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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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘Group Ex’

How Long Have You Been Teaching Here?

Posted by terrepruitt on June 6, 2018

People often ask how long I have been teaching Nia and/or Yoga. Sometimes a student will ask how long I have been teaching the class. In order for me to remember I have to think about something I remember specifically for one class where the supervisor called me when I was in the hospital visiting my mom. Then I have to think of when that was and try to piece it together from there. I did send out some information over a year ago regarding the class facts. It was kind of in the form of a thank you for keeping the classes going. I decided to post the information so I will always have it on hand and I can point people towards it.

Terre’s Class Facts:

Nia at the Camden Community Center:  Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 am. Friday at 10:15 am.

The Tuesday Nia class started on September 4, 2012. It has always been at 9:00 am.

There was a Wednesday Nia class for a very short period of time in 2015.

The Thursday Nia class started on September 22, 2013. Originally it was at 8:30 am, then in November 2013 it was changed to 8:45 am. Then in February of 2015 it was changed to 9:00 am.

The Friday Nia class started in February of 2015. It has always been at 10:15 am. It follows a class that is at 9:00 am so that is why it starts at 10:15 am. The fifteen minutes in between classes is supposed to be for the out going class time to finish, clean up, and vacate the room AND allow us to come in and get ready.

 

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitGentle Yoga at the Willow Glen Community Center:  Thursday evenings at 6:00 pm.

I started teaching the gentle yoga class at the Willow Glen Community Center on July 18, 2013. Originally I was asked to do it for one session. But then it turned into the next, and the next . . . This class is held at 6:00 pm. This class is part of the Leisure Class program, so students sign up for session. So sometimes there is a mandated break in between sessions. They do not allow for drop-ins at this center.

 

Gentle Yoga at the Cypress Community Center:  Tuesdays at 10:30 am.

I started teaching the gentle yoga class at the Cypress Community Center on February 25, 2014. The original time slot for this class was 10:00 am. But it was moved to 10:30 am so that I could get there from my Nia class at Camden. This class is also is part of the Leisure Class program, so students sign up for session. Sometimes there are breaks in between sessions, but we work hard to not have them because we like to just continue without breaks. This community center allows for drop-ins. So you don’t have to sign up for the entire session you can just come take on yoga class if you would like.

 

Stretch at the Camden Community Center:  Thursday at 10:15 am.

I started teaching the Thursday Stretch Class in May of 2016. The original time slot was noon, but it was moved so it could be after Nia. It has gone on hiatus at times due to various reasons (summer camps usually come in and take over the community center). This class is at 10:15 am, after Nia.

 

Additional information about the classes:

All classes are an hour long. Nia and Stretch are part of the SJCITY Fit program. The gentle yoga classes are a part of the Leisure Class program.

There have been other class that have come and gone. I started teaching in 2009 at a studio I rented in Willow Glen. I did that for four years. I have also taught for the City of San Carlos. I worked for a little fitness studio, I taught at other community centers in San Jose, and I rented other studio space. But since those classes are not longer happening, I didn’t make note of those dates.

I am very fortunate to have such great students and to teach these classes. It is common knowledge among fitness instructors that a class can be cancelled at anytime, especially at city community centers. If there are not enough students then the class gets cancelled . . . makes sense, that is just the way it is. So that we have had these classes for so long is just the biggest blessing. I am grateful.

Posted in Nia, Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Taste Of The Nia 5 Sensations

Posted by terrepruitt on April 25, 2015

Today we had a workshop to talk about and discover the Nia Five Sensations.  Just like a lot of things we do and use in Nia, the five sensations are not unique to Nia, but they are tools we use to enhance our dance exercise.  In a Nia class we strive to be in sensation.  Being aware of the sensations allows us to choose and dance what we need at the time of the class.  We had a small turn out, but the number of attendants is never the measure of success.  One of my Nia Students and fellow Nia Blue Belt’s helped me present the workshop.  This workshop was held at the request of the Camden Community Center.  Our participants shared that they felt they had a better understanding of the sensations and would be able to apply awareness to them either in a Nia class or just in everyday life.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoFirst we started off moving right away.  The participants walked in, we said hello then started dancing.  We danced to two songs.  Then we did a brief introduction of Nia then we shared the five sensations and how we experience them everyday.  We shared how they could be helpful to know and be aware of in a Nia class.   The 5 sensations are: Flexibility, Agility, Mobility, Strength, and Stability (FAMSS).

Then we moved to each sensation.  As we talked we guided the students into the sensations.  We shared that flexibility is sensed as energy moving outward. It is the opening your body, the lengthening and yawning.  So we stretched and yawned our bodies open.  We reached out to lengthen our limbs.  We imagined our bones moving away from our center.  We practiced sensing the sensation even as our bodies showed no outward movement.

We talked about how agility can be sensed in the quick start and stop of a movement.  It is the physical feeling of pulling and pushing.  We hopped and jumped.  We chopped and slapped.  We “played” soccer and tennis.  We danced in a “strobe like” fashion.  We even stood still and let our gaze bounce around as our eyes moved with agility.

When talking about mobility we said it is sensed as energy in constant motion. It is youthful freedom.  (A description from the Nia Technique that I really like.) It is flowing movement, graceful, and easy.  We twirled and whirled around the room.  We let our bodies ebb and flow.  We rolled like the ocean.  We moved our arms.  We moved our legs.  We mobilized our spine.  We allowed the energy of constant motion to energize us.

We used the ballet bar and wall to start us off understanding that strength is sensed as energy moving inward.   With that first example it gives way to us sensing strength as a resisting, or a quality of weighted energy being moved in ways that allow you to sustain a movement or posture. It is the contraction of muscle.  It is the muscle squeezing bone.  We contracted and pushed.  We squeezed and resisted.  Allowing the effort to tire us a bit.

Then we experienced the calm of stability.  Stability is sensed as balance and comfort.  It is the physical feeling of harmony and peace combined with readiness for action.

After having practiced the sensations we then added them to the stances that are part of the 52 Moves of Nia.  We moved through the stances in the 5 sensations.  Then we put on the music and danced the stances in sensation.  After two songs we reviewed the kicks that are part of the 52 Moves of Nia.  We moved through the sensations doing the kicks.  Then onto dancing again.  We danced doing our kicks in sensation.

We finished off the workshop with two songs focusing on the sensations, but primarily using the Nia choreography and not so much sticking with the kicks and stances.  This allowed us to practice dancing in the sensations to whatever moves that come as part of a Nia routine.

It was a great little taste of the Nia 5 Sensations.  I can say that because no matter what I am teaching it is ALWAYS the students that make the class GREAT!

Are you aware of any of these sensations in your everyday life?

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

Dancing Free

Posted by terrepruitt on February 19, 2015

Do you ever just dance?  You might be one to turn on the music and start dancing.  Perhaps you have a favorite song you like to dance to?  Or you might be one who breaks into dance spontaneously.  You could be in the house and a song comes on and you don’t even really think about it, next think you know you are moving to the music.  Perhaps you are one that is so gusty or you just don’t care so you dance in the aisle at the grocery store.  Music moves us.  It is easy to dance to a song we like.  Sometimes we “can’t help it”.  We just burst into a dance.  But dancing without choreography in a dance exercise class?  No one telling you exactly how to move?  Just move to the music?  Without having consumed any alcohol?  It is a concept not easily grasped by many.  It is a concept that we practice often in a Nia class.  We call it Nia FreeDance.

As I mentioned dancing without choreography in an exercise class is a new concept to many.  Moving without having a structured plan doesn’t sound like exercise to many people.  Some people are very resistant to Nia FreeDance because of this reason.  Some people cannot understand how you can “get a good workout” without having a structured plan, without moving the same way over and over again.  The way we have been programmed to exercise includes repetition and structure.  It includes traveling in a straight line from point a to point b, it includes being told how to move.  So just moving without any idea of what comes after the present movement is vastly alien to some.

Yet, I have people who actually let go and try it.  Those who push beyond their own skepticism and doubt come up to me and say, “Wow!  I am sweating.”  Those who let the music move their bodies without thinking about it have said, “Who would have thought that I would have gotten such a great workout?”  Some realize, “I might be sore tomorrow.”  They MIGHT be sore the next day because they moved their bodies in ways that their bodies are not accustom to moving.

Nia FreeDance is there to help stimulate movement creativity.  So if you do it with full abandon you might end up with muscles that talk to you the next day.  Your body will have moved in new and different ways.  So Nia FreeDance is not the dancing you would do at a club or a dance lesson.  It is just free movement.  Yes, some of those cool club moves or patterns you learned in dance class sneak in because we dance what we know.  We think about it and move in that way.  But there really is more to FreeDancing.  It might have a pattern for a moment, it might have structure for a moment, but it moves away and comes back.  It is free.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoTo assist with FreeDance and to deepen the practice there are eight stages that can be a guide, because as I said, it is not necessarily an easy thing to do.

Stage 1: FreeDance
Catch Phrase: Anything Goes, Movement-Wise

Stage 2: Being Seduced by the Music
Catch Phrase: Art of Listening

Stage 3: Feelings and Emotions
Catch Phrase: Pretend, Fake It, Act As If

Stage 4: The Creative Source
Catch Phrase: The Real You

Stage 5: Authentic Movement
Catch Phrase: Change!!

Stage 6: Witness
Catch Phrase: Interfere…Judge…Not! Observe

Stage 7: Choreography
Catch Phrase: The Accidental Click

Stage 8: Nia Class
Catch Phrase: Levels 1, 2, 3

The catch phrases have changed slightly since I participated in the Nia White Belt Intensive in 2008, but it is all basically the same.  The catch phrases give you a clue as to what the stage is for.  All the stages help you to FreeDance.  You can dance each stage separately or combine them in any fashion. Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo The idea is just to give you something to help get you moving and then give you something to keep you moving.  Moving in new and different ways.  The new and different active body, mind, emotions, and spirit.  FreeDance is one of the key things that makes Nia unique.  If you click on the stages above you will go to the post that I have posted for each stage.

I am very excited about the Special Nia Class and Nia Free Dance Playshop that I am producing next month.  So I have been thinking a lot about FreeDance and how great it is.  This post is a result of my excitement and my attempt at getting people excited and curious about FreeDance.  Reading about it is one thing, but getting up and actually DOING it is another.  These are the stages used to deepen your practice, but they are not what we will be covering in the Playshop.  As the flyer states, we will be learning Jason’s tools for FreeDance!  I hope you will join us!

Are you a dancer?  Do you break into dance?  What is the current hit that you can’t help but dance to?

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

Maps Can Help Get You Where You Want To Go

Posted by terrepruitt on September 9, 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 Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classesI am not sure many websites have Site Maps any longer.  Websites now-a-days are so full of bells and whistles not many have site maps.  Not many just have a place where you can go to one page to see a list of everything that is on the site.  I find sometimes when I am on a website, I am just going in circles trying to find the information I want and I think it would be nice if there was that one page . . . that site map . . . that showed me the list of pages so that I could click on the page I want instead of getting dizzy clicking around.  I think I have a lot of information on my site so I know that one might get a little overwhelmed.  I know that some of my pages repeat information on other pages.  I do that because when I am on a website sometimes I don’t see the information if it is only on one page, but the more it is repeated the better chance that I will see it.  But I do have a site map for my site.  I have a lot of information so I wanted to have a list that people can look at in case they wanted an idea of what the whole site contained.

Since I teach at several different places and I have both a FIXED (on-going) schedule and one that changes all the time it can be a bit much for people to keep track of.   In addition to my teaching schedule, I have information regarding Nia on the site because I want to educate people on the classes they can take from me.  So, yeah, there is a lot on there.  So here is what I have created to help.

 

What’s on www.HelpYouWell.com at a glance!  The BOLD indicates the links you see at the left, the others are in the drop down menu if you put your mouse over the links at the left.  And, you can just click the link from this site map. 
Home
New to Nia (links to help you navigate site)
What is Nia?
o Nia Practice
o Nia FreeDance
o Nia 5 Stages
Contact Terre
Nia Class Schedule (schedule of regular ON-GOING Classes)
o San Jose Nia Classes (M/W) (details about Wednesday classes)
Community Center Classes (regular classes with the City of San Jose – T/Th)
– City of San Jose – Nia (Classes SUBBING for the City of San Jose)
YMCA Silicon Valley Classes
YMCA Silicon Valley – Sub Dates (Classes SUBBING for the YMCA)
Present Nia Class Locations (locations at a glance)
Nia in the Evening
Nia on Saturday at 10 am
Nia Schedule at a glance (another way to look at Terre’s Nia schedule)
• Nia Information
Nia Class Cycles
Main Benefits of Nia
Tips for a Pleasurable Nia Experience
Principles of the Body’s Way
Nia Tips for Moving with Nia
Sounding Tips
Nia’s 52 Moves
Nia Belt Levels and Focuses
Indexes for The Nia Technique Book
   Index with Sections
   Index with separate list of subsections
• About Terre Pruitt
• Nia Class Fees (each location has different fees)
• Nia Monthly (information regarding Nia in the current month, sometimes additional info, check it out)
• Nia Jams
• Gentle Yoga
• ZUMBA
Zumba Fitness Class Schedule
• Pictures and Stuff
• San Medusa (a write-up about a Playshop with Helen Terry.  Link not shown on left.)
• Site Map

Hopefully this helps people navigate the site.  The site map is a list of all the pages on the site with hot links so you can click on the page you want to visit.  What do you think?  Do you ever get “lost” on a website?  It seems as if you are just going in circles?  Do you find many websites with site maps?

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Shocking Spinach Dip Discovery

Posted by terrepruitt on December 24, 2013

For many it is Christmas Eve.  Some might not celebrate Christmas or it is past the day, but here, where I am, it is Christmas Eve.  It is Tuesday so normally I would have had a Nia class in the morning, but the Park and Recreation Department of San Jose took the day off so there was no Nia this morning.  They also have instituted a very abbreviated Group Ex schedule so my Nia classes with the City of San Jose are done for the year.  We will be back Thursday, January 2, 2014.  (WHOA!  2014!)  I have one more Nia class in Willow Glen this year and one more class this year that I am subbing for the YMCA.  Then onto the next year!  So today I had a very relaxing Christmas Eve Day.  Probably thee most relaxing Christmas Eve Day I have had in a LONG time.  It was nice.  One thing I had to do today was make spinach dip.  In my world this is a common party treat.  I have been making it for as long as I can remember.  Although I had not made it in a long time.  I think I first heard about spinach dip when I worked at my first mortgage job in the mid ’80s.  So that is a long time.  Spinach dip seems pretty common and timeless.

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, YMCAOne thing I notice over Thanksgiving when I made a quadruple batch was that the recipe calls for a 10 ounce package of frozen spinach.  Well our big green friend now makes his frozen spinach in 9 ounces sizes.  I thought that was funny.  Then today as I happened to be READING the recipe I noticed something that had me saying, “WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”  The directions actually say to COOK the spinach.  I have never heard of such a thing.  I have NEVER cooked the spinach.  And as I mentioned I have been making spinach dip for YEARS.  Cook the spinach?  Really?

I prefer the Knorr Vegetable soup mix.  But one year I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE and I ended up with the SPRING Vegetable mix and that was awesome because it had mushrooms in it.  Now I can’t find that.  I have also used other soup mix and have not been as happy as when I use Knorr.  But this “cooked” really made me laugh out loud.  Here is the recipe I am sure many of you are familiar with:

___________________________

Knorr Spinach Dip

Ingredients
1 box (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry
1 container (16 oz.) sour cream
1 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
1 package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix
1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)
3 green onions, chopped (optional)

Directions
1.  Combine all ingredients and chill about 2 hours. Serve with your favorite dippers to your favorite people.

___________________________

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, YMCAAlso, for me, the water chestnuts are NOT optional!  They are a requirement.  In fact, to me, the are the best part.  If you watch me getting some spinach dip you will probably see me pushing my cracker/bread/veggie through the dish just trying to get at that chunk of chestnut.

In addition to the change in weight of the spinach they also now package it in a plastic, which helped when squeezing the water out.  After I squeeze the spinach it is all clumped together so I use forks to pull it a part.

So I have two main questions for you:

1)  Do you COOK your spinach?
2)  How do you squeeze all the water out of the frozen spinach?  To me that is the worst part.

Let me know because I am soooooo curious.

And to all I say:

Merry Christmas!

Posted in "Recipes", Food | 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 »