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 ‘Green Belt’

Music, Movement, Magic, Nia Blue Belt Principle #11

Posted by terrepruitt on January 24, 2013

Regular reader?  Familiar with Nia?  Then you know that Nia has different levels and that they use belt colors to distinguish between.  White, Blue, Brown, and Black.  Each belt has thirteen principles (except Green Belt*).  The trainings for the levels are called intensives and the intensives can be attended by people who just want a to explore self growth and/or learn how the body is connected to many things.  If you are a new reader and/or not familiar with Nia . . . . there you have it.  In November 2011 I took the Nia Blue Belt Training and I am using my blog to make notes on it.  It is taking me some time to get through the principles, but I am jotting down my thoughts that come to me as I thumb through my notes.  My intent is to continue to work and play with the 13 Nia Blue Belt Principles after my initial posts and come back to some of them and share some more.  The principles can be deep because they are very rich.  So like many things they have layers and the layers can be peeled back to expose more and more.  This post is about Nia Blue Belt Principle #11, Music, Movement, Magic – Manifesting the Ultimmmate Nia Experience.  Yes, ultimate is spelled with three m’s, representing music, movement, magic.

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, ZumbaOne of the ways we learn to bring this to class is to use objective and subjective descriptions.  We can do this for many things.  We can do this when stating the class focus and intent.  We can do this when leading the class through a move.  We can do this when talking about music.  The following are examples:

Focus and Intent:

Objective  –  Today we are going to focus on the rhomboid muscles.  These are muscles in your upper back that assist with shoulder blade movement.  They pull your shoulders back and down.

Subjective  –  I like pay special attention to my rhomboids so I feel as if I am standing upright and not hunched over.  I feel they need extra love.  We can give them that during class with the intent to stand tall.

Move:

Objective  – Pull your shoulder blades down.

Subjective  – I feel as if my shoulder blades are in my back pockets!

Music:

Objective  – This music was part of an Oscar Winning Score.

Subjective  – This music makes me want to close my eyes and ride the peaceful notes to happy.

This objective and subjective way of looking at things is a key to Nia.  It can be compared to THE Body’s Way and Your Body’s Way.  There is a way the body was designed to move — objective.  There is a way that YOUR body, and my body moves — subjective.  There are specific ways to do the Nia 52 Moves — objective.  There is a way that each individual Nia participant does the Nia 52 Moves — subjective.  All of this helps to create the “magic” that is part of Nia.

The Music is the core.  We dance to the music.  The Movement is what we do.  We move.  We dance.  We play.  The Magic is what we bring, which with all of it put together there is resulting magic.

This is just a tiny portion of Nia Blue Belt Principle #11, just off the top of my head.  There is much, much more to Music, Movement, Magic – Manifesting the Ultimmmate Nia Experience and I look forward to delving into it more.

Have you experience the Nia Music, Movement, and Magic yet for yourself?

*Green Belt is specifically for Nia teachers.

Posted in Blue Belt, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Communication, Relationship, and Intimacy

Posted by terrepruitt on November 15, 2012

I recently participated in the intensive that is the second level of training in the Nia practiceNia trainings are called intensives which is a great thing because it gives you an idea of what the training will be like —– INTENSE!  The second level is Blue Belt.  Nia borrows from other practices and uses belts and colors to signify levels.  The levels are White, Blue, Brown, and Black.  There is a Green for teachers that can be taken at anytime after white.  Part of the reason the trainings are intense is that they are over 50 hours of instruction.  The instruction includes lectures, dancing, participatory exercises, and workout classes.  Each level of the practice has its own focus, intent, and principles (except Green).  The Blue Belt focus is Communication, Relationship, and Intimacy.  While the concentration is on how these things relate to Nia it is probably easy to imagine how lessons involving these three things can be related to everyday life.  Since the training CAN be related to life outside of teaching Nia there are many people who take the intensives with no intent of teaching.  You might also be able to imagine how the focus can apply to many things in relation to Nia.  One way is how a Nia teacher communicates with a class, the teacher’s relationship with the choreography, and intimacy to the music.  This is just one little facet of the focus.  I am sharing it to give you an idea of what the focus of “Communication, Relationship, and Intimacy” means.

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, ZumbaThe intent of the focus is to energize personal connection through self-discovery and communication by following The Body’s Way.  Since Nia is a body based practice we do our learning through the body.  As I mentioned in my I’m Blue, But No Tears Here post we were shown how to use the Nia 5 Stages or the Developmental Anatomy to answer questions about what stage we are in when learning something new.  Very amazing.  This is the part that I need to practice — really listening to my body and believing what it is telling me.  The believing part will take examination time . . . I’ll have to really figure out why my body says I am in one stage where I might THINK I am in another.  I might think I am in the beginning stage, embryonic, but my body might say I am in the crawling stage.  For me this means I need to pay attention to the details of what I actually know and what I still need to learn.  I could know 11 out of 15 things, but since the 15th thing seems to be so big to me, I might think I am just beginning whereas it turns out I know over 73%.  All part of the communication, relationship, and intimacy!

Also this training has familiar things you might have heard of in other trainings, for instance:  pay attention to what you sense, feel, think, and have within you then communicate accordingly.  I know that this type of idea has been taught in corporate trainings as an effective way to communicate.  A Nia related example would be:  Knowing the choreography and really know how to do the 52 moves, then having an intimate relationship with the music which will allow you to clearly communicate to the Nia participants.

I can almost talk myself into circles because it is all relates so well and ties in together and just connects.  The more I type the more things I think of so I really have to concentrate on just a tiny portion so my sharing does not get so confusing.  I am trying to share to clarify.  I want you to want more.  I want to understand that in addition to a great workout, Nia has stellar training and continued education.

Can you see how Communication, Relationship, and Intimacy is important for a teacher?

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

First I Went Green, Now I’m Going Blue

Posted by terrepruitt on October 9, 2012

As I have shared with you before, there are four different levels to Nia Training; White, Blue, Brown, Black.  These are trainings anyone can take.  Each level has its own focus, intent, and principles.  You do not have to be interested in teaching.  If you are interested in teaching and hold a current license there is an additional level, Green, that may be taken.  The Green belt does not have its own principles because it focuses on teaching skills.  I have been a White Belt since December 2008.  In November 2012, I am going to be turning blue.  The focus for the Blue Belt is Communication, Relationship and Intimacy with the intent to energize personal connection through self-discovery and communication by following The Body’s Way.  I’m excited to see all that entails.  I do know that when I stepped into my White Belt I had NO IDEA the type of training I would be receiving.  I thought that I would spend 40 hours learning routines and learning how to teach.  But that is not what it was.  The White Belt is currently about (Focus) physical sensation with the intent to embody the foundation of Nia.  Back in 2008 is was (focus) the physical body, the anatomy of the body, the Nia Technique, and the Nia moves.  Which did not equate to learning routines.  I can’t wait to see what the Blue Belt Intensive has in store.

Nia’s training is very intense.  It is very deep.  It is very detailed, well-thought out, well presented, and well documented.  Recently a graduating Green Belt said it was “stellar”.  That is a great description.

Per the main Nia website the description for the Blue Belt states:

Blue Belt, the second level of Nia education, explores how to create healthy relationships through body-centered communication. This intensive introduces the next set of 13 Nia principles, which focus on the mental, emotional and spiritual realms of the body. While the White Belt curriculum focuses entirely on awareness of physical sensation, Blue Belt applies these skills to explore internal sensations as perceived through – but distinct from – physical sensations in the body.

Blue Belt Principle #1: The Joy of Being in Relationship, integrates the sensation of Joy with the awareness that Joy is something outside the self, which we can invite into our physical experience. As a result, we begin to deepen our ability to listen with clarity and sustain awareness of details outside our body.

If you have never been to a Nia Intensive it is impossible to describe, but I know it will be wonderful.  I know I will learn a lot.  I know that it is what I need because it is happening, so I am going to do my best to keep my energy allies present along with having a beginner’s mind so that I am able to get all that I can out of it.  You know that I will be sharing a lot when I get back.  I am so excited to be changing from White to Blue.  Just because I am moving to the next level doesn’t mean there won’t more posts about White Belt things, there is still a lot to share and learn about the White Belt, I will just have that much more to share!

Can I get a, “Woohoo Blue!”

**update:  I forgot to clarify and tie in to my title, silly me!  First I went Green as in drinking green smoothies and now I am going Blue.  I have not yet taken the Nia Green Belt.  I am hoping that there will be one in this area again.  There has only been one.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Anything Goes Is The Tagline For The First Stage Of FreeDance

Posted by terrepruitt on July 5, 2012

Nia is both a dance exercise and a life practice.  Kind of like yoga.  You can go to a class and get the exercise you want and have it end there or you can learn about its principles and take them into your life.  There are levels of the practice.  Nia has chosen to use a “belt” system as their levels.  Instead of just having numbers or names, they have assigned belt colors to the levels.  There are five levels; White Belt, Green Belt, Blue Belt, Brown Belt, and Black Belt.  The intensives to gain the belts can be taken and enjoyed by people who aren’t teaching. Each belt has 13 principles, except Green. Green does not have its own set of principles because green is the belt level that is actually designed specifically for teachers and helps them hone their teaching skills.  It delves into the 13 principles of the White Belt.  The White Belt’s principle #4 is FreeDance.  FreeDance as a practice has eight stages.  I have posted about eight through two.  This post is about stage one.  Stage #1 of Nia’s 4th White Belt Principle is Freedance – Anything Goes (movement wise).

While you are dancing any movement is great if it is authentic movement.  With Nia there is choreographed moves, but within the patterns of movement there is the ability to freedance.  Also with many routines there is sometimes just freedance where we are allowed to dance free to the music without any choreography.  Stage one:  Freedance, anything goes, allows us the greatest of freedoms.  You can dance using the wall, the mirror, a chair, the floor, or a ballet barre that might be in the room.  You can dance fast, slow, high, low, or in the middle.  Anything that you sense your body wants to do to the music.  It is up to you.

The idea with freedance is to just let the body go.  Don’t think about it.  When you think about it often comes the judgment.  Sometimes the judgment can interfere with movement, especially if it is judgment along the lines of, “Oh I must look silly doing this.”  “Oh that probably isn’t pretty.”  “Oh, I am not graceful enough to spin.”  “Oh, I need to do this or that.”  This is all inner dialog that clogs up the muscles and their movements.

Freedance also, as I believe I’ve mentioned before, in not club dancing.  We are NOT just bouncing or undulating to the beat, we are moving to the music.  We are moving our bodies towards as pleasurable sensation of health and well being.

Freedance is also not patterned dancing, we save the patterns for our choreographed movements.  Freedance is just free.  It is spinning twirling, diving and whirling.  It could be hopping or dropping.  It really is whatever your body does.

Freedance is not easy.  It takes practice.  It is not easy to just be on the floor and not think about how you are going to move and just let your body go.  It is a challenge.  But once you can stop thinking and talking in your head you will find yourself moving to the music.  Sometimes you might even notice that you are moving in a way that you didn’t think about and it is really amazing to have that sensation.  But don’t think too much, just keep moving.

I would like to invite and encourage you to make some space in your home or if you are so inclined find a space to dance outside . . . find a space turn on some music and just dance.  Let yourself go.  Let yourself be free.  Allow the time, space, frame of mind and spirit to freedance.  Remember, anything goes!

Wahoo!  I have to add that in the middle of typing this up I secured another class to sub for the City of San Jose.  So exciting to be able to share Nia through the city!  Yay!

Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review Blog Year – Top Ten

Posted by terrepruitt on December 31, 2009

So here it is the end of the year.  I have been blogging since March (2009).  I have posted 130 times.  This is 131.  I thought I would end the year with a review of some of my favorites and according to the numbers some of your favorites too.  Here they are, not in any order:

Lyrics Gone Wrong . . . I had entertained the idea of doing this once a month, but after the second month I ran out of songs to play with.

Interesting Picture – Marilyn Monroe Albert Einstein . . . I LOVE optical illusions and this one is a doosey.

Hummingbird Tongues . . . they still fascinate me and I am still surprising people with the fact that the birds have tongues and use them more than the beak is a straw.  And usually they tongues dart in and out so fast it is a rare treat to catch it out for a picture.  Yay!

A Poem Says A Lot . . . Fabulous!  We Have Come To Be Danced . . .

Nia Belt System . . . Before you can move onto the next belt they say a year must pass.   You do not have to get involved.  It is a great workout without being involved with the belts.  The belt system only comes into play if you care to get that involved in Nia.  Nia’s belts mimic some Martial Arts; white, green, blue, brown, black.    I am learning so much with my White Belt, I can see myself waiting at least another year before I move onto the next belt.  There is so much to learn and enjoy in each belt, I am not in a hurry.

Say: “I Am Wonderful” . . . I like to say this, I like to hear this song.  I like to remind people to go to iTunes each week to download the free song.

A Brief Look At Nia . . . still excited to share Nia with people.  It is a great body-mind practice and a workout that can make you sweat yet not really feel like exercise.  It is learning to follow the body’s way.

Wrapping Tips . . . WHAT?  I was shocked that everyone did not read my blog.  On Christmas Day and the day after the bags and bags and bags and bags of wrapping trash that I saw on the curbs just blew my mind. In this day and in these times, I was just utterly flabbergasted that people don’t re-use the wrappings.  It amazed and saddened me.

My Favorite Mugs . . . so I found out that not everyone got my little joke.  Ya know, back in the day (what day, I don’t know), they used to call faces mugs . . . get it now?

The Seven Cycles Of A Nia Workout . . . The workout has cycles, somewhat like Jazzercise.  I like to share this aspect of Nia so people have an idea of what a workout class will be like.  We set a focus and an intent, step in, warm up and move all the way through the cycles to the floor, and then we step out.

Well, thank you so much for joining me on my blog.  I hope that you continue to read, I hope you enjoy and learn.  I learn from your comments so keep them coming.  Thank you for a great year.  Here is to the NewYear.

But . . .before we jump into the New Year, share with me what your favorite post from my blog was?  AND/OR give me ideas on what you would like to see posted in the New Year.

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

Nia Belt System

Posted by terrepruitt on July 4, 2009

I feel I need to clarify something.  I keep seeing these great articles on the internet about Nia.  They are so great I get excited and I want to share them, until I get to the part where it says something like, “Nia students work through levels akin to martial arts and the different belts”.  This is where my enthusiasm for the article dies.  To me this makes it sound like a participant of Nia™ has to earn a belt in order to participate.

Nia is a workout.  A person can go to a Nia class every day and workout and never have to think about belt levels.  Belt levels never come into play during a workout.  Nia as a workout is so beneficial you may never want to progress to anything beyond that.  Think of it like yoga, you can go to a yoga class every day and never have to participate in the meditation or yoga life-style of a yogi or yogini.

My Nia White Belt and my manual

My Nia White Belt and my manual

 IF someone is interested in learning more about Nia, aside from what the book and the DVDs, the classes, and the workshops have to offer, one can participate in an “Intensive”.  THIS is where the belts come into play.  Each intensive is about 40 hours of intenseness.  There is lectures and movement and workouts.  There are five belts.  Anyone can participate in the intensive, but they must be taken in order White, Blue, Brown, Black.  And they require a year in between each belt.

Each of the four belts mentioned has principles.  There are 13 principles for each belt, each belt also has a focus.

I am sure you noticed that I mentioned five belts but only named four, that is because one of the five belts is Green Belt.  Green Belt is newly added and it is for teachers.  So while any one can take an White, Blue, Brown, or Black belt intensive only teachers can take the green.  That is because Green is focused on assisting teachers.  It is just another aspect of the continuing education that Nia offers and recommends.
 
So, again I will say, anyone can participate in Nia as a workout and that is great and that is fine.  You will gain many, many benefits from it.  No one has to think about belts and the levels.  Only if you are interested in making Nia a practice and learning more about it do you need to even think about the belts.  Just come and enjoy the way your body feels during and after a Nia workout.  Then if you arrive at wanting more you will do so . . . in your own time . . . in your own way.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »