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 ‘Nia Black Belt’

Different Ways To Instruct

Posted by terrepruitt on November 17, 2015

Every type of group exercise in a class format has its own way of doing things.  Some formats might be the type in which the instructor is actually shouting and yelling at the participants.  Some might just have instructions posted around the area and people are to move along and follow the instructions.  A Zumba class is a lead follow type of format where – at least when I earned my certification – the instructions are supposed to be more hand motions than verbal.  The instructor is not supposed to talk as much as just point and gesture.  Nia is also a lead follow format, but with verbal guiding/instructing.  We have specific points in our music when we are supposed to guide the class into the next moves.  We, also are to use what we call “pearls” to help people move their bodies.  From what I understand and the training I received we are not supposed to talk the entire time.  Nia is body centered, so the instructors are supposed to be silent at times to let the students dance in their own way to the moves and the music.  I personally feel that I can use work on both my use of pearls AND of being silent.  One thing about Nia, though, is it is about play, exploration, experimentation, and doing new things in order to stimulate the BMES (the body, mind, emotions, and spirit).  One thing that I have always heard about is the silent class.

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 TechniqueSo, the silent class does not mean no music, it means no cueing.  Or at least that is what I thought it meant . . . turns out – just like many things – there are many ways to do it.  One of my students recently took the brown belt intensive and there she experienced a class with no cues.  She requested we try it.  Well, it so happened that I started on the path while she was gone so I asked a fellow Nia Teacher and Black Belt what she did in HER silent classes.  I was wondering if there was no cueing and NO SOUNDING.  I figured it would be a huge challenge for me not to cue, but I really was doubtful I could make it through a class without making a sound.  Her response surprised me in that she said she claps to indicate a move change.  Well, that just threw another wrench in the mix.  So . . . that meant that there was SOME type of cueing.  I mean cueing is alerting to a change.  LOTS of cueing is telling people what the change is and when and . . . etc.  But a clap is a cue.  So . . . to me that would mean it is a class with no VERBAL cueing.  She also mentioned that sounding would work depending upon the mood being sought for the class.  With her class — I think she does a specific routine — she does not sound.

So there are different ways to have a silent class.  There could be NO cueing at all.  There could be a clap to indicate the next move is a different one.  There could be pointing and indicating in some fashion something – either direction or side of body or body part or that something new is coming.  I really think that any of those ways is good.  Because all of them offer something different for the student.  And all of them allow the participant to focus on different things.

So for the past four weeks we have been dancing a routine with the intent of doing it without cueing.  I was going to dance it for three weeks, but I thought my student who requested this would be back for the fourth week (the planned silent class), but she wasn’t so I did it one more week so she could join the silent class.

We danced it without verbal cues today and it was very interesting . . . . .

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

Nia Belt System Previously

Posted by terrepruitt on July 24, 2014

Recently someone asked me about the Nia Belt system.  I pointed him to my original post on Nia’s Belt System.  The one where I mentioned having seen many articles back then (in 2009) talking about the belt levels as if people had to progress through them in order to participate in Nia.  That is not the case.  Nia is a dance exercise.  It is a workout.  You can go to a Nia class just like you can go to a Zumba Fitness Class, a Jazzercize class, a UJAM class, a Hip-Hop class, a yoga class or any other class where you just walk in and do it.  You can just walk in and do Nia.  No strings (or belts — tee hee!) attached.  Just move your body to the music and enjoy the sensation.  Get a workout.  Get some exercise in.  Dance.  The belts are for people who want to learn more.

Nia has a “self discovery” program.  I don’t want to say self-improvement because some people might think, “I don’t need improving.” and you would be right.  The intensives are workshops of about 50 hours that show you how to experience movement in your body, show you how to relate to things.  The intensives show you many different things.  Each intensive is labeled with a belt color to help distinguish it from the others.  I also pointed him to my website which has the belt colors and the focuses of each belt.  But I was reminded that the information on my site, from 2012, is not the current information.  Nia is always updated herself.  She is like the co-creator, Debbie Rosas, she like to be current.  Below is the information from 2012.  I want to make record of it.  Plus I wanted to keep it available in case anyone was interested in remember it and/or comparing it to the newly worded focuses.  You can go to my site at Nia Belt Levels and Focuses  to see the newly worded focuses and intents for each belt.

