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!

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Nia White Belt P2 – Natural Time and Movement Forms – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on July 13, 2020

Principle 2 of the Nia White Belt has two parts. Nia White Belt Principle 2 is Natural Time and Movement Forms. As you may have seen, I am re-taking the Nia White Belt training online and so far, the information, the bones of this principle has not changed . . . and that is comforting. It is nice to know that we – from the first Nia White Belt that experienced these principles to now – are all still moving from the same point of reference. Back when I took the Nia White Belt training in December 2008 they were developing new images called triads. We were the first class to get a glimpse of them and be shown how they “worked”. Nia is still using the triads to help students learn and embody information, but as I mentioned in a previous post, we are being presented with the latest langage to be used by Nia, but so far the core of the principles have been the same. In addition to the BRAND NEW (not even been printed) Nia White Belt “Sense” Book (the training manual) we are also reading The Nia Technique Book. The Nia Technique Book has pages and pages devoted to Nia White Belt Principle 2 – Natural Time and Movement Forms.  It is a vast principle.

First of all, I want to remind you that Nia is amazing. It is a holistic model for movement and life so it has A LOT of depth. The training material they put out is ALWAYS mind blowing. And over the years they have added more and more things to the toolbox. So, I am not disclosing everything we learn, I am not sharing all of the information because it really is something one needs to experience for themselves. All of the stuff I share – ok, most of it – comes from the publicly available book The Nia Technique Book.

The first part of the principle: Natural Time. I don’t have much to add to my first post on Nia Natural Time. There is a triad for this, but, again, not sharing ALL of our training with you because that just wouldn’t be fair. The first part of P2 is about moving in your own time and using the 13:20, your 13 major joints and your 20 digits, for movement, and about what Nia calls measure which I equate to proprioception, where you know where your body is in relation to things around you and to your own body.  This is very helpful when you are dancing with a lot of people.  It is also VERY helpful nowadays when you are observing social distancing. You use movement and measure to move in your body’s way.

The second part of the principle is Movement Forms. There are three arts that each contain three different movement forms. Now, I say we may use moves from each art because when exercising and/or dancing you are probably going to do a punch or a kick and/or a shimmy or a cha-cha-cha. But I do need to be clear that we are not actually DOING any of these forms. We just use elements from each form or even more accurately we use the energy of each form.  Since we are still using The Nia Technique Book in training, I feel that my previous posts can serve as information regarding each art and its included form.

The “Arts” are Martial Arts (MA), Dance Arts (DA), and the Healing Arts (HA).  Within each art is the form from which we use energy.

T’ai chi is the slow dance
Tae Kwon Do is the dance of precision
Aikido is the dance of harmonious spherical motion

Jazz Dance is the dance of fun, showmanship, and expression
Modern Dance
is the dance of creating shapes in space
Duncan Dance is the dance of free-spirited, honest movement

Feldenkrais is the dance of conscious awareness of sensation,
the Alexander Technique is the dance of movement from the top
Yoga is the dance of conscious alignment of bones and joints

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I am sharing the hastily drawn triad regarding the movement forms because it helps with understanding the organization of them.

For our homework we spent time discovering our energy personalities in relation to the nine movement forms.  In our training we spent time dancing each movement form to see how the different energy allowed our bodies to move.  It is fun to explore and maybe learn new ways to move.

And there you have it Principle 2 of the Nia White Belt hopefully it gives you a little insight as to how we dance Nia and even how we move through life.

Might you play with dancing using one of the movement forms?  See what is your favorite form of expression?

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A Loving Path

Posted by terrepruitt on July 10, 2020

About this time last year some friends were visiting from out of state and they were staying at a place that had the cutest yard. I was very entertained by the yard. I walked around and took a lot of pictures. I have posted some but have a few more I could share.  Here are some stepping stones for my Friday Photo. I thought it would be nice to use these . . . perhaps on a path to more love and kindness in the world.

 

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Joy Of Movement – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on July 8, 2020

I kind of figure I will be posting a bit about each of the “re-languaged” Principles as I go along, but we will see. Some of them might not need another entire post . . . but we will see. In looking back at my original post regarding Nia White Belt’s Principle 1 not much has changed. The way it is written up in the book and the way she talks about it may have changed, but – two things – the main brunt of it is the same and I don’t want to share everything exactly anyway because if you are the slightest bit interested you have to experience for yourself. The first Principle is the Joy of Movement. Sometimes referred to as JoM or maybe even JOM.

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, City of San Jose online exerciseBack when I took the training originally the fact that sometimes you just aren’t feeling happy, was discussed and, of course that is going to happen. It came up this time, too, because that is reality – no one is happy all the time. And that is somewhat what this is about. You don’t have to FEEL happy to dance the Joy of Movement. It might help. Moving when you are happy definitely has a different energy. Try it. You can dance when you are happy and it will be different than when you are not. But when you feel happy that is an emotion, a feeling, when you dance the Joy of Movement that is a sensation. Something that comes from the body. Something that many people may need to learn (as in it doesn’t necessarily come naturally) and we need to practice.

The Joy of Movement allows you to dance no matter what. For some it is relaxing the body and letting it move. A body that moves in its own way pretty much can’t help but find joy. So that means even if you have aches, pains, and an injury, if you move in the way your body is able to move at that moment, you can find joy. So, for example, if your foot is injured and standing, walking, jumping on it would cause it pain, doing that would not be YOUR BODY’S WAY (at the moment), but maybe sitting down and moving would be the way your body could move and movement will make your body sense joy.

Note, that one key is moving in YOUR BODY’S WAY . . . if your body does not like to move fast then doing so will not allow you to find that Joy of Movement. Moving in ways your body is not able to is not going to allow you to find it either, you have to move in ways that bring you the sensation of joy.

If you are feeling sad, but you move in your body’s way, you may still FEEL sad, but your body and its sensation will be joyful and perhaps you will end up feeling less sad. Now dancing away your sadness is not the point of the Joy of Movement, going back to when I mentioned the fact that sometimes we feel sad, that is ok. This is not a practice that preaches to ignore your sadness (feelings), just dance them away . . . it is just a practice that is body center and is teaching that you can find joy in movement. It is a tool that can help you deal with life.

There is always going to be situations that make us sad, upset, out of sorts, angry, grumpy, whatever, but if you want a tool to help this is one of the many tools in the Nia toolbox. Again, this is not to say I am not allowed to be upset and it isn’t even saying when I dance or move I have to be happy, this is just saying I have the CHOICE. I can CHOOSE the SENSATION of joy and tap into the UNIVERSAL JOY that is out there and available to anyone and everyone. It is not an emotion, but a sensation.  With those three things I have . . . . . the Joy of Movement.

So what do you think?  Do you move for the joy of it?

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Nia White Belt Principles 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on July 6, 2020

Back in December 2008 I took a training for a movement practice called Nia.  I had only taken a couple of classes and that was only to see if I liked it enough to teach it.  I liked it enough to want to teach it so I signed up for the week long training at the headquarters in Portland, Oregon.  I went having no idea what I was getting into and thinking I would walk out with routines learned enough to jump start into teaching.  Well, no, that is not what a week training for a Nia Belt is.  But it is pretty amazing.  Back then the TWO founders were still a part of Nia, whereas now-a-days it is just one of the founders.  Turns out Nia is a practice . . . like yoga is a practice.  You can do just the physical exercise part of it or you can add it to your life.  Adding it to your life is pretty easy since the main idea of Nia – to me – is to notice your body and how it moves.

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, City of San Jose online exerciseOne thing Nia does is have principles for every “level” (called “Belts”).  I listed the principles of the (2008) White Belt in my post Nia Or Nia Technique Is A Specific Practice.  Then I wrote a post about each principle individually.  With an amazing and unprecedented opportunity to take the training again with one of the Founders online at an astronomically generous discount, I couldn’t say no.

It is the first time a Nia Belt has ever been offered online.  Nia is very much about the body and movement so it really does make sense to do it in person – to be in the same space with people learning and doing the same stuff.  But . . . Nia is amazing in its ability to adapt and change and do what needs to be done to continue on yet keep its members and participants safe, so we are doing it online.  Debbie Rosas (one of the founders) is determined to give it a personal feel and touch so we are on Zoom doing a portion of the training.  Then we are assigned to a POD, with over 200 people taking the training I thought the PODs would be big, but there were only five people on my POD list.

Anyway, the principles’ wording has changed a bit so I wanted to post an updated list.  With the slight changes I am confident that the principles are still the same.  I mean, that is what Nia is based on.  It is just that sometimes language can be updated, sometimes to more marketable friendly words.  But still stay the same.  We will see as I go through the training.  I never like to give too much away because it is something you need to experience for yourself, but I do plan to post more about it . . . the information and my experience.  That is the reason I started this blog in the first place.  I wanted to share Nia with everyone.  And now that so many things are having to be online, maybe you can experience it yourself.

Principle 1 – JOY OF MOVEMENT

Principle 2 – NATURAL TIME + MOVEMENT FORMS

Principle 3 – MUSIC + 8 BC SYSTEM

Principle 4 – FREEDANCE

Principle 5 – AWARENESS

Principle 6 – BASE

Principle 7 – PLANES + INTENSITY LEVELS

Principle 8 – CORE

Principle 9 – UPPER EXTREMITIES

Principle 10 – X-RAY ANATOMY

Principle 11 – CREATING A SENSORY LIFE

Principle 12 – BODY + LIFE TRANSFORMATION

Principle 13 – LIVING WHAT YOU SENSE

As I said I don’t think these have really changed, because if you compare lists they are basically the same but with slightly different wording.  Number 11 is what always changes the most.  I don’t know how many times it has changed, but I know I kinda didn’t care for some of the versions . . . but again, I think it is all BASICALLY the same.  I am looking forward to seeing.  This is not only new language to me, it is NEW to everyone . . . Nia just finished crafting it so this is really exciting.

As I said, I hope to be following up this post with more information as it unfolds.

Have you participated in any type of training or lesson online that you were/are enthusiastic about?

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Flower Fireworks

Posted by terrepruitt on July 3, 2020

Normally my Friday Photos are pictures that I take, but my friend sent me this and I just had the idea to use it as a pre-4th of July Friday Photo. She made fireworks out of alliums. So creative and so cool! They look awesome. They look like fireworks.

Happy Fourth of July!

 

 

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Small Appliances To The Rescue

Posted by terrepruitt on June 29, 2020

You may know from previous posts here that my oven is out of commission. My husband did all he could . . . the normal things like replacing the elements. He even purchased a thermostat, but the oven has to come out for that. The repairman determined it was the circuit board, something that the company no longer makes so we couldn’t order a new one. But my husband found a company that repairs them so our oven part is off at the electronic hospital :-). The company wanted a whole portion of the unit, but my husband knew that shipping that portion would be more risky for damage so he just sent the actual part that needs fixing. And in doing that he was able to put the stove controls back on. My oven is a stove and oven combination, if he would have shipped the whole thing they wanted I wouldn’t have had a stove. It is nice to have both a stove and an oven, but when you don’t have one, you kinda need the other. But when we were going through the process of elimination as to the issue with the oven, at one point I didn’t have a working stove (in addition to a non-working oven). So, I pulled out some of my other appliances. When we had our kitchen re-done years ago I was without a kitchen for four months. Yes, four months. So I was able to use other things like an electric skillet and an electric grill/panini press.

I don’t use them that often so this was a great opportunity. The electric skillet is amazing with how fast it heats up. I am assuming that if I cooked on it more frequently I would be better at knowing what heat to use, but now when I use it I turn the heat up and down . But it is not like a pan on the stove, it heats up very fast! Something I have to remember when I use it.

It’s lid can also serve as a baking dish, which is kinda cool, but at the same time it makes it somewhat challenging to take the lid off when cooking because it doesn’t have a handle on top.

Also I was reminded I love paninis. I love the grilled bread. It is nicer than just a pan toasted sandwich. The panini I cooked on it recently, I have to say . . . it was perfect. It was delicious. My appliance has changeable plates. I can use the griddle type of flat plate or the grill kind that makes the fancy lines on the food. It can open all the way up and form two griddles or close it like a press.

I am still without an oven for a bit . . . . until the part comes back . . . and hopefully it will work. (Or you will be seeing me post about getting a new oven . . . and possibly a little tiny kitchen work done.) But in the meantime I am looking for “how tos” for my electric skillet.

Do you have a panini press/grill? Do you have an electric skillet? What do you use them for? Do you have any “How tos”/recipes for an electric skillet?

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Mark It With Some Bling

Posted by terrepruitt on June 26, 2020

Recently I talked to a friend who was sharing that someone in the household couldn’t find their earbuds and she was saying, “That is why you mark them!” And I think that they had been marked but the mark wore off. I took this picture to send to her because she inspired me a long time ago to mark my accessories. It is much easier to spot them and know whose is who’s. And in some cases (like in the case of at least one of these power cords) it helps me know instantly which way it needs to be plugged in. Plus it adds BLUE and sparkles to things (if you use blue tape and/or blue sparkles)!

I decided to use it as my Friday Photo and ask . . . do you mark your stuff?

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Deflated By My Technology Struggles

Posted by terrepruitt on June 24, 2020

Wow. My day did not go as I had planned. How about you? I am teaching classes via Zoom and I am borrowing an amazing microphone from my husband’s office, it is great. It picks up sound incredibly well. But as the days continue to be so hot, I cannot function without a fan blowing directly on me. That is one of the things I miss (aside from my students!) when teaching from home – AIR CONDITIONING! Whew! It is hot. There is no way I can teach without a fan. I think the way Zoom is and the way the microphone is, it picks up the fan noise, but not so much the motor noise from the fan, but the air. I think they both work to keep that noise from transmitting and so it cuts out. So while I am instructing, my voice cuts out. When we are dancing the music cuts outs. It makes it difficult for students to follow. So, I broke down and bought a wireless headset mic.

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, City of San Jose online exerciseI was taking a class from a friend and she was using a wireless headset mic and she told me what it was so I did some research. I researched for a few days and then with free returns available, I decided to get it and try it. It arrived Friday evening and I played with it all weekend.

I did tests, of all types, on Zoom – tests with music, without music, with speakers, with iTunes, with CDs, with fans, without fans . . . just all types of tests.  It worked great. I was fully prepared and so excited to teach Nia today.

My students “arrived” and we said hello and then I pressed play and my sound kept cutting out. Now, to me it is very important for my students to have good sound, that is why I am doing all this – and they did, but if I don’t have sound, I have nothing to teach too . . . . or worse, my sound was out of sync – to them . . . so I was instructing “off music”. It is very difficult to dance with instruction that is “off”. Sigh.

It was so bad, we restarted and I ditched my new toy for the old way.

I have not given up yet, but I was pretty deflated today. I had been so excited, I had done so many tests, I had spent so much time, I was ready to wow my students and make it great and so (insert sound of air being pushed out of a balloon). But, my students are very kind and understanding, they always have been. So their kindness made me feel a lot better.

As I said, I have not given up. I think I may have found a way to keep my sound from cutting out, but we will see.

I just thought I would share a portion of my day with you because I know that sometimes I can write it out and it helps.  I typed this out, then “sat on it” debating about posting it . . . people like positive and people certainly don’t want to hear that a class they are being asked to pay for has sound problems.  But, I also feel it is ok to be “real” and share struggles.  And . . . I can get “over” it with the combination of sharing and my students being so understanding.  Also, this is not to say everything is bad, this is just me sharing a bump in my journey in this odd new reality.

How was your day? What did you do?  Care to share, whatever it was?

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Crock-Pot Banana Bread

Posted by terrepruitt on June 22, 2020

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, City of San Jose online exerciseSo the past couple of weeks if my husband was not working he has been trying to fix our oven. Three Saturdays ago right after I put the pork chops in the oven the element arced and broke. On Sunday morning – first thing, hubby was shopping for an element. There is a lot to the story between then and us having an appointment for a repair man to come in on Tuesday, including a segment when the oven was making a scary buzzing noise so we turned the power off to the whole thing (it is a set in stove and oven unit). So for almost a week we were without an oven AND a stove. But again, not the point – exactly – of this post. The point is that we have a lot of bananas that turned into “banana bread” bananas really fast so I needed to make banana bread. I thought about trying to use the toaster oven to make cookies or little breads, but that sounded too daunting. So I asked Google if I could make banana bread in a crock-pot . . . and, of course I can! But as per my usual I didn’t read the recipe, I skimmed it. I skimmed two actually and both talked about putting the loaf pan IN the crock-pot. I assumed they were talking about a metal loaf pan; I don’t have a metal loaf pan. I also assumed they were talking about a BIG crock-pot, if you could fit a loaf pan in it! I don’t have a big crock-pot. Mine is small and round. One of the recipes did say that with a small crock-pot you could just line the crock-pot with parchment paper so that was my plan.

I was thinking I could just use my banana bread recipe, line the crock-pot, and “bake” away. I vacillated between being very leery and very confident. So while I was mixing the ingredients I looked up some recipes again trying to determine the cooking time and while I was scrolling through the kabillion advertisements on all of the postings, I had noticed the recipes call for baking POWDER (in addition to baking SODA). I don’t put baking powder in my banana bread. I happened to be texting with a friend while I was mixing and I asked her if the recipe she uses calls for baking powder and she said no. So we decided it was probably needed when “baking” banana bread in a crock-pot. So I just added a 1/2 teaspoon.

While I was looking up my banana bread recipe I also remembered I had one that I LOVED and it was in my notes on my phone. So I don’t know why I have a different one posted on my blog. AND I haven’t even been following that one. It seemed too plain the last time I made it. I might actually end up writing ANOTHER post when I go to make this again because I might use my “note recipe” as opposed to what I did.

Anyway . . . the banana bread came out GREAT. Better than when I bake it in the oven. I left it in the pot too long, but that was because I was leery, but now I know better. I had taken the insert out of the heating portion of the appliance, but I left the bread IN the pot. I will take it out next time and it will be perfect . . . well, maybe not because I will probably use a different recipe, but who knows. Here is what I did this time:

________________________________________________

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, City of San Jose online exerciseCrock-pot Banana Bread (First Attempt)

3 ripe bananas
Heavy sprinkle of cinnamon
Sprinkle of nutmeg
1 Tablespoon (white) sugar

1/2 cup butter (one cube – softened)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Butter for greasing the parchment paper
Parchment paper

(It is going to cook on high for 3 hours)

Put the peeled bananas in a bowl. Use a fork to smash the bananas to baby food-like consistency – with a few chunks. Sprinkle a good amount of cinnamon on the bananas and a sprinkle of nutmeg (next time I will measure, sorry), add the white sugar. Mix it up.

Cream the butter and brown sugar together. Add the eggs. Mix it up. Then add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture a little at a time.

Line the crock-pot with parchment paper. (I used two pieces, one going one way and the other going the other way, like a plus sign.) Press the paper into the pot as much as you can. Remember you are going to have ROUND banana bread and the edges might have “wrinkles” in them from the paper. Cut off the excess paper that sticks out of the top so that your lid will fit on properly. Butter the paper where the bread mixture will be. Then pour/scoop the mixture into the crock-pot. Turn it on high and set your timer for 2 1/2 hours. Check on the bread if you want or just let it go for another 30 minutes.

Carefully take the lid off . . . . you might not want all the condensation to drip onto the top of your bread.

Then you simply pull the bread out by the paper. If you want let it cool before you slice into it.

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I had NOT planned on writing a recipe because I thought I was going to just use the one I have posted in my “Banana Bread” post, but I changed it enough that I thought I would post the recipe. I was just going to post pictures of the bread, that is why I don’t have pictures of ingredients . . . but you all know what they look like. You just needed someone to say . . . “Hey, I made banana bread in my (old) crock-pot.”

I specify “old” crock-pot because it is NOT one of those fancy ones where you know the temperature and can set a time. Mine has Off/Lo/High. I cooked it for three hours on high. I checked it at 2 and I thought, “Okay, I am gonna have to have faith this is going to cook.” Because it was nowhere near cooked after 2 hours.

It was so good, I don’t think I will use my oven to bake banana bread again!

So . . . do you think you will try making banana bread in your crock-pot?

 

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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, City of San Jose online exercise

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, City of San Jose online exercise

 

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Too Much Time On Her Hands

Posted by terrepruitt on June 19, 2020

One day I looked up and saw this. It took me a second to realize she was staring at the moving second hand. She sometimes watches TV and often stares at my iPad or phone. Funny Girl.

Nessa staring at the clock is today’s Friday Photo.

How are you? Feel like that clock is moving slow lately? Or maybe it is moving too fast?

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