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 ‘corpse pose’

Shavasana Three Different Ways

Posted by terrepruitt on May 31, 2017

This will be the fourth post that is showing an example of three different ways to cue. The three basic ways to cue that I’m talking about are: just referencing body parts and how to move them, that is Anatomic. Then there is where you talk about how the pose or movement is sensed in the body, that is Sensory. A third way is using images and known movements to help people to get into a pose, that’s Imagery. I am confident that most teachers do a mixture and most students probably aren’t even aware of the three different ways. There really is no need to be aware of them and see the difference. I just think it is interesting. It is really interesting – to me – as a teacher to see how different students respond to different cues. Sometimes I find that I have to cue a movement with more than one way in order to get everyone to move. But that doesn’t happen often. For now, this will be my last “Three Cue” post. I can see myself picking more asana in the future to cue the three different ways, but for now I am going to end with Shavasana.  I don’t know how to add just audio to a post, so I did it as a video.  Just me talking while filming a candle burning.  But they are short, so hopefully you’ll listen.

Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Anatomic
Lie on your back and close your eyes. Before you relax lengthen your spine, reaching the crown of your head away from your neck, and your ribs away from your hips. Allow your legs to relax, your feet falling comfortably as they may. Let collar bones move away from each other, opening your chest. Your arms are on the floor running the length of your body. Your hands are at hip level wider than shoulder width, so somewhat away from your body. Palms are up. Fingers are relaxed so they might curl. Breathe and relax. Becoming heavy on the floor.

Sensory
Lie on your back gaze toward the sky even with your eyes closed. Sense your head moving away from your shoulders. Sense your shoulders relax. Create space between your ribs and your hips. And create space between each rib. Sense your spine lengthen. Your legs are soft so your feet may fall gently outwards. Your arms feel the earth down their entire length, because they are straight and resting comfortably on the earth. Feel the ground with the back of your hands, as your palms face the sky. Your hands are down near your hips but away from them, wider than your shoulders. Breathe, let the relaxation be a sense of pleasant heaviness.

Imagery
As you lie down close your eyes and imagine you are floating on a cloud. Everything is comfortable. Your entire body is happy because of the practice you just did. Your elongated spine has a lot of comfortable space between each back bone. Your legs are relaxed allowing your feet to gently fall where they may. Your arms are straight with back of palms on the cloud. There is space between your hips and hands. As you float your arms become heavy, sinking into the softness of the cloud. Your breath is even and relaxed. Every muscle from your head to your toes relaxes into the fluffiness of the cloud.

So there you have it.  Perhaps bringing a new awareness to your practice and your poses with knowing about the three different ways.  Perhaps not.  As I said, not something you really need to know, just something cool, if you are interested in that type of stuff.

Any thoughts on the three different ways to cue?  Any thoughts on the cuing of this pose?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Never Cease

Posted by terrepruitt on May 27, 2014

I teach Nia which is a cardio dance available to any age.  At both the low end of the age spectrum and the high end of the age spectrum, if you can safely move about the floor and follow basic movements you can do Nia.  So there are young and old Nia dancers.  I teach at facilities that have age restrictions, but that is only the facilities, not Nia.  Then I also teach gentle yoga to older adults.  The classes are held at the “Senior Centers” so while some of the classes are open to those 18 years and older the population in class tends to be older.  As I am sure many of you that teach at a facility with older people will attest, it is amazing to work with these people.  They come week after week and keep trying.  In my class I have a wide variety of experience levels.  They come back every week and do the poses to the best of their ability.  I am inspired by their drive to keep doing.

I check in with them to confirm that they are seeing and feeling some benefit to the class.  With many I can see it, but I want to confirm that they recognize it.  Recently one of my students was sharing some things he learned and he said, “I learned that I need to learn how to relax.”  I laughed and agreed.  It is not easy to do for some.  It is not always second nature to breathe and “rest” into a pose.  The corpse pose at the end of the class is one of those poses.  In fact one class asked if we “had to” do it.  I said yes.  To me that is part of yoga.  That is part of my class.  I believe that quieting the mind and relaxing for 5 to 10 minutes after a class is necessary.  For many it is a Challenging Easy Pose, it is difficult to be still.  Just now as I am typing I remember this person not being able to be still at all when we first started doing yoga.  Now there is stillness.  I believe every one can benefit from this moment of restfulness.  I love that even those who think it is unnecessary, keep trying.

A bit ago we did a pose that several students said is “hard”.  I agreed with them.  It is hard . . . that is why we are doing it.  We are doing a very modified version, but it is one of those poses that works many if not all the muscles in your body, so yes, it is “hard”.  And we do it so that they can benefit from it.  In working on so many muscles it is a balance pose, that requires flexibility and strength.  One of those awesome poses that does so much . . . so we do it.  And what spurred me to write this post is that while they were saying it was hard they were not saying, “It’s hard, I don’t want to do it.”  They were just saying, “Wow, this is hard.”  And then they moved into position to do it again.  Love it.  Love those inspiring active people in my classes!

I just wanted to share with you that I have some amazing inspirations in my life.

What about you?  Do you know any older adults that cause you to think, “I wanna be like that when I am their age”?  Some of those people that just keep trying?  They might not be doing it in a clearly recognizable way but they are still trying?

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

Challenging Easy Pose

Posted by terrepruitt on February 25, 2014

I love my students. They are a great source to me; they teach me and they make me laugh. Recently one of my students happen to mention a policy that was told to her – a facility stated she could try the class for 10 minutes without charge, but would have to sign up for the class to stay longer. The comments from those that she was sharing this with was that 10 minutes was not really long enough to get a sense of the class and if they would like it. She said, “I know, if I would have only stayed 10 minutes I would have missed the nap time at the end!” That was the best. She, of course, was kidding . . . sort of. She was talking about Shavasana. A very important part, yet for many, one of the most difficult times in yoga.

She was kidding in the sense that we all know it is not nap time, but not having been familiar with yoga she would have missed seeing that part of the class if she had only been allowed to stay for 10 minutes. Shavasana is a pose of total relaxation. It is where you allow your body to rest and relax from the workout it just participated in. In some classes this is a necessary time for recuperation of the body, but in others it might not be so much about the body. In a Gentle Yoga class it could be more about the mind. In Nia we have BMES – Body, Mind, Emotion, and Spirit. We could say that shavasana is a time for those four things. So after a nice gentle class it could be more a time more for the mind, emotion, and spirit to relax. While the inner dialog should be kept to a minimum while practicing the asanas it is even more important to do so during shavasana. This is the time when the body absorbs all the goodness from the poses it just performed.

I had once thought that you DID shavasana IN the corpse pose, but the name comes from the Sanskrit words Shava meaning “corpse” or dead body and Asana meaning “posture”.*

One of the reasons shavasana is so difficult is because there is not supposed to be any inner dialog going on (as I just mentioned). This is not the time where you begin making your shopping list for your trip to the store after class, or where you decide what you are going to say to your boss/friend/spouse. This is a time of quiet, a time of reflection, a time where you do a “body check”. Check in with each body part or area of your body to see if it needs any attention, see if it needs to be relaxed and focus on allowing it to relax. Sometimes because of this relaxation one might fall asleep. When I first started every time I did shavasana I fell asleep. Now I don’t, I am better at being mindfully relaxed. It is a practice though. This might not be something that comes easy to you, it might be a challenge, but it is something worth practicing.

I’ve heard different ideas on how to hold shavasana in a class. Some say that a guided meditation is the way it should be done. Some say that total silence is the only right way. Some say some music or nature sounds should accompany this pose. In my classes I usually softly lead the participants into a relaxed state. Then I allow them quiet time with this pose — I do have sounds playing during class and I don’t turn that off, but sometimes I turn it down. Then after the time allowed I talk them back to awakening their bodies and moving again.

If this pose and time is not something that you include in your yoga practice, I encourage you to give it a go. Try it. If you fall asleep that is ok. But keep doing it and when you are able to achieve that relaxed state while staying awake you will see how powerful this simple pose is.

Do you practice shavasana? Have you ever fallen asleep during shavasana? How long do you stay in this pose?

*Wiki and Jaisiyaram

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »