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!

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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘Mind-body practice’

Cow Guy With Needle In Haunch

Posted by terrepruitt on September 5, 2016

What?  “cow guy with needle in haunch.”  That came up in the “top searches” on my blog.  I read it over and over thinking, “What?”  And even more disturbing . . . “it sounds familiar.”  The more I think about it, the more I think I know something about it, but I can’t remember what.  This situation is very weird and disturbing to me.  Cow guy with needle in haunch . . . . . . . . hmmmmm . . . it will come to me.  I bet just as I am about to press publish I will remember and then I will have to scrap this whole thing and think of another post.  It is at the edge of my brain.  I am sure it has to do with a TV show that my husband and I watch because I have no other connection to a “cow guy.”  I might have a connection to a needle in a haunch, but more like the skin of neck.  Hmmmmm . . . . don’t you hate that?  When you think something is familiar but you have no idea why?  It is like that thing on the tip of your tongue.  Or the thing on the edge of your brain or in the corner of your mind.  But what I don’t know is why that is a top search on my blog.  Even if I was searching for it because it has to do with a TV show we watch, why is it on my blog?

Next top searches are:  wrist blood pressure higher than arm, granola for gout, piyo satya.  The search terms used to be so much more useful but then a long time ago Google changed the way they did things and so the information we get on WordPress is pretty useless.  At least WordPress claims it was Google’s fault for the change.  I don’t really know.  I do know that at one point I used the searches to sometimes come up with post topics.  I figured if people were looking for the information I could write about it.

But in this case (“cow guy with needle in haunch”).  I got nothing.  I am somewhat wondering.  Is it the cow with the needle in its haunch or the guy who has something to do with cows?  Kinda sounds like there is a guy who has something to do with cows so he is called “cow guy” and HE has a needle in his haunch.  What kind of needle?  This search just really raises a lot more questions then there could ever be answers, don’t you think?

I kind of wish that people would have to explain WHY they were searching for the things they do.  But then I think about it more and realize that something like that could actually be pretty terrifying.  Eeeeek!

The highest search that comes up on my blog is the wrist monitor for blood pressure.  Always surprises me.  That is always the top search.  Which takes people to my post Blood Pressure Monitors – It’s All In the Wrist.

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitIn regards to that, a few months ago, my father, my husband, and I were sitting around the table and my wrist blood pressure monitor happen to be on the table.  We were talking about the accuracy of it.  My husband took his blood pressure.  Then I took mine.  After I took mine, my father said, “Oh so it doesn’t work.  It must be broke.”  And I just smiled and said, “I don’t know.  Ok.  Take yours.”  Then he took his and it came up accurate according to his normal rates (my dad takes his blood pressure enough and has it taken enough he knows what his is).  And he said, “Oh.”  He felt it was pretty accurate.  I always take it three times when I take it.  I just took it now: 91/62  ❤ 55 and 103/65  ❤ 60 and 84/65  ❤ 60  I honestly think it has a lot to do with Nia.

Everyday I see more and more post on Facebook with links to how dance is really good for you.  I don’t read any of them, because I know.  I don’t read them because if you don’t like to dance then it doesn’t really matter.  Me telling you that they have done studies about how great it is for your health, if you don’t like to do it, you’re not just gonna start because it is good for you.  And I don’t need to read it for me, because I know.  I do believe Nia helps blood pressure, just like any mind-body or body-mind practice.

Anyway . . . I started off wondering about an odd search term and ended up on blood pressure which brought me to Nia because I think Nia helps with mine.  How is that for sitting down and just typing/writing?

What kind of search odd search terms do you see on your blog?  Do you do any type of mind-body or body-mind practice?  Yoga?  Pilates?  Meditation?  Chanting?

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

Running, Lifting Weights, And Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on January 25, 2014

Nia is a body/mind type of practice.  Or mind/body . . . however you want to say it.  I tend to say body/mind because the first step is to get into the body.  But it is different from a lot of other exercises.  It is much more like yoga and Pilates then say . . . weight lifting or running.  I recently taught a class where a woman told me afterwards that she really loves it because she is very athletic, she runs, she plays other sports, but she wanted something that was more freeing and more connected so she decided try Nia and now she is hooked.  She still does all of the other stuff and continues to love it, she is just rounding out her workouts and exercise with Nia as a body/mind addition.  Nia is really great to add to any type of workout regime you have.

Since Nia focuses on allowing the participant to participate at their own level it can easily fit into your workout schedule.  I have had many people who love more traditional sports tell me that Nia is a great addition for them.  They all love that body/mind connection and the way it allows them to feel like a kid.  They love the play of it.

I have had people come up to me before class and say, “I can’t dance are you sure I can do this?”  The answer in The Nia Technique is “if you can walk you can do Nia.”  And that is true.  In a Nia class you might even fine tune your walking a bit.  We might train you to do that Heel Lead that often gets lost in a high heeled or runner’s gait.  Get that flex and extend back in the ankle.  But really anyone can do Nia.

I would bet that you have noticed the increase in the popularity of yoga . . . well, it is that mind/body connection that draws people to it.  Many people are understanding that even a regularly scheduled exerciser benefits from having that mind/body connection.  With Nia there is also the Emotions and Spirit.  The whole enchilada.  BMES.  Body, Mind, Emotions, and Spirit.

I’ve posted about Spirit before.  It is one of the things that many people really enjoy about Nia.  It can be compared to the “feeling like a kid” again.  The play in the exercise or workout.  The “Wooohooo!”

So the intention of this post is just to remind people – because I am sure I have said it before – that Nia is for everyBODY.  To remind you that people who like the more traditional exercise and workouts, the more athletic type of stuff, as in running and weight lifting, find they really like to add in Nia to the mix.  It actually helps them in their other type of workouts.  They claim — the ones that talk to me — they are more focused when they do run and/or lift weights.  So if you are one of those people who prefer the more traditional exercise, maybe break out of that for a Nia class and see how it works for you.

Check out my schedule on my website Nia Class Schedule or if San Jose is too far for you look at the Nia Classes on the main website.

Do you ever find yourself wanting to try something different for a workout?  Do you want to add something new to your exercise regime?

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

Practicing Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Posted by terrepruitt on November 5, 2013

Nia is a cardio dance workout.  Come to a class, dance, sweat, get a workout.  Nia is also a practice, like yoga is a practice.  Just like yoga you can go to a class, participate, and get a good workout in and go home.  Or you can take some of the ideas and principles with you into your daily life.  If you chose, you can decide to apply some of the body mind “stuff” to your daily life.  All up to you.  Now the reason I explain all that is because – keeping in mind that Nia is a practice (for those that want to take it that far) – there are a lot of things to, well, practice.  And Nia HQ is great about creating and supplying continue education for its members.  Also, it is great about writing articles to help people learn more about the practice of Nia.  One such article that was recently posted is Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone.

It talks about how each individual has different comfort zones so that “moving beyond” would be something different to each individual.  It reminds us that moving beyond the place where we feel comfortable is “the best thing to keep the body and brain strong”. It shares a story and gives examples of comfort zones. I do hope you click the link above and pop over to NiaNow to read it.

Here I am going to share other ways that Nia helps us do “the best thing to keep the body and brain strong” by helping us out of our comfort zone.  One way is dancing to music we don’t like.  I know . . . I can hear a lot of people say, “But WHY?”  Well, that is part of moving out of our comfort zone.  There seems to be some beats that just call to everyone.  That one song that is popular on the radio that gets everyone’s foot tapping and head bobbing.  Those songs are easy to dance to.  The universal dance song.  But the songs that come on that you might find yourself reaching for that tuning knob are great songs to step out of the comfort zone to dance to.  They are the ones that your regular, normal, COMFORTABLE dance moves just might not fit with.  The song that might have you using different muscles than you are used to.  The song that might have you moving in an entirely different way . . . . away and out of your comfort zone.  That is one reason why that Nia routine might have one of THOSE songs in it.

Then there is the song you just love.  The second it begins to play in class you are so ready to just sink into it, then your teacher says to move in a way that is in COMPLETE contradiction to the tone of the song.  “WHAT?  You want me to do a strong block to this sweet, sweet melody?”  Moving in a way that seems opposite from what the music is “telling” you can be WAY out of some people’s comfort zones.  It is a great way to keep the body and brain strong.

Playing with emotions and acting “as if” can be beyond some comfort zones.  Allowing yourself to just let go and dance without caring what you look like or if your “form” is perfect can be a big step away from some people’s comfort zones.  In one of my posts recently, I wrote about “messing up” . . . . . that can be MILES away from some people’s comfort zones.  Sounding can really be a big stretch for some individuals.  Not everyone is used to making noises while they workout.

These are just a few examples of what we do in Nia classes to help us step out of our comfort zones.  As stated, the reason is to work the brain as well as the body.  Moving out of our comfort zone helps mix it up.  Keeps the body and brain moving in different ways.  So the next time you feel resistance, let go and know you are doing something good for your body and brain.

Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone?  

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

Blood Pressure Monitors – It’s All In the Wrist

Posted by terrepruitt on February 25, 2012

Are wrist blood pressure monitors accurate?  I was wondering because my blood pressure seems low when I use my wrist blood pressure monitor.  I know meditative body mind practices like Nia can help keep blood pressure down, but it seems really low.  The first thing I looked at on the internet made me laugh.  The question was, “How accurate are wrist blood pressure monitors? Mine consistently shows a lower blood pressure reading than that taken by my doctor.” And a portion of the answer said, “blood pressure measurements taken at the wrist are usually higher and less accurate than those taken at your upper arm.” 

I often think that blood pressure taken at the doctor’s office is higher just due to the stress of being at the doctor’s office.  Even if you don’t have what they call “white coat syndrome” sometimes the stress of getting to the doctor’s office (maybe there is traffic, or you have had to interrupt your busy life to take time to go to the doctor), the stress of WHY you are at the doctor’s (most of us don’t go to the doctor when we are healthy and feeling fine, so the fact that we are there could be stressful), or the stress of having to wait (often times we don’t get called in by our appointment time, or we do and we are stuck sitting on the table) can be causes for higher blood pressure readings than normal.  I think that a blood pressure reading at home is more accurate because you are IN your life.  You are IN your normal stresses.  That is why I was wondering about the wrist cuffs because I think the situation (home monitor) is more ideal then doctor office monitoring.  But with mine showing lower than I would expect I was wondering.  It isn’t actually LOW, it is just lower than I expect.  Because what I usually do is think, “Oh, I should check my blood pressure.” as I am downstairs so I run upstairs and try to sit and wait before taking it, but I end up pressing the button and just seems lower than I would guess because I was just moving around.

The American Heart Association states:

Blood Pressure
Category

 
Systolic mm Hg (upper #)  
  Diastolic mm Hg
(lower #)
Normal     less than 120 

and

less than 80
Prehypertension      120 – 139

or

80 – 89
High Blood Pressure 
(Hypertension) Stage 1 
 
140 – 159

 
or

 
90 – 99
High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 2 
 
160 or higher 

 
or

 
100 or higher

Just like with all information I found conflicting information.  I found information stating that wrist monitors were good and I found information stating they were not accurate.  The main concern regarding accuracy was arm position.  The common statement was that the readings accuracy is affected by the arm position so if the arm was not properly placed the reading could be wrong.  Makes sense, but I was not truly understand why resting one’s left elbow on a table so that the right and monitor were at heart height would be such a challenge to people using a wrist monitor.  I also found information stating that wrist monitors were more expensive than arm cuffs, but then the monitors that I saw being advertised on the internet were less than the cuff ones.  So, again, a lot of conflicting information.  I did see information stating that wrist monitor quality (meaning reading accuracy) had improved a lot  I personally think that cuff blood pressure monitor, the kind where you put your arm in the cuff and secure it around your upper arm, is more accurate.  However, I also believe they are more expensive, so I bought a wrist monitor.

If you are interesting in having a blood pressure monitor at home, I suggest you buy one from a place that allows you to return it.  Then when you go to the doctor take your monitor and take your blood pressure with it to compare to the doctor’s blood pressure monitor.  If it is not accurate then you can return it to where you bought it. 

There is a technique for ensure your arm is in the correct position when using a wrist monitor that could be easier than the elbow-table method.  Cross you arm over your heart, as if you are holding your right shoulder in your left hand.  This ensures no movement and that the monitor is above the heart/level with the heart.  Don’t hold your shoulder just let your fingers rest on the front of your shoulder.  I thought this was an excellent method.

Are you thinking about owning a blood pressure monitor?  Wrist or arm cuff?  Do you already have a blood pressure monitor at home? Wrist or arm cuff?  Do you get a little “white coat syndrome” at the doctor’s office?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

Nia and Feldenkrais

Posted by terrepruitt on December 12, 2009

Now Feldenkrais in Nia is not so much a movement as it is the feeling, the sensation of movement.  With this technique as our guide we slow down, we become aware, we witness our movement.  The creators of Nia wanted a movement form that resulted in health, both physical and mental.

The Feldenkrais technique is specific and Nia does not claim to practice this technique, instead the idea of being able to create change in the body, by moving it and by focusing on the movement is what is incorporated into Nia.  The idea of change being possible.  The idea of slowing down and paying attention.   Or even if going fast—the idea is to pay attention.

I like to refer to Nia as a body-mind* practice/exercise/workout, because in White Belt we are instructed to go to the body.  Moving in the body’s way and in our own body’s way in particular is one reason why I think of it as body-mind.  But even though we go to the body that does not mean that we are not being aware.  We need to use our mind to listen to the body.  If a movement is being done in class and you copy it exactly, you need to be aware of the sensation your body is returning back to you.  Is doing the move EXACTLY how the teacher is doing it really what YOUR body needs?  Do you need to do it bigger?  Or smaller?  What is it that YOUR body is telling you?

Adding some of the concepts of Moshe Feldenkrais adds body awareness to Nia.  We feel the body as it moves.  We respond to it, we are aware of it.  We are connected to our bodies.  It is somatic movement.  It is movement with ease.

This is how a Nia workout includes elements from Feldenkrais.

The Nine Basic Movements Forms of Nia

*I think that is how Carlos Rosas (AyaRosas) refers to Nia also

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Mind Body or Body Mind

Posted by terrepruitt on August 1, 2009

A lot of practices claim to be mind-body practices. I believe the idea is to engage our mind to control our body.

Well, I like to call Nia body-mind. For me calling it body-mind reminds me that we are first going to the body. We are engaging our bodies in movement and allowing them to move freely. Then we can allow our minds to loosely focus on what we are doing. So we don’t want our minds controlling our movement, but we want our minds registering the sensation so as to give it full power and allow us to acknowledge what feels right.

Let me give you an example of what can happen:

The music starts, and like a lot of people, we begin to move without even thinking, we start to sway or wiggle, or whatever the body senses the music is telling it to do. But then—CLICK!   The mind engages and then we start to THINK about how to move, then we start judging  movement, then we start choreographing movements, then we realize that we are thinking, thinking, thinking. UGH! I would be the latter as mind-body, my brain is thinking and I am doing what it tells me.

In Nia, one of the greatest tools to learn is to be body-mind and just let the body go. The body can listen to the music on its own. Then when you are able to do that, it is amazing how the body knows what it needs. It can move you in a way that your mind might keep you from. Your hips can thrust or gyrate, your shoulders can shimmy, your feet and skip and jump, and your voice can be heard—all without judgment from yourself.

Also, if we let our bodies lead us, it will keep us from doing something that is too much or not in the best interest of our bodies. Our bodies seek balance and health. When we are working out, if we are allowing our bodies to be the guide we can get the exact kind of workout we need. As our bodies guide us to what we need we can concentrate with our mind to understand the sensation that we are sensing with our bodies. When our bodies get the workout it needs both our body and our mind feel great.

I think if you have not tried Nia it will be difficult for you to “get” what I am saying. I would like to invite you to go to the Nia website and see if there is a class near you or look at my class schedule and see if one of my classes (I teach four per week) works for you.  There are Nia classes in San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountian View, San Ramon, Oakland, Pleasanton, Palo Alto, Los Altos, all over, one of them has to work for you.  Go out and try it!

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