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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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘Cardio classes’

Knee Sweep – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on August 30, 2012

Now, I know that I’ve been doing the knee sweep a lot longer than I have been doing Nia.  So it is true that Nia’s 52 moves are not necessarily unique to Nia, but they are part of the core of Nia.  You will find a large portion of Nia’s 52 moves in every routine.  There are correct ways to do them, but Nia allows for the body’s way and also, I believe Nia allows for the move to be incorporated into the dance.  For instance, The Nia Technique book states that the starting position for a knee sweep is the sumo stance.  I am sure that I have done a knee sweep from a sumo stance at one time, but the first dance that pops into my head where we do the knee sweep it is not from a sumo position.  But the by the book (oh, yeah, that reminds me, “BUY THE BOOK!” 🙂 ), anyway, the by-the-book version of the knee sweep starts from a sumo position, complete with arms in ready position and everything.  Then the body rises as you come up on one leg bringing the other leg up with a bent knee.  The knee crosses the midline of the body, the opposite hand “pushes” the knee out.  The knee swings out so the pelvis is open.  Then the leg comes down and the foot lands on the earth.  That is the knee sweep of Nia’s 52 moves.

The book does not indicate that when your foot comes down it is in the toes-to-the-front position, but that is how I teach it.  I don’t want my students landing on their foot with their knee out to the side.  If we are just doing knee sweeps as an exercise, maybe I would have them do that, because they would be aware of the torque in their hip, but probably not.

When I was first doing this move in Nia I was trying to do it as the book shows and as many of the people on the Nia instructional DVDs do and as the instructor does (whether it be Debbie Rosas or Carlos AyaRosas).  And that was with the knee out to the side very wide.  REALLY opening the pelvis.  But when I did that I noticed a “something” – I don’t know what it was, but it was something – in my lower back.  So I decided that opening my hip that wide and having my leg out that far was not MY body’s way, so I do not do that.  I share with my students that I found the comfortable spot to be about as far as my forearms can reach.  I “glue” my elbows to my sides and hold my forearms out to the side.  As far as they can go is as far as I allow my knee to go.  That is what works for me.

Some of the time that we are doing the knee sweep it is at the end of a “up-two-three-four (knee sweep), back-two-three-four (knee sweep)”.  So that would not allow for the sumo position to be the start.  Other times we are standing upright.  As I said, I am sure I have done it from the sumo position because I bet it is in a routine I am not thinking of.  But the ones I am thinking of it is done from a walking or standing position.

The amazing thing about the knee sweep is that it calls for the knee to cross the midline of the body.  So that means that if you were doing a left knee sweep (with your left leg) your left knee would enter into the right hemisphere of your body.  If you were doing a right knee sweep (with your right leg) your right knee would enter into the right hemisphere of your body.  It is a great thing when your limbs cross the midline.  It helps stimulate the brain.  So there is a reason in many exercise routines and cardio classes that we have you do “cross overs”.

The knee sweep is one of those moves that requires balance.  Since at one point you are standing on one leg, you will be able to improve your balance or practice what you have.  Also the moving of the leg helps with that stability.  Standing on one leg helps with strength and opening the hip helps with mobility and flexibility.   The knee sweep of Nia’s 52 moves does a body and brain good!

Are you familiar with this move?  Have you done it before in your exercise class?  Did you give it a try?

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

Exercise Fads

Posted by terrepruitt on May 10, 2011

I heard about Nia about three years ago. I have been a Nia Teacher for almost two and a half years. Nia has been around since the early 80s, so about 28 years. Jazzercise has been around even longer than that, since 1969—if you can believe that. And Zumba, it has only been around 10 years. All of these dance workouts could have, at one point been considered exercise fads. But they have proven to be here to stay. This is a good thing. They will adjust and change over the years and probably be around for another 28, 42, and 10 years or more. But what about some of the fads?

A lot of exercise fads have been equipment. Do you remember the Thighmaster? The Gazelle sold by that huge guy with long hair (Tony Little)? The Ab -blaster, -rocker, -roller, you name it there was/is an “AB”-something or rather? What about the shake weight? What is up with that?

What about Tae Bo? Still around? Rollerblading? Yes, a lot of these things, these “fads” are still around. But at one point they were HUGELY popular—-seemed like EVERYONE was doing them (whatever the “IN” thing is at the time)–well that is what a fad is. But you know what is kinda cool? Some people continue to do them. So while not everyone you know is out rollerblading there are people who still do it. It is something they enjoy doing. It is how they get their exercise or just relax. There are people who still do Tae Bo. And if not Tae Bo one of the hundreds of other classes like it. Tae Bo might have started it. It was a fad, but it is still going on. Someone somewhere is still doing it.

What I am getting at is unless the fad is actually dangerous or unhealthy they are good.  They get people moving.  Most of the “machines” or equipment won’t actually do what they promise, but some of it can get people moving.  If they are really worth anything they will be proven to be worth it.  If they stay around for any length of time they will also adjust because in order to last they need to change as things change.  We learn new things about exercise and the body all the time so a long-lasting workout or exercise machine/equipment will have to adapt.  But in the mean time a lot of the fads just get people up and moving and that really is a good thing.

Have you bought anything you are brave enough to admit?  Is there a fad that you joined in on, but then really love it so you still do it?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Awareness – Dancing Through Life

Posted by terrepruitt on May 4, 2010

Nia White Belt Principle #5 – Awareness – Dancing Through Life

I have been avoiding this principle because it can be very complex. To me, all of Nia’s White Belt Principles can be complex because they can be applied strictly to the cardio workout that is one aspect of Nia, they can be applied to Nia as a practice—which translates into, they can be applied to life, or they can just be applied to life.

Debbie Rosas Stewart talked about Principle #5 in this month’s Nia Teleconference for EveryBODY. She kept it simple. In all the calls she talks for about 15 minutes then she takes questions for the last 15. The call is 30 minutes. I will share with you what she said, but I recommend you listen to the call when they have it up on the site. They record each call every month.

Since I like to keep my posts relatively short, I have realized that I can post short summaries of Nia information and re-visit the information in additional posts.

One of the first things she said is very true, and I would like you to think about it. She pointed out that we are often aware of pain whereas we are not aware of pleasure. If we have a sore body part, we are aware of it. It makes its presence known and we listen. I personally don’t think we always listen to what it needs, but that is topic of another post. But we certainly don’t always pay attention to pleasure.

With Nia we seek pleasure. We seek to move away from the pain and go towards the pleasure.

There are a few things we can do to assist with that. One way is to be aware. Be aware of what brings us pleasure. As we move throughout our day we can make our movements a dance. While we are “doing”, we can dance through life. As you are reading this and you shift in your chair, notice the movement of your hips, notice to tilt of your head, do it like a dance.

While you are not moving, while you are “not doing”. Notice the stillness in your body. Allow the stillness to bring calm, relaxation, a sort of meditation, if you will. Notice what it is you are touching. Not just touching with your hands, but with your entire body. Are you sitting on a chair? Are you leaning on a desk? Benefit from that touch and that “not doing”.

Life as art so notice the art around you. Notice the noises and allow them to filter in as sound. Breath in the sensation of life. Not talking about “art” that would be in a museum art, but just the beauty of the world. Whatever you find beautiful.

There is so much about Nia I always find myself saying, “Another thing . . . one thing . . . Nia this . . . and Nia that. . .” but really. Another thing about Nia is that it is kind. Nia believes that we receive what we need to receive. We are not expected to hear something and walk away knowing it all or knowing it perfectly. With that in mind, understand that this is what I heard. These are the notes I took. Please, I invite you to listen for yourself and glean from it what you need. Focus on what resonates with you.  Take away something you can share.

My site shows Nia class schedule in San Jose and San Carlos. On Nia’s main site you can look up classes in your area. There are classes all over the world.

Touching and Being Touched / May 3, 2010 Teleconference call is the call I have summarized here.

Presently in your life, do you dance through it?  Do you practice awareness?  Do you notice life as art?

Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

List Of Ten Favorites (Exercises)

Posted by terrepruitt on November 12, 2009

Today is “whatever” Thursday, I wanted to find some pictures to post, but nothing really struck me.  I have thought about it all day and I couldn’t come up with anything.  Then I thought of lists.  People are always posting lists.  In fact, my last post was somewhat of a list; a list of benefits of resistance training.  On my short drive after class from Santa Clara to San Jose, I decided to post ten of my favorite exercise in no particular order:

1)  Dumbbell Chest Press (especially on a stability ball)
2)  Upright Row (on one Pilates DVD I have she calls this the “Zip Up”)
3)  Lat Pull Down with Alternating Backward Lunge
4)  Tricep Kickback (with a dumbbell)
5)  Standing Tricep Pushdown
6)  Heel Raises
7)  Wood Chops
8)  Bent-Over Row
9)  Bicep Curl
10) Sit-ups (on the BOSU) (she did NOT just say that, oh yeah, I did)

Of course, I love Nia for my aerobic (cardio) workout and with that I get a lot of these same motions as some of my favorite exercise, but this is just a list of some of my favorite exercises I like to do with equipment and/or weights.

Comments?  Questions?  What are your favorite exercises?  What do you like to include in your workout?

Share your list.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »