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 ‘fun workout’

Nia Jam in Palo Alto

Posted by terrepruitt on July 28, 2011

This past Sunday we had a Nia Jam in Palo Alto.  The San Francisco Bay Area Nia Association tries to have four Jams a year.  The peninsula one is in Palo Alto, but it is usually at Stanford, this time it was at a gym.  It was a nice day so it was great that people came inside to support the local Nia association.   As with a music jam session there are switches and changes that occur.   A Nia Jam is where teachers gather and switch off leading songs so there is a mix of music and styles.  The routine is created to be about 90 minutes.  Normally we have a lot of teachers teaching so we only get to do one or two songs.  This time the group of teachers was much smaller and we were able to do three to four songs each.  The energy is always very high and exciting at a Jam because the teachers are from all over the Bay Area and beyond, so the students come from near and far.  It is also a GREAT way to experience Nia for the first time because you get a taste of all the different approaches to teaching.  Nia is specific in the way that we teach, yet at the same time it allows for the personality of the individual teacher to shine through.  So a Nia Jam is great fun.

The theme for this Nia Jam was Summertime.  The focus was moving with lightness with the intent of bringing in lightness and a sense of “summertime”, effortlessness and joy.  It allowed for a lot of play, like kids playing during summer vacation.  Not only were we able to bring in the lightness in our minds, our physical bodies, and our spirits, but we had the extra special treat of a skylight.  The room we were dancing in has a huge skylight in the middle of the ceiling and a few glass doors to the outside so we were able to share in the beauty of the sun light and move with it.   Along with the skylight and doors and windows to the outside, the room has a huge wood floor and a mirror on one wall.  A small portion of the back wall is made of glass “windows” that looks into the workout room.  I saw many people stop their workout to peek in at the Joy that was whooshing around the room in spirals, releves, kicks, and punches.

Nia Jams are no different than Nia Workout Classes  in regards to what to wear.  As you can see everyone wears what they are comfortable in.  Whatever allows you to move freely and makes you feel good is perfect.  But you also have to be ok with getting on the floor in your dance outfit.  Like most Nia classes there is almost always Floorplay — even at a Nia Jam!

There is a wonderful  sense of community at a Nia Jam.  Teachers gathered to share the Joy of Nia.  Participants gathered to experience a Jam.  All of us gathered to do our favorite exercise.  All of us ready to workout.  All of us ready to dance.  All of us there to do Nia.  It is really fun stuff.  I hope that you will be able to join us for our next Jam.

You can visit my website to see all the pictures from the Nia Jam in July.  (The link MIGHT change in the future.)

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Nia and Modern Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on December 1, 2009

As you might now be aware Nia includes elements from three different movement forms from three different arts. One of the arts is the dance arts and one movement form is Modern Dance.  With Modern Dance concepts added to Nia it allows us to play with balance, play with shapes, and play with space.  We can form any shape we want.  We can use arms and legs, fingers and toes, torso and head to make the shapes we envision.  We can allow gravity to pull us to the ground, or gravity to pull us heavenward.  With all that Modern Dance inspires us to do we can gain strength and flexibility.  Agility plays a part also as we shift our weight and change our speed.

Jazz Dance allows us to play and be showmen, and Duncan Dance allows us to play and use our imagination, and Modern Dance allows us to play and in addition really use our bodies.  Muscles get a great workout as we expand and contract, shifting our weight, and making shapes.  An invitation to experiment with all planes, directions, and levels only helps to confirm that our muscles will be used as we dance and play.  Bringing Modern Dance into your workout can also be an exercise in timing and speed.  Modern Dance can be the encouragement to make different combinations.  For example, walk across the floor, walk high, walk low, walk fast, walk slow, stumble and recover.

This movement form is a great way to explore the floor, you could fall gently to the earth, then rise up slowly, fall gently and spring up.  Again, multiple combinations can be a result of letting Modern Dance into the workout.  This form also suggest moving one body part and allowing others to follow, so maybe as you are on the ground your hand rises into the air and your body follows and your hand takes you around the space you are in.

Modern Dance really allows for freedom in Nia.  It gives you permission to mix things up and make the steps of a routine your own.  It is another form that gives us permission to play and make the workout fun.
 

The Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual have additional information regarding the movement forms that were blended to create Nia. The books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.

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