateful to my students who have joined the Zoom classes. They have helped me keep teaching and I love that.  I hope to continue teaching online so I imagine these changes will change and adjust over time.

What have you noticed is different on your Zoom/online classes?  What changes have you seen in the way your instructor teaches?

Posted in Online Classes, Zoom | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bouquet Of Roses

Posted by terrepruitt on May 22, 2020

Yeah, I’ll just make this month’s Friday Photos all be flowers. Why not?  Especially when I come downstairs and find this vase full of beauties. These are from the rose bush that used to grow white roses.

What do you think?

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Posted in Friday Photo | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Cucumber Salad

Posted by terrepruitt on May 18, 2020

So, I had thought about making cucumber salad. I thought I had a recipe for it so I looked on my blog and I couldn’t find it. But I really could swear I wrote about it somewhere because the one I was craving was a specific one from a restaurant that has been closed for years. And I thought I made it after I had been there. One thing I loved about it was the way they cut the cucumbers. They were cut julienne, thin match-book type slices. It was very good. I didn’t find it on my blog so I threw what I thought was the ingredients together and took pictures. But then as I was making it I decided to not use the minced garlic (hence the reason I cut it off) and I ended up using some things not pictured. So the picture of the ingredients is not an accurate representation of the ingredients. So it is somewhat false advertising. Start with a tablespoon of mayo and then after you mix everything else in decide if you want more.

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Cucumber Salad

1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sherry
A drop of olive oil
A sprinkle of onion powder
A sprinkle of garlic salt
A splash of Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
A splash of Sesame seed oil
1 cucumber

In a bowl that will be large enough to fit all the sliced cucumber, mix all the ingredients. While the ingredients are marrying slice the cucumber – julienne. As you finish slicing sections of cucumber you can put them in the dressing mixture or you can leave them on the cutting board and maybe let some of the water drain off them. Once you are all done cutting and putting the cucumber in the dressing, toss well. Then let it set for an hour or so.

Serve.

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I am sorry this recipe might sound like something you get from your grandma who never measures, but I didn’t put enough of the “sprinkle” or “splash” ingredients to measure. I just sprinkled and splashed. I never use pepper, but you might want to add some.

I actually made this two nights in a row.

I saved the dressing from the first night and used it again. It had gotten a little watered down so I put in another tablespoon of soy and a sprinkle more of garlic salt.

Last night – a week after we had this I realized I should have put sesame seeds on it!

Do you like cucumber salad?

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Posted in "Recipes", Foam Rollers | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Beautiful Jonquil

Posted by terrepruitt on May 15, 2020

I seem to be on a flower kick. I don’t even remember where I took this picture, but it is a GORGEOUS jonquil. Ahhh, so not remembering where I took this made me curious. The date told me that I was at my parents’ house. And now I remember. There was a few scattered about the property and I didn’t remembering seeing them before, but sometimes the memory is funny because I have since noticed them in other pictures.

So here is another flower share for my Friday Photo. I love flowers. How about you?

 

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, Zoom meetings, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga

Posted in Friday Photo | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Another Way To Look At Zoom

Posted by terrepruitt on May 13, 2020

There are so many settings on Zoom I honestly cannot remember them all. But I love settings . . . or more accurately I love to go through and make sure I have things set the way I want them and not the way the makers of the device, platform, or application wants them. So when I get a new phone I look through everything. The issue arises when there is an update because most of the time that entails new settings. And in some cases the update changes the settings you have so time consumingly set. Most often than not there are device settings AND there are application settings so there are a lot of settings . . . but I totally digress. Sometimes when I first use a device or application I don’t know what the setting is. So I usually leave it as is. A couple of weeks ago, after I had taught a class I was wishing there was a setting that would allow me to only see the people who had their cameras on. As I was falling asleep that night I had an inkling that there might just be such a setting. And there is!

When I teach a live class I want to see the people I am teaching. Teaching live and recording a video are two different things. Both have their purposes and both are great teaching tools, but when I teach live, I want to see my students. I like to be able to teach off of what I am seeing. In yoga for instance there can be many things that one may need to be reminded of while resting in a pose, but I don’t like to go through the entire list, I would rather look at the students and guide them with the cues they need. In a live Nia class I can see if we need to/want to stay in a move longer and not move on or if they need more or different verbal cues to help them get the move. I like to interact with my students. I do miss not being able to hear them, but with so many different venues (living rooms, garages, decks, patios, bedrooms, offices, you get the picture) they get muted so everyone can hear instruction and music. Now with that being said, I know there are just as many reasons why the camera is not turned on as there are people. So I completely understand when people don’t turn on the camera.

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BUT . . . . . .when there are 25 people in a class and 5 have on their cameras and 20 don’t, it makes it difficult to see the 5. The rectangles are so small. And when teaching a class I have the camera and monitor far away so it is difficult to see. After class two weeks ago, I was wondering if there was a way to “turn off” the people that are just black rectangles. And there is! Yay. If you click the “Hide non-video participants” box the only people you will see are the ones that are transmitting a live video that way you can concentrate on the students you can see AND I could actually see them because their rectangles are large enough. YAY.  This setting is found in settings, under video and you can get to it by clicking on the ^ next to “Start video” in the left-hand corner of your user screen.

At first when I did this I was worried that if someone who is showing up in the 25th spot turned on the camera I wouldn’t be able to see them because the transmitting ones “pushed” that spot off my screen (silly me) but when I thought about it I realized it doesn’t work that way. If someone in the 25th spot turns on their camera they become one of the video participants (and so there rectangle moves from the 25th spot) and I can see them.

So . . . just another setting on Zoom that might be helpful. I realize that we are all using Zoom differently so we are all needing different settings, but the more we share the more we can really deliver quality online classes to our students.

Do you keep ALL your students on your screen? Do you like to see your students?

Posted in Online Classes, Zoom | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Improve Your Zoom Class Sound

Posted by terrepruitt on May 11, 2020

I have not been feeling very bloggy lately. Sometimes when I have an idea I don’t have the energy to write it. And when I have the energy I don’t have any ideas. I have been wanting to share something regarding online classes so I thought I had better write it up so I can have it ready for Monday. Last month I taught a Nia live stream class and I was told the sound was good. The students could hear the music and me. Now keep in mind I do not have a studio nor equipment made especially for streaming classes. I am pretty much like most of the other dance exercise instructors that decided they needed to live stream classes. For Nia I am in my living room, most often having to try to not step on a cat. I am very lucky that we do have a laptop that I can use. And since my hubby is working from home he was able to lend me his home monitor and brought his work monitor home. Also, I am borrowing the office microphone. It is not a headset microphone, but it is super cool. For music I use my Block Rocker. I don’t know what they hear, I experimented with recording it before the actual class, but that was just a test . . . I don’t know what it sounds like when I do the actual class, but for the first class they said it was ok. But in between classes I have been visiting with people on Zoom and I had adjusted my mic volume and forgot. So my second Nia class had audio issues. They couldn’t hear me. There are so many things it could have been, so I went through everything and I just wanted to share some settings with you that might help your sound quality in your classes.

I know that Zoom has a lot of videos and instructions on many things. I get e-mails from them all the time saying they are holding classes regarding how to do this and how to do that. So they probably have some information out there regarding this but maybe not because they were originally designed to be a meeting platform. With what is going on in the world we all took it over and we are using it for everything.

The first thing I had to make sure wasn’t causing sound issues was the mic cord. So we got new ones to take care of that in case that was an issue. Then I went into the Zoom settings. Every time I use Zoom it needs an update so every time I update it I check my settings because I am afraid that they will be changed with the update and that is where I discovered I had turned down my mic. I had turned it down for a Zoom visit and didn’t turn it back up for the class.

So, I think the best way to get the best sound is to turn up your mic AND . . . go into advance settings and make sure you disable “Suppress Persistent Background Noise” and “Suppress Intermittent Background Noise” I think that having them on auto confuses the system when teaching. Originally I had both of them on “auto” because I was thinking . . . I don’t want the jackhammering outside my house to be heard, but then I thought what if the system is thinking my music/voice is background noise. Because my students had said that the music cut out once or twice. So I think, it either considers my voice or the music as “background noise”. Because, remember this platform was not designed for music and voice, and especially not designed for either/both to be directed at it from three feet away.

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Turn up the mic and speakers in the “Audio” section of “Settings” – Open settings by clicking on arrow next to audio in lower left hand corner

Now I am not sure how it sounds when the music isn’t louder than the background noise and there actually is background noise (like the jackhammer). But if you disable the suppressions it might give your students a more consistent sound. The last two classes I taught with the new cord and the adjusted settings, the students had said the music didn’t cut out and they could hear me fine.

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin Yoga, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga

If I were in an uncarpeted space, I would change the “Echo Cancellation” to “Aggressive” because I have taken classes that sound so “tinny”, and I would hope that the change in setting would help that. But in both spaces where I teach I have carpet.

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I also have “Enable Original Sound” OFF because Zoom’s site states if your mic HAS auto enhancing capabilities then the sound from it will be enhanced, but if it DOES NOT, then you don’t want to use it. This might actually be the key to better sound as it allows the “Audio Processing” to work.

So, I think having music and talking as one does in a live streaming dance exercise class turning the suppressing settings to “Disable” are a good bet.

So have you taken any Zoom classes? How do they sound?  What do you think?

Posted in Nia, Online Classes, Zoom | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

Mini Roses

Posted by terrepruitt on May 8, 2020

I don’t even remember when or why, but YEARS ago my boss gave me a little mini rose bush in a pot. My husband planted it and has kept it growing ever since. Every time I send her a picture she says she can’t believe it is still alive. It is not only alive by thriving and it is rather large now. My husband brought in some of it’s flowers the other day!

Just as I was about to post this I thought, “Did I post about these before?” And a search on my blog proves that I did, about a year ago I posted Yellow Yard Roses for a Friday Photo.  I don’t remember them having been so big!

 

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin Yoga, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga

Posted in Friday Photo | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Same Size Plates

Posted by terrepruitt on May 6, 2020

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin Yoga, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yogaI posted the pictures with the muffins on my Facebook page. I made the muffins a couple of days ago and took the picture at that time. Today I was going to post the link to the blog where I discovered the recipe. And as I was about to post it, I hesitated because I was confused. I looked at the plates on the counter with the muffins (now down a few muffins) and I thought, “Huh? I didn’t transfer the mini-muffins to another plate. Why are they both on the same size plate?” I looked back at the picture. I looked back at the muffins and knew I didn’t move them from one plate to another. Perspective. They are not on the same size plates.

As I was walking up stairs to try to figure out what to post on my blog after posting the picture I thought, “Why don’t I post it? It sure is pertinent, especially now.” Not so much ABOUT it, ABOUT perspective because . . . . whew! I am just not up to that . . . I wouldn’t be able to settle on one thing right now. So I am just going to say that things (pretty much all things) can be seen from different perspectives. Especially right now, in these crazy days, we are seeing the opportunity to see things from a lot of different perspectives.

One of those plates holding the muffins a salad plate. And one is a dinner plate. It COULD be that the size of the muffins is contributing to the illusion that the plates are the same size. Not sure. I am not really sure about anything except that to me, from the perspective of the picture the plates look like they are the same size. So much so that it had me questioning what I had done.

I used black eyeliner to help define the edge of the salad plate, then placed it on top of the dinner plate. With them both being the same patterned glass it was difficult to see the difference in a picture. I think the eyeliner helped.

What do you think? Do the plates with the muffins on them look the same size?

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Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »