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!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Bloggey Past

  • ******

    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Posts Tagged ‘Joy of Movement’

The Nature In And Of Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on March 7, 2013

At the present time I am fortunate enough to be holding Nia classes at four different locations in San Jose.  Each location allows me to meet different people.  At one of the locations I have been teaching for four years and some of my students have been coming to my classes that long.  At three of my locations I am a new teacher and Nia is new.  Most of the people are new to me.  It is exciting to met new people and discover new relationships.  There is the relationships between my students and me and there is the relationship between Nia and the students.  One of my students told me after one class that she loved the part of Nia where we compare things to nature.  The specific example she stated was “tickling the clouds”.  She said that the mention of nature in Nia reminded her of one of her favorite poets, Mary Oliver.  She asked me if I had heard of Mary Oliver or if I was familiar with her.  I said no.  I also said that I would look her up.  Well, the following week, my student came into class and handed me a copy of two poems.  As soon as she held out the paper, I remembered that I had said I would look up the poet and that I had forgotten.  I gratefully took the paper without reading the poems because class was about to start.  After our class there is another class so I did not stop at that time to read the poem either.  It was not until today I picked up the paper to read the poem.  On the second line I realized I HAD heard this before and I laughed.  This very poem or at least a portion of it is in the Nia White Belt Manual.

I thought it was funny that my student related Mary Oliver’s work to Nia and obviously so did the creators of Nia, Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, because they put this poem in the manual.  Only the first few lines are in the manual, but I recognized it right away.

The lines are:

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”

From Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese poem.

That portion of the poem is at the very beginning of the section which is Principle #1, The Joy of Movement.  The last line of that section really struck me.

I want to continue to share with my students that a Nia class is not just about learning the moves and doing a routine.  It is about doing what the body loves.  It is about their relationship to their body.  It is about their relationship to Nia.  To me that is why we do a routine over and over.  That is also HOW we do a routine over and over and not get bored with it.  If we move and let our body do what it loves then it is moving in a different way.  Once we have done a routine a few times we can play.  We can move lower . . . if that it what the body loves . . . we can move higher . . . if that is what a body loves . . . all the time moving in the general pattern of the routine.  It is when we are not in tune or when we cannot let go, that the routine is tiring or boring.  If we are only moving the way it was choreographed and not putting our spirit into the moves it is as if we are walking through a desert on our knees.  Suffering through a workout.  UGH!  Repenting for the cream we had in our coffee, the workout we missed yesterday, or the cookie we had at lunch.

I used to do a different routine every class.  I thought people would get bored with the same routine.  But then I realized that the more I knew the music and the choreography the more fun I had and the more playful I could be.  I asked my class and they said they liked the fact that after doing the routine a few times they, too, could be less concerned with the choreography and more aware of their own spirit, dance, and play.  So it is a relationship with Nia and the body that we are building and experiencing in a Nia class, we are not just learning a routine, we are not just moving through choreography.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I work on a routine schedule, playing with it to see what works.  I want to ensure my students don’t get bored, yet I want them to build a relationship with Nia.  I want them to be able to dance and play with the routines.

I love that my student shared her thoughts with me.  To me that is me being able to witness her budding relationship with Nia.  I love that because of my thoughts about repeatedly doing a routine, I was able to look at this poem and relate it to that.  Like many things I might look at it sometime from now and have it relate to something else.  My relationship with it might change, just as my relationship with my students and with Nia will change and grow.  That is the nature of it all.

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

The Joy of Being In Relationship With The Nia Blue Belt Principles

Posted by terrepruitt on November 27, 2012

The Nia Blue Belt has 13 principles as does the Nia White Belt, Nia Brown Belt, and Nia Black Belt.  The principles for the Blue Belt were created to layer onto or weave through the Nia White Belt Principles.  The 13 Nia Blue Belt Principles are:

1. The Joy of Being In Relationship
2. The Power of Two
3. Awareness, Insight, Clarity
4. Developmental Anatomy
5. The Power of Three
6. Split, Ellipt, Blend
7. Nia Class Format
8. The Power of Silence & Sound
9. Form and Freedom
10. FloorPlay
11. Music, Movement, Magic
12. Observe, Listen, Guide
13. Vertical Routines

Even though I have been introduced to 13 new principles, I can still work with the 13 Nia White Belt Principles.  I still have a lot I can learn through them.  Nia actually made practicing them easy by creating the Blue Belt principles to weave into the White Belt Principles.  The Nia White Belt Principle #1 is The Joy of Movement.  http://www.helpyouwell.com/nia-information.htmlWhen Nia creates the principles they create catch phrases and other things to help explain what the principle is about and help people remember the principle and what it is about.  One of the things they use as a tool is a triad with words or phrases.  The triad for principle #1 in the Nia White Belt is the same as the triad for principle #1 in the Nia Blue Belt.  The triad is choose, sensation, and universal joy.

The Nia Blue Belt Principle #1, The Joy of Being In Relationship, the catch phrase is “with”, so you choose, sense the sensation, experience universal joy.  You are in relationship with all three in addition to “the other” you are in relationship with.  The “other” does not have to be a person, it can be a movement, a body part, a person, a thought, an idea . . . . anything.  As an example, you can be in relationship with your hips as they move when you walk.  You are not just aware of them, but you are in relationship with.  There is communication going on.  It is not just you moving them, you are listening, sensing, aware . . . in relationship with.  They move and you receive information from them.  Maybe you sense them tilting forward.  Why?  What is that the result of?  Can you move them so they are not tilting forward?  You ask.  They say yes.  You move in a way that adjust them.  You move on.  Energy and information going back and forth between you and “the other”.  This is applied to dancing Nia.  This is applied to teaching Nia.  This is applied to everything.  This is applied to life.  We choose.  We sense.  We have the opportunity to experience Universal Joy.  We have the opportunity to be in relationship with.

So this is a new idea for me.  This is how I am perceiving it today.  This is how I am understanding it today.  I welcome others who have taken the Blue Belt Intensive to comment.  I believe this principle is one of the things that takes practice.  It is something that can be played with and experienced.  And I actually feel as if my relationship with this principle changes.  So, yeah, there will probably more on this as I explore the Joy of Being In Relationship With!

Do you somewhat understand how you can be in relationship with?

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

The Joy Of Movement

Posted by terrepruitt on December 19, 2009

Nia White Belt Principle #1 is The Joy of Movement.  Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas were in the fitness industry back in the 1980’s when they felt the pull to do something different.  From what I understand they didn’t know exactly what they were going to do.  They just were seeing a lot of injuries in the aerobic industry and decided that working out in a way that injured one’s body was not the right way to be working out.  They decided they wanted to workout in a way that allowed for honoring the body and for appreciating the body.

Debbie and Carlos did not just meet one day and decided to put a bunch of things together and “Voila!  There is Nia!” . . . . it grew out of years of learning.  As you look through information regarding Nia you can see some of the transformations it has gone through.  Nothing big enough to make you think that it is not what it was when it start, but there are some changes.  But one think that they found constant from the beginning was an incredible feeling of Joy.

They recognized that as a special element of Nia.  They also recognized that as more of a sensation than a feeling.  They determined that it was something that the body actually sensed when it was allowed to move as it was designed to do.  Joy could be used as an energy to fuel the workout.  Joy, as a body sensation can be called upon no matter what one is FEELING.

The Nia White Belt Manual explains how Joy is more of an attitude toward the body, and attitude toward life.  When you sense this Universal Joy you work to stay connected to it.

In a workout or a dance you can actually choose to have Joy be your energy.  Then you sense Joy as a sensation.  While you are moving thoughts and feelings might come into your workout / dance, but ideally you are just noticing them but not dwelling on anyone in particular.  And you are retaining the Joy.

You are encouraged to sustain the Joy and the way of moving that allows you to sense Joy.  If you feel Joy slipping or that you are no longer sensing the Joy of Movement you can tweak what you are doing, the way you are doing it, to increase that sense of Joy.

During a Nia workout the teacher guides you through the moves of the routine, but it is up to you—the participant—to move in a way that brings you Joy.

If you remember anything about Nia, remember this:  that the soul of Nia is the Joy of Movement.  It is the physical celebration of the body.**

**Direct quote from The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas  March 2001, V3

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

Yoga Is Very Nia-Like

Posted by terrepruitt on September 12, 2009

I have only taken two yoga classes.  One was this evening and throughout the entire class, while the teacher was instructing I kept thinking, “Oh that is so Nia.  Oh this is so Nia. . . . . .Oh THAT is so Nia.”  Even though earlier in the class I realized that maybe Nia was “so Yoga”.

Yoga was first.  It has been around for thousands of years.  For some it is rooted in religion, where as Nia has been around for 25 years and is rooted in the body.  I just couldn’t help thinking that this yoga class was so like a Nia class, except much slower.  Slower, in the sense that in this class the movement wass not to the music, but to the breath.  There was no rhythmic quality to the movement, just the flow of your breath.  Every once in awhile I would hear the music and to start sway to it and realize that I was supposed to be holding a pose so I would stop my body from moving but my spirit continued to boogey away.

This yoga class is about joy in yoga, allowing for another comparison, comparing to the first principle of the Nia White Belt which is the Joy of Movement.  The Joy of movement is actually found as a sensation and not a feeling.  In Nia it is something that is sensed in the body and not felts as an emotion.

The teacher started the class with the suggestion that you set an intention.  I actually wiggled with happiness at this because in every Nia class we set a focus and an intent (in cycle one).

This yoga class made me realize why so many people that practice yoga also practice Nia because there are many things in common.  In yoga there are poses that open areas of the body, in Nia we have movements and poses that open the body and get the joints juicy.  Yoga has muscle strengtheners and ligaments and tendon lengtheners and so does Nia.  But with yoga it is a pose and in Nia it is primarily movements linked together in a more cardio-dance fashion.  In the cool down we do poses or stretches and sometimes there are yoga poses.  It just amazed me how similar they were.  With the request of awareness that the teacher was giving during the ending meditation, something that we request during the entire Nia workout, I was extremely delighted to realize that yoga and Nia aren’t competing practices, but companion practices.  They are so similar that you can apply a lot of the principles to both.  You can have a non-impact booty shaking cardio and strength workout (Nia) that you balance with the complete stretching and strength workout (yoga).

I truly was amazed at how Nia has taken so much of what is “yoga” and created a practice that can be such a great companion.  With so many similarities it really allows for an expansion of exercise and workout possibilities for so many people who do yoga in San Jose and in the Bay Area.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Sustain, Increase, Tweak

Posted by terrepruitt on May 30, 2009

In Nia (TM) our movement is for Joy.  “Joy is not a technique or a choreographic method.  It is an attitude toward the body and toward life.  Joy is not just for when things in like are going well.  It is an open accepting energy that accepts whatever comes its way.” (1)  This is Universal Joy.

So we choose during our workouts to sense Joy and to seek the Joy of Movement.  Throughout our routine we seek to sustain that Universal Joy.  If we are able, we actually increase it.  When we lose it or if we are doing a move that causes it to faulter, we tweak.

I think these can be applied to life.  That is what I love about Nia.  We have all these thoughts and ideas that we apply to our workouts, but they aren’t necessarily new and they can applied to life.

When you are doing something that gives you joy don’t you want to keep doing it?  When you have joy don’t you want to increase it?  When you start to lose it don’t you do something to tweak it and bring it back?

That is what we do throughout our work out.  We are using our bodies to seek the sensation of Joy and if we find it and we can increase it, we do.  If we start to lose it we can tweak it.  Our workouts are about one’s own body and how it feels.  So while you are following the teacher you are also paying close attention to yourself and making sure that you are sensing the Joy of Movement.

This is one of the things that makes Nia such a different workout.  We are actually “sustaining, increasing, and tweaking” the entire time.  Universal Joy.  Allowing our bodies to move for pure pleasure.  Doesn’t that sound like something you want to do?

(I have added an Evening class to my schedule.  Teaching in San Jose (Willow Glen) three times a week; two AM classes and one evening class.  Teaching at a member only club in Los Gatos in the evening once a week.   Check out my Nia Class schedule on my site, HelpYouWell.com)

(1) From The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual  March 2001, V3 page 2-4

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