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 ‘four wall dance’

Death, It Is So Very Personal

Posted by terrepruitt on June 14, 2014

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 YogaEveryone is so different.  We all have different ways of doing a lot of things.   Sometimes we can see things the same way in order to function.  We can get along or just go along with ideas and customs to just have peace.  Or we can do it for a loved one.  But it seems like when it comes to death and our beliefs around it there is sometimes a huge separation.  You can be going along in life completely meshing up with everyone around you and then someone dies and BAM!  You suddenly don’t agree on anything.  The way we all handle death is so different.  I understand the five stages of grief*, “popularly known by the acronym DABDA”, (although, I have never heard it called that).  I am not saying that I understand each stage in the sense that I have experienced them, I am saying I understand that someone has identified these as stages people grieving might go through.  But what people do during these stages and after is still very individualized.  Everyone deals with grief differently, I understand that, although I do not agree with how everyone deals with it as you might have guessed if you read Grief Is a Very Personal Thing, where I say people grieve differently and as long as they aren’t mean or causing harm I don’t like to label their behavior unacceptable.  This post is not so much about behavior, I don’t think.  I know that many people want their loved ones near or they want to be able to visit their loved ones, but I am not one of those people.  I think of my loved ones as being gone . . . so having their remains near by is just odd to me.

Today I was trying to concentrate on learning a Nia routine and it is one that has the Nia participant turning to face all four walls.  So that means I turn to each four walls in the room.  I found myself facing the ashes of loved ones at two of the walls.  The first and second wall, so by the time I got to the third and fourth wall I was lost in other thoughts.  I had been avoiding the room upon my travels through the house.  Normally I walk into this room to get to the back rooms because it is the softer path, but I had been avoiding it.  But this is the best, the largest room to practice in so I was doing my Nia practice in it.  But it just happens to have three of my relatives in it.  I don’t care for that.

As I type all three of them are at my back.  I bet I would not be as conscious of it had I not seen a post on Facebook from a friend who is pretty confident she did not receive the correct ashes of her pet.  She posted a picture of the paw print of what she received compared to the pet she had.  She has similarly sized pets still so she compared paws.  The mold she received was at LEAST four times larger.  And she went onto say that she has about three cups of ash.  She said she thought her pet would be about one.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

It got me thinking.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  How many cups of people are in this house.  WHAT????????????  Sigh.  Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.

Whew.  People are so different.  Many people have loved one’s ashes.  In fact, they sell beautiful urns to contain these ashes.  We’ve (probably) all seen those horrendous comedy TV shows where someone has accidentally spilled the ashes all over.  Breathe.

I just don’t know what to think about that.  I am working on letting people do what they need to do.  But, I personally don’t need to do it.  I think that tomorrow I will workout in another room — and probably from here on out.  I — don’t care to have THAT kind of reminder of my loved ones around.  To each their own.  And let everyone be . . .

Donna, thanks for always making me laugh, even if it is particularly in horror.

Thoughts?  What are your thoughts about this?  Are you an ashes and urn type of person?  Please feel free to share your feelings.  I’ve shared mine.

*The five stages of grief (according to Wiki):

  1. Denial — As the reality of loss is hard to face, one of the first reactions to follow the loss is Denial.
  2. Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”; “Why would God let this happen?”
  3. Bargaining — “I’ll do anything for a few more years.”; “I will give my life savings if…”
  4. Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die soon so what’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?”
  5. Acceptance “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”

 

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Four-wall or Cooking – An Experience In All Sides

Posted by terrepruitt on April 7, 2012

In Nia we do something that is called cooking all four sides.  When I first learned this I thought it to be just when we were on the ground.  “Cooking” to me was the “side” of the body that was on the ground.  When you “cook” all four sides you allow your belly, your back, your left side, and your side to “cook” on the ground.  So basically you are lying on a different “side” at one point in the dance.  In one routine, I can’t remember which one, while we are standing we turn and face one wall, then turn again, then turn again, then turn again and Debbie called it cooking all four sides.  I thought, “Wow!  I hadn’t thought to call THAT cooking all four sides, because (as I mentioned) I think of ‘cooking’ as being on the floor.”  But it works.  We are “cooking” or facing all sides, all walls.  In country line dancing we call it a four-wall dance.  Often times there are a few steps then a turn, a few steps, then a turn, and so on, eventually you face all four walls.  There are two wall dances and maybe even three, but the point is you face a different direction.  Generally the back becomes the front and the front becomes the back.

ance 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,I’ve posted about Nia Routines before.  I explained a bit about how the routines are created and teachers can purchase them.  Nia routines used to be choreographed and performed on the training DVD by Debbie Rosas or Carlos Rosas or both.  I’ve also posted about the fact that Nia morphs and changes.  At the end of 2010 Carlos AyaRosas, the male co-creator of Nia retired.  As with any company that wants to continue on after a founder retires Nia had to make some changes.  To me it seems as if Nia had been thinking about this for a while.  I know when I attended my Nia White Belt Intensive both Debbie and Carlos talked about Nia continuing on after they leave.  So it seems to me that they had plans and ideas for how Nia will change.  I think it is evident in the way that Nia does not seem to be a flag flapping in the wind, it has true direction.  With the exit of Carlos a new era has been born.  Debbie is now co-creating routines with Nia Black Belt Trainers.  I love Nia and enjoy both the routines Debbie created and the ones Carlos created.  There are some I like more than others.  I am not saying that I like the new one I have seen more than I liked the “old” ones, I am just saying, “Yay!  Nia is not disappointing me.”  The new routine I have looked at is just as fabulous as the old routines I love. 

As a little background:  In order to teach Nia we must pay a licensing fee.  When we pay the fee we are purchasing the right to teach, continued education, and four Nia routines.  We are free to purchase additional routines when they are available, but four are included in the licensing fee and we are obligated to learn at least four a year.  I just recently renewed my license and ordered my routines.  I ordered two that are older (from 2007 and 2008) and two that are considered our new ones, dated 2011.  Usually I skim through all four before deciding which one to learn next.  One of them I ordered I have done once before in a class so I know that I like it and I was planning on learning that next, but my curiosity about one of the new ones got to me.  I decided to learn it next after having watched it.

I am very excited about this routine because it has the “four-wall” or cooking all four sides technique in it.  The routine I am currently teaching has it too but only briefly, this new routine has this technique in more than one song.  Since a Nia class is not a dance lesson we just lead follow like other cardio workout classes the cooking all four sides is to not a series of complicated steps, but it does allow us to face other directions.  In FreeDance there is always opportunities to face many directions and sometimes in the Nia movements alone one can be turning far enough to achieve facing another wall, but this is choreographed to have the entire class turn.  It allows the class to see a different perspective.  I think it is fabulous.
 
It could be making me nostalgic and thinking of country dancing days . . . but more so, I am excited to have this technique used in a Nia routine so my students can see things from the front if they are always in the back or the back, if they are always in the front.  It will help move the class in new directions and Beyond!

Have you ever thought about the fact that a cardio dance class is pretty much like a line dance? 

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Not Seeing to Focus

Posted by terrepruitt on January 8, 2011

On Wednesday after my Nia Class in San Jose I was talking to one of my students.  Some how we ended up on a subject that had her telling me about a friend of hers who is blind but has no issue navigating the step that is not too far from her front entry way inside her home.  She was explaining that people have no problem with it on the way in, but on the way out they forget about it and usually stumble on it when leaving the house.  This led to many other tangents in our conversation but one thing it had me thinking about was sight/seeing and our focus.

I was thinking that the sighted people were focusing on the door on the way out of the house.  For me, I imagined myself leaving her house, part of my focus on her and saying our goodbyes, then another part on the door—–but with the door a multitude of other things would come into my mind and into my focus.  I would see the door and begin to think about my car, which would make me think about my drive, which would lead me to think about what I need to do on the way home, which (depending upon the hour of the day) might have me thinking about what to cook for dinner and if I needed to stop at the store on the way home—-all of which would make me trip.  I would not be focused at all on my feet and on the step and I am sure that I would stumble into the door.

With that in mind I had a focus and an intent for my next Nia class which was the one in Los Gatos.  The focus was Awareness, the intent was to connect to one’s body.  While I have used awareness as a focus before, and I have probably even used the same intent before, and I have even invited the participants to close their eyes, this time I did it more frequently.  With this routine there is a song where we are completely stationary so closing one’s eyes to allow for complete focus on one’s body is perfect.  There is also a song where we turn and face different walls (in line dancing it would be called a four-wall dance).  When we turn it often takes me and other people out of the line of sight which can often lead to one “having” to be aware of one’s own body.

To me one of the fundamentals of Nia is being in one’s body and dancing in your own body’s way, but I think that we often get distracted by the things we see.  I know that while I teach sometimes I will get distracted because I see my hair sticking up or I see something else I should not be concentrating on.  So I think that having Awareness, with the intent of connecting to the body and adding “eyes closed” to be a great tool.  We did not dance the entire routine with our eyes closed, just when it was safe to do so, when our movements were not far from our spot and there was no chance of bumping into someone.  Also, it was just an invitation to assist with the focus and intent it is not something that was required.

As the teacher I do not close my eyes as much as I would if I were the student because I am teaching and making certain that all is well in the class, but I know that the few times I did I was able to really embrace the focus and the intent.

What do you think?  Do you think that if you close your eyes you can focus more on your body?

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