In 2012 when I put the information on my site there was a White Belt, a Blue Belt, a Brown Belt, and a Black Belt available to anyone.  There is now a 1st Degree Black Belt.   There is a Green Belt for people who are teaching and have a Nia Livelihood Membership.

“Each of the four belts mentioned has a separate set of principles.  There are 13 principles for each belt, each belt also has a focus.

The focus for a White Belt is physical sensation.   (Terre earned her White Belt in December 2008.)

The focus for a Blue Belt is communication, relationship and intimacy.  (Terre earned her Blue Belt in November 2012.)

The focus for Brown Belt is sensing and perceiving energy.

The focus for Black Belt is unlimited creativity.

As I said, there is an intensive, Green Belt, that is just for Nia teachers, the focus for a Green Belt is the craft of teaching Nia.  This is an optional intensive.” **

 

When I originally took my White Belt in 2012, the Green Belt was just being created and the original thought was Nia was going to have White Belts that are teaching take it next, before blue.  But by the time I had enough money saved up to take my next belt (yes, it took FOUR years) they had relaxed that requirement and now allow people to take the Green Belt when and if they want.  I want to take it.  However there was a Blue Belt Intensive that was closer and did not require air travel and hotel expenses.  So I took the Blue Belt Training prior to the Green Belt Training.

Except for the Green Belt there is no testing as in a martial arts type of setting.  And the Green Belt test is written.  There IS 50+ hours of movement, lectures, thinking, sensing, learning, agreeing, disagreeing, discovering, connecting dots, ah-has, oh-nos, and ooo-ahs.  It is incredible and intense.  The training that Nia delivers is excellent.

My posts about the principles of the White Belt and the Blue Belt can help give you a better idea of what we study in the intensives (at least those two), but it is really something one has to experience for oneself.

I hope you click over to my site to see the new verbiage for the focuses and the added intents.

 

**The belt information was taken from the Nia Now website on November 14, 2012.

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

Venting Gets Me Good

Posted by terrepruitt on January 31, 2013

I go to Starbucks when I have a gift card.  I like Starbucks Chai Tea Lattes.  When I first started getting them they were almost too spicy for me.  Then they seemed to change a bit.  They got less flavorful.  Then one time I got one at a store I don’t normally frequent and I thought my teeth were going to fall out.  It was soooooo sweet.  Yes, I know that the fancy drinks at Starbucks and other coffee houses are a huge source of sugar.  That is ONE reason why I don’t buy them.  I DO have them on occasion when I am blessed with receiving a gift card.  To me they are a nice treat.  But this one hurt my teeth and my stomach.  I chalked it up to this store making them different.  But then I went to the store I usually go to and it was the same thing.  Ugh.  I posted a Facebook status asking if they had changed their recipe.  I know places and manufacturers do that all the time.  One of the responses I received was to make my own Chai.  The response even included the recipe.

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 few days after that I was in the grocery store and I actually remembered while I was in the spice aisle that I needed cardamom to make the chai.  I looked and looked and when I finally found it I almost choked.  It was $12.99.  I didn’t realize it was that expensive.

So, again, I posted on Facebook, I said that I would stick to using my gift cards at Starbucks instead of spend $13.00.  And again the replies were awesome.  People near and far reminded me that I live in an area rich with many cultures and that I could find cardamom at Indian Spice stores.  The major benefits to that would be that it would be cheaper and more than likely better.

But before I could remember to get to a store one of my amazing friends brought me a little box of it.  She is awesome like that.  She frequents an affordable spice shop so she picked me up some.

Here is the recipe that Danielle Woermann (a Nia Black Belt) posted for me on Facebook.  I am unaware of where she got it.

Masala Chai. Serves four.

Boil 3 cups (.7 liters) of water with
4 cloves
2 pinches ground nutmeg
2 pinches ground cinnamon
2 pinches ground cardamom
1/2 inch (1.27 cm) piece of grated fresh ginger

Add 2 tea bags (black, green, redbush, etc.) and simmer for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup (.2 liters) almond milk or milk of your choice, and heat until hot, but not boiling. Add sweetener of your choice. Serve and enjoy!

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, ZumbaI decided to measure my “pinches” so that I could have a more accurate measure and adjust accordingly.  I used an 1/8 of a teaspoon as a “pinch”.  I think that I need to work on it a bit.  Either the person doing the pinching who created this recipe has REALLY LARGE pinches or they like a more mellow tea.  I think that this might be really good if I made it ahead of time and let all the flavors really seep into the water.  The time that is stated in the recipe didn’t seem to do that.  Also it does help if, when you are drinking it, you actually get some of the spices in your mouth . . . . which also makes for an oddly textured and a bit chewy tea.  But I’m ok with that.

I think I might experiment with chopping the ginger.  For some reason I don’t might little tiny chunks of fresh ginger as opposed to what came off my grater . . . . it was odd.

That is a GREAT thing about recipes though, right?  I love to try them the way they are then adjust them to my tastes.  Maybe this is one that you can make and enjoy — either adjusting or not.

Do you like Chai Tea?  Do you have a recipe?  Doesn’t this one sound yummy?

Posted in "Recipes" | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Relationship Joy With

Posted by terrepruitt on December 4, 2012

I posted about me having attended a Nia Blue Belt Intensive in the beginning of November.  I am still processing that.  I am reading the manual here and there.  I am thinking about the principles.  I think a lot about Principle #1 – The Joy of Being In Relationship.  I think I understand it and then I feel I don’t.  I think I got it, then I lose it.  One day last week I was walking up my stairs and as my foot landed on the last step I thought, “I got it!  I know why I think I don’t understand it!”  I even replied to a comment on my blog from a Nia Black Belt that I would be writing more about it.  At that point I thought I had it.  What I decided as I was walking up the stairs is that I feel as if the principle is elusive to me because I am looking for something new.  I have been told a new principle so I am looking to experience something new.  But my trek up my stairs had me thinking that I AM in relationship with and I have been.  As I was walking up my stairs something was aching (I can’t remember whether it was my hip or my knee) and as I was taking steps I was listening to my knee. I was checking in with my knee.  We were in an exchange.  Both my knee and I decided that it was not truly my knee that was the issue, but my foot.  But I was in relationship with.  I was not just sensing, as I picture The Joy of Movement (Nia White Belt Principle #1), I was in the Joy of Being In Relationship.  It was an exchange, it was relationship with.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

With The Joy of Movement there is the tweaking, sustaining, and increasing all for sensation.  With Nia Blue Belt Principle #1 – The Joy of Being In Relationship the tweaking, sustaining, and increasing is for relationship. I think that ever since I injured a toe on my right foot I have been in relationship with, but I have never really thought of it like that.  I am discovering the joy portion.  I feel as if I am practiced at this principle in regards to my body.  It is different “others” that I am eager to connect with.

Now that I feel that I have a better idea of it, I can practice it on “others”.  It is not something entirely new that I couldn’t grasp, it was something I had a hold of already.  In my first post about the Nia Blue Belt Principles I stated that it was new, but now I see it is not.  Now I can just apply it elsewhere.  The other principles can help with principle #1.  The principles are not necessary things that have to be worked on individually.  In fact they probably all work better together.  And as I have stated the principles are not necessarily new (to me) ideas.  The way they are applied to Nia could be new to me.  We will see.  It is all a very exciting process!

So . . . here I am sharing about Nia and processing it out loud on my blog.  ANY thoughts and comments are welcome.  Especially information from Nia Blue Belt Graduates.

Posted in Blue Belt, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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 »

Four-wall or Cooking – An Experience In All Sides

Posted by terrepruitt on April 7, 2012

In Nia we do something that is called cooking all four sides.  When I first learned this I thought it to be just when we were on the ground.  “Cooking” to me was the “side” of the body that was on the ground.  When you “cook” all four sides you allow your belly, your back, your left side, and your side to “cook” on the ground.  So basically you are lying on a different “side” at one point in the dance.  In one routine, I can’t remember which one, while we are standing we turn and face one wall, then turn again, then turn again, then turn again and Debbie called it cooking all four sides.  I thought, “Wow!  I hadn’t thought to call THAT cooking all four sides, because (as I mentioned) I think of ‘cooking’ as being on the floor.”  But it works.  We are “cooking” or facing all sides, all walls.  In country line dancing we call it a four-wall dance.  Often times there are a few steps then a turn, a few steps, then a turn, and so on, eventually you face all four walls.  There are two wall dances and maybe even three, but the point is you face a different direction.  Generally the back becomes the front and the front becomes the back.

ance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,I’ve posted about Nia Routines before.  I explained a bit about how the routines are created and teachers can purchase them.  Nia routines used to be choreographed and performed on the training DVD by Debbie Rosas or Carlos Rosas or both.  I’ve also posted about the fact that Nia morphs and changes.  At the end of 2010 Carlos AyaRosas, the male co-creator of Nia retired.  As with any company that wants to continue on after a founder retires Nia had to make some changes.  To me it seems as if Nia had been thinking about this for a while.  I know when I attended my Nia White Belt Intensive both Debbie and Carlos talked about Nia continuing on after they leave.  So it seems to me that they had plans and ideas for how Nia will change.  I think it is evident in the way that Nia does not seem to be a flag flapping in the wind, it has true direction.  With the exit of Carlos a new era has been born.  Debbie is now co-creating routines with Nia Black Belt Trainers.  I love Nia and enjoy both the routines Debbie created and the ones Carlos created.  There are some I like more than others.  I am not saying that I like the new one I have seen more than I liked the “old” ones, I am just saying, “Yay!  Nia is not disappointing me.”  The new routine I have looked at is just as fabulous as the old routines I love. 

As a little background:  In order to teach Nia we must pay a licensing fee.  When we pay the fee we are purchasing the right to teach, continued education, and four Nia routines.  We are free to purchase additional routines when they are available, but four are included in the licensing fee and we are obligated to learn at least four a year.  I just recently renewed my license and ordered my routines.  I ordered two that are older (from 2007 and 2008) and two that are considered our new ones, dated 2011.  Usually I skim through all four before deciding which one to learn next.  One of them I ordered I have done once before in a class so I know that I like it and I was planning on learning that next, but my curiosity about one of the new ones got to me.  I decided to learn it next after having watched it.

I am very excited about this routine because it has the “four-wall” or cooking all four sides technique in it.  The routine I am currently teaching has it too but only briefly, this new routine has this technique in more than one song.  Since a Nia class is not a dance lesson we just lead follow like other cardio workout classes the cooking all four sides is to not a series of complicated steps, but it does allow us to face other directions.  In FreeDance there is always opportunities to face many directions and sometimes in the Nia movements alone one can be turning far enough to achieve facing another wall, but this is choreographed to have the entire class turn.  It allows the class to see a different perspective.  I think it is fabulous.
 
It could be making me nostalgic and thinking of country dancing days . . . but more so, I am excited to have this technique used in a Nia routine so my students can see things from the front if they are always in the back or the back, if they are always in the front.  It will help move the class in new directions and Beyond!

Have you ever thought about the fact that a cardio dance class is pretty much like a line dance? 

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Nia In Many Forms

Posted by terrepruitt on November 7, 2009

There is always something Nia going on. Often times visting instructors will host a workshop or two. When they are in an area doing a workshop they often tack on a class or two so that even if you are not going to partake in the workshop you still can do Nia with them. It is a great way to other teachers from all over. This weekend there is a workshop that I am able to attend but I was able to go to the Nia class that was held the night before the workshop.

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It was an hour and a half class. Due to the huge amount of commute traffic from San Jose to Concord we missed the first 20 minutes, but we were able to jump right in and get a great workout in the time we had.

The visiting instructor was Winalee Zeeb. She has been doing Nia since 1991. She is a first degree Nia Black Belt, a Nia White Belt Trainer, and she has her own studio in Michigan called Heartdance.

The event is being held at The Big C Athletic Club. The class I went to was also at that location.  I had a great time moving on carpeted thick padded floor. We moved fast and slow, and experienced fire and soul. It was a great workout. Always amazing me because it never feels like exercise. I am always amazed when the class ends. It was the first time I had the pleasure of meeting Winalee. She said we did a bit of Aya and a bit of Velvet. I am not sure what other routines were in there, but it was a great time.

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I often post events on my site so if you are interested in attending Nia workshops and events in my area check my site.

I was still trying to get in the swing of things when I decided to snap a few photos.  I was planning on taking more, but since we had missed a few minutes already I didn’t want to take time standing around taking the pictures, but I snapped it and a couple more just to give you an idea.

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