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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Posts Tagged ‘movement’

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 »

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 Jazz Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on September 29, 2009

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, ZumbaA Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts.

From the dance arts, one dance we call upon is Jazz Dance.  Jazz Dance allows us to bring in the fun!  With Jazz it is about fun, showmanship, and expression.  It is about big and little.  Many elements from Jazz are incorporated into Nia.  Isolations, syncopations, combinations, rhythm steps.*  We could do a little flick of the wrist or full body shimmy, enabling us to exercise our intrinsic muscles and show the playful side, the sexy side.  We could do a jazz square, a hip bump, or big arm circles allowing us to express ourselves.  Bringing Jazz Dance into Nia helps bring in the rhythm and it can be a lesson in agility–where we start or move a body part and quickly bring it to a stop.

There is also facial expressions that can be associated with Jazz Dance; the big smiles, the teeth, the pout, the laugh, the wink—all can be jazzy!  And of course, the hands, can’t forget “jazz hands” for one.  With that it can be an expression of self, or beats of the music, or whatever you want.  We can also do a lot of finger motions, pointing, flicking, “come here, Sexy!” gestures—all assisting in the health of the hand.

Jazz Dance brings a lot to Nia, it helps us be playful and have fun.

What moves, gestures, steps, etc. make you think “jazzy”?  What movements do you do that you could add a “jazzy sparkle” to?  And how?

Some of this information is from the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual, V3.  Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.

*V3 – White Belt Manual.

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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 »

Maybe Stopping Isn’t What You Need

Posted by terrepruitt on June 13, 2009

I am very fortunate that the place I teach in Willow Glen is only about 15 minutes from where I live in San Jose.  But as I was driving home the other day something dawned on me.  It is my opinion that people often use their brakes when it is not necessary.  For example, I do not think it is safe to put on your brakes and come to a crawl on the freeway because you want to change lanes.  I see this a lot in our area.

So what dawned on me is that braking or stopping is NOT always the correct course of action.  I was thinking that this comparison could be used for life, then I realized it could be used for fitness too.

Some people think that if they have a little bit of discomfort they should stop doing what they are doing.  And–oh my, I just realized that I am pretty much back to Sustain, Increase, and Tweak, except this is coming at it from a different angle and it is more about exercise and workout momentum and not in-the-moment-movement.

Here, I am talking about just applying the brakes and stopping, whereas it could be that the best thing to do would be just to take our foot off the petal and slow down that way . . . more naturally.  Or it could mean that a swerve is necessary, or maybe even a turn, but NOT just stopping.   If you are sore or you are a little stiff, sometimes just stopping and not doing any exercise or movement is not the best way to get through it.  I am not one for stopping when I am sore, I just might slow down or work another part of my body, but just stopping kills my exercise mojo.  I gotta keep at it every day!

Part of what we need to do is understand the difference between pain and an injury and just discomfort and soreness.  So you need to be your own guide through this, but always think twice before you just stop.  I personally believe that sometimes just doing a percentage of what you normally might do is better than nothing at all.  When the situation is just soreness.  An actual injury needs to be treated with caution, but you still don’t always have to stop.

I might have partly been on this train (of thought) because one of my students came in with a sore hip flexor but instead of just not coming she said she was going to take it easy on her hip.  Nice, huh?  And then I know of another Nia teacher who recently injured herself and she is still going to teach, but she is going to modify her class.  She wrote an e-mail to her students and a blog explaining that she is going to listen to her body’s way.  So she is teaching them a lot by doing that:  she is going to show them what we talk about all the time in Nia and that is listening to our bodies and following the body’s way and she is going to show them a different way to do Nia.  But the point is, she isn’t stopping.  She is swerving or even turning but not stopping.

I think sometimes before we stop we need to think of how we can adjust to what we need, but keep going.  And as I said this can be applied to fitness/training/working out or just everyday life.  Do you think before you apply the brakes and stop?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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 »

Personal Trainer – Just Helping You Move

Posted by terrepruitt on March 10, 2009

In my introduction I made a comment about blaming my husband again, because a couple of years ago I made a comment and his response was “Why don’t you do something about it?” and so I have been working out ever since. I try to eat healthy. I don’t think I am a fanatic, I just try to exercise and eat well. I also wanted to help people like me so, at that time, I thought the best way to do that would be to become certified as a personal trainer.  I, Terre Pruitt,  am a certified personal trainer through the National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF).

(Pause)

So, what image popped into your head when you read “personal trainer”? Doesn’t matter what it was I am pretty sure it was not me. Most people think of huge gyms, machines, heavy weights, big muscles and sweat when they think of personal trainers. When I became a personal trainer I was thinking more along the lines of “movement coach”. Just trying to help people realize that they need to move because there is truth in the old axiom “move it or lose it.” And I fear the day when my age group loses it. I think that the time will come sooner then it did with earlier generations who were accustom to movement in their everyday lives.

So I wanted to help people with functional fitness. Yes, there is such a thing. It is exercises and movement that actually help your body stay mobile so when you need to put your arms up to get a shirt on you will be able to. When you need to stretch and reach for something on a shelf you will be able to. At the same time you can be working on building your strength, stability, flexibility, and agility because all these things are what we use in our everyday lives. Things like that is what I am interested in.

I still believe that weight training is important, and you have to get your heart rate up to burn the calories to lose the fat, but I do not subscribe to “no pain, no gain”. Although, I might define pain differently than you . . . I don’t think you need to be in pain, per se, to gain. There are all types of “gain” so it really depends on what your goals are.  I also think that a form of stretching is necessary to keep the body mobile. Some exercise forms combine these different elements, some forms keep them separate. It is best to find something you like so you can stick with it. Whatever works for you.

What form of exercise interests you?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »