Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach yoga, Nia, and stretch online!

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Posts Tagged ‘exercise routine’

Quadriceps

Posted by terrepruitt on February 20, 2010

I subbed a Nia class in another part of San Jose today and so I had a different group of participants, and the routine we did today has a lot of bows in it.  Watching the class do the bow stance made me think of how a bow is somewhat of a lunge. Reminded me how we really do work a lot of muscles in our Nia workouts with all of the different exercises we do.  The bow stance is one of Nia’s 52 Moves.

Did you know you Quadriceps are made up for four muscles?  Maybe, but since we always say, “quads” we might be thinking of them as one muscle.  Of course, when we stop to think about it we understand that “quad” means four so it makes sense that quadriceps is four muscles.
 
Basically they work together.  It is not as if you can work just one.  Our quads extend the leg and flex the thigh.   They move our thigh towards our chest and kick our foot out (as an example).  Quads would be included in a “Push” workout.    Lunges and squats target the quadriceps. 

I am pretty sure you knew that the quadriceps were four muscles, but I thought I would just remind you.

Posted in Muscles | 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.

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

A Little Bit of Aya

Posted by terrepruitt on November 19, 2009

As a Nia teacher there are prescribed steps we are to take to learn a routine. It is easy to skip steps in the interest of time. We all learn in different ways and as humans we tend to follow the easiest path. No matter what we are doing our tendency is to do it the easiest way possible. So some of the steps might be skipped.

I recently attended a FAB*, it was short workshop that covered some of those steps. Being in a workshop with everyone focusing on the same thing made it a lot easier to learn. At home, when I set about working on learning a routine, I get very distracted by things. So being in a room where there was no cat, no computer, no dirty dishes, no laundry, and no cleaning that needed to be done was awesome. It really enabled me to focus.

The routine that we were working on is called Aya (one of Carlos AyaRosas, FKA Carlos Rosas). It is very Latin based–it has both Latin music and Latin moves allowing for a lot of hip swaying and sexy moves. One of the songs that we reviewed was not in English and someone translated it for us. I have to say that sometimes when you know the words of the song it can make the movements different.

This workshop was a shortened version of another workshop that was recently held in Concord. That was a two day workshop where they reviewed the entire routine. The one I attended in Nevada City was only four hours. We reviewed two songs. I will be honest and tell you that I could not do the songs without seeing them again. But I am confident that once I purchase the routine and set out to learn it, these two songs will be a snap.

I also returned to San Jose with a renewed sense of knowledge. I might KNOW something, but it always helps to review and to look at it from different angles. I enjoy hearing how information filters into people differently.

Nia is so wonderful because it is so many things. It is a workout, it is a practice, it is exercise, it is something that brings people together, it can be the basis of a workshop, it is just fabulous.

*FAB = For all belts. Nia White Belts, Blue Belts, Brown Belts, and Black Belts.

NOTE: The pictures are actually from the little birthday acknowlegement we had for the owner of the studio.

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

BOSU

Posted by terrepruitt on October 13, 2009

 

Know what a BOSU is?  It is a piece of exercise equipment.  Picture a stability ball, you know those round ones full of air that you can sit on?  Picture that cut in half with a plastic “cap” on the flat side.  It is very versatile.  It can be used for a variety of exercises and it can be used on either side.  The flat side can be placed on the ground so you are working on the rounded side or you can place the rounded side on the ground and do your work on the flat side.

Flat side on ground, standing on rounded sideEither way–depending on what you are doing–you are going to be challenging your stabilizing muscles in addition to the muscles you are exercising.  That is a great way to get more muscles working during your workout, burn more calories, and make you a more strong and stable body.

You can stand on either side (the flat side or the rounded side) and do dumbbell work: biceps curls, shoulder presses, upright rows, lateral and rear deltoid raises, bent over rows, etc.

You can lie on either side (the flat side or the rounded side) and do dumbbell chest presses, supine triceps extensions, curls, crunches, and sit-ups to name just a few.

Using either side you can do push-ups, mountain climbers, or add it to your burpee.

With push-ups you can either put your feet on it or hold it with your hands.They can also be used for cardio work.  They can be jumped on and off of, they can be used for lunges, or as I mentioned before, they can be used for mountain climbers and burpees.

I think they might be a favorite of personal trainers because there is so much you can do with it.

To me they are a little easier to store than a stability ball because they take up less space, but unlike a ball they won’t really challenge your muscles just by sitting on them.  But as I mentioned above you can use them for a lot of different exercises and they will add an additional challenge to almost any workout routine. I think I have see them in the Target by my house in San Jose, so I am sure you can buy them at Targets or stores where they sell sports equipment/exercise equipment.

As with any exercise equipment you use and as with any exercise you do–caution is required.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »