Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Archive for the ‘2020 Nia White Belt Principles’ Category

Nia White Belt P12 – Body + Life Transformation – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on September 21, 2020

This week we quickly reviewed Nia White Belt Principle 12.  It is a pretty involved principle and there is not a lot of time to really dig deep into it.  There are four triads to this principle.  That information alone is an indication of how complex this principle is.  Nia White Belt P12 – Body + Life Transformation with a tagline of Purpose – Potential – Possibility.

Like many places, here is where Nia and Nia training can translate into something that a person that doesn’t want to teach can benefit from.  Even twelve years ago when I participated in the Nia White Belt Intensive it was not ALL about teaching us how to teach Nia, but as Nia continues to grow it has shifted even further into being a “life style practice” to include those that don’t want to teach.  The description of this principle is Sensory Study of Personal Enrichment and Growth.  The first triad is about Past, Present, and Future with the center being Knowledge with wings of NiaTV and Nia Training.  Basically it’s representing oneself and indicating that we can continue to learn and gain knowledge with the things available to us.

The additional triads each have a tagline and description, which you can learn about when you take the training.  As often is the case, I don’t want to give it ALL away and really can’t get into each principle or triad in depth because I do – believe it or not – try to keep my posts from being too long.  P12 (t1) is about oneself with purpose, potential, and possibility making up the three corners of the triad.  Tapping into our ideal of ourselves.  P12 (t2) is very complex and is about potential with a top-level “map” on how a teacher learns a routine.  But, it can be applied to a student too as it represents loDance 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 Zoom, Nia White Belt training via Zoomoking, moving, then sharing a routine.  It reminds us of how we blend science, craft, and art into our dance.  The science has us looking, listening, and imagining as tool to learn and do the moves.  Then we can energize the moves with the nine energies (movement forms), crafting the routine.  And the art is the part where we share, having really connected through the music we are able to dance to the music sharing the science and craft.

P12 (t3) is class, core, magic where we learn, embody, and share.  I feel like these two triads should be switched, but I also feel the main triad should have a different order.  Which reminds me, there are a lot of different ways people learn and to me I would Learn – Embody – Share Nia Routines (t3 tagline) as a way TO engage the Somatic Wheels of Transformation (t2 tagline), but I also see needing to engage them first in order to share Nia.

While for me, aspects of the principle that are related to teaching Nia are the most intriguing I see how it is all related.  That is what is amazing and fun about Nia . . . the principles can be applied to daily life.  One does not have to want to teach Nia to be able to relate it to life.

This principle is about purpose, potential, and possibility and the triads are little maps or signs to remind us of the tools that we have in our Nia toolbox.

Can you see how this (thinking about your purpose, potential, and possibilities of your life) can be MORE THAN just an fitness practice?

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Tweaking Nia White Belt P11 – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on September 17, 2020

Normally I post on Wednesdays.  I have this self-imposed posting schedule.  I thought it was important to be consistent.  I have eased up a bit and try to cut myself some slack when I miss a day.  Sometimes I forget, sometimes I can’t think of anything to write, sometimes I just get busy, sometimes I wanna break . . . . I try to let it go.  And NORMALLY, I wouldn’t post on Thursday, because . . . well, so many reasons, but I decided to post today.  As many of you know I am taking an online training.  It is THE FIRST EVER Nia Belt training online.  It is amazing to be a part of the FIRST EVER Nia Belt Training ONLINE – but I don’t think we are that special because a couple of weeks in (if even that many) other trainers starting teaching Nia Belts online and Debbie started other belts online.  We were just the first by a couple of weeks or so.  But they learned a lot in those first couple of weeks.  Anyway . . . I started with that because part of the training is POD meetings.  I know I mentioned the PODs before, but it was in the beginning and I didn’t know exactly what they would be.  Well, it is great.  I don’t think that POD stands for anything in fact it should probably be Pod, but I got POD stuck in my head so that is how I think of it.  Anyway (again) . . . my POD meets on Thursdays and I wanted to share somethings that came out of my meeting today.

First of all the PODs are led by Nia Trainers.  Nia Trainers train for years.  I am not sure how many years – if there even is a requirement – one has to be involved with Nia before asked to be a trainer, but I do know that becoming a trainer is a long commitment.  I think it is about two years.  A Nia TRAINER is someone who can deliver Nia Training, so one of the belts or one of the other modes Nia has.  The trainers are volunteering their time to be POD leaders and to mentor us students.  With all of that said, I believe that all of the POD leaders are great, I mean they have to be because they are Nia Trainers, but I know I am very lucky to have a FABULOUS mentor.  My POD leader is Laurie Bass.  If you are looking at anything Nia you will more than likely see Laurie.  She has been used as a model for many of the promotional material.  You can see her at 2:34 in the Debbie Rosas and the Nia 5 Stages video.  She is an amazing trainer.  I feel very fortunate to have been assigned to her POD.  She is very generous with her knowledge and her time.

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 Zoom, Nia White Belt training via ZoomIn my last post I wrote about how the term “Sacred Athlete” didn’t really resonate with me.  Well, Laurie gave me some suggestions and ideas on how to make it work for me.  As I have said over and over, Nia changes the language a lot so she reminded me that I could do that.  I could just use something else instead of “Sacred Athlete”.  If I use something that DOES resonate with me then I can work with the principle and use it to further my relationship with Nia.  Sticking with a term that I just can’t get on board with made me want to shrug off the entire principle.

The first thing she said helped too, “Where do I want to expend my energy?”  I feel this is a great question to start off the study of Nia White Belt P11 – 2020.  Then she threw out the idea of “sacred” meaning “with purpose” and “athlete” aligning more with “training to reach greatness”.  So trying to shed the definitions that bother me does help, but I really liked her suggestion to just let the “Sacred Athlete” phrase be “your goal/your ideal”.  Not the words “your goal/your ideal”, but the ideal YOU or the goal YOU.  And, to me that tied in to what I mentioned Debbie said . . . she said she had different philosophies for the different Debbie’s in her life . . . different for WifeDebbie, MomDebbie, CEODebbie, etc.  Ahhhhhh!

So that scrunchy face (the one I mentioned in my last post) relaxed.  My whole body went, “Ahhhh!” Being able to just dispense with that term made me feel much better about this principle.  Laurie also had more wisdom to dispense that is helping me cringe less, I am not saying that I won’t tense up when someone uses that term (ICK!!!!), I am just saying that I can now dig into Nia White Belt P11 – Creating A Sensory Life – 2020. because her take on it is making it less and less distasteful.

Do you have any phrases that bother you?  Do you have substitutes for those phrases?

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Nia White Belt P11 – Creating A Sensory Life – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on September 14, 2020

So this is one of the principles that has changed a bit.  The true core of it hasn’t, but I feel that Nia is trying to make it more accessible to everyone instead of just people that want to teach Nia.  This shift was introduced not too long after I took the Nia White Belt training.  So instead of focusing on the business and marketing required as a Nia teacher, the Nia White Belt Principle #11 focuses on your “life’s purpose”.  So this week we were introduced to Nia White Belt P11 – Creating a Sensory Life.  This is a great principle for when someone is looking for their life’s purpose or when someone wants to hone their purpose or goals.

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 Zoom, Nia White Belt training via ZoomThe triad consists of Body, Nia, and Life with corresponding Purpose, Potential, and Possibility.  Then we have Purpose again as one of the wings along with Philosophy expanding out from the middle which is Sacred Athlete.  That term just does not resonate with me in any way.  In fact if you watch me when someone says it or I read it you may detect a scrunch in my face.  I cannot reconcile any definition of sacred to this principle and certainly not when it is combined with athlete.  But that is ok.  I do not have to agree with everything Nia teaches, nor all of the language they choose to use.  I get the gist of it and that is what is important.

This principal has other language that makes me (somewhat) cringe so I will just share what I understand the core of this principal to be . . . basically search your soul for your purpose and then live daily to move yourself toward that purpose.  When you are living your purpose you will be happy.  In the training today we did some exercises to help guide us towards determining our purpose/goal.  In addition to what we did in class Debbie shared some other tools and exercise to help.

She shared that she has a separate philosophy that she applies to each area of her life.  Her philosophy for her marriage is not the same as for raising her kids . . . that kind of thing.  She also reminded us that our purpose can change.  She encouraged everyone to keep searching and checking in (with ourselves) to always make sure we are moving toward our purpose . . . even if we examine what we are doing and realize that if we keep doing it we will not reach our original goal . . . so that is when we may need to adjust what we are doing or it could even mean we need to re-write our purpose.  It can somewhat be related to how we dance.  We want to move to have pleasurable sensations in our body (for example walking without pain) so we take inventory of our body and our body’s movements and then move in ways that will enable us to reach our goal of pain free (as per my example) walking.  We may at times need to tweak how we are moving in order to reach our goal.

So, to me, this principle is what makes Nia “a holistic fitness practice addressing each aspect of your life – body, mind and soul.”

Do you know what your life’s purpose is?  Do you take steps daily towards it?

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Nia White Belt P10 – X-Ray Anatomy – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on September 7, 2020

This is a great principle . . . ok, ok, yes, I know I say that about all of them . . . Debbie does, too.  I laughed at her today when she said something like that.  Again this principle has not changed since I originally took my Nia White Belt back in 2008.  Like I continue to say, the language has changed, the way it is presented, and the knowledge behind it has greatly increased but it is still the basic principle – look at the clues of the body to help you see what is “inside”.

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 Zoom, Nia White Belt training via ZoomNia White Belt P10 – X-Ray Anatomy.  The triad, as you can see is Bones/Joints, Ligaments/Tendons, and Soft Tissue/Muscles.  These are the things we can “see”.  We make observations then move from there.

If you see one arm able to reach higher than the other or a pant leg shorter than the other, is it a mechanical situation or is it a structural one?  Is there muscle tightness in the shoulder that is preventing the arm to reach high or is one leg actually shorter than the other?  X-Ray Anatomy is just about looking and observing.  With the insight we gain from observing we can decide how to proceed in moving in a class, in teaching a class, and/or just moving through life.  We can then apply our knowledge of movement and anatomy to move in ways to help create ease in the shoulders that will allow the arm to reach its full potential and ease in the legs to allow for their full length.  We can also learn to give our body what it needs to find balance and ease even when it is not equal on both sides.

One way we learn X-Ray Anatomy is by Zorro.  Zorro is just a term Nia uses to describe making note of the flow of energy or the lines in a body.  You can do it by observing people – they can be people on TV or people you see in person.  Just quick strokes on paper (or if you have a device you can use) to note the movement of a body.

As I have said, I have posted about Nia Principle #10 X-Ray Anatomy and Zorro before so no reason to go further in this post.  Please click on over to those posts to learn more.

X-Ray Anatomy is just what we in Nia call observing a body and how it moves and we use Zorro as a tool to see the flow of energy all with the goal of helping ensure that we and our students are moving in the most safe and efficient way available.

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Nia White Belt P9 – Upper Extremities – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on August 31, 2020

Sometimes I laugh when I start to write up my share for the Nia White Belt training. It is so rich there is absolutely no way I can share it all . . . and that is good because it is fun to get more information when you take the training. And with Nia and the Nia 52 Moves there is always more to be had. This week we went over Nia White Belt P9 – Upper Extremities.

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 Zoom, Nia White Belt training via ZoomThe picture shows you Principle 9 as Upper Extremities with the tagline of Creative Expressions. And the definition being Sensory Study of Expression. The triad consists of the fingers, hands, and shoulder girdle. Then we have the spine in the middle because it helps and/or is a part of these movements along with the base and the core. We use our fingers and our hands to express ourselves and communicate, yes? Think about it, many of us “talk with” our hands, we reach out with our hands to comfort and be comforted, we can tell someone to come, go, stop, hurry up with our fingers and/or our hands, things like that. They also can be moved in ways that open and close joints and direct energy. Finger and/or hands can be moved to activate muscles. They can be used as the vehicles to help move our arms. Energy flow or lack thereof can affect our base. The spine can provide stability or enable us to move our fingers, hands, and shoulder girdle. The same with the core, it can provide stability or help us with the engagement of our upper extremities.

There is so much that can be said about each of the Nia 52 Moves individually, it is one of the things that is really fun to experience in a training (as I mentioned and will continue to mention).  We review the anatomy (because, remember Nia White Belt is about the BODY) and how the moves move the joints and muscles in the body. I can always revisit any movement and according to my current list of posts I still need to post about a few of the Nia 52 Move that are upper extremities, but for now I will just post the list and links.  I also want to state a reminder that the Nia 52 Moves instructions are done int THE BODY’S WAY.  It could be that your body will not move that way but after practicing the moves your body starts to move that way OR it could be that your body will never move in the exact way the Nia 52 Moves are laid out.  We all have different bodies and sometimes there are injuries or trauma we are dealing with.  And sometimes we are just not made to move that way.  That is why it is very important to keep BOTH THE BODY’S WAY and YOUR BODY’S WAY in mind when practicing Nia (or any movement for that matter).

The Upper Extremities

Arm Moves (3)
35.  Blocks
36.  Punches
37.  Elbow Strikes

Hand Moves (7)
38.  Touching
39.  Fist
40.  Pumps
41.  Strikes
42.  Chop Cut
43.  Webbed Spaces
44.  Palm Directions 

Finger Moves (8)
45. Finger Extensions
46. Finger Flicks
47. Creepy Crawlers
48. Spear Fingers
49. Catching Flies
50. Claw Hand
51. Power Finger Crossover
52. Balance Finger

I invite you to click on the links to see how you can do each move.  Then practice and play and let me know what you think.  Which is your favorite?  Which ones do you do throughout your day (Dancing Through Life)?  Which ones do you do in YOUR workout?

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Nia White Belt P8 – Core – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on August 26, 2020

Nia describes the core as three body weights, pelvis, chest, and head. In the training we are currently studying Nia White Belt P8 – Core | Three Body Weights. Again – at least I think I have mentioned it – since Nia is so rich and it is easy to spend a lot of time on one thing, I somewhat feel our two hours are a little rushed, even though Debbie skillfully got through the entire lesson. It would be easy to spend more time. Not only does Nia study the bone structure of the core (the pelvis, chest, and head) but it incorporates the energies associated with each. So the description of the principle is “sensory study of energy centers.”

First we discussed the Nia 52 Moves associated with the core. There are seven.

PELVIS MOVES (2)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 Zoom
Pelvic Circles
Hip Bumps

CHEST MOVES (2)
Chest Isolations
Shimmy

SPINE MOVES (2)
Undulation
Spinal Roll

HEAD MOVE (1)
Head and Eye Movements

Then we discussed the physical body as is represented by the three points of the triad for Principle 8, pelvis, chest, and head. We reviewed the bones in the pelvis and then moved through the two pelvis move. Since Nia is based on how the body moves we spend a lot of time on how the body is put together. When you understand how the bones move in relation to each other is helps you understand how the body is supposed to move AND, if you pay attention, it can help you understand how your body moves.  For many people, when bones are likened to objects it helps with understanding how they function, say the pelvis is a bowl or a container that is meant to hold and contain and ribs are like a cage made to protect. Remembering that the hip joint is a ball and socket and NOT a hinged joint could lead to a smooth gait when picturing the movement as a rolling movement and not a back and forth. So, in Nia, we examine the structures, learn how they are supposed to move according to the way they were designed, and then we move in different ways to allow us to sense our own body’s way.

We spend a bit of time reviewing the Nia Moves and how they can be adjusted in regards to the planes, the intensity levels, and different body’s needs.

Then she spent time connecting the areas of the spine and body with the energy bodies or the chakras.

CHAKRA 1 | Base or RootAssociation to Core:  Pelvis
It is located at the base of the spine, near the coccyx, in the pelvic area between the perineum and the anus. It’s energy is associated with your legs, coccyx, rectum, and sex organs.

CHAKRA 2 | The Sensual Center (Sacral)Association to Core:  Pelvis
Sacral chakra is located in the lumbar region, just above the sexual organs, and about 2 to 3 inches below the navel.  It is above the root chakra. It’s energy is associated with male and female sexuality, survival, and creativity.

CHAKRA 3 | Solar PlexusAssociation to Core:  Chest
It is located at the mid-thoracic area near your solar plexus. It’s energy is associated with your will, self-confidence, and personal power.

CHAKRA 4 | The HeartAssociation to Core:  Chest
It is located in the center of your chest, at the first, second, and third thoracic vertebrae. It’s energy is associated with love, compassion, joy, and sorrow.

CHAKRA 5 | The ThroatAssociation to Core:  Head
It is located in your throat at the third cervical vertebra. It’s energy is associated with ability to be expressive, to speak up and stand for yourself and for what you believe to be true and real.

CHAKRA 6 | Brow or Third EyeAssociation to Core:  Head
It is located at the first cervical vertebra. It’s energy is associated with your connection to your intuition.

CHAKRA 7 | CrownAssociation to Core:  Head
It is located at the point of your pineal gland. It’s energy is associated with your connection to divine spirit, and soul energy.

She also covered the vowel sounds associated with each chakra, as have I in a previous post.

So along with studying what makes up the physical body, how it is put together, and how it was designed to move, we also studying the energy body.  We move in ways to keep the energy flowing and balanced and we can add sounds to help with that.  Nia is based on Western science as well as ancient beliefs.  Nia White Belt Principle 8 – Core / The Three Body Weights is a very deep principle indeed.

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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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Nia White Belt P6 – Base – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on August 10, 2020

Wow. We are already on Principle 6 of the Nia White Belt Principles in the first ever Nia White Belt Training Online. Remember this is somatic training so it is about the body. For people that have not taken any type of anatomy training or exercise training the information might be new, but since Nia is based on the body a lot of it is not new because we pretty much have had the same number of bones in our feet since they have been able to count all the bones in the feet (26 in each foot). Nia is based on science but the way Debbie relates it to your everyday life is what makes it fun and amazing. Nia White Belt P6 Base. It is about the base, our foundation, from our feet to our hip joint.  The triad consists of feet, legs, hip joints.

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 ZoomI love to remind my students that feet need to be flexible in order to provide the shock absorption we need with each step. Also, in order to help with the entire health of the body they need to be strong, and also allow the energy to flow through. Nia refers to the feet as the Hands that touch the Earth.   Feet like hands relay a lot of information to the body.  In Nia we dance barefoot to not only receive that information through the hundreds of thousands of nerve endings in each foot, but to help with the health of our feet.  Nia has 52 Moves the routines focus on.  Twenty seven of them are associated with the base and each move can help keep feet flexible, strong, and allow energy to flow up to the body.

There are four categories associated with the base. The “Feet” category has 8 moves, the “Stances” category has 6 moves, the “Steps” category 9 moves, and the “Kicks” category has 4 moves.  Below is the list of “base” moves and links to my posts about them, except the Cha-Cha-Cha.

Foot Moves (8)
1.  Heel LeadDance 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 Zoom
2.  Whole Foot
3.  Ball of the Foot
4.  Rele
5.  Rock Around the Clock
6.  Squish Walk
7.  Duck Walk
8.  Toes In, Out, Parallel

Stances (6)
9.  Closed Stance
10.  Open Stance
11.  “A” Stance
12.  Riding (Sumo) Stance
13.  Bow Stance
14.  Cat Stance

Steps (9)
15.  Sink and Pivot Table Wipe
16.  Stepping Back onto the Ball of Your Foot
17.  Cross Front
18.  Cross Behind
19.  Traveling in Directions
20.  Lateral Traveling
21.  Cha-Cha-Cha
22.  Slow Clock
23.  Fast Clock

Kicks (4)
24.  Front Kick
25.  Side Kick
26.  Back Kick
27.  Knee Sweep

If you have never been to a Nia class you might be amazed at how many ways you can do each of these moves. There are many ways . . . you could shift your intention, you could shift your energy, you could shift your focus, you could shift your weight . . . . all of these things would allow you to sense the move differently.  And the great thing about them is you don’t even have to be in a dance class to practice them.

Can you spot one you might call a favorite?

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Nia White Belt P5 – Awareness – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on August 5, 2020

First of all, to clarify, Nia uses triads in their training and they are continually updating them, they may change the language or possibly rearrange the order, but they have used and are still using triads.  This week our lesson was on Nia White Belt Principle 5.  It has four triads, one for the main principle and three more to help with understanding the principle and being able to have it.  The Nia White Belt Principle 5 is Awareness.  White Belt is all about the body so Nia White Belt P5 – Awareness is about body sensory awareness.

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 ZoomThe main triad’s three points are: Body, Message, Response.  There is the body and we get messages and there is our response to the messages.  We have a relationship with our physical body and our energy body which are shown on the “wings” of the triad.  Your nose could have a tickle and your body sends you that message.  You have a relationship with that sensation in your body and with the energy/feelings it generates.  And your response could be to scratch your nose.  That is a very simple example.

The idea goes much deeper than that and it has three additional triads.  The first one is about skin, joints, and connective tissue and our perception of pain and pleasure.  The second one is about awareness, stimulation, and self-healing with a temperature gauge for pain and wings of logic and mystery.  And the third is about Dancing Through Life, Living Meditation, and Life as Art with the sacred athlete at the center and body and life as wings.  Dancing Through Life is the “doing” and Living Meditation is the “Non-Doing”.

There is so much that I can say about each triad but I always want to leave a little mystery so that when you get the book or take the training and dive deeper into it yourself you will have somethings still new to you.  I just want to say a few things about some of the points, self-healing in Nia is not telling you that you can heal yourself without medical assistance, it is more to the effect of moving to heal or in a way that allows your body to heal and not cause injury.  If in your dance you step really wide into a sumo stance and you feel pain in your knees, you could “self-heal” by adjusting to a smaller sumo stance.  This is a simple example, but it is about having awareness and moving to stimulate self-healing.

Also, I wanted to get a little more detailed about Dancing Through Life . . . one of my favorite sayings and ideas of Nia.  A part of the idea is to — literally, DANCE THROUGH LIFE.  Again, remember that Nia has a broad definition of “dance”, so this doesn’t mean do the waltz or plies though life, it is more like noticing everything you do is your dance.  Brushing your teeth is your dance, making your dinner is your dance – the DOING of life is your dance,  The non-doing is living meditation.  Stop and notice things.  Then allow Life to be Art.

Remember there is The Nia Technique Book that covers all of this.  As I have been saying the language now in 2020, is a bit different, but the core of the information is the same.  So even though The Nia Technique Book was published in 2004, you would still get a lot out of it.  Also, this training is available to anyone, you don’t have to want to teach Nia, you just have to want to maybe look at things – things that are not new to you – a little differently, from a body centered outlook.  Currently there are many trainings happening (about to happen) online.

What here sparks your interest about Nia White Belt P5 – Awareness?  Are you living in a body that is always in pain?  Do you think of yourself as Dancing Through Life?  Are you living in a body that is always in pain?

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8 Stages Of Nia White Belt P4 – FreeDance – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on July 29, 2020

As you know different people learn different ways and as we were only on stage 5 with just 20 minutes left in class on Monday, I was wishing that we had more time to explore the principles. I wanted to be able to be with each stage longer. This is my first time re-taking the Nia White Belt. After class, Debbie stays after to answer additional questions and receive comments and, funny enough, one person said she liked how fast we went through the stages. She felt she got more out of it instead of spending so much time on them. Someone else spoke up and “mirrored” that sentiment. I don’t think it was their first re-take. I would have loved to spend more time with it. For my blog, I thought I would at least separate the introduction of the principle from the stages, since for many people exercising without specific instructions is a new and challenging concept. Being able to move one’s body in their own body’s way in a dance exercise class is not the norm – unless you are in a Nia class. The Nia White Belt Principle #4 is FreeDance and it has eight stages.

With Nia FreeDance participants can dance what their body needs at the time they are in the class, but not everyone knows what to do with that freedom. Not everyone knows what their body needs. So there are eight stages we use in our practice that can help. I am not going to do a language comparison (between when I took it in 2008 and now) I am just going to say the verbiage has changed a bit but the message is the same. Here is the 2020 Nia White Belt Principle #4 8 stages with their tag lines and explanations, as usual there is a lot more, I am just sharing a bit.

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 Zoom1 – FreeDance ~ Anything goes movement-wise: this really means, just move your body. A lot of people have a strict idea of what “dance” means so unless someone is doing ballet or waltzing across the floor they will say, “that’s not dance”. But in Nia we kick, we punch, we shimmy, we bob our heads . . . . pretty much ANYTHING GOES MOVEMENT-WISE. Granted in a class we will make certain that is it safe.

2 – Being Seduced By The Music ~ The Art of Listening: this is where you can stop moving. You may be surprised at what you hear when you are just listening to the music. And then once you start dancing again you may be moving differently because you actually heard something you hadn’t heard before. Or you may just have a different sense of the music.

3 – Feelings + Emotions ~ Pretend, Fake it, Act “as if”: this is where you pretend. You can pick an emotion . . . and act as if you are XXXX. You can pretend to be mad, angry, happy, sad, tired, bored, flirty . . . whatever and then you dance that. You let your body MOVE that emotion.

4 – Creative Source ~ Real You: here you remember a story and allow yourself to feel that emotion and dance that. You may find that you use less energy when you are actually tapping into a real emotion than when you are acting and the emotion is coming from your head. Dance your story and see where that emotion takes your movements.

5 – Authentic Movement ~ Change!!: this is about the way your body moves. We dance and as we are “forced” to change we find authentic movement. For those that know how to count the bars we change every two bars, but until you know that, just change often . . . let’s just say you should change about 15 times in an average speed 5 minute song.

6 – Witness ~ Neutral Observer: this is where we just notice what our body does. We aren’t supposed to change it we are just noticing what it does.

7 – Accidental Click ~ Music + Movement Integration: this is where we have a “click”, when we really feel our body move to the music and we know that that is how it is supposed to be moving. Something “clicks”. Once you sense that keep doing it.

8 – Body-Centered Choreography ~ Levels 1, 2, 3: this is where you can take that movement tendency or that click and dance through the three levels. The three levels are what we want to demonstrate in a Nia class so that everyBODY can have fun and get the workout their body needs at that time. Level one is less, smaller movements, two is more, and then three is the biggest and something you may not even be able to (or want to) maintain throughout the class. It is nice to visit all the levels so that you can experience the different sensations in the body.  Also, it is important to keep in mind that these levels relate to YOUR body.  My level one might be your level three, that person over there . . . their level three might be my level two . . . . so do YOUR BODY’S levels.

I wrote out the main things that I want to remember (pictured here) and posted here.

There you have a bit about the eight stages of the 2020 Nia White Belt Principle #4 – FreeDance. These can help people with their FreeDance practice.

I could go on and on, but I need to stop here.  I hope this gave you an idea about Nia FreeDance and maybe if gave you some ideas on how you can play and practice with dancing in order to stimulate your BMES.

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