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!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

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

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 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 ‘Amazon’

Listening To Books

Posted by terrepruitt on November 19, 2018

Have you ever listened to an audio book? Ha, as I was typing that I realized they used to be called “Books on Tape.” Anyway, have you ever listened to one? What do you think about “reading” like that? I like it. My husband recently decided to download an app and join the club . . . or whatever, however it works. He has been listening to audio books. He is running and walking a lot so he enjoys listening to books as he gets his run/walk in. We used to listen to books on tape. It is cool now that the book is just in the phone and there is not lugging a bunch of tapes or even CDs around. AND that we can both listen to the book at the same time.  I enjoy listening to audio books, but I do need to rewind sometimes when my mind wanders. I was just remembering two stories about when we used to listen to books on tape a long time ago.

Dance 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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise ClassesOne time my husband and I were driving home from a dance competition in Fresno. It was the last day so there was a lot of us leaving the hotel at the same time. We had gotten in the car and stared listening to the book right away. A couple of weeks later we saw a friend of ours that had attended the competition and she asks us how we are doing. We say we are fine and she makes a comment something like, “Oh good, because you guys looked like you were fighting when we left Fresno a couple of weeks ago.” My husband and I didn’t know what she was talking about so we asked her to explain and she said she had seen us and waved trying to get our attention but we both had serious looks on our faces and I was staring out the passenger side window. We had to stop and think, then we realized we had been listening to a book and it was one of those serious scenes and we had both been concentrating on it and going through whatever emotion the story had elicited. It was so funny. She was relieved to hear we had just been listening to a book.

The other story I think is related to the same series. We used to listen to a book series. I was listening to it first. We would check it out from the library and then one of us would listen to it and then the other. This was before we were married – as was the Fresno incident – and I listened to the book on the way to my husband’s (well, boyfriend, at the time) house. When I arrived at his house I was at a point in the book where something important was about to be revealed so I sat in my car to finish listen to that part. Well, it was a sad part. One of the main characters we loved had been killed and the story revealed it by having his lover – the main character – find his face – not his head, just his face! – discovered in a refrigerator or cabinet (I don’t remember which). But I was so sad. I sat in my car trying to collect myself. But I couldn’t sit there all day. So when my husband (boyfriend) opened the door after I knocked he took one look at me and said, “He died, huh?” I was teary-eyed so he knew right away. That wouldn’t have happened if I would have been actually reading a book because I couldn’t have read it on the way over.  And with the audio books available on phones, we don’t have to wait for the other one to be finished with the cassette tape or CD.  Now-a-days we can listen to a book at the same time in different locations, we don’t even have to be together.

These to stories always make me laugh.  And I always share them with people when the subject of audio books comes up.

So, have you ever listened to an audio book? Do you like to listen to books? If you do listen to books, do you ever have to rewind it because you missed a portion of it?

 

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Polished Fluorite

Posted by terrepruitt on October 1, 2018

I order a lot of stuff from Amazon. Most of the time it goes pretty well, but sometimes it does not. But I try to pay attention and only order certain things (like clothes) that have free returns. Well, sometimes when they ship the wrong thing is really doesn’t matter if the return was stated as free because when they send you the wrong thing it is up to them/the seller to fix it. A couple of months ago I ordered a stone and they shipped the wrong one. At first when I opened the package I was very disappointed because it was not the color that I was hoping for. When you order things like natural stones they warn you that the color will not be what you see in the picture, but what I received was way off. It took me a moment to realize that this was not the stone I ordered.  I didn’t order another one right away.  But I finally did and now I have some fluorite.

Dance 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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise ClassesAccording to Wiki:

“Fluorite comes in a wide range of colors and has consequently been dubbed “the most colorful mineral in the world”. Every color of the rainbow in various shades are represented by fluorite samples, along with white, black, and clear crystals. The most common colors are purple, blue, green, yellow, or colorless. Less common are pink, red, white, brown, and black. Color zoning or banding is commonly present. The color of the fluorite is determined by factors including impurities, exposure to radiation, and the absence or voids of the color centers.”

I am used to the multi-colored polished stones. With light hues of pink-purple, green-blue, pinks, purples, greens, and blues in it. I have seen some dark ones, but I have not gotten one.  The ones I got were light.

Wiki also states that fluorite is a source of a common chemical used to make a number of things, that is has ornamental uses, and even optical uses.

If you believe in the healing properties of crystals and stones then fluorite can help clear your mind. It can help get rid of negativity. It helps clear the way to joy. It helps bring order to chaos. It helps you focus. It can be used when you need to concentrate or get rid of a mental block. For some, this clearing of the mind can help with relaxation. Help with relaxation might translate into help in sleeping. Fluorite is often used to promote the positive energy while removing the negative energies. It is thought to help relieve the electromagnetic stress we are under every day with the use of everything electronic.

Do you have a stone/crystal collection?  Do you have fluorite in you stone/crystal collection?  

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

What To Do With CousCous

Posted by terrepruitt on August 26, 2016

Dance 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, SJCityFitWhat do you do with couscous?  I like couscous.  One time when I made it, both my husband and I decided that we really like it.  I usually buy Near East brand.  I usually by flavored kind.  Our favorite is a Garlic and Olive Oil.  We also eat a Parmesan flavor.  But the boxes are very small and they really, when I think about it, are kind of expensive. I usually pay over three dollars for a box.  It really only works for one meal.  So to me that is expensive.  So I went to where I always go to when I am shopping for less expensive stuff – Amazon.  I ended up buying a lot of couscous.  I got FOUR bags, that can serve as FOUR meal sides EACH, for $16!  But now what do I do with all that couscous?

Dance 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

 

 

 

 

One thing I LOVE about it, is that cooks so fast.  It is so easy.  So really adding too much to it, just takes away from that.  But when you have as much as I do ya look for different things to do with it.

One thing I did that was awesome and easy was just chop us some kale and throw it in.  I chopped up the kale and two minutes into the last five minutes of the couscous cooking I put it in the pot and stirred it.  Then let the couscous continue to cook.

Dance 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, SJCityFitBut that to me is still more of a side dish.  I wanted something to eat as a main dish.  So what do I do when I am trying to add some “weight” to a meal?  AND I happen to have made hamburgers a couple of days before?  Well, I throw in beef, of course.  It was very good!  So I thought I would share what I did.

 

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Beef, Kale, and Couscous

1/4 teaspoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon red onion

a little less than 1/4 pound ground beef

2 kale leaves

1 1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon garlic salt

3/4 teaspoon powdered garlic

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Dance 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, SJCityFitHeat the oil in a pan.  Once it is heated add the onions.  Cook the onions a bit.  Then add the meat.  As the meat is cooking, begin to boil the water.  Add the salt and butter to the water.

Fine chop the kale.  After the water has boiled, add the couscous to the water.  Set a timer for 2 minutes.  When the timer goes off sprinkle the garlic and turmeric on the couscous and add the kale, then sprinkle the garlic salt on top of the kale.  Stir everything together.  Then set the timer for 2 minutes and let it all finish cooking.

Once the couscous is done add the meat.  Then stir it all together, mixing it well.  Then serve.

______________________

 

 

Dance 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, SJCityFitAs you can see from my pictures I used too small of a sauce pan to mix it all in it.  So I did the final mixing in the pan I used to cook the meat.

The beef adds a richness and not a lot is needed.  The beef also helps it be satisfying as an entrée.I added more garlic salt while it was on my plate.  I added pepper to my husband’s plate.  My hubby and I really enjoyed this so I will probably be doing it again.

So, as I said – what do you do with couscous?

Dance 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

PS  While I was looking for my kale and couscous pictures a search reveal this post Couscous, Fennel, and Garbanzo Beans.  I forgot about this.

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Easy To Clean, Perhaps Not So Easy To Drink From

Posted by terrepruitt on July 11, 2016

Dance 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, SJCityFitI have written about how my hubby and I feed the hummingbirds. I have written about their tongues. I have written about the sugar we use.  I have shared them being in our yard. In one of those posts I’ve had to have mentioned how difficult it is to clean the feeders. With the hummingbirds putting their tongues in the feeders there is a lot of stuff that grows in there. It pretty much looks like black slime. It is pretty gross. The way the feeders are constructed it is difficult to get in there and clean it out. We have several different brushes and we poke ’em through the little holes and clean the sludge out as best as we can. But it is time consuming – and gross. I have always wondered why someone hasn’t made a feeder that comes apart easily so that it is easier to clean. Easier to make sure all the gunk is gone. Well, I found one. I was so excited. I think I had food made up on the day they were scheduled to arrive so once they got here I could just fill them and put them outside. Well, sadly, I am disappointed in them.

Dance 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, SJCityFitI had found them on Perky Pet. But we had two that were still useable so I was going to wait until we needed one before I bought it. Well, it just happened within days of me finding it, I was washing the ones we had and I broke one. It fell in the sink and broke. Then I found the feeder sold through Amazon and it was Prime so it would get here faster and free. The new ones look the same as our old ones.  With slight differences.

When I got it I filled it and put it outside. The birds didn’t touch it. They used the other feeder. I even put the new one in the spot where the old one was – 1) I didn’t trust that it wouldn’t leak (so I put it over the dirt) 2) I thought that would encourage them to use it.

When I saw a bird at the new feed what I saw was the little hummingbird sitting on it and then having to REACH his neck up really tall in order to get his beak into the “bee guard” flower. The flowers on the new feeders have a little tube that are supposed to keep bees out. But our birds are so tiny they really have to reach to get at the right angle.

I thought I could use the OLD flowers in the new feeder, but of course not. They are not interchangeable. Since I thought the little tube was the problem, I cut them off all of the flowers. But still, the birds were not using it as much as the old feeder.

Dance 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, SJCityFitI am not sure what the issue is. I THINK that the nectar doesn’t flow freely from the bottle into the reservoirs. So what I do is go outside every once in awhile and jiggle the feeder. When I jiggle it, bubbles blurp in the bottle and then I can actually see the sugar water at the holes of the flowers. So I know they can get at it.

The past two nights the old feeder has been empty so we have seen increased activity by the new feeder, but they still don’t seem to be using it as much. Or they try and they can’t get at the water . . . I am not sure. I am not filling the feeders as much, but there seems to be the same amount of birds and activity in the yard. To me if the birds are there in full force the feeders should be empting faster.

We will see. It is REALLY nice to have the feeders come apart. When they are apart I can ensure that I get it clean. There are no nooks and crannies for the slime to hide in. I really like that part. I just want to make sure that the birds can drink out of them.

I am about to fill all three again . . . . we will see how it goes. Perhaps it was just a matter of the birds getting used to using the new one. They might have to use the new feeders differently because they are configured little differently inside.

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

Seeds: Sesame and Nigella

Posted by terrepruitt on March 30, 2016

My favorite recipe as of late called for white sesame seeds and Nigella seeds.  Now I know what sesame seeds are, but I didn’t know there were black/brown ones.  I didn’t know what Nigella seeds were and the recipe even noted that they might be hard to find so black sesame, black cumin, or onion seeds could be used as a substitute.  But I found them easy enough on Amazon, but they were listed under several different names.  And when I googled them, even more names came up.  I love this recipe enough I can see myself using all the seeds just for this, but if not I was curious what else I could use them in.

Dance 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, SJCityFitI know that sesame seeds are used in a lot of dishes, but I don’t normally use them.  According to Nutrition and You they have been used in “traditional medicines for their nutritive, preventive, and curative properties and are an important source of phyto-nutritents.”  Sesame seeds are high in protein, and like all seeds and nuts they are also high in fat.  But it is thought that this fat is actually one of the better ones in that it has been shown to lower the LDL cholesterol and raise the HDL cholesterol.  The USDA National Nutrient data base has the pictured information listed for “Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, dried”.

You are probably familiar with sesame seeds because they are used in many things.  For one they are famous a top a bun, yes?  They are also what makes up Tahini which is an ingredient in humus.  They are used in so many things it is almost as if they go unnoticed.

Now this nigella seed, what it up with that?  Well, Wiki helps a bit with the names by stating “In English, Nigella sativa and its seed are variously called black-caraway, black-cumin, fennel-flower, nigella, nutmeg-flower, Roman-coriander, and kalonji (from Hindi).”  As I mentioned the recipe I made said you could us black cumin as a substitute, but according to what I have seen on the internet (included Wiki) black cumin is just another NAME for nigella seeds.  It seems that this seed just has a lot of names.

Dance 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, SJCityFitJust like the sesame seed, there are claims that the nigella seed helps lower LDL.  Claims also include they help to lower blood pressure, have anti-asthmatic effects, relieve viral sore throats, protect the brain against radiation damage, help reduce the possibility of morphine addiction, reduce symptoms of chemical weapons exposure, helps prevent post-surgical scars of the  a thin, delicate sheet that lines the inside wall of the abdomen and covers the uterus and extends over the bladder and rectum (the  peritoneum), protect neurons, slow the spread of cervical cancer, and, as a topical, helps with psoriasis.

Dance 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, SJCityFitInternet information refer to it as the “cure all for everything but death”.  And it sure sounds like it with all of the aforementioned information that was found on NaturalSociety from a post from 2013.  I hadn’t even mentioned the info on the first part of the post stating that is it thought to help people with Type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, colon cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, and oral cancer.  AND . . . (yes there is more) help protect against damage to the heart from heart attacks, and also treat MRSA!  Wow.  And to think I had never even heard of the stuff.

This is the type of seed that can be added to many dishes.  The recipe I made called for it to be sprinkled on the pan so it stuck to the outside of the cake while baking.  But I really liked the flavor of both the seeds so I plan on putting some on top, if not inside.  I think inside the cake they would not get the same toastiness that they did on the outside of the pan.  But I can see adding them to other things.  I will add it to vegetables as I cook them and then on top when I serve them.  I might put some on my sandwiches.  They will probably add a nice extra layer of flavor.  Oooo.  I can’t wait to try that.

Seems like the benefits thought to be held in those little seeds are worth adding them to everything.

Do you cook with nigella seeds?  What about sesame seeds?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lateral Travel

Posted by terrepruitt on February 11, 2014

In Nia we have a base of 52 Moves. Not surprising they are called The 52 Moves of Nia. As I have stated before they are not unique to Nia. You have probably done some of them at one point in your life. If you have taken dance or you participate in a group exercise class that is dance oriented then you more than likely have done some of them. They are just gathered into a group for Nia because of their benefits and fun. So they are included in the Nia Routines. Not all of them are in every routine, but a good portion appear in each routine. Plus whenever there is Free Dance they might make an appearance. One of the base moves . . . . moves we do primarily with the base of our body . . . is Lateral Traveling.

Lateral Traveling is specific and different from Traveling In Directions. Traveling in Directions is a move done in all directions . . . . Lateral Traveling is done to the side. The Nia Technique (have you gotten your copy yet? Click here to go to Amazon to order your copy.) describes Lateral Travel as a step together step or a grapevine. The specifics are to start in a closed stance, then take one step to the side, then place your feet together (moving the other leg to the first leg that stepped), then take one step to the side, then move the leg toward the other one, but instead of placing it next to your leg cross it back.

A grapevine is where you step one leg to the side then the next step is BEHIND, then step to the side, where the next step goes depends. Sometimes you can land on the heel or behind or with the knee up. Grapevines are a nice replacement for four point turns. There are many reasons why people don’t turn so using this lateral move, the grapevine, is perfect.

With both methods the instructions say to use your hands to lead you. Have them out in the direction you are going. The instructions also say, “When you step behind, step onto the back ball of the foot and keep your knees spring loaded and your spine vertical.” For clarification, the “back ball of the foot” is the foot that is in the back or behind.

This is a “two side” move. To practice you do to one side then the other. To the left, then to the right. (Or to the right, then the left.)

So this is the specific Lateral Travel: Step together step or grapevine. I have found my self using the phrase “travel laterally” at times when I am leading my San Jose Nia class (or any Nia class for that matter) and I am not instructing them to do the specific Lateral Travel. But I guess that is the difference. There is “travel laterally” and do the “Lateral Travel” move.

Many moves in Nia are good for the coordination. This is one. Step together step is not necessarily a difficult move but depending on the speed and what comes before it and after it, it can call upon your coordination. Although, I would say this is one of the easier 52 Moves of Nia.

Varying the speed and adding some movement to the body can change it up a bit and perhaps add a some challenge to it.

So there you have it another move in Nia’s 52 Moves.

You probably find yourself doing this one often, huh? Even when you are not on the dance floor?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I Smell Something

Posted by terrepruitt on September 12, 2013

I have mentioned that I have been using essential oils for aromatherapy. I put a few drops of the oil in an unscented tealight and let it burn. While I believe that is not the best way to diffuse the oil, that is one way I do it. One of the popular brands of essential oils that I am familiar with sells diffusers, but they are – in my opinion – very expensive and at this point, way out of my budget. I believe that diffusing them in the air via steam is the best way. So I had been looking for one that was affordable. I found a decent one on Amazon.

After reading the reviews on some diffusers I decided it was important to have one that indicated when the water was low. Also I wanted one that held a good amount of water and could diffuse for hours.

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 YogaThe reviews on the one I ended up getting were mixed, as often in the case. A few people said it was cheaply made, well, it was a very inexpensive product compared to some that I had been seeing. But even a cheaply made product should work, or why bother? Reviews are funny aren’t they? There are usually people who LOVE the product and ones who HATE it. Well, this product was no exception. There was one review that kept me from buying it, but, then when I thought about how much oil I was wasting burning it in candles that same review actually made me take a chance.

The person had said they had bought three. Two worked and one didn’t. So I figured it was kind of a crap shoot. I figured the people who said it didn’t work probably got one that didn’t work or they didn’t use it correctly. I figured my chances were good of getting a good one. And I was going to be very careful and use it correctly.

Some people had said it didn’t diffuse the aroma in a large room. Well, I was planning on using it in a small room. What I find is that it works great in the small room and that the fragrance actually travels into the big room. There are two settings for different sized rooms. I usually use the “small room” setting, but that still gets the scent around. But I find that the “large room” setting works good in the big room too!

I am happy with my purchase. I think it does a great job with diffusing scent of the oils.  It acts as a humidifier.  It even has a light that rotates through several colors.  You might be able to see the steam rising out of it in this picture.

One new oil I bought was Bergamot.  Even though Bergamot is a type of an orange, it does not smell like an orange at all, to me.  That could be the brand I purchased.  This essential oils is associated with the throat chakra and the sacral chakra.  According to Wiki, Bergamot is a common top note** in perfumes.  Multiple internet sources say that bergamot oil is an analgesic, an antidepressant, an antiseptic, an antibiotic, an anti-spasmodic, a stimulant, a relaxant, a sedative, stomachic, calmative, cicatrisant, deodorant, digestive, febrifuge, vermifuge and vulnerary.

And can be used to treat depression, stress, tension, fear, hysteria, infection (all types including skin), anorexia, psoriasis, eczema and general convalescence.

At this point I am still only using my oils as aromatherapy – as in using their scent in the air.  I do not usually (except once) put them on my skin.  And I do not ingest them.  I strongly recommend that if you plan on using them on your skin and/or ingesting them you enlist the aid of an experienced Aromatherapist.

I thought I would give you a heads up on an affordable diffuser.

**Top notes are the most volatile and will evaporate first on your skin.

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Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on June 27, 2013

Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot is certainly not unique to Nia.  Many dance modalities incorporate this move.  In fact this move is incorporated into every day life.  How often are you moving forward only have to stop and move back?  You could be in line at the store or anywhere when the person in front of you moves back towards you so you take a step back.  While you might not “hang” out on the ball of your foot as we do in Nia you more than likely don’t take a step backwards heel first.  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, ZumbaSo, yes, Nia has taken moves that might be done in other dance practices, martial arts, and even everyday life and put them in their list of Nia’s 52 Moves.  Nia then weaves the moves into the Nia Routine choreography.  This move Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot is part of our Base Moves.  It is done with the feet and legs and they are a part of the base.

This move is described on page 123 of the Nia Technique book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas and you can purchase it from Amazon.

As I have said many times there is a proper way to do all moves and while you are practicing them and learning them you do it the proper way.  Then as you come across it in a Nia class while doing a Nia routines your body will know the proper way yet be able to adapt to the choreography that you are dancing at the moment.

So to practice this move you can start in Open Stance.  Then with one leg step back onto the ball of foot.  When stepping back pull the leg straight behind not to either side.  Keep the foot parallel to the stationary foot, don’t turn the heel.  As is indicated step back onto the ball of the foot.  Keep the spine up and the heel high off of the earth.  Then shift your weight onto the foot of which you just stepped back on and take the other foot off the ground.  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, ZumbaYour torso is upright, pelvis, chest, shoulders, chin, eyes facing forward.  Do the same movement with the other foot.  You don’t necessarily always have to start in open stance.

After you are comfortable with the stationary start, walk around and stop and step into the move.

This move helps with the mobility and flexibility in the foot.  It also helps create or improve stability in the ankle.  It helps with balance, especially if you hang out for a measured amount of time on the ball of your foot!

At the moment I can think of one routine in which we step back onto the ball of foot as a large portion of one of the dances.  I know we step back all the time, but in this routine I think of one of the songs as “showcasing” this move.  The choreography calls for lifting the leg of the foot that is off the ground.  Or doing a knee lift.  So that is a good example of the variations that Nia choreography uses with its 52 Moves.

Well, what do you think about this move?  Can you see how it helps with mobility and flexibility in the foot?

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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.

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My Reasons For Getting A Blendtec

Posted by terrepruitt on October 20, 2012

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, ZumbaPeople ask me about my blender.  Just this week we were talking about super blenders after our Nia class.  A lot of people are interested in making green smoothies.  I was never interested in them because they sound so gross and the ones I had seen looked gross.  I also really like to EAT my fruits and veggies and felt I was eating enough, but I realized I could use more in my diet.  Eating more is sometimes difficult and that is why people have been making and drinking smoothies for so long.  It is a great way to get some additional vegetables in your diet.  I chose the Blendtec for a few reasons.  I started looking at it because it was on sale at Costco.  From there I started looking at prices on the internet.  I found that I could get a Blendtec for less than a Vitamix.  That was a big selling point to me, but not the only one.  I did more research.  The decision will just come down to what you prefer.  In addition to the Blendtec being less expensive I feel the one I got at Costco was a great deal.  At Costco they sell the blender and two containers/jars for less than the price I’ve seen elsewhere for the blend with just one container/jar .

To save you time, nutshell list:

–two jars; WildSide and FourSide
–easy to clean “buttons”
–it fits under most cabinets (Company claim)
–no tamping
–preset buttons/controls
–variable speed buttons/controls
–pulse button/control
–3 HP

If you are looking at buying one of these super blenders you might notice that not only are the blenders different but the containers they sell are different.  They have tall ones, short ones, round ones, square ones . . . all types.  With the Blendtec you can buy the blender with what they call the FourSide Jar or the blender with the WildSide Jar.  Now I didn’t know the difference and I didn’t know if I would want both jars, but when I saw that the jar alone was $100 and that Costco was selling the blender with BOTH containers for less than what I was seeing it cost for the blender with one container, I thought that was a good deal.  (I am now seeing the same deal on Amazon so if you don’t belong to Costco you can get the same deal on Amazon.)

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, ZumbaNow the bummer to me was that this one was only sold in black.  All of my appliances are white and I would have loved to have a white one, but I wasn’t planning on leaving it on my counter anyway so I didn’t want to spend the extra money for white.

The features on the Blendtec that sold me were the “buttons”.  I am an old school girl so I like to be able to control things and I think knobs are better than those electronic squishy “buttons”.  With the knob on the Vitamix I was assuming I could get better control over the speed of the blender.  But then I realized, I don’t need more control.  What I need is not to have a knob that I have to clean under, on, and around.  The Blendtec has been amazing in how easy it is to clean.  I always seem to drip green smoothie all down the front so every time I do I am thankful I don’t have knobs and “real” buttons to clean all around.

The Blendtec is shorter than the Vitamix and will fit under most cabinets.  Even though I was not planning on leaving mine out on the counter, being a shorter blender means it would fit IN the cabinet better.  Being a shorter blender also means it is easier to use because you can add things easier, as in you don’t have to get the step stool to reach the top of the container!  🙂

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, ZumbaThe real thing that sold me is the information I read which said you don’t need a tamper with the WildSide Jar.  Now, I am not certain, but I think the Blendtec containers don’t need tamping because the lids are vented so I think the air gets in there and that does the job of tamping.  I liked the idea of just turning the blender on and letting it do its thing.

That is another thing, in addition to not tamping, the Blendtec has push-and-go buttons.  You just push the button for what you want and it does it itself.  I decided I didn’t need the control of doing it myself and if I do, the Blendtec has variable speed buttons and a pulse.  So I can turn on the blender to whatever speed I want or pulse it.  So I still have the control if I want.

Also the Blendtec has more horsepower than the Vitamix, that might be another reason a tamper is not required.

Please keep in mind I am comparing base models.  There are a lot of different models that are high-end and professional, but I was just looking at the two comparable models and these are the things that “sold” me on the Blendtec.

I would love to learn more about the Vitamix  if you have one and you would like to share?  Any of you out there wanting to get a super blender?  Do any of these things sound like features you’d like?

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