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!

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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘dance classes’

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?

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Shimmy From The Back

Posted by terrepruitt on September 3, 2013

I was looking for something to post about today and I thought, “Hmmm . . . . let’s check out the Nia 52 Moves list on my site and see what I have yet to write about.”  Much to my HUGE surprise, I have not posted about the shimmy.  I am shocked.  The shimmy is a very often used move in Nia Routines. . . heck, the shimmy is an often used dance move in many, many, many dances.  So I am shocked I have not addressed this before.  I think that the shimmy is somewhat misunderstood.  I believe, from what I have experienced, that many people think of the shimmy as a chest move.  I have sensed great hesitation in many people when it comes to executing the shimmy.  It seems as if people might consider it a boob shake.  Some women don’t want to do it and neither do some men.  I mean, why would either want to shake their breasts in a cardio dance exercise class?  To me, thinking it is a frontal shake is a misconception.  While, yes, for many people the front DOES shake and move in a shimmy, that is NOT where the concentration of the movement is.  The shimmy comes from the shoulder blades/back.

The Nia Technique Book* says:  “Vibrate and shake your shoulders, standing upright or moving front and back, as if you are shaking water off.”**

I think that once the focus of the move is taken off of the chest, some people feel more comfortable with the move.  It is not primarily moving your chest/breasts/boobs around.  It is moving your shoulders and your back.  Since our front is connected to the back, then, yes, our chest will move but the movement will be different than if you are purposefully just moving what is on the front side of your body.  There are several ways to learn and/or practice the shimmy, here is one.  First of all think: “BACK/SHOULDERS” not front of body.

With your thoughts and your intent shifted from the front to the back you can apply the correct motion.  One way to start from scratch with this move is to lie down.  Lie on your back, then lift one shoulder off the ground.  Push your shoulder blade forward, jutting your collarbone out.  Then bring that side back to the ground.  Then do the other side.  Push, jut, back down.  Now push the first side again and as you allow the shoulder to come to the earth push the other shoulder forward.  Continue to alternate.  Only allow one shoulder up at a time.  While you are pushing forward keep your shoulders down toward your hips (not down toward the ground).  Keep the space between your ears and your shoulders open.  So you are not shrugging your shoulders up to your ears, you are pushing them from the BACK to the sky.  Do this until you feel you have the sensation in your body that when you sit up you will still have the correct motion.  Vary the speed.  Play with the size of the movement.  Go for smooth and not jerky.

If you are not starting that far back, from scratch, then stand and concentrate on the shoulders going forward and back.  Again, keep the shoulders down.  This helps me with the forward back motion, otherwise they might start creeping up into that scrunching posture.  Eventually you will be able to just move your shoulders forward and back with nice relaxed (down) shoulders.  But in the beginning it might be something you have to think about in order to ensure the front back motion and not up and down.

This move is great for isolating the muscles that assist with good posture and balance.  It is also a great stress reliever.  It is fun to let out sound while you are shimmying.  You don’t even have to waver your voice if you are shimmying vigorously enough, the movement causes the waver.  FUN stuff!

As mentioned we do the shimmy a lot in our Nia Classes.  Since we do it a lot we do it in many different ways . . . fast, slow, by itself, with other moves . . . it is just one of those great moves to throw into the mix.

I see many, many, many people who are challenged by this move.  There are many reasons for that.  I also see a lot of people’s movement change once they adjust the focus from the front to the back.  I see those proverbial light bulbs come on!  Shift the focus and let your body move!

When you shimmy, where is your movement focus?  Did this post alter your movement focus?  Can you shimmy so vigorously that your voice wavers with your movement?

*written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas / **page 138, The Core

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

Put A Little Strut In It

Posted by terrepruitt on July 13, 2013

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, PiYoI have allergies. I’m allergic to things outside, things inside, and things around. I cannot breathe through my nose at night especially when I sleep. My nose gets too stuffed. When my mouth hangs open all night long it gets dry and my throat hurts. So I sleep with a cough drop in my mouth. This does a few things, sometimes it helps a little with the “stuffy”, it helps sooth my throat, and/or it helps me keep my mouth shut which is great because I don’t even want to think about . . . . (spiders, shhhh!). Not too long ago I was doing a quick stop at a shop after one of my Nia classes and I saw that there was a bag of cough drops on sale. They were honey-lemon. Whatever . . . I was hoping they wouldn’t be to icky. Turns out they weren’t icky at all. I liked them. So the next time I was in the store they were still on sale so I bought two bags. I was using them when halfway through one of the bags I actually looked at one of the wrappers. Well, I’ll be . . . I was happily surprised to see little motivational sayings on each wrapper. How cute is that? Halls has a PEP TALK IN EVERY DROP™.

I think that is pretty brilliant. It made me smile. Then I was thinking that most people use cough drops when they are not feeling well, so these could really be little pick me ups. I know there are tags on some tea bags that have nice little sayings, I’ve seen that, but I hadn’t noticed the sayings on the wrappers of these cough drops right away. I like it!

I like all of the sayings, but some I like more than others. My favorites are:

~Put a little strut in it!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
~Elicit a few “wows” today.
~Bet on yourself.
~Hi-five yourself.
~Don’t waste a precious minute.
~Don’t wait to get started.
~Flex your “can do” muscles.

You know that I would LOVE the strut one. To me strut is like “spirit” or “pep” and I like putting that into it! Strut into the dance of life! And, really, who wouldn’t want to elicit “wows”, right? Well, I guess there are some “wows” out there that are a result of some odd things, but I am thinking of the of positive masterful “WOWs”. Those two are my favorite of my favorites.

Such a simple thing for a company to do. I know — as I said — they are not the only ones to do it nor, I imagine, the first ones to do it, but I still think it is cool. Sometimes it is the little things. Ha, and speaking of little things, the latest bag I bought . . . the cough drops are SMALLER than they used to be. Sigh.

So yeah, a simple thing, but for me sometimes it is the simple things. Things that make you smile. Things that make you want to strut or wow someone. Or good reminders, like “Don’t waste a precious minute.”

Don’t you think this is a nice idea? Which saying would you pick as a favorite?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Free Nia, Zumba, Belly Dance, Yoga, and More

Posted by terrepruitt on April 25, 2013

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, ZumbaEvery year the studio in San Jose where I teach Nia Class on Monday mornings and Wednesday mornings participates in the celebration of National Dance week.  This year the “week” is actually ten days, from Friday, April 26, 2013 through Sunday, May 5, 2013.  This is the 15th year of Bay Area Dance Week, and the 32nd year in which there has been a National Dance Week coalition.  BayAreaDance.org states:

National Dance Week was founded in 1981 to increase awareness of dance and its contributions to our national culture. The first Bay Area Dance Week (BADW) festival grew out of a public dialogue in 1998, when dance artists, administrators, and organizations came together to explore how best to spotlight Bay Area dance during National Dance Week.

The studio I rent from rents to different instructors who teach a variety of fitness classes and dances.  Each instructor can choose to participate in Bay Area Dance Week, by offering free classes.

Bay Area Dance Week at the studio in San Jose starts Saturday, April 27th.

Saturday, April 27, 2013:
12:00 noon – 1:15 pm: Bellydance Essentials – Courtney


Sunday, April 28, 2013:

9:00 am – 10:15 am: Morning Flow Yoga – Eme


Monday, April 29, 2013:

9:00 am – 10:00 am: Nia – Terre  (free to NEW Students)
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Zumba – Lili
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Egyptian Bellydance. All Levels – Hala
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Egyptian Bellydance Technique. Int/Adv – Hala


Tuesday, April 30, 2013:

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Drills & Performance Skills – Michelle
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm: Bellydance Level 1  (4.27.13 changed)  Fan Veil Choreography – Natika
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Tribal Fusion Technique & Choreography – Natika
8:30 pm – 9:30 pm: Turkish Bellydance – Natika


Wednesday, May 1, 2013:

9:00 am – 10:00 am: Nia – Terre  (free to NEW Students)
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Bellydance – Setareh
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm: Hala Dance Company Rehearsal – Hala


Friday, May 3, 2013:
8:00 pm – 9:15 pm: Bellydance Cardio and Combos – Jill


Saturday, May 4, 2013:

9:30 am – 10:30 am: Bellydance Basics – Amanda
10:30 am – 12 noon: Bellydance and Beyond – Amanda
12 noon – 1:15 pm: Bellydance Essentials – Courtney


Sunday, May 5, 2013:

10:30 am – 11:30 am: The Art of Bellydance – Jizan

In regards to classes at the studio, classes not listed are not open to free drop-ins.

This is the schedule at the time of the writing.  Sometimes things change so it is always good to check with the studio and/or instructor to verify class times and participation.

Remember it is National Dance Week so there are free classes all over the United States.  I bet there is a class that you have always wanted to take, but have not yet got around to it.  So check with the instructor of that class or call the venue to see if they are offering free classes.

The San Francisco Bay Area is beginning the week with a celebration dance on Friday in Union Square Park in San Francisco at noon.  The closing event is a Planetary Dance led by Anna Halprin on Sunday, May 5th at 2:00 in Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.  You can check for free classes in the Bay Area at BayAreaDance.org.  But even if it is not listed on the site check in with the person teaching it or the place it is being taught.  They might be participating but maybe didn’t get on the site.  So don’t be shy get out and dance.

What classes, in ADDITION to Nia, are you going to take?

 

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Fun, Beautiful, A Great Addition – San Jose Art

Posted by terrepruitt on August 25, 2012

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 I cannot believe it has been over a month since I was driving around to the Community Centers of San Jose that offer Group Ex classes checking out their floors!  Since we do Nia bare footed I wanted to see what community centers have dance studios.  While I was looking for the community centers is when I first noticed the painted utility boxes around.  I can’t believe it has been over a month since I was driving from my Nia class in Willow Glen and I noticed someone painting the utility box that I pass all the time.  Over a month ago!  Wow.  Time goes so fast.  I was hoping to have more pictures of more boxes, but I haven’t seen any since then.  I must not be in the areas where there are boxes — could also be that I am a little distracted and not noticing the boxes.  Sigh.  Anyway . . . I think the artist might have completed painting these boxes in one day.  I am not certain because I didn’t drive by again until the following Monday and I didn’t stop to take pictures until a week after I first stopped.  I was just waiting to post because I didn’t want to have the utility box posts right in a row.  I don’t mind having Nia posts, or exercise posts, or food posts consecutively, I just didn’t want to have utility box posts one after the other.  Before I knew it, it has been a month.  Wow.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

The first picture is a shot of the front of the boxes together straight on.  The next “picture” is a collage (obviously) of pictures of different angles so you can somewhat see the side of the boxes.  The second collage is pictures of the back of the boxes and the little label disclosing the artist and the sponsor.

Looks as if the birds are driving around in San Jose.  These boxes are on Bird Avenue so I think it makes total sense that birds are driving cars, vans, motorcycles, sports cars, and delivery trucks.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

You might have noticed that the artist incorporated the vent on the back of the box painting it as if it is the back of a truck.  Cute.  You may also have noticed that one truck seems to be carrying eggs.  I think Mr. Willis is showing his sense of humor by having a bird drive around as either an egg delivery service or perhaps a pickup service.

It is quite a cheery little mural.  Also very responsible.  You might not be able to see, but all of the birds on scooters or motorcycles have on helmets.  It is a law in California that you have to wear a helmet, so it is good of the artist to have legally correct drivers. I am not sure that any birds have been ticketed for not doing so, but it is still a good idea!

So what do you think?  Cute, huh?  Have you seen any painted utility boxes in your area?  If you have I would love to see.  Send me a picture with some information and I can post it.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

What to wear to Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on November 6, 2010

Since I started teaching Nia classes I have received the question of what to wear to Nia quite often.  For those that have not heard of Nia or done Nia, it is a valid question.  People are not sure what it is and what you do in a class, so they have no idea how to dress.  I have seen a lot of people wear a lot of different things.  I have seen people wear clothes that I would consider fancy “going out” clothes, I have seen people wear “jogging outfits”, yoga clothes, and all types of dance clothes.  I wear a variety of things.  It depends on where I am doing Nia and what it is for.  Most of the time I wear “workout clothes” because I do get sweaty.  Plus we do get on the floor.  So for my “everyday” Nia I wear my tie-dyed T-shirts.  I have a little collection.  And I wear loose pants.  I do have a few outfits that I think of as “Nia outfits” and I usually save those for Nia playshops, Nia workshops and Nia events.  I am working on expanding my Nia outfits.

My answer regarding what to wear is whatever is comfortable to move in.  Whatever makes you feel good, but that you don’t mind sweating in or getting on the floor in.  I like flowing sleeves and pants that swing.  Nia to me is even more fun when your outfit flows and swings.  But most important is to be comfortable and safe.  Some pants are so so long that they can be stepped on and that could be an issue so you want to make sure you can move freely.

Nia is a workout.  In class we move, we sweat, we get on the floor . . . . .so knowing that wear something like that you want to workout in yet that makes you feel good.  One thing you don’t have to think about is shoes.

Nia also has Nia clothes in case you are interested.  They can be purchased through the Nia website, NiaNow.com.

Below is a picture from a Nia Jam* and as you can see people wear what they want.  Nia is about moving your body at your level and in comfort so wearing something that allows you to do that is exactly what you want to wear.

 

 *this Nia Jam was held at the Cupertino YMCA

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Nia Isn’t . . .

Posted by terrepruitt on May 20, 2010

Part of the purpose of my blog is to share what Nia is and to invite people to take one of my classes. I have learned that when teaching people it is sometimes helpful to share what something ISN’T to help them understand what it is.

Nia isn’t a class where you won’t sweat.

Nia isn’t a class where the teacher shouts at you to motivate you.

Nia isn’t a class where you just think about moving.

Nia isn’t Jazzercise.

Nia isn’t sitting around.

Nia isn’t about pain.

Nia isn’t hard jumping.

Nia isn’t Tai Chi.

Nia isn’t Tae Kwon Do.

Nia isn’t Aikido.

Nia isn’t a mindless workout.

Nia isn’t Zumba.

Nia isn’t taught to Nia teachers in a day.

Nia isn’t new to the fitness world.

Nia isn’t Jazz Dance.

Nia isn’t Modern Dance.

Nia isn’t judgmental.

Nia isn’t a strict combination of linear movements.

Nia isn’t a class where you are told EXACTLY how to move your own body.

Nia isn’t Yoga.

Nia isn’t stiff.

Nia isn’t rough.

Nia isn’t (necessarily) just a workout.

Nia isn’t JUST Free Dance.

The BEST way to learn about what Nia isn’t and what Nia is, is to go to a class and see for yourself.  Nia class finderWant to find a class near you?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Day Of Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on February 27, 2010

El Camino Hospital sponsored a Free Health Fair today (February 27, 2010).  It was in one of the ballrooms at the Santa Clara Convention Center.  There was various Health Screenings.  I didn’t actually get any done because I just didn’t feel like waiting in the lines.  Although there were plenty of people that were willing to stand in the lines in the interest of learning about their health.

There was various demonstrations and audience participation dances going on.  On TWO stages.  It was very interesting and very loud since they had the “main stage” and the “side stage” set up right next to each other.

I was able to do a little Zumba, which I have done before.  But I didn’t have the right shoes so it made it difficult.  I should have stayed to do the yoga that was on the stage right after us.  But I didn’t want to keep my photographer waiting that long.

A fellow Nia teacher was invited to do a demonstration of Nia so she had asked people to join her.  I am not sure how many people were there from her invitation or how many were there because they joined us, but I think it turned out to be a good crowd.  I would say there was at least 30 people.  So many so that they did not all fit on the little dance floor she was given.

It was a great thing.  I believe that a lot of people were introduced to Nia.  I am thankful to Anita for doing this for us.

My husband came along to get some pictures.  He was taking pictures of me and we confirmed that our camera is not able to take good action shots in low light.  Here are a few.  Thank you for looking.

I hope that next year El Camino Hospital sponsor another Day of Dance and you come out to see that dancing is a great way to workout out and a very fun way to get your exercise on!

You can find information regarding my classes in San Jose and San Carlos on my web site (click here).

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