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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Posts Tagged ‘Debbie Rosas Stewart’

Choreography – The Accidental “Click” – FreeDance Stage 7

Posted by terrepruitt on January 5, 2012

The principles of the different belts in Nia provide a foundation for our Nia practice.  There are 13 Principles in the Nia White Belt.  The fourth principle is FreeDance, this principle has eight stages.  Eight things you can focus on that can become a part of FreeDance.  When I attended my Nia White Belt Intensive we danced through these stages when we danced FreeDance.  Dancing through the stages is something that can be done for fun.  It doesn’t have to be because you do Nia.  It can help you express yourself by turning on some music and applying the stages to the music.  Dancing through the stages is also used as a technique for Nia teachers to become better aquainted with the Nia music.  It is a tool that can help in learning a Nia routine.  The seventh stage of FreeDance is Choreography, the tagline is:  The Accidental “Click”.

I mentioned in my post about the eighth stage of FreeDance, Nia Class – Levels 1, 2, 3, that I often skip over dancing the first six stages of FreeDance when learning a Nia routine.  Part of the reason is because I actually forgot about it being a step.  I don’t skip them entirely, I do FreeDance about four of the stages to the music, but I don’t do all of them.  I do believe that doing all six can be a great tool, so as I mentioned, I am working on implementing this action back into my “learning of a Nia routine”.  Today in fact I started employing it with a the next routine I am learning.

Stage 7 of FreeDance, Choreography – The Accidental “Click”, is something that probably happens to all dancers and group fitness teachers alike.  It kind of seems to happen in more than just dance actually, but with dancers the “click” is to the music.  Often with the eight stages of FreeDance you are using more than one stage at a time.  With experiencing the accidental click there is going to be stage two going on.  There is going to be a lot of listening.  The listening is to ALL of the music; the silences, the beat, the tempo, the instruments, the words the vibrations–all of it.  With Nia we are taught to dance to all music, not just the kind that we turn on and can’t help but move too.  We are taught to move to music we might not actually like.  Many people are the type that when you turn music on something on their body starts moving.  A foot might start moving, a head might bob, fingers might tap, this happens often.  There seems to be some songs that EVERYBODY moves to, they just can’t help it.  But then there is music that often clears the dance floor.  The “everybody move to” music is easy to dance to.  But the floor clearing kind sometimes can be difficult to dance to.  In Nia we are taught to dance to it all.  We are taught to listen to it all.

I will be the first to admit that sometimes there are songs I don’t like in a Nia routine.  Sometimes there is just one noise that is to incessant or a beat that feels off, whatever the reason, I don’t like it all.  Sometimes I like the music but not the moves.   Sometimes I just can’t get the choreography and the music to mesh—in my head or in my body, whatever it just doesn’t work.  So I keep doing that kata until it “clicks”.  Eventually it will because Debbie Rosas Stewart and Carlos AyaRosas are great at creating routines, but sometimes it takes me a bit.  The “click” is what state seven is about.

Stage seven is connecting to the sensation of your body.  I think that often times I “don’t like it” (it being either the music or the move or whatever it is that is hanging me up) is all in my head.  So if and when I stop thinking and get into the sensation of the body, I will find that the moves DO go with the music, I was just thinking they didn’t.  Amazing how the thinking gets in the way of moving so often.

Here you have it the seventh stage of Nia FreeDance.  Yes, I am posting about them backwards, from 8 to 1.  It just happened that way.  The days I went to type up a post my eyes fell on “Nia Class – Leve 1, 2, 3 for inspiration.  So now I am going through the stages backwards.  I bet even if you aren’t trying to learn a dance routine you can think of or recognize things in your life that click.  Could be you are trying to remember a way to do something and you do it over and over and keep referring back to the instructions then one day “click”.  In Nia it’s Choreography where we eventually find The Accidental “Click”, but in life it could be with anything.  “Clicks” happen all the time.  Even if you aren’t learning a dance routine, you’re familiar with that click, right?

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

Human Body Fantastic

Posted by terrepruitt on October 25, 2011

Nia is a body centered practice. Nia came about partly because at that time, in the 80’s, popular exercise classes were very hard on the body and the industry in which the creators of Nia worked produced a lot of injuries. The couple that brought us Nia spent a lot of time examining many different forms of movement which in turn shaped Nia into a body-centered movement practice. Nia is a cardio dance workout that moves the body as it was designed to move. Debbie Rosas-Stewart, one of the creators of Nia, wanted to be a doctor, she has always been interested in the human body. Nia’s training material often refers to the science of the body. The body is fascinating and fantastic. I believe that Debbie’s love of medicine and the human body is evident in Nia. Here are some facts that I found interesting. They are facts easily found on the internet so they might not be new to you. Even if you have heard them before I hope you marvel at the human body as I do.

  • There are 10 human body parts having only three letters.  (Can you name all 10 human body parts having only 3 letters?)
  • Food is moved through the digestive tract by muscular contractions.
  • The pressure created from the human heart can squirt blood 30 feet.
  • Hydrochloric acid found in the stomach can dissolve certain metals.
  • The surface area of a human lung is equal to a tennis court.
  • Half of our taste buds are gone for most of us, by the time we are 60 years old.
  • The human brain is capable of storing everything it is exposed to, but it is the ability to recall the information that might be the challenge.
  • We are shorter at the end of the day due to cartilage being compressed throughout the day.
  • Kneecaps aren’t developed in a human until the child is between 2-6 years old.
  • The longer the finger the faster the nail grows.
  • Hair and nails do not continue to grow after death, but it appears as if they do since the skin shrinks and recedes as the moisture dries up.
  • The skin of a human body contains 45 miles of nerves.
  • The average human will breathe 23,040 times in a 24 hour period.
  • People with dark hair have less hair than blondes.
  • The stomach produces a new layer of mucus every 14 days in order to keep from digesting itself.
  • The “funny bone” is actually the ulnar nerve.
  • About 8% of the human body weight is blood.
  • A human snore can be a loud as a jack hammer.
  • Starvation takes a few weeks, but a total lack of sleep would cause death in roughly 10 days.
  • A human sneeze has been measured to exceed 100 miles per hour, whereas the average cough is only 60 miles per hour.
  • “Veins in the skin appear blue for a variety of reasons only weakly dependent on the color of the blood. Light scattering in the skin, and the visual processing of color play roles as well.” **

The 10 human body parts with only three letters: eye, ear, lip, gum, jaw, arm, rib, hip, leg, and toe.

Aside from what was **copied directly from Wiki, the above information was gleaned from the following sites:

The Nurse Nut, Yes, ICantSeeYouMawlana Faizani International, and ESZlinger.  I have seen many sites contain the same information and more.  I just found these ones particularly fascinating.  I think the body is fantastic.

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

Three of Nia’s Nine Movement Forms

Posted by terrepruitt on March 12, 2011

I believe that I have mentioned before Nia allows us—even encourages us—to do routines with different focuses. I know I have posted about focuses before. This past week I led my classes in the Nia routine called Sanjana. I believe this is a routine created by Debbie Rosas NKA Debbie Rosas-Stewart. It is an awesome routine (well, yeah . . . its Nia). I decided that I would do one of the nine movement forms per class. I know I have posted about Nia’s Nine Movement Forms before, too.  I had used some of the movement forms previously with this routine, so I decided the ones we did this week would be ones I had not paired up with Sanjana. Monday in my San Jose Nia class we did the ideas of Moshe Feldenkrais. For Wednesdays Nia class in San Jose we utilized the energy of Tae Kwon Do. My Los Gatos class on Friday experienced Sanjana with the Modern Dance flair.

I love this about Nia. I love that doing the same routine, but doing it with different energies allows for different movement, different sensations. Each movement form has its own energy, that is how we apply them to a routine and come up with something unique. I chose Feldenkrais for Monday because often times participants are a bit sleepy on Monday mornings.  Sometimes we prefer something that moves us but something more along the lines of a stretch or a healing art.  It could be that too much was done over the weekend or not enough, so Mondays are a little different.  With this conscious movement as our guide we were able to focus on the sensation of the body as we moved. The dance was conscious.  We could concentrate on areas that needed attention, either from the over-use during the weekend or lack of use.  Whatever the case, the idea is ease.  Move with ease into one’s own power and strength.  This is a gentle movement form but that does not mean it is not intense.  We can still move our bodies to get a great strength and/or cardio workout when playing with the healing arts, but it is with greater awareness.

By the middle of the week, Wednesday’s class was perfect for Martial Arts.  Nia students have “recovered” from the weekend so the whole body can be used.  We have the strength to utilize the power of the Tae Kwon Do energy.  The dance can be precise, by this time of the week.  Two days are behind, only three are left (class is in the morning), the desire and focus needed to push on is there.  Sanjana has great opportunity for dynamic ease to be exercised.  There are katas that allow for the fluid moves of martial arts with dance, kicking, punching, blocking, and striking.  In fact the “Exercises” listed in The Nia Technique White Belt Manual* under the Tae Kwon Do craft seems as if they were written expressly for Sanjana.

Friday, unknown to me at the time I planned my dance week, was a great day to do Modern Dance.  With the tsunami that hit Japan over the night (Thursday night for us, Japan’s Friday) it was a great time for dance. Modern Dance calls you to express yourself.  This movement form is one of imagination.  You can be big and/or small, fast and/or slow, a tree, a rock, sand, water, air, even a feeling.  People can truly dance whatever they want.  So while we are still practicing our stances the feelings put into it are those of the participant.  Movements led by me are executed by whatever sense is being experienced.  Many people had different issues and feelings to work through.  Even if some of those feelings were a celebration with the understanding that life is short and precious so we need to celebrate what we have while we have it.  This form is that of balance–both on and off, flexibility, strength, power, drama, emotions . . . whatever fits.  It was a great way to let our bodies move while our hearts went out to all that were affected.

Nia is awesome like that.  We danced the same routine for all three classes this week.  With each class it was different while we paired up the routine with different movement forms.  While the movement forms were able supply the energy, the “feel”, the sensation that was required for the day.

(Thoughts and prayers go out to ALL that are/were/and will be affected by the earthquake in Japan on March 12, 2011 and the subsequent tsunami.)

*March 2001, V# Page 2-19 thru 2-20

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Index For The Nia Technique Book

Posted by terrepruitt on October 7, 2010

There is a book about Nia.  The Nia Technique Book authored by Debbie Rosas* and Carlos Rosas**.  When I first thought of teaching Nia I bought it.  I think I have said before that I thought Nia was a little too “woo-woo”.  When I read the book it helped me see that Nia is based on the science and the design of the body.  I often refer to my book.  I have little tabs stuck on almost every page and that gets bothersome.
While the book has a table of contents it is sparse and it does not have an index.  I always find myself searching and flipping and going back and forth in the pages because I can’t find what I want and I know it is there.  Last week when planning the Nia Playshop I just flipped back and forth one too many times.  So I created an index.I created an index of all the things I want to look up and arranged in alphabetically.  I also arranged it so that there are subsections within the index.  But then that seemed so long so I did an index with just the main sections and a separate index below of the subsections.  So, yes, I have the index arranged three different ways so that you can have a choice on how to look at it. It’s on my site HelpYouWell.com.

One of the “bothers”, cat eating tabs.

If you would like a copy of the Excel format just let me know.

*now known as Debbie Rosas Stewart
**now known as Carlos AyaRosas

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Second Chakra

Posted by terrepruitt on August 10, 2010

In my Nia class tomorrow the focus is going to be the second chakra. The routine I am doing has a lot of opportunity for us to focus on it. Chakras are areas of the body with specific energies. The second chakra is the sacral chakra, the hara, or the pelvic chakra.  This chakra is located in the pelvis area.

The routine has a lot of hip movements; side to side, up and down, folding, circles, and just dancing them however the body senses the music.  There are times when we might not be moving them at all but focusing on the area enables us to be aware of where we are directing its energy even when it is not in motion.  While we are doing a rib isolation the hips stay still but they should be facing the front with the energy directed to the area in front of us.

This chakra is located in the first lumbar area so movement of it stimulates the spleen, bladder, lower back, sex organs, areas of the intestines, and all liquids in the body.  The sacral chakra is also associated with emotions.  According to The Nia Technique* “move this chakra to develop a strong connection between your male and female sexual energy and to stimulate your powers of creation.”

The color orange is associated with this chakra.

As with any focus the intent can be changed to whatever you would like.  I think tomorrow we will start out with the intent of being aware of the sacral chakras energy and being aware of where we are focusing the energy of the hara.

*A book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, NKA Carlos AyaRosas

Posted in Chakras | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Classic Nia Workout

Posted by terrepruitt on May 13, 2010

This information is taken directly from The Nia Technique Book.  Usually I use my own words from my own experiences and from what others have shared with me, I thought this time I would share with you a portion directly from the book.  I am hoping that this information and the information that I have shared will interest you enough so that you will purchase the book for yourself.

Classic Nia is for everyone—from neophyte to dancer to athlete.

Classic Nia is a learning experience, with an emphasis on gaining new knowledge about your body and the best ways to move.

In Classic Nia, it is reasonable and acceptable not to expect perfection in your movements.

Classic Nia is noncompetitive, meaning you grow and change in your own time and in your own way.

Classic Nia teaches you to play, have fun and express yourself.

In Classic Nia teaches  you to play, to have fun, and express yourself.

In Classic Nia, you focus at least as much on your Body’s Way as you do on the Body’s Way.

This is information taken from pages 168 and 169 of the Nia Technique Book written by Debbie Rosas (presently Debbie Rosas Stewart)  and Carlos Rosas (presently Carlos AyaRosas).

Please let me know if you have any questions.  I love both questions and comments.

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

Awareness – Dancing Through Life

Posted by terrepruitt on May 4, 2010

Nia White Belt Principle #5 – Awareness – Dancing Through Life

I have been avoiding this principle because it can be very complex. To me, all of Nia’s White Belt Principles can be complex because they can be applied strictly to the cardio workout that is one aspect of Nia, they can be applied to Nia as a practice—which translates into, they can be applied to life, or they can just be applied to life.

Debbie Rosas Stewart talked about Principle #5 in this month’s Nia Teleconference for EveryBODY. She kept it simple. In all the calls she talks for about 15 minutes then she takes questions for the last 15. The call is 30 minutes. I will share with you what she said, but I recommend you listen to the call when they have it up on the site. They record each call every month.

Since I like to keep my posts relatively short, I have realized that I can post short summaries of Nia information and re-visit the information in additional posts.

One of the first things she said is very true, and I would like you to think about it. She pointed out that we are often aware of pain whereas we are not aware of pleasure. If we have a sore body part, we are aware of it. It makes its presence known and we listen. I personally don’t think we always listen to what it needs, but that is topic of another post. But we certainly don’t always pay attention to pleasure.

With Nia we seek pleasure. We seek to move away from the pain and go towards the pleasure.

There are a few things we can do to assist with that. One way is to be aware. Be aware of what brings us pleasure. As we move throughout our day we can make our movements a dance. While we are “doing”, we can dance through life. As you are reading this and you shift in your chair, notice the movement of your hips, notice to tilt of your head, do it like a dance.

While you are not moving, while you are “not doing”. Notice the stillness in your body. Allow the stillness to bring calm, relaxation, a sort of meditation, if you will. Notice what it is you are touching. Not just touching with your hands, but with your entire body. Are you sitting on a chair? Are you leaning on a desk? Benefit from that touch and that “not doing”.

Life as art so notice the art around you. Notice the noises and allow them to filter in as sound. Breath in the sensation of life. Not talking about “art” that would be in a museum art, but just the beauty of the world. Whatever you find beautiful.

There is so much about Nia I always find myself saying, “Another thing . . . one thing . . . Nia this . . . and Nia that. . .” but really. Another thing about Nia is that it is kind. Nia believes that we receive what we need to receive. We are not expected to hear something and walk away knowing it all or knowing it perfectly. With that in mind, understand that this is what I heard. These are the notes I took. Please, I invite you to listen for yourself and glean from it what you need. Focus on what resonates with you.  Take away something you can share.

My site shows Nia class schedule in San Jose and San Carlos. On Nia’s main site you can look up classes in your area. There are classes all over the world.

Touching and Being Touched / May 3, 2010 Teleconference call is the call I have summarized here.

Presently in your life, do you dance through it?  Do you practice awareness?  Do you notice life as art?

Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »