Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘Aikido’

A Puzzle And Two Websites

Posted by terrepruitt on June 25, 2015

I am venturing a declaration, that we have all heard that exercising the brain helps it.  Whether it helps stave off memory loss, helps keep our memory sharp, or just helps keep our brain sharp, I bet we have all heard “exercising” it helps.  I bet one of the “exercises” you’ve heard suggested is puzzles.  Brain puzzles, as an example and as suggested in my last post.  Well, as I was trying to come up with a picture for the post, I was thinking I wanted to have a Nia puzzle.  I came across a cool website where you can create a word search puzzle.  I quickly decided NOT to use the puzzle I made as a picture because I wanted to make it a blog post!  I decided to make a picture for that last post, so I turned to another website that I have been using lately to create collages.  So this post is like a “Three-fer”, a puzzle, the website where you can create your own puzzle, and the website where you can create collages.

And, yes, you can Google all of this for yourself, but you know me, I like to share.  I know that I learn things from blogs I read.  I learn things that are common knowledge to a lot of people, but are new to me, so I like to share because I have faith that sometimes I am sharing something new to someone!

So, here is the Nia Word Search Puzzle.  The words all have to do with Nia:Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

 

Aikido – one of the nine movement forms
Awareness – a goal of Nia, to bring awareness to your body, awareness to your movements
Cardio – what Nia is, it is a cardio dance workout
Chakras – energy points danced in Nia
Crawling – one of the Nia 5 Stages, and something sometimes included in Floorplay
Creeping – one of the Nia 5 Stages, and something sometimes included in Floorplay
Dance – what Nia is
Embryonic – one of the Nia 5 Stages, and something sometimes included in Floorplay
Exercise – what Nia is
Fitness – what Nia encourages
Flexibility – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
FreeDance – a technique/practice used in Nia
Jazz – one of the nine movement forms
Joyful – what Nia can help you feel
Mindfulness – a goal of Nia, to bring mindfulness to your movements, mindfulness to your body
Mobility – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
Movement – something we do in a Nia class
Nia – the Technique, the form of cardio dance
RAW – a technique/practice used by Nia teachers when learning a Nia routine/music
Stability – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
Strength – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
Technique – Nia Technique
Workout – what Nia is, it is a cardio dance workout
Yoga – one of the nine movement forms

The website to make your own is: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/code/BuildWordSearch.asp

The collages are super easy to make, you just drag the photos you want to your browser.  You can pick a background if you want.  You can turn the photos, you can resize them, you can bring them to the front or the back.  All basic things.  I have several of these types of applications on my iPhone, but I didn’t have anything, but MS Word on my computer.  So this website is a great help to me.  Easy, quick, and free.  And I am not loading my photos onto their site. Website for the collages is:  http://www.photocollage.net/

Yay!  Exercise your brain!  Go create stuff!

 

The solution is at on my website (click here).

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

Additional Play With The Nine Movement Forms (of Nia)

Posted by terrepruitt on October 16, 2014

I am learning a Nia Routine and the focus is the Nine Movement Forms (of Nia).  All routines can be an opportunity to connect with the Nine Movement Forms, but when it is the designed focus of the routine it really helps to emphasize each one.  There are nine songs to the routine and each song was created with the specific movement form in mind.  It is an easy way to practice each form.  It is a wonderful way to learn more.  There are three arts and three movement forms from each art.  The Arts are Healing Arts, Martial Arts and Dance Arts.  The movement forms are the Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais, Alexander Techinique, Yoga, T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, and Duncan Dance.

Each movement form can be used to guide the movements.  Each movement form can energize the moves.

The below is from the Nia Technique (page 101)

(Healing Arts)

“Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais:  Reflective, healing, conscious.  Move with sensory awareness and feel life as it happens.

Alexander Technique:  Transformative, exploratory, natural.  Move as a whole person, connected up and balanced.

Yoga:  Timeless, linked, expansive.  Move in ways that link your body, mind, and spirit to the outer world.

(Martial Arts)

T’ai chi:  Flowing, tender, fluid.  Float like a balloon, and move like a willow tree in the wind.

Tae kwon do:  Sharp, powerful, active.  Move with confidence, and feel* your own speed and strength.

Aikido:  Harmonizing, peaceful, cooperative.  Connect and blend with everything around you.

(Dance Arts)

Jazz dance:  Playful, peppy, sexy.  Move with pizzazz and express your most passionate emotions.

Modern dance:  Languid, moody, balanced.  Create different shapes with your body.  Play with balance and contrasts.

Duncan dance:  Soulful, spontaneous, unbounded.  Move like a child enchanted by life.”

*I believe that should say “feel”

In the song matched up with the Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais we move in the space.  Sensing our bodies and the space around us.  Sensing the space with our bodies.  The T’ai Chi song has us moving fluidly both slow and fast.  The movement is a flow.  The third song takes us to a dance art and it is jazzy.  We do jazz squares and move with pep and we snap our moves.  In the song where we are focusing on Modern dance we make shapes with our bodies.  We also sense the moods created by the different shapes.  In the Duncan dance focus song we play rushing in and rushing out.  The sixth song has moves that are to be done sharp and powerful.  It is presented first slow than fast.  And that gives the participant options to do either speed.  In the song that focuses on Aikido we do a lot of turns . . . Aikido turns or four point turns.  With the eighth song we are doing a cool down and use the idea of “long bones” and “short bones” which allows us to expand and stretch connecting to the sensation of yoga.  The last song inf our floorplay, we explore the Alexander Technique by moving from the top.

Just a different way to experience the Nine Movement Forms (of Nia).  A great way to delve deeper into Nia and its movement forms.

What do YOU think of when you think of these movement forms?  What do you think of when you think of Moshe Feldenkrais?  Are you familiar with the Alexander Technique?  What comes to mind when you think of Yoga?  What do you know of T’ai chi?  Have you ever done Tae kwon do?  Does thinking about Aikido make you dizzy?  What could you show me about Jazz dance?  Are you into Modern dance?  Do you know who created Duncan dance?

 

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More Dance Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on September 24, 2013

I have stated in previous posts that we do moves in Nia that are not exclusive to Nia.  Since Nia is three different arts; Martial Arts, Dances Arts, and Healing Arts, with three different movement forms in each art there is a large possibility that you have experienced the move before if you have participated in any of the movement forms.  The nine basic Nia movement forms are T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Yoga.  Even if you have not practiced any of the movement forms you still might have found yourself doing the cha-cha, a jazz square, a side kick, or sitting cross legged.  Nia does however have moves that are a part of Nia, say the core movements.  We call them the 52 Moves of Nia or Nia’s 52 Moves.  Two of the 52 moves are crosses.  There is the Cross Front and the Cross Behind.  The action of the cross is done with the feet.

The Cross Front is where you step across your body to the other side.  Some what like taking a diagonal step forward.  To practice this you can stand in an open stance and use one leg to step in a forward and diagonal direction.  The ideal of the Cross Front is with a heel lead.  Practice is done with arms and hands swinging freely.

The Nia Technique book states that benefits from this move is the strengthen of your inner thigh muscles.

This is a great practice in stability.  Especially since often when we are doing the cross front it is combined with another move.  We do not normally cross front continually from a standing still open position.  So the cross front often takes on a personality of its own.  Knowing how to do it in it simplest form allows for the energy and playfulness that it is normally supplied while dancing to come out.  This is often a move used to play with agility because in the dance we are moving and there is a start and a stop as we cross front.

The Cross Behind, like all moves, even the one mentioned above, has its proper way to be done.  To practice the cross behind start in an open stance then step with one foot back/behind on the diagonal so the moving foot comes behind and to the side of the stationary foot.  The moving foot lands on “ball of foot“.  The end result is the ankles look like an “x” is being made.  With this further practice can be done to allow for you to sink into a lower position . . . just a little bend in the knees.  But you keep the foot that crossed behind on the ball of foot.  Further practice has you rising on BOTH feet onto the ball of your foot. This move helps with mobility and stability in the legs.

Again, that is the way to do it in practice.  While moving, practicing, and playing with all the moves.  There are routines that call for the movement to be done exactly like stated.  We have our ankles crossed in the X and we are on ball of foot.  That is a true cross behind.  But in dancing it is often adjusted into looking a little different.

It could be that the ankles do not land that close together as we start to sense the music and dance it in our own bodies way.  Could be we land on whole foot.  There are many ways to dance and find this move adjusted.  But as with many things, it is important to learn the base, the correct way to do it and then play from there.

So as you can tell we do a lot of moves in Nia that are familiar.  I would not be surprised at all if you have done these on the dance floor at a club or a wedding reception.  Maybe not exactly as we do in Nia when executing them with precision to allow us the flexibility, agility, mobility, strength, and stability available, but in a way that would make doing it in a Nia class familiar.

So where have you done the Cross Front?  And the Cross Behind?  Are you a grocery store dancer?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Turn In Nia And Other Dance Exercise Classes (Video)

Posted by terrepruitt on July 10, 2012

I wrote a post about a four-point turn, that is what I call one of the turns we do while we are doing Nia.  In Nia it is sometimes called an Aikido turn.  But it is a turn that is done in many dance exercise classes, including Zumba.  I realize that even if you are reading the post while trying to do it, it could be a bit confusing so . . . . . voila!  A video.

The first clip is of me facing away and I start with a RIGHT turn, then alternate.  Then the second clip is of me facing the camera.

As with my Aikido turn post maybe right and left indications will work better for you.  In my other post I decribed the left turn, so here I will write out the right turn.  And as stated, the right turn is the first turn I demonstrate.  Turn your head/eyes to the right, allow your hand/arm to follow. Move your right foot to “toes out” turning your right thigh bone to the right. Then step on your RIGHT FOOT in a “toes out” position, put your weight on it 100%. As you are stepping all your weight on your RIGHT FOOT, allow your body to turn to the right, in the direction you want to go. Swing your LEFT LEG (free leg) around to what seems like in front of your RIGHT FOOT. Step onto your LEFT FOOT, toes pointing to the back of the room (or what started off as the back of the room), take the weight off the RIGHT FOOT (“toes out” foot). Swing your RIGHT FOOT (free leg) behind to land about in line with the heel of your LEFT FOOT (weighted foot).  You will land standing on the RIGHT FOOT, and turn the LEFT FOOT to be parallel with the right foot. . . making that the fourth point or step.

Even though in the first clip on the right turn you can’t see my right foot “toes out”, I do the turn enough times in the video for you to see how the first step is a “toes out” move.  Starting the turn with the “toes out” and already turning the direction you want to go will go a long way in enabling you to get all the way around.  Even if it takes a lot of practice to get all the way around, starting that first step with the leg in outward rotation will help a lot.  I also said in my last post that I think it is easier to do this move fast as opposed to slow. So it might be a good idea to not try it really slow at first because it is not easy slow.  Just go.  Right toes out, left, right, left.  Or left toes out, right left right.   Remember we do not spin on our feet. We need to pick the feet up off the ground to avoid blisters and strengthen the leg.  Also you might notice that this turn is done on the balls of the feet.  You put all your weight on the ball of the foot.

While my fourth “point” or step I am exaggerating and pointing my toe in that might not always be the case.  When we are moving to the music the fourth “point” could end up being any number of things depending upon many number of things.  The choreography sometimes calls for different things.  Plus there is the individual body that is doing it to consider.  Sometimes people can’t get all the way around, it could be that the music is really moving and there isn’t enough time to get around and settle into that fourth step or it could be that this is one of those moves that will take practice.

It’s a great move that allows us to use ALL five Nia Sensations.  Flexibility on the “toes out” and as we place our feet, mobility in our joints, strength to get us around and stop, agility to stop, and stability to stay stopped.  Cool, huh?

So how are you doing with your turn?

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Common Dance Turn – Four Point / Aikido

Posted by terrepruitt on July 9, 2012

In Nia there are 52 Moves that run through the Nia Routines.  One move that we do quite often is not on the list of 52 moves.  I call it a four-point turn because we take four steps to do it.  In one of the routines I recently learned the instructor calls it an Aikido turn.  Since Nia borrows moves and ideas from Aikido and associates Aikido with circular, spiral, and spherical motion, it makes sense this turn would be called an Aikido turn.  As with many dance exercises the moves can sometimes be done fast or slow depending upon the music.  Sometimes in a Nia routine we can do the same move at different speeds.  With the four-point – which is four step – or Aikido turn – the best way to accomplish it is by starting with the first step being a “toes out” type of step.  Point the foot out, away from the body in the direction you want to turn.  Allow the entire thigh to turn out.  Whether you are going to do a fast or slow turn, this first step is key in making it all the way around.  Another key is to LOOK!  Look the direction you want to turn.  Also helpful is hands and arms.  Allow your hand to follow after the eyes.  The order would be eyes/head, hand/arm, foot/leg.  While this is one arrangement of the order, sometimes your arms might actually be doing something else and that is fine too.  It could be that the hands and arms lead, but whatever the case your eyes can be a part of the turn.  Nia is a dance workout so sometimes we might have our arms dancing in another way to the music.

For a beginner learning the turn, I would make the previously mentioned suggestion of the order.  Eyes/head, hand/arm, foot/leg.  The thigh bone/foot turned out.  Then step on that “toes out” foot, weighting it 100%, as you step all your weight on it your body will turn in the direction you want to go.  Your free leg can be swung around to what seems like in front of your “toes out” foot, but by the time you step onto it, it will end up being besides the toes out foot because you will put all your weight into your second step and take the weight off the “toes out” foot so for a moment they will be side-by-side.  Then you will swing your free leg behind to land about in line with the heel of your weighted foot.  You will weight the foot that just was swung, and turn the other foot to parallel . . . making that the fourth point or step.

Maybe left and right indications will work better for you:  The order:  Turn your head/eyes to the left , allow your hand/arm to follow.  Move your LEFT FOOT to “toes out” turning your left thigh bone to the left.  Then step on your LEFT FOOT in a “toes out” position, put your weight on it 100%.  As you are stepping all your weight on your LEFT FOOT, allow your body to turn to the left, in the direction you want to go.  Swing your RIGHT LEG (free leg) around to what seems like in front of your LEFT FOOT.  Step onto your RIGHT FOOT,  toes pointing to the back of the room (or what started off as the back of the room), take the weight off the LEFT FOOT (“toes out” foot).  Swing your LEFT FOOT (free leg) behind to land about in line with the heel of your RIGHT FOOT (weighted foot).  You will stand on the LEFT FOOT, and turn the RIGHT FOOT to parallel . . . making that the fourth point or step.

Right to left works the same but start with your right foot.

To me, it is actually easier to do it fast than slow.  But either way the hips get great rotation in the sockets.  I was taught that we do not slide on our feet or spin on our feet.  We dance barefoot so it is very different than if you have dance shoes on.  There is not a nice layer of material that allows for easy sliding and spinning.  We pick up our feet so as not to get blisters and to better condition the feet and the legs.  So when we turn we are not spinning on the balls of our feet.  That is one reason why I call it a four-point turn because we are hitting “points” in our dance.  Points, steps, either way it is not a spin on the foot.  This is another reason why it is important to start the turn with the toes already turned out because we also always want to be gentle on our knees.  Also in Nia we are always reminded to remember our own body’s way.  It is more important to protect and love our knees than it is to make it all they way around when doing a turn!

This is a pretty common dance move in dance exercise classes, but it is not always easy and can present a challenge.  I believe it becomes particularly challenging when the person doing it wants to keep their eyes on the instructor.  The best way to do it is to allow the eyes to move with the turn.

This is also a very fun move because you never know what we are going to do at either end (after the 4th step).    Now that you got the turn down come to a Nia class and see what could be waiting at the end!  You got the turn down, right?

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Ready to Receive – Natural Time

Posted by terrepruitt on October 22, 2011

Nia class, Nia Teacher, Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia, cardio workout, cardio dance class, fun exerciseI have learned a lot in my 43 years.  I know there is a lot more I could learn, but one thing I have learned AND that I find fascinating is that I need to be ready to receive.  Have you ever shared something with someone and they “pishawed” you?  You had tried to tell them something you found fascinating/interesting/money-saving/yummy/good to do and they had acted as if you didn’t know what you were talking about.  Then two weeks later they come to you to tell you the very thing you tried to share with them?  I used to get offended, even upset, but I am starting to see it differently.  I am starting to see that when I tell people things and I feel as if I have been “pishawed” it is not as I once perceived it . . . it is not their mind is snapping closed . . . but, maybe, just maybe it is the mind just saying, “What? I have never heard of that . . . let me deal with that later . . .” And then when it is heard again the mind has a space for it because they had heard it before, so their mind is more open to accepting and listening.

It is somewhat like Natural Time in a Nia workout.  In Nia, in our workouts, we have natural time allowing individuals to move their bodies in their own time.  Could be they are not ready to do the move the first time they see it, but after a few repetitions they are ready to receive.  Their bodies are ready.  — Funny.  I didn’t start this post off as relating to Nia, but as I was sitting here typing it dawned on me that being ready to receive is Natural Time.  And as you know, all of the Nia White Belt Principles can be applied to everyday life.  Just as many principles from any practice; Yoga, Jujitsu, aikido, Ballet, etc. can be applied to life.

Sometimes we have so much on our minds that adding something new just isn’t gonna work.  So maybe when we first hear something we just say, “NO!”  Then our brains move on.  But maybe the new “thing” left a spot, like rust . . . . but good, where it just stays and either it actually starts seeping into our brain or it just sits there until we hear it again.  Then we are able to open to the idea.  It is like the old idea of a seed.  Sometimes it is not ready to be planted, but it is there in its own little space.

I can actually remember specific times when this has happened, especially with my hubby, but I am posting about it because I recognized awhile ago that I do this.  Because I have heard something and pishawed it then later examined it.  It fascinates me.  It makes me wonder why I didn’t recognize good advice/information when I first heard it.  I wonder why I am not smart enough to recognize beneficial information when I see it.  So that is why I think that we have to be ready to receive.  It really doesn’t have to do with being intelligent.  Sometimes being ready is something of natural time.  We have to be ready in our own time.  In our own time is the best time in which to learn.  Amazes me.

Have you ever learned or heard something and when you really thought about it realized that you had heard the same thing before but it didn’t sink in?  Have you ever experienced the second time around as being the time you benefited from something?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Energy Type the Nia Way

Posted by terrepruitt on July 21, 2011

When we possess a better understanding of things it allows us to work better with them.  By “work” I mean anything from enhancing, to changing, to bettering, to “dealing with”, to molding, to melding, whatever.  It just is that the better we understand something the better “it” can be.  There are personality types, as an example Type A and Type B.  When there is an idea of how a specific personality acts, sometimes there can be ways of interacting with that personality to allow for harmony.  With any “typing” there is variation, so nothing is exact, it just can give us an idea.  In Nia, we have a little bit more in-depth approach to “types”.  It is energy type.  Now no energy is necessarily better than the other.  What is better or “best” is to have BALANCE of all the types.  So this form of “typing” can be utilized to allow you to learn what type you tend towards and give you a chance to work at balancing your types.  The system of energy typing Nia uses is connected with the nine basic Nia movement forms; T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Yoga.

In The Nia Technique, a book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, there are questionnaires that can guide you to understanding what your particular energy type might lean towards.  They are “True/False” questions. Here are some examples from each energy type:

(T’ai Chi)  “I am often, soft, relaxed, and internally calm” and “I breathe with great ease”

(Tae Kwon Do)  “I love speed and power” and “I am physical, conscious, precise, focused, and directed in my life, getting what I want through hard work and precision”

(Aikido “In life, I am all about win-win” and “I move with grace and seamless dynamics, turning lines into circles”

(Jazz Dance)  “I am impulsive, lusty, sassy, demonstrative, showy, alive, fun, and electrifying to my friends” and “I love to shimmy, get dressed for the party, and be uninhibited”

(Modern Dance)  “I love playing with extremes and contrasts” and “I love contrasts, gravity, surprise, and the start and stop of life, as well as moments of continuity”

(Duncan Dance)  “I am all about the soul, and in life I move in childlike ways”  and “I flow spontaneously through my life”

(Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais)  “I am all about sensation”  and “I am healthy and love anything that is healing”

(Alexander Technique)  “I explore life with ease and flexibility” and “I seek the simple, useful, authentic, and organic ways”

(Yoga)  “I can be gentle, powerful, focused, conscious, and receptive” and “I love lying down, sitting, being prone, and playing with back bend motions.”

There are nine questionnaires with nine statements you mark as true or false.  After answering each one there is information for those with “mostly true” answers and “mostly false”.  The idea is to be able to identify which energy is stronger and which one is weaker.  Then you can work on strengthening the weaker energy during your Nia workout and in your life.  It is interesting to find out where your tendencies lie.  If you are interested in finding out what your Energy Type done the Nia way is, get a copy of The Nia Technique.  It is a great way to get to know Nia and you’ll probably learn a lot about yourself on the way.

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Nia Isn’t . . .

Posted by terrepruitt on May 20, 2010

Part of the purpose of my blog is to share what Nia is and to invite people to take one of my classes. I have learned that when teaching people it is sometimes helpful to share what something ISN’T to help them understand what it is.

Nia isn’t a class where you won’t sweat.

Nia isn’t a class where the teacher shouts at you to motivate you.

Nia isn’t a class where you just think about moving.

Nia isn’t Jazzercise.

Nia isn’t sitting around.

Nia isn’t about pain.

Nia isn’t hard jumping.

Nia isn’t Tai Chi.

Nia isn’t Tae Kwon Do.

Nia isn’t Aikido.

Nia isn’t a mindless workout.

Nia isn’t Zumba.

Nia isn’t taught to Nia teachers in a day.

Nia isn’t new to the fitness world.

Nia isn’t Jazz Dance.

Nia isn’t Modern Dance.

Nia isn’t judgmental.

Nia isn’t a strict combination of linear movements.

Nia isn’t a class where you are told EXACTLY how to move your own body.

Nia isn’t Yoga.

Nia isn’t stiff.

Nia isn’t rough.

Nia isn’t (necessarily) just a workout.

Nia isn’t JUST Free Dance.

The BEST way to learn about what Nia isn’t and what Nia is, is to go to a class and see for yourself.  Nia class finderWant to find a class near you?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Nia and Aikido

Posted by terrepruitt on January 16, 2010

As you might now be aware Nia is a wonderful mix of elements from three different movement forms from three different arts. Martial Arts is one of the art forms.  Aikido is one of the movement forms from the martial arts.

According to the Nia White Belt Manual that I received during my Nia White Belt Intensive Aikido was the martial art that Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas enjoyed the most.  The spirit of it that was added to Nia was the translation of “the way of harmony”.  Conflict is resolved lovingly.  During the intensive I remember the idea was mentioned of using the opponents own weight and energy to take control of the situation.  While in Nia we don’t have opponents or enter into competitions with each other, the example was intended to express the idea that a blending of energies makes it easy to move.  Aikido in Nia is the notion of a peaceful warrior. 

As with all of the art forms that have been studied in order to create Nia, it is ideas, concepts, and moves that have been integrated.  All of the movement forms are understood to be something that takes practice and maybe even years of training.  That is respected when we talk about forms being added to Nia. 

Aikido brings grounded energy to Nia.  We practice spiral swirling motion blending the energies outside with the energies inside.  Focusing on our center, the hara, we practice grace.  We also exercise our awareness and embrace the moment.  We hone our skills of moving from lines into spirals and spirals into circles with the energy surrounding us.

Aikido somewhat reminds me of Nia itself, they are both a blending of energies and movements.

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Nia and Tae Kwon Do

Posted by terrepruitt on November 28, 2009

As you might now be aware Nia includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts. From the martial arts, we borrow from Tae Kwon Do. Not just “moves” from Tae Kwon Do but also some of the other elements of it. With its kicks, punches, blocks, and stances it helps allow Nia to be a great leg workout and provide a stable base for some of our other moves.  Tae Kwon Do can also contribute to one’s confidence by providing exercises that allow one to become strong and stable.  These are the things Nia gains from Tae Kwon Do.

Nia calls Tae Kwon Do the Dance of Precision.*  So when delivering a punch, block, kick, etc. with the energy of Tae Kwon Do, it is done with precision and intent.  However, Nia likes to play so at times even though we might not be executing a punch or a kick, but we might choose to energize our movement with “Tae Kwon Do” like energy, and be forceful and aggressive even adding sound to our movement.

Adding the energy of one form to the moves of another is one of the things that make Nia fun and keeps is challenging.  It takes different muscles to skip with force and authority than to skip like a child without a care in the world.  That is an example of how Nia incorporates different moves with different energies.

In Nia we don’t “DO” Tae Kwon Do, things have been gleaned from it and brought into Nia and mixed in with aspects of  Tai Chi, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Yoga, the Alexander Technique and the teachings from Feldenkrais, and the combination from each form is Nia.  A lot of Nia routines include moves and concepts from each discipline, but not always.  In an effort to keep each workout fresh, fun, and joyful teachers often mix things up.

If you are near San Jose, come to one of my Nia classes.  If not, I hope that you will find a Nia class near you and give Nia try.

*Both the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual state this. Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas. **V3 of The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual

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