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 ‘exercise workout’

Nia Technique’s Outstanding Routine DVDs

Posted by terrepruitt on May 28, 2013

In my post about Nia Routines in February of 2010, I stated I would explain more about what we receive on a Nia Routine Teacher DVD.  A comment with questions on a recent post (Nia Routines I’ve Learned), reminded me that I needed to do that.  Over three years later, I am explaining what we get. I also wanted to share what is in the Nia Training/Continued Education package as a whole.  We get a LOT.  It is more than just music and routine.  The amount of time and effort and all that goes into our training DVD/package is awesome.  I know that even though I see the results and I think it is a lot, there is probably so much more that goes on in the background I would be even more impressed.  Since we get so much I am finding as I type this that it is a longer explanation than I like to have in one post.  So this will be part one of what is in a Nia Routine Teacher Training package.  When a Nia Teacher receives a “Nia Routine” there is a CD and a DVD.  We used to receive a pamphlet within the package, but now we have to print those out ourselves if we want a hard copy.  But basically a training routine package is CD, DVD, and pamphlet.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

The CD and DVD are in a cardboard holder, one side has the list of songs with the 8BC and the time shown.  The other side has the Focus and Intent that the routine was created with.  The back of the holder states the name of the routine and the creator, along with a paragraph about Nia Technique’s thoughts on routines.

The CD is a typical music CD.  It has music on it.  But as a Nia Teacher or student you know there is nothing really typical about Nia routine music.  🙂  The songs play one after the other with no pause unless the song itself has a pause before the music begins or after the song ends.  Or I guess the engineer putting the CD together could put a pause in.

The DVD consists of five sections: the Focus, Move the Move, Learn the Move, Energize the Move, and the Music.  The “Focus” portion of the DVD is the creator (or one of them) talking about the focus and the intent of the routine.  Often times they explain a bit about how the focus relates to the choreography.  For example if the focus is “Steps and Stances” it might be mentioned that there are a lot of opportunities in the routine to experience all six stances.

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“Move the Move” is the routine filmed almost as if you were taking a class.  Sometimes they change the camera angle, but it is still basically as if you are taking a class.*  The music is playing and the teacher is teaching.  *There is one routine I have in which it was filmed with the class FACING the camera the entire time.  I do not care for that at all.  I like it when the camera is BEHIND the teacher with the mirror in the shot and it is as if I am standing behind the teacher taking a Nia class.  I don’t know if there are other routines in addition to Birth that is filmed with the teachers and the class facing the camera, but I will inquire before I purchase additional routines.

Often times in addition to the teacher demonstrating different LEVELS of a move, they will demonstrate a lot of different moves that CAN be done while doing the routine.  I always have to remind myself that just because they are showing us multiple ways to do the move or multiple ways in general to move to the music it does not mean I need to put them all into the routine when I am leading it.  They are just showing examples as to what can be done.  I find it very funny that a lot of the times Carlos was not even doing what he explained the choreography to be.  To me, he often just let his spirit go and he danced to the music that he clearly loved.  In his spirit dance he was able to show a lot of different things that could be done to the music.

As you can see this post is a bit long in itself.  I have only touched upon two of the sections included on the training DVD.  So stayed tuned for part two where I give a brief summary of the sections: Learn the Move, Energize the Move, and the Music.

Do you like to take lead follow exercise workout classes where the teacher is facing you?  Or would you rather have the teacher’s back to you?

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Crossover Ideas

Posted by terrepruitt on February 12, 2013

If you’ve read a post or two of mine you know there are many things I love about Nia.  I think that Nia is a great workout, but I also think that a lot of the ideas, principles, values, and “things” can be used in everyday life.  That is one reason why I share so many things about Nia here.  I am working to get Nia out there so people know what it is, but I understand not everyone likes to do dance exercise as their type of workout, but there is a lot of Nia that can be applied to every day.  Nia has a lot of ideas that can be applied to more than just the original place you hear it.  For instance in the Nia White Belt, the manual states:

“New Ways – It Can Be a Stretch!

Some of this information may shake up your reality.  Nia may disrupt your normal methods of doing, being and communicating.  We do not intend to create disharmony or fear.  We have no desire to aggressively challenge who you are, what you believe in, or what you stand for.  The information we share with you is intended to assist you, inspire you, and to celebrate human potential.”

The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual March 2001, V3, page 1-5

I love that.  I love that when taking a Nia intensive it is explained that you might come across new things.  You might be shown a different way or something new, but they are not out to change you into what they believe, but to allow you to see something in a new way.  All that is really asked of you is to have an open mind, heart, and body.  It is even suggested not to examine or think about stuff too much.  The belief is that you will get what you need when you need it.  That is a great relief too because there is so much information it really takes the pressure off when it is understood that you will not get it all or remember it all upon first being exposed.

What is so tremendous is that this same information, this same philosophy can be brought into a Nia class.  If you have never done Nia before the first time can be a surprise.  It can surprise your senses, your body, your mind, your spirit.  It can leave some people feeling a little unsure.  I mean not every exercise class has you parting clouds, swimming in water, stepping in goo, and prancing like a pony.  Some of this type of stuff can shake up someone’s reality.  This type of movement might completely disrupt what they think of as normal methods of exercise.  They might not be able to “get into” prancing like a pony.  Prancing might not fit into their idea of exercise.  But I know that if they have an openness of mind they will wake up the next day and realize that ponies get in a good work out.  The “normal” methods of being might not have them pulsing their pelvis, shimmying their shoulders, or doing a sexy hip bump.  Nia doesn’t want to make people uncomfortable with these things, but this type of movement is “normal” for the body by design.  These moves aren’t meant to challenge you or what you believe in, they are meant to allow you to move your body as it was designed to move.

With the fun movements and ideas included in a Nia class it can easily inspire your and allow you to celebrate the human potential—to celebrate your body’s potential.  This can kind of go along with my last post about spirit.  It could be your spirit that lets you just let loose and gyrate those hips without fear.  The idea here is to come to a Nia class with an open mind.  Don’t let they way you’ve been taught exercise should be to keep you from experiencing something new.  Don’t let fear of something unknown and/or different scare you off.  Don’t think that just because it is unknown to you or different that the goal is to change you into something you are not.  Just come and let your body move and let IT tell you what it thinks of Nia.

This week (February 10 through February 16, 2013) I am teaching EIGHT Nia classes.  If you are local it would be GREAT to see you in at least one.  They are at all different times on different days in many different places (most in San Jose, one in Santa Cruz).  I bet there is one that would work for you: http://www.helpyouwell.com  Also, in case you are not local or one of the eight doesn’t work for you check out Nianow.com.  There are classes all over the world!  Dare to dance?

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Nia is teaching Me

Posted by terrepruitt on July 12, 2011

Nia is a cardio dance workout. We turn on music and we dance. We have Nia routines that we do to certain music or we can put the patterns to different music.  We are not limited to these two choices this is just an example.  We dance to music, we have fun, we don’t even realize we are exercising.  To me, it is “like” Zumba in that way.  But Nia is a practice. Nia has different levels and each level has principles.  If you choose to experience the different levels you can, but even if not the principles of Nia can be applied to the workout and to life. To me, Nia is like Yoga because of the fact that some of the “stuff” you do in a workout can be applied to life. Since the ideas and principles of Nia can be applied to life they are not necessarily “new”, most of it is not made up by the creators of Nia. Some of it you might recognize and have heard elsewhere. It is the way it is applied and put together. I have stated this before . . . that things are not new, so you aren’t imaging that.  I do like to repeat it because a lot of people have not heard of Nia so they might think it is something new and “way out there”, but it is not, it is based on science and things you know.  Some of the things I am learning are things that I have to continue to “practice”.  🙂

Here are a few of the things, in no particular order:

–It is ok not to be perfect. That is not really the way we state it when we talk about it, but I have started many posts with what we really say and maybe one day I will post one, but I am not ready to deal with the spam and odd comments I might receive from our actually verbiage of this same idea.  But basically we don’t have to do things perfectly. Which is really great because there really is no such thing.

The Four Engery Allies are always something I am having to practice. (Speak with impeccability / Don’t assume anything / Don’t take anything personally / Always do your best)

–Even silence is music. We actually practice listening for the silences in our music. A lot can happen in a silence, it could be a birthing place for something spectacular. Or it could just be a place of rest and calm. Either way it is sometimes something to look forward to.

–Natural Time is a gift. Moving and living in ones own natural time and not having to do everything by the clock that society runs on, is not always possible. There are some things you just have to do, so when there is an opportunity to move and live in natural time I take advantage of it and I consider it a treasured gift.

–Live in the moment. I am always doing one thing and thinking another. We live in a society of multi-tasking. It is celebrated and even rewarded, but it is not joyful nor rewarding. Sometimes I forget why I walked into a room because I started walking there to do something and then after the first two steps my brain has already jumped to the next task. So I arrive in the room thinking, “What am I doing here? I know what I want to do when I am done with why I came in here, but I don’t know why I am here.” So this is something I am always having to practice.

All of these things are things we learn in our Nia workout.  We don’t have to dance perfect, we have our energy allies when we dance, silence can be part of our movement, we move in our own natural time, and we move in the moment and dance to the music.  All of these things work in and off the dance floor.  So Nia teaches me a lot and it continues to teach me.

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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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Bow Stance – Nia 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on October 10, 2009

Here is the bow stance.  Now there are a lot of practices and movement arts that do the bow stance—at least I knew it before I came to Nia, so . . . please keep in mind that I am presenting it as one of the Nia 52 Moves because we do it in Nia and that is what I teach primarily.

I consider this somewhat of a deep bow.  One does not need to come down this low.  Usually with the bow stance we are placing a leg back, placing the ball of our foot on the ground and leaving the heel up.  But there are times when we will step forward into a bow stance.  Even if we are stepping forward into the bow stance, we are leaving the heel of the foot that is in the back off the ground.  It is somewhat like a lunge, but the back foot remains on the ball of the foot.

The bow stance can be deep or not, and it can be a stance that we move quickly into or out of or a stance where we settle in and move our arms.  It all depends on the music and the workout routine.   It is great exercise for increasing balance and strength in the core and lower body.

Keep in mind that the feet are not in line.  There is stability by keep the apart, at least hip joint distance apart.

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