Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Posts Tagged ‘Balance Finger’

Using Your Middle Finger

Posted by terrepruitt on May 4, 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, SJCityFitIf you have ever taken a moment to look at the list of the Fifty-Two Nia Moves you might have wondered what the “Power Finger Crossover” is.  You probably figured out it has something to do with fingers as the name contains “finger” but perhaps that is as far as you had gotten.  You may have thought, “What is crossed over what?”  Well, the middle finger is considered the power finger in Nia.  It has a lot of power.  In some cultures it is considered a finger of communication ;-).  In Nia it is also called the balance finger.  With the power finger crossover in the 52 Nia Moves it can be used at many different times during a Nia routine.

First: how to – the way you do the power finger is to cross the middle finger, the power finger over the index finger.  Then you release the index finger and cross the power finger over the ring finger.  The arms remain long and extended.  The cross of the fingers is small.  Use both hands, doing the crossover at the same time on both hands.

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, SJCityFitGo ahead, try it.

I can do the middle finger crossed over the index finger on both hands.  I can do the middle finger crossed over the ring finger on the left hand with out help.  But I have to use my left hand to cross my right middle finger over my right ring finger.  As you can imagine it takes a little strength and dexterity to cross the fingers over each other unaided.  It is obvious to me I need to practice more.

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, SJCityFitThere is a routine in which we cross the ring finger over the pinky finger and for the longest time I could do it on my left hand, but had to help my right hand out.  But now I can cross both ring fingers over both pinky fingers without help.  So it really is just a matter of practice.

If you can do the crossing without helping great!  But if you can’t, it is fine to help your fingers until you can do it without the help of the other hand.  The fingers still get the benefit of flexibility.  And your brain gets the benefit of your digits being crossed.

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, SJCityFitAccording to The Nia Technique (page 164) “practicing this move helps you extend energy along your arm bones and out through your hands, which keeps your neck and shoulders relaxes.  It creates positive tension in the hand and adds to awareness of the integration of the hand and arm.”

And as I said it helps strengthen the hands/fingers and brings dexterity to them.

This move is part of the moves of the upper extremities and is grouped under “Fingers”.  It can be done in combination with many of The Fifty-Two Nia Moves and during many of the Nia Routines.  It can be done at almost anytime in a Nia class.  During FreeDance or as part of a routine.   It can also be practiced throughout your day.

So did you try it?  Can you do it?  Can you do it on both hands without the help of the other hand?

 

 

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Nia’s Cat Stance

Posted by terrepruitt on January 10, 2013

There are six stances in the 52 Moves of NiaClosed Stance, Open Stance, “A” Stance, Riding (Sumo) Stance, Bow Stance, and the Cat Stance.  Each stance has a sound associated with it for practice.  There are benefits to doing each stance.  All of them help with balance.  With the cat stance the balance is on one foot.  The cat stance is a stance in which you stand on one leg, using your whole foot.  The leg you are standing on is not rigid, but the knee is soft, as if you were going to pounce.  The spine is upright, hips are level, not pointing down nor up.  The foot that is off the ground is pressing with the side against the standing leg, the foot relaxed, toes hanging towards the earth. Elbows are bent, relaxed.  Either both elbows are at the sides or one slightly forward.  The arms and hands are engaged.  The cat stance is done on alternating legs.  These are the specifics of Nia’s Cat Stance.

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, ZumbaThere are specific ways to do a stance, the body’s way.  But your body’s way is also recognized.  So different bodies will do it different ways.  Some will do it their own way until the body can adjust to the specifics and some bodies will continue in their own way.  For instance some bodies will use the power finger/balance finger hand technique to assist them in standing on one leg.  In addition to each body having its own way to do each move sometimes the way the move is done in a routine alters the specifics.  The specifics stated above are according to The Nia Technique book, however in the routine Birth, the cat stance in one of the katas consists of hooking the bent leg’s foot around the standing leg.  In this particular dance, while we are in the cat stance with our foot hooked around the standing leg, our hands and arms are different from is described in the ideal cat stance stated above.  One of our hands “hooks” around our face.

This is often the case.  There is a specific way to do each of Nia’s 52 Moves, but each individual has their own body’s way that adjust the specifics AND the specifics are sometimes adjusted according to move in the routine.  But it is important to know the specifics and the basics.  It is also fun to practice the specifics and the basics.

The basics of the cat stance help with balancing on one leg.  This can also be considered a strengthener, the standing leg’s muscles can be strengthened through the practice of supporting all of one’s weight.  If this move is being done solely as a practice of the move, then agility can come into play.  The practice of walking then stopping and moving quickly into cat stance would allow for the agility.  Alternating with a light hop from whole-foot-cat-stance on one leg to the other is an exercise in agility.  While this type of movement might also be something we do in a Nia routine it is not always the case.  Sometimes we move into cat stance and from there do kicks.

As with all of Nia’s 52 Moves we play with them.  All of Nia’s routines consist of playing with movement and music.  With the cat stance you have the specific way to do it, then just like a cat you can play as you practice.  You can “meow” and use claw hands.  The cat stance is a fun way to play with balance and sounding.  Practice the specifics then let the animal in you out!

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

Balance Finger

Posted by terrepruitt on December 22, 2009

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This is the a picture of the Balance Finger from the Nia 52 Moves

The Middle Finger is pointing down.  In Nia this hand/finger position is general used in combination with your arms straight out and one foot in the air.  As you balance on one foot use your balance finger in space for support.

This exercise assist in integrating the two halves of the body, the upper half and the lower half.  Anytime you stand or lean on one leg you workout the balance/stabilizing muscles.  I think when your stabilizing muscles are used to working out they will be there when you need them and help keep you from falling.

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