Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 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 ‘Four Agreements’

Guidance – Not A Personal Attack

Posted by terrepruitt on June 21, 2017

In the two Nia Intensives I have attended, one of the things we cover first is the Energy Allies or more commonly known as the Four Agreements. As I attend many classes and teach many classes I am reminded over and over again how important these ideals are.  In this post I am talking mainly in reference to #3 (Don’t take anything personally). What must happen is there needs to be an unspoken agreement that students and teachers have when they enter a class, the student agrees to not take things personally — a correction or attention given by the teacher is not personal, the student is there to learn and improve so guidance is given as needed and as time (in class and holding the pose) allows.  Perhaps  it would be a good idea to remind everyone at the beginning of a session of classes or a workshop.  A yoga instructor has to have confidence and faith that the students know they are not being picked on or singled out for any type of personal reason. The teacher is there to help them do the poses to the best of their ability. If the student feels picked on then they will not be open to adjustment and guidance. So while it is “personal” in the sense that it is to help you personally, it is not an attack on your person.

There are so many things going on in people’s lives and I understand that a student can walk in and be in a tender state, but if they are there to learn the instructor cannot be concerned with the question of “will adjusting their form hurt their feelings?”  And believe it or not, there is also the other side of the coin. Where some students feel if the instructor doesn’t correct them or give them attention the teacher is slighting them. See how this type of “taking things personal” can just completely affect the effectiveness in class?

If a person is new to yoga and has never been in a class, unless they are at risk for injury, I might not say anything. Yoga is so much about sensing your body, that I believe it is important to let the person get a sense of things. If I say to move the left foot forward about a foot and have the toes point forward, I probably won’t correct a new student right away if they move up a few inches and the toes point off to the side. I want to give them a chance to learn how their body responds. But, if we do that same move multiple times in the class, I might see if they can nudge their foot forward and turn their toes. But I try not to adjust them much in a first class situation. It just seems more appropriate to let them learn some before starting to adjust.

It is very helpful when the instructor knows the students. If a student has been coming to class for a while often times the instructor will learn what that person is capable of. And it could be that someone walks into one of my classes and sees things that they would “correct” if they were a teacher. But perhaps they don’t know that the person whose toes don’t turn out all the way just had leg surgery. Or the person barely bending over has back issues. Or it could be that a student has been adjusted before, but it is just more comfortable for them to do it they way they are doing it. There are so many reasons why an adjustment may not be done.

I just wanted to remind people that teachers do not “pick on” students. We see potential and we are there to help a student reach it. Try not to take it personal either way (if a teacher adjusts you or not).  Hopefully you are able to learn as you go and enjoy what you are getting.

Do you like it when a teacher adjusts you (either verbally or physically)?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Somethings Bear Repeating Even If They Are In The Future

Posted by terrepruitt on October 31, 2015

Sometimes I write a post and I am not certain if I have written about the subject before.  Sometimes I write a post and I know I have written about the subject before, I am just revisiting it.  Sometimes things come up in life and I know I have written a post, but I am reminded that I wrote the post because it is a common issue or the post can be pointed to for information.  Recently I was reminded of a things that could bear repeating so I am pointed out a few posts.

One thing I was reminded of was holding the breath.  Have I ever told you that one of the things people ask me to do the most is remind them to breathe?  I wrote a post about breathing properly and how important it is to allow you to move correctly.  It is so common to hold your breath while concentrating there is a name for it.  Read more about it in my post Breathing – It’s A Good Thing.

Recently in one of the Nia classes I taught we focused on the “Healing Sounds”.  When I mention them there is always a few people who want the information . . . and that is why I wrote the post Feel Good Sounds.  It is too difficult to remember which sound is associated with what, this way it is right there for all of us.

It is sugar pie pumpkin time again, and so we are going to have a pumpkin for dinner tomorrow night.  So good, I wanted to point out the recipe, see my Pumpkin For Dinner post.

Perhaps you have been exposed to e-cigarettes lately.  I seem to see then around more now.  Perhaps you might be interested in reading my post Things I Didn’t Know About E-cigarettes?

And, this is for me, I always need to remind myself of the Nia Energy Allies or you might know them as the Four Agreements.  They are so helpful in so many situations.

And then something new . . . . . since it is Halloween.  My husband loves to dress up.  Sometimes he gets pretty extravagant.  This year he didn’t do too much, but he HAS been planning this “trick” for his co-worker for months.  For some reason he wasn’t able to do it when he first came up with the idea, for her birthday.  And then every time since that he has wanted to do it, something has come up . . . ya know, life does that sometimes.  So he decided to do it for Halloween.  Pretty much nothing was going to stop him.  The stars and planets all aligned to be even better than when he originally planned it.  But what he didn’t really plan – he said – was this video.  He had an idea of what he was going to say, but when his co-worker took it, it came out perfect.  So here is my husbandDoc Brown saving one of his friends.

Do you ever hold your breath?  Have you ever made any of those “healing sounds”?  Did you know some of the e-cigarettes have the same amount of nicotine as regular cigarettes?  Are you familiar with Nia’s Energy Allies/Four Agreements?  Do you get trick-or-treaters?  Do you dress up for Halloween?

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

Don’t Get Confused, I Am In Control

Posted by terrepruitt on January 28, 2014

Have you seen the meme that says “Don’t get confused between my personality and my attitude.  My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.”?  I see it on Facebook a lot.  When I first saw it I agreed with it.  I laughed and thought, “Oh yeah.  I can see that.”   I am going through my day and encounter someone who is being an ass and I give some grump right back at them.  But I saw it again yesterday and I realized I don’t agree with it.  While there might be confusion between personality and attitude, I still am in control of both of mine.  I realized that my attitude is a reflection of my personality and I don’t want to be an ass.  I especially don’t want to be grumpy just because the person I am dealing with is grumpy.  I don’t know their story.  I have no idea what is going on in their life.  I am not saying that it is right for them to treat me poorly because they have “stuff” going on, but it does happen.  People get distracted and caught up, but that does not mean I have to get caught up in that.  I am in control of both my personality AND my attitude.

I am still the one that has a say.  My attitude is still in my control.  I don’t have to react to the other person’s bad/rude attitude.  THEIR attitude is a reflection of themselves and what is going on in THEIR life . . . my attitude does not have to reflect their attitude.  My attitude reflects myself, my personality.  I don’t have to be involved in their attitude.  Oh, it is not always easy.  I am not saying it is.  Especially when I have my own “stuff” going on.  I can be thinking about what is happening in my life and the suffering of those I love and not be prepared for someone’s guff.  At those time it is easy to have my guard down and just let myself get swooped up in that “chicken-head-attitude”, but that is not my personality.  Not getting caught up and not letting someone “get the best of me” is a practice.  I believe it is part of not taking things personally and listening with love.  Not taking things personally is one of the Energy Allies we have in Nia, you might know it as one of the Four Agreements.  Listening with love is something one of my students reminded me of.

Sometimes the attitude encountered could just be of indifference, not even necessarily rude or grumpy, but just the “I don’t care” and when that is coming from someone in customer service it is annoying, but no matter what their attitude is, I am the one that has control over me.  My personality dictates MY attitude.  So I can choose to NOT be a reflection of their poor attitude (and customer service).

So here is my meme.  A reminder to myself that I am in control of me.  I am in control of my personality.  I am in control of my attitude.  I am in control of the energy I put out into the world.

What about you?  Are you in control of your attitude or are you going to let someone else dictate that for you?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, Gentle Yoga

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Nia’s Blue Belt Principle #2 Connection To Nia’s Energy Allies

Posted by terrepruitt on December 8, 2012

Off the top of my head, Nia’s Blue Belt Principle #2 – The Power of Two makes me think of Nia’s Energy Allies or the more commonly known four agreements.  The tag line for this principle is Communication.  The details involve a transmitter and a receiver.  So to me it is a perfect connection to the energy allies.  To me to be a clear transmitter one must speak with impeccability.  One must stay on task of what the idea is that is being communicated.  It is the job of the transmitter to be clear so that the receiver can understand what is being conveyed.  To add to that the transmitter doesn’t assume the receiver knows what is being said, another reason to be impeccable.  To be a pure receiver, the receiver shouldn’t be assuming they know what the transmitter is saying.  The receiver shouldn’t be making up stories in his/her head as the transmitter is speaking.  The receiver should be quietly listening, with no inner dialog happening.  Also there is the added mission of not taking anything personally.  This can be more easily accomplished if the third person — the one in the receiver’s head — is quiet.  Both the transmitter and the receiver always strive to do their best.  That is how I connect Nia’s Energy Allies to Nia’s Blue Belt Principle #2.

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, ZumbaSince communication can be thought of as the exchange of energy between two, this principle and its details can easily be applied to everyday life.  The exchange of energy can be between people or  things.  The exchange is a giving and a receiving.  It does not have to be verbal, the exchange, the communication, could be a touch, a gesture, or any of the other ways things are communicated.  So you might be able to see how within the scope of life it can be applied to more than just communicating with another person.

As a Nia teacher we can apply it to our Nia practice.   There is a transmitter and a receiver with our bodies’ movements.  There is a transmitter and a receiver with the music.  There is a transmitter and a receiver with a Nia routine and the choreography.  There is definitely a transmitter and a receiver in a Nia class and the transmitter is not always the teacher.

With the principle being The POWER of TWO, I can’t help but connect it the Nia Energy Allies when thinking of the communication between people.  My connecting probably stems from the fact that I truly feel I need to strengthen my relationship with all FOUR allies in order to allow the POWER of two to shine through.

This is just my immediate thoughts on Nia’s Blue Belt Principle #2.  As I live with it longer and read the manual and process it, I am certain I will come up with more.  My relationship with will become stronger.   Nia has a “craft” for working with this principle, but I am still determining my relationship with that idea.  We will see if a post ever becomes of their idea.

Are you familiar with Nina’s Energy Allies (or the four agreements)?  Can you see how they can be instrumental in communication?  Can you see how the Allies could assist in making two powerful?

Posted in Blue Belt, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Let Love Be Your Ears

Posted by terrepruitt on November 17, 2011

Dance Exercise, Nia teacher, Nia student, Student of Life, Nia classes, San Jose NiaA Nia student of mine reminded me of something after a Nia Class the other day. She said her daily meditation said to speak with love AND to listen with love. I have heard that before I believe, either someone posted it on Facebook or a friend posted about it on her blog. I can’t remember. The speaking with love is not always easy, but I think of it as a more common thought, a more common instruction. It can be compared to the old adage  “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” A well-remembered saying. Somewhat similar. Speaking with love would be saying nice things.  But the listening with love or the hearing with love, that is a little less common of an instruction. I have not heard that one for as long as I can remember as I have heard the other one. I also think it is more difficult to do than to speak with love. I mean, like the old saying says, don’t say anything if you can’t be nice. But it is difficult not to hear someone. If someone is talking you general listen and hear them, but it could be a challenge to do it with love.

We all take our experiences into situations. Our thoughts and actions are based upon our past and what we know. So I believe that we hear and listen the same way. If someone has been in relationships where their partner has lied to them, then they might hear a lie in everything. They might be listening with distrust and anger, not love. If someone is having a bad day and someone says, “Have a nice day.” they might hear it as sarcasm. Whatever it is that we are feeling, thinking, and experiencing at the moment it can definitely “cloud” how we hear things. If we are not conscious of how we are listening we can make something out of nothing. If we hear and listen in anger, we could respond accordingly and cause a fight or hurt feelings. It is not easy to always listen with love. We all have “stuff” going on in our lives. Some of this “stuff” can make us sensitive and this sensitivity can possible make us read into things.  Listen with love is a practice.

I can’t remember if what I am talking about was the focus of my friend’s blog post, but I do remember my comment including the association between what she was saying and the four agreements.  Listening/hearing with love reminds me of “not taking things personal”. “Things” as I mentioned.  If there is something going on in my life that is making me upset, I might listen and hear things in a negative way. Or if someone else is having a bad day and I am not listening with love, I might not stop to think, “Hey, maybe this person is having a bad day and instead of snapping meanly back at them, I should remember that we all have bad days.”

Clearly there are different ways we can take “listen with love”. When I hear that, these are two ways that occur to me.  What do you think of when you hear, “listen with love”?

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

Energy Allies

Posted by terrepruitt on March 30, 2010

When I attended the Nia White Belt Intensive I had not heard of the Four Agreements so I was very captivated by what we refer to as our Energy Allies.  When I decided to attend the Intensive I had only been to four Nia classes and I had decided I wanted to teach it.  I had no idea what to expect.  So these Energy Allies came in handy for me.

We call them friends and rely on them as you would friends.  I am posting these because I often need to be reminded of my friends and I thought I would share them with you.

I was taught:

1–Speak with impeccability
We were reminded to stay “on task”.  Often times in a group setting questions are asked that do not actually relate to the subject being discussed.  Or people like to tell stories about something “sort of” related to the subject.
We were also instructed to use “I”.  When we talk we often tend to project what we are saying instead of saying “I”.

2–Don’t assume anything
Don’t “make up” stories in our head.  We don’t really always know what the story is so we shouldn’t make it up.
-Quiet our inner mind’s conversation.

3–Don’t take anything personally
Don’t get caught up in self-pity or self importance.
Try not to get emotional about a comment.

4–Always do your best
No holding back
Follow instruction
Recognize what is required

I thought this was a GREAT way to start a seminar or in this case an “intensive”.  I wished we could have employed these agreements when I was a corporate trainer.  I think they really assist in keeping the group on task.  When people are allowed to share information that pertains to the subject yet understand that off topic issues will be put on a back burner, that helps keep the subject flow steady.  Keeping the inner mind silent assists in hearing what is being said.  Not taking comments that were made personally allowed the information to be given and received so that it could be useful and not destructive.  Following instructions assisted with the energy in the room.  When we all understood what was required we were all able to focus on the moment’s assignment.

Keeping these four allies around really enabled our group to keep our energy going.  When listening is not at a premium and/or people are emotional about something it really can zap the energy of the collective.

These are friends that can be invited to anything in one’s life.  Do you have these Energy Allies as your friends?  Or are you familiar with the Four Agreements?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »