Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

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Archive for the ‘Sounding’ Category

One Person Making A Lot Of Noise

Posted by terrepruitt on September 23, 2014

It only takes one.  One person, that is it.  One person besides me, that is.  I have observed different groups of Nia students and I have seen them alter their sounding practices.  It is so fun to witness a silent class become noisy.  I feel that making noises in a dance exercise class, or “sounding” as it is called in Nia, depends a lot on the music.  There is specific music that just lends itself to making noise.  There is some music that people instinctively just join in singing or making the appropriate sounds during the music.  There is also specific moves that lend themselves to sounding.  Chopping seems to cause “Hi-yas!” to erupt from the practitioner.  Blocking tends to cause loud “Has!”  But not all the time.  It does help when they are made a part of the choreography.  It helps when the sound is the same or at least consistent throughout the song.  My sounding often just comes out.  I am dancing to the music and perhaps thinking of the next move or discovering a pearl and noise just comes out.  It is not always the same as the last time.  I feel that sometimes makes people shy.  They want to have others saying it with them.  And it really only takes one.  That ONE person who seems to just have noises inside that have to come out.  That one person who doesn’t need the teacher to lead them.  That one person to just make a noise and it encourages others to do so.

I often feel that there are some that want to make noise, but they don’t.  There are many reasons people don’t make noise.  I think I mentioned it before, but I kind of remember it being a “thing”.  I am not saying we were told NOT to make noise, but you would never have walked into a women’s gym and heard grunting.  (Eye roll)  I guess that is because we aren’t allowed to breathe.  HA.  I don’t know, but I do have a sense that it was not something women were encouraged to do.  Exercise was done in silence.  So I think that has a lot to do with it.  We were not taught to make noise while exercising.  So we don’t.

But I sense there are those that want to.  What I see happening, is we will do the move with me making the noise for seven times.  The eighth time comes around and since we are changing to a different move I might be at the point when I need to use that time for instruction.  It just happens that on that eighth time the person finally got up their nerve to make a sound and then it is as if they are left hanging because I didn’t do it with them because I had to introduce the change.  Yup . . . I feel that happens a lot.

But not when there is that ONE person.  All it takes is ONE person.  That one person can — by example — encourage the rest of the group.  I love it.  I silently cheer that person on.  I send waves of gratitude out to that one person that is not me that is sounding and helping the group find their voice.  I have some GREAT sounders in my Nia groups.  And I am so happy and excited that they are finding their voice.

I know how it is to move silently through a class.  Nia is wonderful and freeing, so the dance is meditation to me.  But when I first decided to join in on that sounding — YEOWZZZAAAA!  Whoa!  That just took the movement, the dance, the freedom to an entirely different level.  It was invigorating.  So I know how it is to be shy about making noises in class (I know if you have ever taken my class you might not believe that).  I know how it is to take up almost the entire song before you allow that sound out.  But I also know how it FEELS and the senses my body experiences after a really loud and noisy class.  So I will keep sending out waves of applause to that one sounder as they lead the entire class into becoming sounders.

Do you make noise when you work out?  Perhaps you sing?  Do you breathe loudly?

Posted in Nia, Sounding | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Adding More Noise To The Mix

Posted by terrepruitt on June 10, 2014

We have sounding in Nia . . . where we make sounds as we are dancing.  Plus people are always invited and . . . in my class . . . encouraged to sing.  I’ve written several posts about sounding and put them in their own category under Nia.  (Click here for the link to those posts)  Although I do not think of making sounds as being regulated to Nia, I just have them as a sub-category under the category Nia.  I think sounds are appropriate to make during other exercises and workouts.  One that always comes to mind when people seem to need convincing of making noises and exercising is martial arts.  Once I remind them that “Hi-Ya!” is a common sound, they seem to relax into the idea a bit.  As I probably have mentioned before, I remember it being an unspoken rule that you didn’t make noise while you are doing Jazzercise, lifting weights, or working out at the Lady Spa.  Could have been ideal that it was unladylike to make noise.  I don’t know, because I never remember being told NOT to make a sound, I just know that no one did it.  It was almost as if even breathing heavy was taboo!  One reason I love Nia:   breathing and making sounds are encouraged.  But I think of these sounds as helping with the flow of oxygen and energy.  I think of them as stress relieving and joy bringing.  So when I was flipping through Yoga Journal and came across an article titled “How To Be Fearless” I thought, “Huh?  Interesting.”  Mark Moliterno, an opera singer and yoga instructor has paired yoga with voice to create YogaVoice.

This reminded me of one of Nia’s instructors who created Kivo® The Kinetic Voice . . . which is – according to her website – “a vocal practice that uses the whole body. It is designed to harness the power of vocal vibration and movement as transformational tools that unlock energy, activate your true radiance and empower you to go out and create the life you were born to live.”  So . . . back to the article when I looked at the chart within the article I realized that the pairings were for more than just overcoming public speaking jitters as the subtitle read.  It was for a list of different areas.

Just as we know certain sounds to be related to certain chakras and feelings, you probably also know poses are related to certain chakras and feelings.  When sounds and asanas are paired up they can be very beneficial.  I would bet many of you are familiar with “OM” as a yoga chant. Different sounds and different mantras can be used.  The information on the YogaVoice websites leads me to believe this is different from chanting while doing yoga, there are indications that it goes beyond that.

I just love that more sounding is coming into the workout.  Since I believe there is a lot more to sounding — a lot more benefits can be reaped than just breathing — I love movement forms that stem from sounding or that incorporate it.

Do you believe the is benefits to making noises while working out?  Do you make noises while exercising?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga

 

Posted in Nia, Sounding, Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nia Stance Sounds

Posted by terrepruitt on January 5, 2013

There are a few posts on my blog about sounding in Nia.  I even have a separate category for it.  See over there to the left under categories, under Nia?  Sounding is what we call making noise in a Nia class.  Sounding is great for many reasons.  Sounding is a release.  It can help release tension, emotions, spirit . . . whatever needs “releasing”.  Sounding is fun.  Sounding can assist in the stabilization of the torso.  Sounding can help ground you . . . physically, emotionally, and your spirit.  Often times when I am doing Nia both when I am teaching and when I am a student, my spirit just makes a sound.  I don’t plan it, I don’t think about it, a noise just comes out.  I “woo” a lot.  But sometimes other sounds comes out.  Sometimes the sound I make makes me laugh because I really don’t think about the sound, something just comes out.  I could be thinking of something, for example, maybe the move we are doing reminds me of a swirling skirt, so then the sound could be a “whosh” as in the sound of a skirt, or it could be a giggle of a girl twirling in a skirt.  I don’t always think about the sound I just let it out.  Sometimes I do think of the sound.  Sounding can be purposeful.  The noise can have a purpose.  I have posted about healing sounds and sounds associated with the chakras.  This post is about the sounds that are associated with Nia stances, which are part of Nia’s 52 moves.

TheDance 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 picture in this post is an approximation of how MY feet would be placed in the various stances.  Remember that your stances would probably be slightly different.  The width would be according to YOUR body and your body’s way.  The picture is just to give you an idea and maybe help remind you of the various stances.  At this time I have a post associated with four of the six stances.

In Nia’s closed stance the sound is the vowel sound “o”.  The sound is made to “create volume in your chest cavity”.

In Nia’s open stance the sound is (to say) “balance” or “ground”.  Saying the word “balance” can assist you in your balance.  The word “ground” can assist with allowing you to feel grounded and sense balance.

The sound for Nia’s “A” stance is “aaaaahh!”.  You say it on an exhale.  Letting out all your breath until you are ready to inhale.

Sumo stance or riding stance (feet as wide apart as if you were riding a horse) has an explosive sound.  Say “ha!”  To me this helps with stabilization.

The bow stance has a sound of “u”.  The bow stance is done with either foot in front, not just with the left foot in front as shown in the example.

The cat stance (standing on one foot, with the other foot pressed against the standing leg) has the sound “wooooooo” associated with it.  This is done on the exhale.  This stance is also done on the other foot and not just the left one as in the example.

So as you are practicing the Nia stances you can use the sounds associated with them for added benefit and fun.  It is just fun to make noise.  To me it adds to the experience.  In my classes I encourage people to make any noise they want.  I also like to play with the noises, sounds, and words associated with the move.

Do you attend a dance exercise class  or exercise that encourages you to make noise?

Information regarding the sounds made with the Nia stances can be found in The Nia Technique book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas (NKA, Carlos AyaRosas).  The book can be purchased from Amazon.

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

Chakra Vowel Sounds — AH!

Posted by terrepruitt on April 28, 2012

When I first discovered Nia I bought The Nia Technique Book to see if I would be able to do it.  I don’t mean do it as in do the moves and participate in a class, I mean do it as in “get into it”, as in understand it.  It sounded a bit “woo-woo” to me.  Listening to your body, voices of the body, energy this, moving energy that.  I wasn’t sure I could sync it up with my beliefs.  But as I studied it more I realized that it is based on science.  It involves human kinetics.  Most of the moves, although called the 52 Nia moves are quite common and are seen in many other types of exercises and workouts.  The ones that I consider unique are probably part of some other dance I am not familiar with.  And the “woo-woo” part, well, I realized that it is woo-woo – at least that is how many people think of certain things like energy, chakras, mind-body, and body-mind practices.  I mean look at yoga, when I was young that was one of the “woo-wooest” things around and now people have embraced it.  There are so many types of yoga it is difficult to keep track.  For some they just ignore the woo-woo while others embrace it because they realize it makes sense.  I mean cultures have been using “woo-woo” stuff for centuries.  There is meditation, herbs, chanting, drumming — all types of other things that some people think of woo-woo.  The woo-woo must not be too far off base though because it seems to work.  Recently my posts have been about healing sounds and making sounds, this post is about the vowel sounds related to the chakras and I am sure to some people it sounds a little, or maybe even a lot, “woo-woo”.  But I like to imagine that if you are reading this you are somewhat open to new things — even woo-woo things.  So you might be willing to try the healing sounds or even the vowel sounds of the chakras.

The vowel sounds related to the chakras are as follows:

CROWN CHAKRA:  EEE as in “me”

BROW/THIRD EYE CHAKRA:  AAA* as in “say”

THROAT CHAKRA:  EYE as in “my”

HEART CHAKRA:  AH as in “ma”

SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA:  OH as in “go”

PELVIC CHAKRA:  OOO as in “you”

ROOT CHAKRA:  UH as in “cup”

The idea is to say these sounds in a specific note.  If you have a keyboard or a phone with an app that has a keyboard or an app that can give you examples of the notes it might help you.  Or you might be musical and know what the notes sound like.

EEE is to be made in the B note
AAA is to be made in the A note
EYE is to be made in the G note
AH is to be made in the F note
OH is to be made in the E note
OOO is to be made in the D note
And UH is to be made in the C note

These sounds are to help open and heal the chakras.  Or to keep them balanced, all depends on your needs and your practice.

As with everything there is a wealth of information out there on how to “do” the vowels.  The commonalities I am seeing is to sit comfortable with a lengthened spine.  Be relaxed.  Use a normal breath.  Repeat each sound seven times.

I have used these sounds in my Nia classes when we are using a chakra as a focus.  I am going to take this list and use the vowels sounds just as I did the healing sounds.  The focus can be the chakra vowel sounds and we can create an intent from there.  Yay!  I love thinking of things to use as focuses in my classes.  I also think that sitting down to make these sounds as a specific exercise is a good idea. What do you think about chakra vowels?  Might you try the exercise?

*Many places note this as “AYE” but to me that is AYE, as in what a pirate says.  So I noted it as AAA, like Fonzie would say.  🙂

Posted in Chakras, Nia, Sounding | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Reasons for Sounding in Nia Class

Posted by terrepruitt on April 26, 2012

I’ve post about the Healings Sounds. I’ve posted about how we used the Healing Sounds in our Nia class. I’ve stated that making noise is a great way for people to know that you are breathing. There are other reasons to sound, one being it helps stabilize your core. In Nia or in other dance exercise classes there are times when you are moving and playing with balance so having a stable core can assist in proper balance. With the effort to stay stable there is also strengthening. On the exhale the abdomen is tightened.

In Nia we do a lot of movement where core stabilization is key. Some of the moves we do that require a stable core are punches, blocks, and kicks. In order to punch and/or block with strength and authority the spine needs to be straight, the ribs squeezing, and the abs tight. All of this can be accomplished with one loud sound, any sound can do it. Kicking is the same thing, even if you are doing a side kick where your body might be leaning, the spine is still straight and the torso needs to be tight. A joyful “HA!” can take care of all that!

Another reason to sound is release. We are often taught to be quiet. It could be as deep and as damaging as we were taught our opinions don’t matter. It could be more of a social “norm” where we were taught to respectfully keep one’s opinion to oneself or respectfully not sing, shout, or cry out loud because it would be inappropriate even though that is what we really want to do.  All of these social confines can lead to blocked energies.  Having to behave can lead to us feeling bad, so sounding in a Nia Class is a huge release. We can experience a release.  Healing sounds aren’t the only ones to be made, anything will do.

Often times for me I am busy with listening to the music, thinking of the next move, getting ready to cue, dancing, and breathing I don’t THINK about sound it just comes out. Sometimes a move makes its own sound. Also depends on the move. I did a routine recently where the moves were very quiet for me. It was odd. It was as if the moves had no sound. I am wondering if that is because it was so new. I am looking forward to doing it again to see if sounds reveal themselves.

In addition to breath, stabilization, strength, and release sounding is fun. Children are expected to shout, laugh out loud, and be joyfully noisy, but adults not so much.  Kids can run and scream on a playground, adult aren’t often afforded such a luxury, but in Nia we can.  It really is fun. It is fun to make noise. It is fun to HA, HOO, FOO, SHOO, HI-YA, WAHOO, WHOOO, and SHHHHH to the top of your voice. It is fun to play with the volume and the tone of the noises. All of this playfulness adds to the joy.  We can whoop it up as we did when we were young.  The vibrations of sound heal the body. The fun heal the spirit and the soul.

I often wonder how people are able to keep quiet in a Nia class.  I believe they have not yet experienced the good it will do for them.  There is the breath, the added stabilization, the strengthening, the emotional release, and the fun that it brings all good for the body, mind, spirit, and soul.

While I am saying we do sounding in Nia class, don’t think it is restricted to that.  So while you are exercising don’t forget to breath.  Try making some noise.  If you are in a class that doesn’t allow for it find a Nia class and whoop it up there!

Do you make noise while you exercise?

Posted in Nia, Sounding | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

How We Used Healing Sounds In Our Nia Class

Posted by terrepruitt on April 24, 2012

A post ago I posted about Healing Sounds. In Nia classes participants are encouraged to make noise or what we call sound.  One reason to sound is to let the teacher of the class know you are breathing.  This holds true for many exercise classes.  Wanting students/participants to be breathing holds true for all teachers.  There are a lot of reasons to sound, it does not have to be for healing or feeling better.  But as I stated in that post, I just happened to come across that information and those sounds so I thought it would be fun to bring the list to class and use them as a focus.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, The first time we used the Healing Sounds in a Nia Class, I had written each sound down on a separate piece of paper and I taped them to the mirror.  Before class I verbally reviewed each sound.  Our focus was the Healing Sounds with an intent of bringing some healing.  I invited the participants to make these noises during class.  The general invitation was to make them any way; they could breath in and make the noise on one long exhale, they could make them quick and staccato, they could make the tone high or low.  Whatever they wanted. Whatever they felt.  As with most focuses I do bring them into play specifically at times so when we were punching or kicking I might have encouraged them to make loud and forceful sounds.  I encouraged them at one point to try each sound.  I also had them play with saying a sound at least six times as was mentioned in the information I had found.  For my own practice I know that I used the sounds in a pattern and as with many things when one person does it others follow.  So we did a lot of lead and follow with sound as each person thought of different ways to use the sounds. It was very fun.

After the class I read to them what the sounds were related to and what they assisted with.  It was very fascinating.  Some commented that they had been drawn to a particular sound and they could see how that would be an area in which assistance would be appreciated.  Some had fun doing a good job of using all the sounds.  Some admitted that some sounds were more fun to make than others.

The most recent time that I used the healing sounds I again taped up the papers with each sound written on it.  But this time I read the information before class.  So the participants were aware of what each sound was prior to dancing.  The focus and intent were the same, but with the knowledge of what each sound assisted with some Nia students decided to focus on the specific sounds they felt would help them.  Again we had the freedom of how to make the sound and when to make it.  It is so exhilarating to hear my students weave sounding into the dance and to hear them make the sounds in their own way.

This second time around it was rewarding to hear my students say, “Yay!  I was just thinking about the healing sounds and hoping you would do them again soon.”  So they enjoyed it the first time and were looking forward to it.

I think I just decided today that with each routine I teach, with each round, I am going to do at least one class at each location (Willow Glen San Jose, Campbell, and Blossom Hill San Jose) where the focus is the healing sounds.  Whether the belief is that they actually heal or not we all have a lot of fun with it.  And they are sounds that my class actually make!

You don’t have to be in a Nia class to experiment with the sounds.  Have you used them?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Nia, Sounding | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Feel Good Sounds

Posted by terrepruitt on April 19, 2012

In a Nia class the participants are encouraged to make sounds.  There are many reasons to make sounds while you are working out.  One, is to ensure breathing.  As you are making a sound there is air going out, and in order to repeat it, there has to be air that was inhaled.  So making sounds during an exercise class is a great way to let the teacher know there is breathing going on.  There are also specific sounds related to specific things, but we don’t always have to be so particular.  Sometimes just any sound will do.  I did a post on Sounding in July of 2009.  That is when I was brand new to Nia and new to teaching.  I was still learning to be vocal.  I had no probably being vocal as I was teaching but as a student I didn’t always participate.  So I believe I understand some of the reasons a person might not want to sound and some of those reasons are the very reasons we SHOULD be making noise.  All of these points can easily lead to additional posts, and they just might (a sounding series?), but for this post I am going to share what I found a while ago about healing sounds.

There are sounds associated with the chakras so a while back I was thinking I could bring a list of them to my Nia classes and I could use them to encourage my Nia students to sound.  But I found a different list instead.  Before I share the information with you I want you to play along with me.  Pick one sound from the six below.  Just pick one that appeals to you right now as you are reading it.  Don’t think, just pick one.

SHOO, HAA, HOO, SSS, FOO, and SHEE.

Now keep playing along with me.  Inhale and then say the sound you picked out loud on the exhale.  Now do that six times.  How do you feel?

Well, according to Sales Creators, a business problem solving company, the above sounds are healing sounds related to specific problems or issues.  As I mentioned I had wanted to find some sounds that we could make in my Nia classes that would be fun and associated with chakras.  As I was looking I discovered this information.  At the time I didn’t know it was from a company that helped with business problems, I just discovered that now as I tried to locate the source of my information.  In glancing quickly at the website, it looks pretty interesting.  They actually speak to wellness of the entire person.  What?  REALLY?  On a sales and marketing consulting company’s website?  Yes.

Anyway here is what the information said in summary.

SHOO is a sound that helps alleviate problems associated with a sense of depression.  The information states that you will feel better after having repeated it six times.  The liver and the gall bladder is positively affected by the vibration of this sound.

HAA helps alleviate anger and helps calm the heart and regulate the small intestine.

HOO is a body temperature regulating sound.  It helps one to not become too cold and balances the spleen, pancreas, and stomach.

SSS is a balance sound.  SSS helps to regain equilibrium in the nervous system and the body.  The vibration of this sound cleanses the lungs and regulates the large intestine.

FOO is another body temperature regulating sound but this one helps with a high body temperature.  So to me is sounds as if you are typically hot making this sound will help cool you down.  This sound is said to stabilize the kidneys, bladder, and adrenal glands.

SHEE helps relieve stress, tension, and anxiety.  The instructions say that if you are under stress make this sound 36 times.  It helps with regulating the blood circulatory systems and the central nervous system.

I truly believe that vibrations affect us, so to me it makes sense that certain ones would affect us in certain ways.  I was hoping that without your knowledge, without you thinking about it you would gravitate to one of the sounds that would help you.

So, did the sound you randomly picked match up to what you were feeling?  And now that you know what is associated with each sound are they a few you might want to try out?  What do you think about vibrations and healing sounds?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc, Sounding | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Sound – In Nia: Sounding

Posted by terrepruitt on July 2, 2009

So, I could just fill my blog with Nia, but I want to post other stuff too because I am interested in other workouts and exercises and I like to share other stuff.  Today is supposed to be my “fun” post or “whatever” post, not necessary related to health, wellness, or Nia.  I thought that I would find some inspiration before the day was out, but . . . nothing.

So . . . here I am, back at Nia and the wonders of it.  I left an article from Nia Education in the studio where I teach (in Willow Glen) and it is about sounding.  This evening (when does “evening” start?  Anyway . . .) when I was explaining to my class in Los Gatos that Nia uses a focus it dawned on me that I didn’t have a focus for class.  Then it came to me in a flash “Sounding”.  Nia calls it sounding, I’ve heard some classes call it vocalization.  Whatever  . . .

We had a few songs that were great for sounding and that are normally done with us making noise, but tonight I added noise (sounding) into all of the songs.

I am going to be honest, when I am TAKING a Nia class I am not a big “sounder”, I am getting better, but I don’t always do it.  So I know how intimidating it can be.  And it frustrates me (that I don’t do it) because I know—-I have FELT the benefits.  When I first started doing Nia I didn’t make any sound.  Then I was in a class and I realized that I was the only one NOT making sound so I joined in—-HOLY MOLY!  What a difference that makes.  It is amazing and I can’t really describe it.  But because I have felt the benefits, I am getting better at doing it in other’s classes, and I do it when I am leading my class.

Tonight I was so loud I couldn’t hear if others were doing it.  I had to tone it down to make sure they were doing it.  The women who showed up first, the ones I had explained it to were participating, but the others weren’t.  But that is ok, they will come around in their own time, in natural time.  After class I felt awesome.  Sounding is amazing.  It is like a release and an energizer all at once.

Have you ever been frustrated and just shouted, yelled, or screamed, you know how you feel after that?  That sense of release, that feeling of “aaaaah, now I feel better.”  Well, just think of an entire workout like that?  It is exhilarating.

A Nia Education article says, “every cell in your body is a sound resonator that responds to sounds coming from the outside and the inside of your body, and that all of the systems in your body – your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual states of consciousness – respond to sound?”**   Yeah, I knew that . . . .

If you are interested in the article, let me know.  It is very short and I can send it to you.  I have posted the tips for helping you begin sounding on my site, in case you are interested.  So, can you do it?  Are you ready to make some noise?

 

**Nia Education ©2006 Nia Technique, Inc.

Posted in Nia, Sounding | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »