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 ‘joyful’

Amongst the Sadness and Sorrow, There is Thanks

Posted by terrepruitt on November 24, 2011

Since my posting schedule is Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I am always going to end up posting on Thanksgiving.  My hubby and I don’t have kids and we are both the youngest of the children.  I have always figured that I don’t get to do the Holiday dinners because I don’t have kids and I am the baby.  That is fine with me.  As I have shared with you before, I am not a fan of all the traditional Thanksgiving Day food.  I usually just eat the turkey sans gravy, the bread, the potatoes, and the salad.  If there is another vegetable I will eat that.  But I don’t like the sweet potato casserole, the stuffing/dressing, the cranberries, or the gravy.  So to me the meal is not one of those meals that I look forward to all year long.  But I do like to give thanks.  I am very blessed so I give thanks all year round, but on Thanksgiving people are more apt to accept the compliment and the gratitude.

dance exercise, Nia, Nia class, Nia Dance, Nia cardio dance exerciseThis year there are some sad things surrounding our holidays.  This is the first year we will be without the matriarch of husband’s family.  This is a source of great sadness, of course.  I am sure there will be many tears shed as we gather without the light that brightened every family gathering.  I am sure it will be a bit surreal.  Also my hubby’s best friend will be experiencing his first holiday without his mom.  And another loss that I am feeling – although less drastic – one of my best friend’s is moving away.  She is moving far enough away that there will be no day trip visits.  This will be the first Christmas in 25 years that we will not have “Christmas with the Girls.”  Yes, I know this is a post about Thanksgiving, but she will be gone right after, so I mention it.  So much loss, so much sadness.

But even though moments of sorrow might have me bowing my head for tears to fall, life is still a blessing.  There is so much to be thankful for.  I cannot deny the blessings that I have.  I can’t walk around in a constant state of gloom.  I have to go on being joyful.  I have to go on with the dance.  As we say in Nia, Dance Through Life.  Yeah, right in the middle I might stop stricken by the realization, stopped by a thought or a memory, but it’s not right to dwell on the sadness and the injustice of it all.  Not only will dwelling on the negative effect me, it is an affront to all that is good.

So while this Holiday season will have a large shadow hanging about, I will shine bright enough in my thankfulness that I will not allow the darkness to prevail.  Of the things I will be expressing gratitude for is the blessing of these people having been in my life.  So I like thanksgiving, because it is a time to gather and give thanks.  It is a time for gratitude.

I hope this finds you and yours well.  I hope there are things in your life you can be thankful for.  Even if this is not the time of yerr for your Thanksgiving (Canada does it in October) or if you don’t celebrate it at all, maybe you can give thanks just because your are grateful.

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

Nia and Tae Kwon Do

Posted by terrepruitt on November 28, 2009

As you might now be aware Nia includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts. From the martial arts, we borrow from Tae Kwon Do. Not just “moves” from Tae Kwon Do but also some of the other elements of it. With its kicks, punches, blocks, and stances it helps allow Nia to be a great leg workout and provide a stable base for some of our other moves.  Tae Kwon Do can also contribute to one’s confidence by providing exercises that allow one to become strong and stable.  These are the things Nia gains from Tae Kwon Do.

Nia calls Tae Kwon Do the Dance of Precision.*  So when delivering a punch, block, kick, etc. with the energy of Tae Kwon Do, it is done with precision and intent.  However, Nia likes to play so at times even though we might not be executing a punch or a kick, but we might choose to energize our movement with “Tae Kwon Do” like energy, and be forceful and aggressive even adding sound to our movement.

Adding the energy of one form to the moves of another is one of the things that make Nia fun and keeps is challenging.  It takes different muscles to skip with force and authority than to skip like a child without a care in the world.  That is an example of how Nia incorporates different moves with different energies.

In Nia we don’t “DO” Tae Kwon Do, things have been gleaned from it and brought into Nia and mixed in with aspects of  Tai Chi, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Yoga, the Alexander Technique and the teachings from Feldenkrais, and the combination from each form is Nia.  A lot of Nia routines include moves and concepts from each discipline, but not always.  In an effort to keep each workout fresh, fun, and joyful teachers often mix things up.

If you are near San Jose, come to one of my Nia classes.  If not, I hope that you will find a Nia class near you and give Nia try.

*Both the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual state this. Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas. **V3 of The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Nia and Tai Chi

Posted by terrepruitt on September 26, 2009

A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts.  

From the martial arts, we use moves from T’ai chi.  Actually it is not just “moves” from Tai Chi but also some of the “ideals” from Tai Chi.  Nia calls Tai Chi “The Slow Dance”.*  Tai Chi allows for the elements of grace, ease, precision, power, and lightness to be accessed and brought in to our dance that is our workout. 

So while we do not do the sequences of postures that form a Tai Chi routine or exercise we might have some of the Tai Chi moves incorporated into a routine.  And/or we might take a portion of the routine and execute it “Tai Chi like”, moving slow and graceful.  Being mindful of our movements and moving from the feet with relaxed joints establishing that fluid Tai Chi like flow.  We might also incorporate circular movements and shift our weight to assist in balance, all the while sensing the gentle flow of chi. 

Some things we do in class to assist us in moving “Tai Chi like” is leading with our heels when we step, using our eyes to allow for our head to be included in our movement, keeping our joints open and soft, focusing on moving from our energy center, using our breath to generate power and support for movement, and moving systemically.** 

Hopefully this post will serve to address some of the inquires about the aspect of Tai Chi in Nia. This will give you an idea of how Tai Chi is brought into Nia. 

I love to watch the people in the parks of San Jose doing Tai Chi.  I actually see them all over the Bay Area.  In Nia we don’t “DO” Tai Chi, we glean from it and allow what we’ve gleaned to mix with aspects of Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Yoga, the Alexander Technique and the teachings from Feldenkrais.  It is all combined to be Nia.

 
*Both the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual state this.  Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.

**V3 of The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

The Nine Basic Movements Forms Of Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on March 31, 2009

Niais about joyful movement.  Move with joy.  Move for joy.  Move to joy.

A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts:

From the martial arts, we use moves from T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, and Aikido.
From the dance arts we embrace styles from Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, and Duncan Dance
And from the healing arts we are mindful of teachings from Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Yoga.

At times we might move slow focusing on movements centered around the body’s inner core, as in T’ai chi.  We might kick or punch as one might do in Tae kwon do, and these movements might flow into a spiral motion that is associated with Aikido.  We could decide to play the showman and do the entire routine with a jazzy flair or just add movements of creating shapes, dropping and then recovering the body’s own weight as a modern dancer might do.  There is always a chance we could give in to our inner child and run free and honest with the playfulness of a Duncan dancer.  While we’re doing one these things we are keeping in mind the teaching of Moshe Feldenkrais and being conscious of sensations.  We could stretch to the top with utmost concentration one might contribute to the Alexander Technique, then move onto a dance of bone alignment increasing awareness, relaxation, and balance the could be thought of as Yoga.*

So in one workout you can experience all those things.  Strength is balanced with grace.  Fun is balanced with seriousness.  Body is balanced with mind.

The music is varied and is intended to promote the movement of the routine.  There is no doubt something for everyone.

*based on information from The Nia Technique by Debbie Rosas & Carlos Rosas

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »