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

    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 ‘energizing workout’

Toes In, Out, and Parallel in Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on May 1, 2012

Dance 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,At this point you might have noticed that I only have a post for 9 of the 52 Moves of Nia.  I am going to work on that.  I have a Nia friend who is posting about the 52 Moves of Nia on her blog and she has inspired me to continue on.  I have the list of the moves on my website.  I link the blog post from there so people on my site can click to see a description and possibly a picture.  With only 9 post I only have 9 links.  This is ten and moving forward.

Nia is a unique cardio dance exercise that combines nine movement forms into a fun and energizing workout.  Nia has moves we call the 52 Moves.  Many of them are common to other dances.  I am posting here about Toes In, Out, and Parallel.  I know I have seen these moves in other dances if not done together at least done separately.

Dance 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,To do the move as one move you start with your feet parallel to each other.  They can be hip (joint) width apart.  Then turn your toes in to face each other.  Turn them in as far as you comfortably can.  Then swivel your feet out so the toes are pointing in opposite directions.  Again, only do it as far as you can — comfortably.

This is the whole move.  There is a routine where we are in A Stance and I have the participants dance toes in then toes out.  Which I consider a lot of fun.  You can play with this move by trying to walk with toes facing in, then with toes facing out.

I like to play with the move by doing one foot toes in and out.  Sometimes just letting one foot do a dance all of its own; in, out, in, out, tapping my toe to the ground with each twist of my leg.  I also like to do this move with varying stances.  My instructions here say to start in open stance, but it can easily be done in A Stance  (as I mentioned I do in my Nia class).  You’ll notice that different muscles are used when you change the width of your stance.

Moving the feet in this manner allows for all the bones in the leg to rotate which gets the thigh bones moving in the hip socket.  Movement is a way to keep the joints health.  Movement helps fluid into the joints.  I say “juicy joints.”  We move to have juicy joints.

Dance 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,In addition to helping the hip joint this move helps keep the ankles mobile and the knees flexible.

With healthy hip joints, ankle joints, and knee joints the enables walking and moving in general to be done with ease. So even though this is one of the moves we use in our dance exercise routines that does not mean the use of it is limited to that.

You can decide to walk with toes in for a bit during your day, then with toes out.  While standing you can stand with toes in, then out, then parallel.  It is an easy exercise to play with and incorporate into your day.  And it really does help with the health of your joints.

Are you gonna do it?  On your trip from your desk to the coffee pot?  While you are going about your day with the kids?  Which on in your favorite, in or out?

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

Nia and the 8BC System

Posted by terrepruitt on January 5, 2010

Music and the 8BC System is Nia White Belt Principle #3. This is part 2 of the principle, a brief bit about the 8BC System.

To learn our music, us Nia teachers, literally map out our music. We measure our music using a system of notations called bars.  This is our map. We count out our music 1-and-2-and-3-and-4-and-5-and-6-and-7-and-8-and.  Each bar has 16 counts. We count out the song noting the bars on a page. Then we go through and “dress” the bars adding marks to the page making notes of the sounds we hear.  We use the noted sounds as cues for the choreography in a routine. No matter if the movements are matching the music or going opposite to it, the instruments and sounds are our cues.

By mapping our music, (“barring” our music) we get to know our music really well.  Knowing our music really well allows us to easily play with the choreography, while at the same time, sticking to the basics of it.  We can also take the music that we have learned while learning a routine and add different choreography to it.

Also practicing this barring system ensures that we can take any music and dance the Nia choreography to it.  We just match the Nia music up with music that has the same count and we can pretty much just “plug” in the Nia choreography.

All of this allows us to have fun while exercising and doing our Nia routines/Nia workouts.

I have taken to the practice of mapping out my music and then scanning it so that I will have a completely mapped out song so when I am ready to add different choreography to it, I can just print my music map and put in the movement portion on my barred music.

Mapping the music allows for so much creativity.  Instead of just dancing to the beat you can dance to one instrument, you can allow your body to “BE” the cymbal or the flute, or you can shimmy to the melody, or sway to the harmony.  It is fun to play with the music.  And you can do whatever you want and lead your class through it all because you have a map!

Since music is such a big part of Nia, I am sure that I will visit this topic often.  I might even come back to the Nia White Belt Principle #3.

Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Nia and Music

Posted by terrepruitt on January 2, 2010

Music and the 8BC System is Nia White Belt Principle #3. This is part 1 of the principle, a brief bit about Nia and Music.

Nia is so much about the music.  As teachers we learn to dance to the music. So as we lead our participants through the workout routines it is more like dance than exercise.  Sometimes we count the number of our movements as we are leading the class, but when we know our music well, we are to go to the music and use its cues and not rely on the count of the moves.  So when I am leading a class and I am in a section where I am counting if I get distracted from my count, I can just listen to the music and know exactly where I am.  Honestly, some songs I know better than others and I can accomplish this, some I am still learning. It is a process. It is amazing. 

Music is powerful and has been used for teaching and healing.  Your entire body can listen.  Your body can respond to the music it senses.  The body can sense the vibration.

There have been studies done that equate specific tempos with specific moods and/or emotions, in Nia we play with all of that.  We can go with the music or play the opposite. A stereo-typical “happy” song, we might practice as sad and slow or excited and angry. It is a great exercise for the body as well as the mind and spirit to sense music one way and move to it in another, as an example, like previously mentioned; while “happy” is playing move to it as if you are sad or tired. It is a wonderful challenge.

It is energizing to play with the music. The rhythm or beat of the music is said to be the male or Yang energy of music.  The melody is the feminine or Yin side.  Harmony blends it together stimulating the spiritual energy. You can dance to the rhythm or the beat or move to the melody, or have your senses stimulated by the harmony. When you let your body sense the music you can dance it all.

There are so many ways to play with music. Another way to use music as a workout tool is to visualize what type of sound your body parts would make, match them up with the music as you listen and when you hear that sound activate that body part. Again, challenging your body, your mind, and your spirit. Getting the whole body workout that Nia is known for and at the same time letting the music be the motivation for the movement.

Nia is a workout, but it is a workout that allows you to exercise your body along with your mind and your spirit. It allows participants to be moved by the music in the body’s way. It really is so much about the music.

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