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!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Bloggey Past

  • ******

    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Posts Tagged ‘cool down’

An Important Addition To Any Workout

Posted by terrepruitt on October 14, 2014

You may be familiar with cycles of a cardio class.  Most modalities or classes have a warm-up, a “moving portion”, and a cool down.  Not every form of cardio class includes a “flexibility” portion.  As I mentioned in my last post, I was in a training recently and they include flexibility in their class structure.  That is awesome.  Their required class structure is:  warm-up, endurance phase (cardio), cool down, then flexibility.  I love that they are including flexibility.  It is great to see.  That is four portions.  As you may be aware, Nia has seven.  We call our sections of class cycles.  The cycles are:

1. Setting your focus and intent

2. Stepping In

3. Warm up

4. Get Moving

5. Cool Down

6. Floorplay

7. Stepping out

Nia’s cycle #4, the “Get Moving” is comparable to the endurance phase or the cardio phase.  That is where we really move.  We can use big movements and move through the planes to get the heart rate up, so our cardio does not consist of running and jumping.  In order to get the heart pumping we move our body up and down, using the muscles.  We also move our arms and hands — a lot.  Could be we are punching or it could be we are just moving them in a way consistent with the body’s way but that helps get the blood moving.

Nia’s cycle #6, Floorplay, is multiple types of movement.  It is stretching and/or strengthening.  It could be rolling on the floor or even crawling.  With floorplay we do exactly that . . . . we play on the floor.  There is definitely “flexibility” going on.

I was happy to see the flexibility component added.  In fact, it might be so new that it wasn’t even included in the copy of the slides that we received for hand outs.

Flexibility is important.  We there is tightness in the muscles sometimes they do not move properly.  Where there is tightness in the joints they do not move properly.  We our body does not move properly it tries to compensate and often ends up creating more issues.  Or the tightness does not allow us to fully straighten so it might feel as if it can’t move at all so then people stop moving.  It is somewhat a cycle.  Perhaps you would like to read Simple Stretches Could Bring Relief.

Working on flexibility is just as important as working on cardio and resistance training.  Flexibility is great to include in your workout routine.  It should be scheduled into your workout time.  Just like a savasana is done at the end of a yoga routine, stretching should be part of any workout routine you do.

It would be best if you stretched the muscles that you just worked in your workout.  Being specific would be good.  But in general it seems a safe bet would be to start at the top and work your way down.  Stretching each muscles/muscle group.  As I mentioned it would be best to stretch what you just worked so if you know how to do that, spend an extra minute or two on those muscles/muscle groups.  I know it might feel like you don’t have time for it, but it will actually prove to save you time in the long run.

Do you have stretching as part of your workout?  Do you work on your flexibility?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Yoga – Pigeon Pose or Nia – Side Yawn

Posted by terrepruitt on May 24, 2012

Just a few posts ago I talked about simple stretches that could possibly bring relief to tight hip flexors and lower back pain.  I referred to a yoga pose called the pigeon pose.  This pose is where one leg is stretched out to the back and the front of the leg (the front of the thigh, the knee, the shin, and the top of the foot and toes) are on the ground, touching the ground, and the other leg is bent at the knee with foot towards the body, but the shin at a right angle to the body.  The hand can hold the foot.  The back is long and straight and upright.  There are variations.  Some are where the leg is bent more and the foot is more pointed toward the opposite hip.  In some the back is still long and straight, but the body is lying over the bent leg.

In Nia the variation is called a Side Yawn.  The leg is bent so the foot is near the opposite hip, as I mentioned above.  The arm on the side of the bent leg is bent while the arm on the side of the outstretched leg is straight with palm on the floor.  As the body lowers to the earth over the bent leg the outstretched arm moves on the ground reaching out further.  Allow the entire body to sink into a comfortable fold.  The lengthened side of the body yawns open.

For the more athletic version there is more weight on the bent leg and instead of just stretching out over the bent leg there are push-ups involved.  Pushing away from the earth and sinking slowly back into it.  After a few push-ups then allow your body to release to gravity and lay over the bent leg.

This is one of the moves that I mentioned were in the back of The Nia Technique Book.  Both the classic version and the athletic version of this move open and release the hips.  With the classic as you sink to the floor the side of the body is receiving a long stretch.  The athletic version enables strengthen of the arms and core.  This move is one where you would do as many repetitions as you would like and then switch to the other side.  Or you could do one side then switch and do the other side.  The point it to be sure that you do both sides.  I would bet, as with most of us, one side is more flexible than the other.

In the Nia routines I do we are often in the pigeon pose or the side yawn pose, but we do not always sink into the yawn.  Often we are dancing with our hands on the floor, not necessarily doing straight up and down push-ups, but using our arms to lower us to the earth and push-off again.  As with all moves each individual is invited to do what is best for their body at that moment in the Nia class.  So some might sink into the yawn.  So usually in addition to stretching our hips we are using our core and our arms in our cool down or floorplay.

Do you ever sense your hips are tight and need stretching?  Might you think to use this stretch to loosen up?

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

Review Blog Year – Top Ten

Posted by terrepruitt on December 31, 2009

So here it is the end of the year.  I have been blogging since March (2009).  I have posted 130 times.  This is 131.  I thought I would end the year with a review of some of my favorites and according to the numbers some of your favorites too.  Here they are, not in any order:

Lyrics Gone Wrong . . . I had entertained the idea of doing this once a month, but after the second month I ran out of songs to play with.

Interesting Picture – Marilyn Monroe Albert Einstein . . . I LOVE optical illusions and this one is a doosey.

Hummingbird Tongues . . . they still fascinate me and I am still surprising people with the fact that the birds have tongues and use them more than the beak is a straw.  And usually they tongues dart in and out so fast it is a rare treat to catch it out for a picture.  Yay!

A Poem Says A Lot . . . Fabulous!  We Have Come To Be Danced . . .

Nia Belt System . . . Before you can move onto the next belt they say a year must pass.   You do not have to get involved.  It is a great workout without being involved with the belts.  The belt system only comes into play if you care to get that involved in Nia.  Nia’s belts mimic some Martial Arts; white, green, blue, brown, black.    I am learning so much with my White Belt, I can see myself waiting at least another year before I move onto the next belt.  There is so much to learn and enjoy in each belt, I am not in a hurry.

Say: “I Am Wonderful” . . . I like to say this, I like to hear this song.  I like to remind people to go to iTunes each week to download the free song.

A Brief Look At Nia . . . still excited to share Nia with people.  It is a great body-mind practice and a workout that can make you sweat yet not really feel like exercise.  It is learning to follow the body’s way.

Wrapping Tips . . . WHAT?  I was shocked that everyone did not read my blog.  On Christmas Day and the day after the bags and bags and bags and bags of wrapping trash that I saw on the curbs just blew my mind. In this day and in these times, I was just utterly flabbergasted that people don’t re-use the wrappings.  It amazed and saddened me.

My Favorite Mugs . . . so I found out that not everyone got my little joke.  Ya know, back in the day (what day, I don’t know), they used to call faces mugs . . . get it now?

The Seven Cycles Of A Nia Workout . . . The workout has cycles, somewhat like Jazzercise.  I like to share this aspect of Nia so people have an idea of what a workout class will be like.  We set a focus and an intent, step in, warm up and move all the way through the cycles to the floor, and then we step out.

Well, thank you so much for joining me on my blog.  I hope that you continue to read, I hope you enjoy and learn.  I learn from your comments so keep them coming.  Thank you for a great year.  Here is to the NewYear.

But . . .before we jump into the New Year, share with me what your favorite post from my blog was?  AND/OR give me ideas on what you would like to see posted in the New Year.

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

A Brief Look At Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on March 7, 2009

I want to talk to you about Nia.  I was looking for a different form of exercise when somehow (in the vastness that is the internet) I came across Nia.  I had never heard of it.  It has been around for 25 years.  At one point it was known as Non-Impact Aerobics, then it was called Neuromuscular Integrative Action, then at one point it was the Nia Technique, now it is just Nia.

Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas created it in the early 1980s from a need and a desire to help people exercise.  When I read the book and listen to Carlos, I believe that they wanted more than just traditional exercise because they really wanted to help people feel good.  They were being drawn towards something that addresses the whole body.

Nia is a teacher led dance workout that allows you the freedom to get exactly the workout that your body needs.  Nia is really awesome because it is done in bare feet to all kinds of music.  With the absences of shoes, we are reminded that we do not have to have harsh impact to get a great work out.  With Nia, the level of intensity is regulated by the participant.  A workout includes movements of all of the 13 major joints and I believe that this is one of the key factors that make people feel so good after they do a Nia workout.  Throughout our day we don’t always move each joint as it was built to move, so sometimes they can become stiff.  In a Nia class you move them throughout the routine and it helps the balance in the body’s systems.

Nia is similar to Jazzercise in the sense that there are segments or cycles to the routine:  warm-up, cardio, strength, floor, and a cool down.

A lot of people just want to go to a workout class and be told what to do, I am going to be honest with you because I want you to enjoy your experience, you need to concentrate a little.  What you are concentrating on is not so much what the teacher is doing, but more what you are sensing.  You are encouraged to listen to your own body and do what it is telling you it needs.  It might not need what the teacher is doing.  And with Nia, that is fine.

In a Nia class there is no judgment if you cannot bend, stretch, jump, kick, shout, shimmy, shake, punch, chop, cha-cha-cha, hula, jazz square, modern dance, or anything like your teacher or neighboring participant, because it is all about YOU and whatever you can do.  You must seek your own Body’s Way and what gives it pleasure.  With Nia you can get a great workout at the same time.

Does your present workout invite you to seek pleasure during your workout?

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