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 ‘cooking all four sides’

Bringing More Fun Into Class

Posted by terrepruitt on July 25, 2018

Sometimes we end Nia class with the laughter “exercise”. You know that saying “fake it ’til you make it?” Well, since the brain can’t tell the difference between fake laughter and real laughter it releases the “happy hormones” regardless. There are many additional benefits to laughter:

–it can trigger the release of endorphins (the “happy” hormones mentioned)
–it can help lower your blood pressure
–it can reduce stress hormone levels
–it can give your abdominal muscles a workout
–it can help improve cardiac health
–it can improve your immune system by boosting T-cells
–it can give you a sense of well-being and help you look at the world more positively
–it helps relax the body
–it burns calories
–it may even help relieve pain

What better way to end an exercise class than laughter?

There are a lot of ways to do it, but one way is by laughing and “cooking all four sides”. Debbie Rosas uses that saying when referring to being on or using the “sides” of the body; front, back, left, right or tummy, back, left side, right side.

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 ClassesSometimes in Nia class since we are already on the floor for the Floorplay cycle of class we will do the “exercise”. It is simple actually. While lying on your back just start to laugh. It doesn’t even have to be “real” laughter. Just start to chuckle or giggle. Or even just begin by saying, “Ha!” One loud HA! Then keep going. Pretty soon your “ha-s” will change into something else – again, it might not yet be real, but someone who has joined in will make a noise that will cause real laughter. Once one person has started, it just goes from there and the next thing you know everyone is really laughing. Even if or when it starts to die down something will happen, someone will think of something funny and start up again, or someone will snort (that is always good for a laugh), or someone will do that long sigh that always happens after a good laugh session and it will start back up again.

After about one minute roll to a side. Stay there and laugh for a minute. Just keep it going even if there are moments when it is not that real-from-the-belly kind of laugh. Then after a minute, roll to the other side. Stay there laughing for about a minute. Keep it going. Then roll to your tummy. Here is where you might start really sensing it in your belly, after three minutes of laughter your abs might already notice and when you roll on the belly and laugh more, they probably will be getting your attention a bit.

This is a really fun way to end the class. It reminds everyone that participates how fun laughing is. It reminds everyone how contagious laughing is. It reminds everyone that no matter what is going on there is a chance for laughter. It also reminds everyone that laughter can be a bit physical.

Of course you don’t have to be in a class to do this exercise. Perhaps there is someone in your home that would like to participate with you. Also you don’t have to do it for a minute on each side.

So what do you think? Is this an exercise you can enjoy?

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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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