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

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle 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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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘cardio class’

Goings-On

Posted by terrepruitt on January 22, 2015

What is going on with you? Here? Me? Well, I mentioned that Nia released four new routines at the end of the year. I mentioned I ordered three. Well, I received them and I listened to the music for the one I had planned to learn first and just as I expected. The music for the entire routine is from ONE artist. When I originally noticed that, I thought that might be an issue for me. I thought that it would all sound the same and I wasn’t too excited about that prospect. But the music from the routine I didn’t order was even less appealing. Now, let me explain that we are able to listen to snippets of the songs. Like on iTunes. It only plays for a moment. As you may have found out from listening to snippets on iTunes some times what you hear is not exactly what you get. I mean sometimes a song can change dramatically. The Nia website used to allow us to listen to the entire song, but now we only get a short preview. So . . . having listened to the previews of all the songs for all the routines, I “didn’t like” the music of one routine. That is why I didn’t order it. But I was leery of the “One artist” routine. But the snippets sounded different enough, I thought it would be ok. Turns out . . . not so much. But . . . often times the first “listen through” of a routine’s music reveals an instant “I don’t like”, but that fades or disappears entirely sometimes. So, I have faith it will be fine, but . . . it caused me to decide to work on learning a different routine. So I am in the process of learning a new routine.

I always look at them for the first time and think, “Oh cool. That’s not too hard. I can learn it quick.” But then . . . for me that is not the case. It is one thing to be able to dance to a routine, but it is another to be able to lead it. I could just take it to class and we could play with it, but I like to have a really good handle on it first.

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, PiYoBut . . . . somewhat exciting news . . . as is always happening at places that have exercise classes, it seems as if there is going to be a change in the schedule at one of the facilities where I teach. So they are looking to fill a spot, but they don’t really think they want another cardio class, but . . . . I know that it takes time to find the right class and a teacher that can do it, so I offered to do Nia in the meantime. Well, much to my surprise the supervisor took me up on that deal. As in starting next week. The odd thing is – I was already set to sub the class one day, so it is basically like I am taking it over tomorrow.

Another exciting thing is the response I have received from the Nia students that currently attend the other classes I teach. They are excited to have an additional Nia class. Many of them said they would take the class. So . . . we will see. I am secretly –ok, so it is not a secret (!!) hoping that the class will do well and the center will let me keep it. With Group Ex classes we know that nothing is permanent because things sometimes need to change, but there is the “permanent” and we like that. So it could be that I end up taking routines into the classroom sooner than normal if I get to teach four classes a week, regularly!

I am going to go be a student on Saturday. One of the Nia students that used to attend my classes moved to a different area. I am going to visit her. We are going to go to a Nia class she now regularly attends. I think being a student will be a great energizer. I don’t take the time out to be a student as much as I would like. Seems like I am always trying to learn a routine so I don’t take time out from that. But this was planned in advance and it will be perfect.

My hubby and I are still adding to our Goodie Jar. It is looking quite festive with all of the Christmas wrapping paper scraps we are using.

Did I mentioned the Nia Events I have on the calendar for March? There is going to be a Friday evening class and a Saturday playshop? The evening class will be a routine done to 80’s music and the playshop is all about Free Dance. The Nia Teacher that is going to do both is Jason Alan Griffin. I wrote a post about him, First Degree Nia Black Belt Guest Teacher because he brought his Goldfinger routine to the East Bay Area last year.

Whew!  So that is what is up with me.  Do tell, what is up with you?

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

Nia Crosses The Line

Posted by terrepruitt on September 27, 2014

I teach a cardio dance exercise called Nia.  But it is more than that.  At one point in its history Nia was NIA and stood for Neuromuscular Integrative Action.  I have mentioned this before.  I have also mentioned that I am not sure why the name has gone through many changes.  I personally think that Nia has changed its name trying to find a wide audience.  Trying to become more popular.  It is sometimes the way with things that there has to be a catchy name or something in order to get people’s attention.  Sometimes the name that best describes something is not catchy or marketable enough to attract people.   Neuromuscular Integrative Action is really a great name.  It describes Nia very well.  But I don’t think it is very catching.  It is difficult for some to remember, perhaps, and it might not come easy to understand to many people.  But it really is a perfect name for Nia.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary states:

Full Definition of NEUROMUSCULAR:

of or relating to nerves and muscles; especially : jointly involving or affecting nervous and muscular elements

 

A Google search shows the following:

integrative:

serving or intending to unify separate things.

[In]  •    Medicine — combining allopathic and complementary therapies.

So the actions during the workout will have to do with nerves and muscles.  The movements, in addition to moving the entire body, also bring together the Body, Mind, Emotions, and Spirit (BMES).  So it truly is Neuromuscular Integrative Action.  But that truly is a mouthful.  Even though it is a great, descriptive name, I think it might have been decided it was too difficult.  I don’t know.  I am just speculating.

I mentioned in my post about Knee Sweeps how it is beneficial to the brain for our limbs to cross over the midline of the body.  I want to write a little more on that . . . . imagine you have a string that starts at the top of your forehead and it fall down the middle of your forehead, down the middle of your nose, in between your breast down the middle of your chest, over your belly button, continuing down in between your legs.  That is the MIDLINE of your body.  So when your cross your left hand/arm or foot/leg over to the right side of that line you are crossing the midline.  And vice-versa.  This type of action is good for your brain.  This type of action is good for your nervous system.  It is action relating to nerves and muscles.  You use your muscles in action and this stimulates your nervous system.

I often remind my class how we are “working” the brain when we cross the midline of the body, when it really is so much more than that.  Because, as you know, the each side of the body are controlled by opposite sides of the brain so when you cross the midline both sides of the brain are forced into working.  Both sides must communicate with each other.  This communication with the nerve-cell pathways linking both sides, but strengthening them.

Many exercise classes do this.  That is because it is important (I believe I have said this before.)  Even yoga does it in some of its asanas.  So the crossing does not have to happen in a cardio class or during a cardio exercise.  Crossing the midline in stretches also helps “stretch” the brain.  So even if you don’t participate in Nia, you can do things to help your brain.  But I just wanted to share again – I know I’ve mentioned some of this a few times – how Nia is a lot more than a dance exercise, it really is neuromuscular integrative action.

So, with the reminder that it is good for your brain and nervous system, are you gonna cross that line?

 

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Nia Routines I’ve Learned

Posted by terrepruitt on May 9, 2013

I teach Nia.  I actually like to say I lead Nia because to me teaching a dance is more instructive.  What I think of as teaching is the type of class where the instructor demonstrates a step or two then the students do the steps a few times, then the instructor demonstrates more steps and the students practice them.  Eventually the steps are strung together in a dance.  But in my Nia cardio classes it is just lead follow.  I do – you follow.  I give verbal instructions and/or verbal guides but it is not the type of instructional class where I show you, then you do, then we practice and then we string all the steps together.  So I guess it is not an “instructional” or “instructed” dance class.  But I do teach by example.  You follow my lead.  In order to be a Nia teacher I had to take the Nia White Belt Intensive.  I have talked about this before, but to review the White Belt is the first level of Nia.  The White Belt Intensive is over 50 hours of instruction and is open to anyone.  Individuals do not have to have the intent to teach.  The Nia White Belt Intensive is about the body so anyone is welcome to join and learn.  In order to be a Nia teacher there is an additional licensing fee.  The fee is due annually and it includes four routines that we, as teachers, agree to learn per year.  I was just looking at my DVDs.  I have two routines that I have not learned.  I have 19 that I have learned.  I have been teaching almost four and half years so I am keeping up with the four per year schedule.

Now, I want to clarify that I have learned 19 routines.  That means that I basically did the bars and have shared 19 routines with my students.  That means I roughly know those 19 routines.  I could stand up right now and lead you through some of them, but some of them I would have to look at my bars, and some of them I would have to study my bars.  But I also feel I am better at just doing.  While I want to do the routine as per the choreography, I am not as afraid as I once was to just DO the routine.

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, ZumbaWhen I am preparing to do a different routine for my class sometimes I have a chance to practice and sometimes I don’t.  I will look at my bars for each song.  Sometimes I look at the first few lines and think, “Oh yeah, I know this one.”  Then when I am leading it my body and my mind don’t remember it as well as I thought and I just dance through it, but then when I get home I look more closely at my bars or re-watch the DVD.  It really is about moving and having fun.  As long as we are moving and we are doing it close enough then it is good.  Then, like I said, I come home to get the choreography better established in my head and body!

The routines I have learned are:

Alive – Carlos AyaRosas
Amethyst – Debbie Rosas
Aya – Carlos Rosas
Beyond – Debbie Rosas and Ann Christiansen
Birth – Debbie Rosas and Collaborators
Canta – Carlos Rosas
Clarity – Carlos Rosas
White Belt Dream Walker – Carlos Rosas
Earthsong – Carlos Rosas
Global Unity
Humanity – Carlos AyaRosas
Miracle – Carlos Rosas
Opal – Debbie Rosas
Passion – Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas
Sanjana – Debbie Rosas
San Medusa – Helen Terry
Sexi – Carlos Rosas
Velvet – Debbie Rosas
Vibe – Debbie Rosas

The names of the routines that I have on my shelf that I need to learn are Butterfly and Oshun.  I just renewed so I have four routines that I need to pick out as my new routines.  Picking routines is always a challenge because everyone has such different tastes.  Some people LOVE, LOVE, LOVE some of the routines I have and I don’t love them.  So for me it is a difficult decision.  I try to pick routines that I think my students will like, but then that is just a guess.  I know which ones they like out of the ones I teach because they request them often.

If you were just picking a routine from the name which one would you pick?  As a Nia student which one out of this list is your favorite?  What about Nia teachers, which is your favorite out of this list?

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Four-wall or Cooking – An Experience In All Sides

Posted by terrepruitt on April 7, 2012

In Nia we do something that is called cooking all four sides.  When I first learned this I thought it to be just when we were on the ground.  “Cooking” to me was the “side” of the body that was on the ground.  When you “cook” all four sides you allow your belly, your back, your left side, and your side to “cook” on the ground.  So basically you are lying on a different “side” at one point in the dance.  In one routine, I can’t remember which one, while we are standing we turn and face one wall, then turn again, then turn again, then turn again and Debbie called it cooking all four sides.  I thought, “Wow!  I hadn’t thought to call THAT cooking all four sides, because (as I mentioned) I think of ‘cooking’ as being on the floor.”  But it works.  We are “cooking” or facing all sides, all walls.  In country line dancing we call it a four-wall dance.  Often times there are a few steps then a turn, a few steps, then a turn, and so on, eventually you face all four walls.  There are two wall dances and maybe even three, but the point is you face a different direction.  Generally the back becomes the front and the front becomes the back.

ance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,I’ve posted about Nia Routines before.  I explained a bit about how the routines are created and teachers can purchase them.  Nia routines used to be choreographed and performed on the training DVD by Debbie Rosas or Carlos Rosas or both.  I’ve also posted about the fact that Nia morphs and changes.  At the end of 2010 Carlos AyaRosas, the male co-creator of Nia retired.  As with any company that wants to continue on after a founder retires Nia had to make some changes.  To me it seems as if Nia had been thinking about this for a while.  I know when I attended my Nia White Belt Intensive both Debbie and Carlos talked about Nia continuing on after they leave.  So it seems to me that they had plans and ideas for how Nia will change.  I think it is evident in the way that Nia does not seem to be a flag flapping in the wind, it has true direction.  With the exit of Carlos a new era has been born.  Debbie is now co-creating routines with Nia Black Belt Trainers.  I love Nia and enjoy both the routines Debbie created and the ones Carlos created.  There are some I like more than others.  I am not saying that I like the new one I have seen more than I liked the “old” ones, I am just saying, “Yay!  Nia is not disappointing me.”  The new routine I have looked at is just as fabulous as the old routines I love. 

As a little background:  In order to teach Nia we must pay a licensing fee.  When we pay the fee we are purchasing the right to teach, continued education, and four Nia routines.  We are free to purchase additional routines when they are available, but four are included in the licensing fee and we are obligated to learn at least four a year.  I just recently renewed my license and ordered my routines.  I ordered two that are older (from 2007 and 2008) and two that are considered our new ones, dated 2011.  Usually I skim through all four before deciding which one to learn next.  One of them I ordered I have done once before in a class so I know that I like it and I was planning on learning that next, but my curiosity about one of the new ones got to me.  I decided to learn it next after having watched it.

I am very excited about this routine because it has the “four-wall” or cooking all four sides technique in it.  The routine I am currently teaching has it too but only briefly, this new routine has this technique in more than one song.  Since a Nia class is not a dance lesson we just lead follow like other cardio workout classes the cooking all four sides is to not a series of complicated steps, but it does allow us to face other directions.  In FreeDance there is always opportunities to face many directions and sometimes in the Nia movements alone one can be turning far enough to achieve facing another wall, but this is choreographed to have the entire class turn.  It allows the class to see a different perspective.  I think it is fabulous.
 
It could be making me nostalgic and thinking of country dancing days . . . but more so, I am excited to have this technique used in a Nia routine so my students can see things from the front if they are always in the back or the back, if they are always in the front.  It will help move the class in new directions and Beyond!

Have you ever thought about the fact that a cardio dance class is pretty much like a line dance? 

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Nia Feels Like a Vacation

Posted by terrepruitt on May 29, 2010

I am always a little taken off guard when someone comes to me before Nia class and tells me with shock that they were sore (after the last Nia class).  I recently came to the realization that these people who are shocked–and maybe a bit offended–are shocked because they didn’t realize they are exercising in Nia.  They didn’t realize what a great workout they received.  They certainly weren’t aware that they were using muscles they may not have used in a long time OR that they may not have used in that way.  Nia is a vacation from normal exercise, but it IS exercise.

Nia is a cardio dance exercise class so there is ample opportunity to move with an intensity that will get your heart rate up.  Some people sweat, some people don’t.  Everyone does Nia differently.  EveryBODY has different needs.  Needs can change from class to class.  Nia teaches to listen to your body and to learn to give it what it needs.

Nia is a form of movement.  It is a mixture of nine different movement forms.  The mixture includes actual movements from some of these forms and elements and ideas from these forms.  But it is not these forms.  In other words if you attend a Nia class you will not be practicing yoga, tai chi, or the other martial arts but we might do some moves from some of those forms or we might use the ideas from them.

With the availability of so many moves and concepts we are able to move in Nia the way the body was designed to move.  We can play in the different planes, moving up and down and work on the ground.  Nia allows us to work on flexibility, agility, mobility, strength, and stability.

All of this motion and action is sometimes different from what your body might be used to doing.  Even though the movements are moves the body was actually designed to do, some of them you might not do in your everyday life, for instance rotating and opening the joints.  When you move your body after not moving it at all or move it in a different way than it is accustomed to moving there is a possibility that you will experience soreness or DOMS.

It could be that the muscles are sore or it could be that there is awareness of the joints because the tissues or muscles that make up the joints are strengthening.  While doing Nia we encourage people to try all the moves and experience them, but to tweak them so that they are comfortable to the body.  Since we invite participants to sense Joy during the workout they might walk away not realizing that there could be some soreness after.  Nia is also non-impact, but it can be intense so sometimes people are amazed that they sweat.  It IS a workout after all.

Not everyone likes to sense the soreness that might accompany a good workout.  I like it, I appreciate it because I know that it means I did something good for my body.  It is ok for a body to be a little sore, it means that it is adapting to change.  If the body is sore because it has not moved then it is good to have it adapt to the change of movement.  If you are one that does not like to feel the effects of change on your body, then while in a Nia class you can make your movements smaller.  If you don’t mind a little change then keep playing in all the levels.  Nia allows for which ever path you chose and whatever you chose is up to you, I just wanted to help you understand so you can be aware of what might be happening and make an informed and mindful choice.  It is my pleasure to be your travel guide and enable Nia to feel like a vacation.

I also have Tips for a Pleasurable Nia Experience and Tips for Moving Nia.

Are you ready for a relaxing yet exciting journey?

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