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 ‘cardio dance exercise’

Nia Bundle

Posted by terrepruitt on February 19, 2018

So you may know that I teach a cardio dance exercise called Nia. It includes Martial Arts (such as Tae Kwon Do), Dance Arts (such as jazz dance), and Healing Arts (such as yoga). It is body centered. Basically, it has many facets and can explained many different ways, but it is best for one to see for themselves what it really is. So I call it a cardio dance exercise. That lets people know that they will be dancing and getting a cardio workout. It clues them into the fact that if they move, they will sweat. The rest they just have to experience. One thing we do in Nia is we move around the room. It is great to experience the world from other perspectives and just moving away from your regular dance spot in your dance class can help you do that. Sometimes when we move from our regular spots we are moving around the room in FreeDance . . . perhaps taking up as much space as possible, moving about the entire room or dancing in all the corners. Sometimes when we move from our regular spots we dance in a “bundle”. Nia is also about community so this really helps exhibit that. We dance in a group, in a bundle, as a community.

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, SJCityFitThere is a particular kata in which I remember the training DVD to have encouraged us to dance close, as stated, in a bundle. So I always try to get people to get close. I suggest we all move gently in the tight bundle. I ask that everyone move through the middle of the bundle at least once. I also propose that people make eye contact. This is something I usually say to remind myself. I am getting better at doing so. I used to always look down, but now we are eyeing each other.

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, SJCityFitDuring one class I stepped outside of the bundle to turn up the music and thought it would be a great time to snap a photo. As you can see our little Nia community is great at doing the Nia Bundle. We always speculate as to what people who might see us would think when we have this large wonderful dance floor and we are all in the middle dancing. We also laugh about elbows and toes, acknowledging that you might run into one and being very careful not to step on the other. I believe the Nia Bundle is one of the things that makes Nia unique.

If you have read some of my other posts before, this one might sound pretty familiar as I wrote about the Nia Bundle in my post Dancing Close. This post pretty much explores the same information, but with this one there are pictures.

Not every Nia routine’s choreography contains a Nia Bundle . . . but a Nia teacher can use a Nia Bundle anytime. Since it is such a fun way to dance in community we might just sneak it in whenever we want. I tend to stick to using it when we dance the particular song that Carlos choreographed the Nia Bundle in . . . .but ya never know, since my students are so good at it, I might start using it more.

How would you feel about a “bundle dance”?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Affordable Wireless Earbuds

Posted by terrepruitt on April 27, 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 teach a cardio dance exercise called Nia.  It is dance, it is exercise, it is a cardio workout.  It is done to music.  Nia teachers pay a licensing fee and included in that are routines.  The Nia Technique creates routines.  One part to learning a routine is to listen to the music.  I listen to it a lot.  Sometimes I have difficulty or I feel I do, if I don’t like the music.  But most of the time I like it.  But either way, I listen to it a lot.  Sometimes I listen to it while I am cleaning, but when I have the vacuum on I can’t hear it so I have been wanting some Bluetooth headphones.  I have had my earbuds in with my phone in my pocket or tucked in somewhere when the wire has gotten caught and the earbuds RIPPED out of my ears or out of the phone.  Neither one is good.  So I thought it would be cool to have a wireless pair.  Originally I was looking for headphones.  Everything I found was expensive.  I didn’t even realize they made wireless earbuds!  My husband found some that were affordable.  It turned out he liked them and they worked well.  Sometimes the affordable things don’t always work well, so it is nice that these did.  So I went looking and I found a pair that looked almost exactly like his but were even less expensive.  I’m only talking $4.00, but, $4.00 is $4.00.  So I got some.  And I like ’em.  I like mine better than his.

Both pair are over the ear type of wearables.  Both pair stick IN your ear.  On mine, the earbud part seems to be made of metal whereas his are plastic.  Also, the over-the-ear holder on mine seems a little softer more flexible.  I liked that a lot better.  It made them more comfortable.  When I tried his on, one of my ears started to hurt.  With the softer holder they might flex more and allow for better movement with my glasses.

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, SJCityFitOf course, at $13.99 they are from a brand I have never heard of – Parasom.  But they work.  Who knows if they will keep working.  I have experienced many off-brand – or more accurately – not a name brand – product that has stopped working after a couple of months.  So we will see.

Mine also had a little clip, which I liked.  The control portion of the earbuds on mine is about an inch or so closer to the earbud than his, but that is ok for me.  I am not using mine while running like he is, so it is easy for me to stop what I am doing if I need to in order to work the controls.  Although they are pretty easy and pretty standard controls.

One button powers it on – and it says, “Power on” and off (it says “Power off”).  The same button starts the play of music and pauses it.  One button turns the volume up, goes to the previous song, and restarts the song.  Another button turns the volume down and advances the music to the next song.

I haven’t used it as a headset for phone calls because the first time I tried it with my hubby’s he said he didn’t like the quality of my voice, so I haven’t bothered trying mine.  I know when I am using my regular headset and driving I can’t be on the phone that long because the quality of the caller’s voice is distorted.  Probably has to do with the fact that it is only coming through one ear bud.

Anyway, I am always excited when I get a product that I think of as expensive at an affordable price AND it works.  So, I like to share.  So far, this was at an affordable price, it works, so I am sharing.  I would like to point out that I did NOT receive this product for free or at a discounted rate for my unbiased and impartial review.  But, hey, how do I do that?  I read A LOT of blogs and reviews where the people say that.  Sign me up for that!

Anyway . . . if you are looking for an affordable wireless headset the one my husband got is good or mine is – which I think is better.

Have you ever had your earbuds ripped out of your ears because the wire to the phone get caught on something?  Have you been thinking about a wireless pair?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

More To Yoga Than Just Asana

Posted by terrepruitt on January 13, 2016

I have often mentioned how Nia is a cardio dance exercise that you can take to another level and make it a practice, like yoga.  Yoga is an exercise that you can take to another level by practicing some of the other limbs of yoga.  Yoga has eight limbs.  These limbs are things that one can work with throughout a lifetime.  They are not necessarily things that one masters – well, not things that I can master.  There could be days when it feels as if they have been mastered and then days when it feels like you had never even heard of them because the ideas or actions were just not present.  So . . . these things get “practiced”.  The physical, exercise part of yoga is just one of the limbs.  While Nia is not as . . . I’ll say, “preachey” as yoga we do have some things that can be practiced outside of the dance class, off the dance floor.  Things like noticing your movement and being aware of your relationship with others and things.  But yoga’s limbs are more like rules to live by.

The eight limbs of yoga are:

1)  The yamas.  There are five yamas.  They are often compared to restrictions.  Some think of them as restraints or ethical principles.

2)  The niyamas.  There are five niyamas.  They are often compared to rules.  Some think of them as observances or spiritual practices.

3)  The asana.  There are thousands of poses.  This is the physical limb of yoga.  This is the exercise that has become very popular.  Not only are there a lot of poses, there are many different types of yoga.  Some are ancient and some are very new.  Some types have created new poses.  And sometimes I think that the ancient text has been translated so many different ways we end up with different poses.

4)  Pranayama.  There are various types of pranayama.  This is the breath work of yoga.  I have posted about two types of pranayama, Ujjayi Breathing and Equal Breath
Since this was originally posted I have posted about additional types of pranayama:  Dirgha.


5)  Pratyahara.
  This is the withdrawal of the senses.  The idea is that when the mind has control over the senses, can withdrawal them, then it can focus on the other limbs of yoga without distraction.

6)  Dharana.  This is concentration.  The idea of concentration of the mind on one thing leads to meditation.

7)  Dhyana.  This is meditation.  The idea is to be able to concentrate on one point.  Being able to breathe to a state of withdrawal of the senses.  Having complete control.  Then concentration is pure.  Meditation is supremely focused and then . . .

8)  Samadhi.  This is transcendence.  When one is in control over mind and body.

Each of these could definitely use a blog post of their own.  Not sure I will get to them all.  But, I will at least do a post on the yamas, a post on the niyamas, and a post on pranayama.  Probably multiple posts on each of them.  So, if you are interested stay tuned.

I had heard about the first two, and knew that poses and breathing were apart of yoga.  But was not and am not so familiar with the last four.  Did you know there were eight limbs to yoga?  Which ones are you familiar with?    

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

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).

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Dancing, Learning, Posting, Editing

Posted by terrepruitt on April 2, 2015

Nia has been a cardio-dance workout since 1983.  It is not as well known as some other cardio dance exercises.  So when we have events, such as Nia Jams, Playshops, Plearns, Workshops, Intensives, Master Classes in addition to attending and enjoying these events I ALWAYS think of those things as opportunities to take pictures and videos.  I always think that the pictures and videos can be posted on social media so that we can “get Nia out there” so it becomes more well known.  The videos and pictures are meant to show people how fun it is.  The pictures and videos are to show that it is a workout.  The videos and pictures are meant to show people how anyone can do Nia.  I was so caught up in getting people signed in and getting things ready to go for the Nia Class that I recently produced, I neglected to ask permission to take and post pictures and videos.  But . . . I also had it in my head that it is well known that while we do our Nia events we want to have pictures of them to promote our Nia events.  Well . . . . this is the result of me not doing due diligence and gaining permission BEFORE taking the pictures and the videos.  These are some of the pictures and videos from the Nia Class on Friday, March 27, 2015.  I have posted other pictures where I had to block someone out, but never videos.  It takes a long time, so this is the end result of a non-professional video editor (me).

As I stated in my post, What Did Frankie Say?, on Saturday after the Nia Class, Jason Alan Griffin, a First Degree Nia Black Belt is travel the United States presenting his Nia routine he calls Frankie Say Nia.  I didn’t do well, at all, with the dressing in the 80’s style, but I did think the animal print would work.  My little head top pony-tail was supposed to be a tribute to the “BIG HAIR” of the 80’s.  I didn’t bother actually doing my hair up in that BIG way because after the first song it would have just been flat.

Nia IS a cardio-dance WORKOUT and the routine followed the classic Nia style with all seven cycles of a Nia workout.  And in keeping with the seven cycles this routine has a focus and an intent.  The focus being the Creative Hand and Arm Expressions.  The intent is to allow us to relax into personal power.

The routine is full of fun and familiar songs, except the last three.  There were three songs in the Floorplay section and the first one just struck me as odd.  I don’t mind dancing to odd music.  Dancing to odd music is fun.  And, in fact, part of the Nia White Belt Training gets us to dance to music that might be considered undanceable by many.  I have yet to come across music that is undanceable, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think some of it is odd.  And it wasn’t so much that it was odd, it was that I couldn’t remember ever hearing it before.  Jason, kindly reminded me again (because I asked him at least three times and couldn’t remember still) that it was Ghost Town by the Specials.  I was also trying to follow the moves and allow myself to dance, so I didn’t even listen to all the words.  It is a very varied song.  I am listening to it now as I type and it is making me laugh!

Regardless of my error in not getting permission beforehand and regardless of the less-than-professional job of “editing”, I believe it is still obvious that fun was had by all.  It was a great time.  I still have the Playshop to post about.  I will get to that eventually.  So stay tuned!  We can’t wait to have Jason back for more Nia.  I will keep you posted so next time you can join us!

EnJoy!

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 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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First Degree Nia Black Belt Guest Teacher

Posted by terrepruitt on May 1, 2014

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 Yoga

This class was held in San Ramon on April 30, 2014!

As you probably know I teach a dance exercise called Nia.  It is a cardio workout.  If you have read any of my information on Nia you will also be aware that many of the people who practice Nia consider it to be more than JUST a cardio dance exercise.  But . . . on the surface that is what I call it, in brief, to let people know what it is.  If they are interested then we can discuss some of the other facets of it.  Like many exercise disciplines there are star teachers or celebrities.  I’ve talked about that before.  There is always some people who were there from the beginning and so they have the most experience and often times get categorized into star or celebrity “status”.  Yesterday we had a long-time Nia Practitioner and Teacher do a 007 Nia class.

Jason Alan Griffin is one of the first First Degree Black Belts.  Nia has created an additional training intensive, they have added a “degree” to the black belt.  It is so new that not a lot of information is out regarding that, and I didn’t even think to ask Jason about it.  I am Facebook friends with Jason and yesterday was the first time we met in person.  Jason likes to travel, so he drives around with his dog River bringing Nia to cities around the United States.  He created a routine he called Bond Girls, but recently re-named it to Goldfinger and that is what he is delivering on his current trip.  He was in the East Bay last year (I believe) but he packs his travel schedule so tight he doesn’t stay long and so I missed the classes he had.  Maybe he was in the North Bay too.  I don’t remember.  I couldn’t make it.  So this trip I was very excited to get to take his class, meet him, and his dog.

Jason is one of those dog daddies that takes his pet parenting seriously and he posts a lot about his dog.  So through his Facebook and blog I feel I know both of them a bit so I was happy to finally get to meet him.

Not to use the current happenings in my life as an excuse, but I found myself leaving for the class much later than I intended and also the directions I looked up gave me a different travel time than the day before.  I ended up being late for class.  And while I felt very bad about that . . . I decided to forgive myself which enabled me to jump right in to his already-started-class.  It was so fun.

While the invitation to dress up in something shimmery was there, I completely forgot, but Jason did not disappoint.  He had on some shiny silver pants.  He led us through many of the 52 Nia moves while we focused on pelvis, chest, head.  We used our spear fingers in true James Bond fashion.  We danced in our own body’s way and laughed and sang while doing so.

Every time I take a Nia class I realize I am not a Nia student often enough.  I love being able to laugh at myself because I don’t get the moves on the first (or how many ever it takes) go around.  I love being able to just follow as someone else’s lead.  I love being able to learn new pearls and moves.  It is so fun.  I am so glad that I was able to join the East Bay Nia community while they hosted Jason’s class.  It was super fun.  I want Jason to come to San Jose to deliver his FreeDance Playshop.  🙂

I hope you jump at the chance to dance with Jason when he is in a city near you.  He is really fun to dance with.  And if you are lucky, River will sneeze on you!

Thanks, Jason and River.  I look forward to your next visit!

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 Yoga

Jason leading the class in his silver pants!

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 Yoga

Janet and I doing our Bond Girl impressions – with spear finger

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 Yoga

Jason and River. River was more interested in the grass than posing!

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In Nia We Travel

Posted by terrepruitt on November 14, 2013

Nia is a cardio dance exercise that I teach.  It is more than that, but that is one way to describe it.  One of the ways it is more than that, is, it is a practice.  If you chose to treat it like a practice, as one might treat yoga as a practice, one would become aware of Nia’s 52 Moves.  There are 52 moves that get choreographed into the Nia Routines.  One of the moves is Traveling in Directions.  This is a great move for many reasons.

One reason Traveling in Directions is great is because it is very easy.  Another reason it is great is because it is very adaptable and can be used in almost every song and in every routine.  The main way to travel in a direction is to simply walk.  Using the Heel Lead technique just walk forward, then change the direction you are walking, then change the direction, etc.  With the simplest of forms you look where you want to go before you move in that direction.  So before your feet actually start going a different direction — LOOK.  There is a little bit of thinking involved because we look before we go.  Allow your arms to move freely.  Step confidently in whichever direction you choose to look.  Move your body as a whole.

The Nia Technique book states:  “Practicing Traveling in Directions keeps your body agile for moving through space in all directions, able to change direction with ease.”

When we use this move in our routines we have a lot of fun playing with it.  The move really is as easy as stated, the fun comes when changing directions quickly.  You can be the leader of your own movement or sometimes you are being directed by the teacher.  This makes agility one of the Nia sensations we practice with this move.  Moving one way then quickly stopping and going another way.  Stopping, changing, starting.  Varying the speed at times will allow for additional Nia sensations such as strength and stability to come into play.

When Traveling in Directions on your own you become aware of the direction you want to go, then you look, then you go.  As I said, there are times when you might be listening to the direction of the teacher, which would still mean you would need to become aware of the direction you want to go, but when being told where to go your body’s reaction is quicker.  There is a quick look then a move in that direction.  Less thought is involved for you as the participant because someone else thought of the direction you were going to go.

Often when this move is done in a class, quick thinking, quick moving, and quick reacting are additional skills that receive attention because we are dancing with others on the floor so we might have to switch our trajectory quickly to avoid a dance floor collision.

Modifications of the traveling can be done by going backwards or sinking low or even rising high.  So many ways to travel in directions.  All of them are great opportunities to try out the Nia Sensations, the more you do, the more ways you move your body.  If you want you can even skip.  Skipping in different directions adds a new dimension to the move.

Sometimes this move is choreographed into the Nia routine with specifics and sometimes is allowed more of a Free Dance.  However it is added to the Nia workout it is a wonderful way to dance.

How would you Traveling in Directions to your current favorite song?

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

Touching – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on September 17, 2013

I am not certain “touching” is included in any other workout.  I am not certain if it is included in any other cardio dance exercise.  Now I am not talking about “putting your hands on your hips as you shake them” or “putting your hands behind your head as you advance forward” or “touch your elbow to your knee” or “putting your hands on your shoulders”.  I am not talking about that type of touching.  I am talking about touching.  Touching for the sake of touching.  Touching to gather sensation from your hands.  Gathering information from the nerves in your fingers, palms, and the backs of your hands.  In Nia we touch.

Touching gives us a lot of information.  A Nia Routine might have us touching the air around us.  We touch to sense the air.  We touch the space around us.  All around us.  Above our heads, behind us, below us.  We use our open palms and webbed spaces.  We use the backs of our hands.  We push and pull the energy.  The Nia Technique book, by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, states “Practicing Touching is excellent training for increasing your Sensory IQ and for improving body awareness.”  Touching the space that surrounds the body also moves the energy around — as mentioned the push and the pull.  In addition to moving the energy you can draw energy in through the touch or send it out.

There is also the touching we do to things.  We can touch things while we dance in a Nia class or throughout our day.  In a dance class we can touch the floor, the walls, the mirror, the other things in the room.  They give us information through touch.

We can also touch our skin and our own bodies to gather information.  We can touch to create heat.  We can touch to supply energy to a specific body part.  We can touch to heal.  We can touch to allow for sensation or attention.  Touching brings awareness.  If you are touching your elbow, as an example, with the touch you receive information from two sources.  One is your hand that is doing the touching.  It senses your elbow.  It might feel dry skin, causing you to think you need lotion.  The second source is your elbow.  Your elbow senses the hand.  You might think, your hand is soft/warm/moist.  Exchange of information.  Awareness.  Attention.  Touch is amazing.

No matter whether we are touching the space around us, the things around us, or our own bodies we can use fingers, palms, and back of hands.  With different “touches” we are exchanging different information.  Moving and/or releasing and/or gathering energy.  Touch is a powerful tool in the Nia toy box.

Another way touch can be applied is in the common way of touching as measurement.  In the beginning of class, say, before your body is warmed up, you can only touch as far as your shins.  Then after was have moved warming the muscles all of the attachments you can easily bend all the way over to touch your toes.  Touch.  It is a great thing to use for many reasons.  In Nia we use touch.  Touching is one of Nia’s 52 Moves.

What sensations have you received today from things you have touched?

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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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