Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Nia White Belt P7 – Planes + Intensity Levels – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on August 24, 2020

Ahhhh, Nia White Belt Principle 7, here is where we can really get into YOUR BODY’S WAY. The body was made to move in a certain way – THE BODY’S WAY, but for various reasons not all of us can move as perfectly as the body was designed, so we move in our own way, so we call it Your Body’s Way. Nia White Belt P7 – Planes + Intensity Levels allows us to individualize ALL movement – from everyday getting dressed and doing the dishes (Dancing Through Life) to our Nia practice.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, 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, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via ZoomThere are three triads for this principle. The main triad has Range of Motion, Speed, and Optimization as the three points with CPT in the middle and movement and measure as wings. The CPT is the Conscious Personal Trainer, this is your body telling you what to do, just like you can hire a Certified Personal Trainer (a CPT) to tell you want to do, you can listen to your body which can tell you want you need. You have movement and the measure of it where you are always observing and adjusting according to what you need. Your range of motion and the speed of the movements are done to optimize your sensations and workout.

Triad one is used to illustrate the Nia Planes.  It’s points are High, Middle, and Low, with gravity in the center and sink and rise as wings. Most any movement can be done high, middle, and low. Your whole body can be high, middle, low – standing, sitting, being on the floor. Or you can be on the floor and experience high, middle, low there too. The current Nia White Belt Training book refers to the Hara or body center as a way to measure high, middle, and low.

In Nia there is the smile line. It is up on the ends and down in the middle, like a smile. I think in a routine recently I experienced a FROWN but she called it a smile line, but we were down then went up and down again, like an upside down smile line (frown). You can achieve the smile line by stepping forward – let’s say – and softening at the knees through the step then ending up. Neither the start nor the end need to be in the HIGH plane, but they are higher than the dip of the smile. You can “smile” in an A Stance . . . soft knees and let hips move up on one side, with a little dip in the middle, then up on the other side. So a smile line CAN help you practice both planes and intensity levels.

Intensity levels are additional guides to YOUR BODY’S WAY, this is the third triad with the levels at each corner. In Nia we label the levels, 1, 2, and 3, going from least intense to most. The middle of the triad is YOUR BODY’S WAY with choices and CPT as the wings. You control the intensity of a movement depending upon what you need. It could be that the intensity level is linked with the plane . . . perhaps it is really intense for you to reach really high, but not as intense when you are in the middle and really easy for you to go down or that could be reversed. So intensity is not always tied to planes. Intensity can be applied to in and out It could be that having your arms in and closer to the body is a level 1 intensity, and a little further ways is a level 2, and out far is a level 3. Typically the further away more intense but that also depends on what you are doing. It could be thought of in respect to energy whatever requires less energy would be a level 1 and so on.

With Nia the idea is NOT to always be at a level 3, that is really no way to do a workout or live, in Nia we want to experience ALL the planes and levels. Also, the understanding is there that your high may not be the same every day. Your level 1 can change.  Your level 3 may be your level 2 some days. We like to encourage our students to play with all the planes and levels and we understand that everyBODY’s planes and levels are different and that they can be different every time we dance.

Do your workout vary planes and intensity levels?

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