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 Blue Belt’

Taste Of The Nia 5 Sensations

Posted by terrepruitt on April 25, 2015

Today we had a workshop to talk about and discover the Nia Five Sensations.  Just like a lot of things we do and use in Nia, the five sensations are not unique to Nia, but they are tools we use to enhance our dance exercise.  In a Nia class we strive to be in sensation.  Being aware of the sensations allows us to choose and dance what we need at the time of the class.  We had a small turn out, but the number of attendants is never the measure of success.  One of my Nia Students and fellow Nia Blue Belt’s helped me present the workshop.  This workshop was held at the request of the Camden Community Center.  Our participants shared that they felt they had a better understanding of the sensations and would be able to apply awareness to them either in a Nia class or just in everyday life.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoFirst we started off moving right away.  The participants walked in, we said hello then started dancing.  We danced to two songs.  Then we did a brief introduction of Nia then we shared the five sensations and how we experience them everyday.  We shared how they could be helpful to know and be aware of in a Nia class.   The 5 sensations are: Flexibility, Agility, Mobility, Strength, and Stability (FAMSS).

Then we moved to each sensation.  As we talked we guided the students into the sensations.  We shared that flexibility is sensed as energy moving outward. It is the opening your body, the lengthening and yawning.  So we stretched and yawned our bodies open.  We reached out to lengthen our limbs.  We imagined our bones moving away from our center.  We practiced sensing the sensation even as our bodies showed no outward movement.

We talked about how agility can be sensed in the quick start and stop of a movement.  It is the physical feeling of pulling and pushing.  We hopped and jumped.  We chopped and slapped.  We “played” soccer and tennis.  We danced in a “strobe like” fashion.  We even stood still and let our gaze bounce around as our eyes moved with agility.

When talking about mobility we said it is sensed as energy in constant motion. It is youthful freedom.  (A description from the Nia Technique that I really like.) It is flowing movement, graceful, and easy.  We twirled and whirled around the room.  We let our bodies ebb and flow.  We rolled like the ocean.  We moved our arms.  We moved our legs.  We mobilized our spine.  We allowed the energy of constant motion to energize us.

We used the ballet bar and wall to start us off understanding that strength is sensed as energy moving inward.   With that first example it gives way to us sensing strength as a resisting, or a quality of weighted energy being moved in ways that allow you to sustain a movement or posture. It is the contraction of muscle.  It is the muscle squeezing bone.  We contracted and pushed.  We squeezed and resisted.  Allowing the effort to tire us a bit.

Then we experienced the calm of stability.  Stability is sensed as balance and comfort.  It is the physical feeling of harmony and peace combined with readiness for action.

After having practiced the sensations we then added them to the stances that are part of the 52 Moves of Nia.  We moved through the stances in the 5 sensations.  Then we put on the music and danced the stances in sensation.  After two songs we reviewed the kicks that are part of the 52 Moves of Nia.  We moved through the sensations doing the kicks.  Then onto dancing again.  We danced doing our kicks in sensation.

We finished off the workshop with two songs focusing on the sensations, but primarily using the Nia choreography and not so much sticking with the kicks and stances.  This allowed us to practice dancing in the sensations to whatever moves that come as part of a Nia routine.

It was a great little taste of the Nia 5 Sensations.  I can say that because no matter what I am teaching it is ALWAYS the students that make the class GREAT!

Are you aware of any of these sensations in your everyday life?

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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.

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Your Choice To Choose Then Tweak To Sustain Or Increase

Posted by terrepruitt on May 15, 2014

You might have seen my post Are You Happy – It’s Your Choice that used the “poster” created by Alex Kopblin.  It is a flow chart asking if you are happy with simple instructions on how to stay or become happy.  Well, I just connected that to Nia.  More accurately to two Nia Principles.  I was looking through my Blue Belt Book of Alchemy and it dawned on me that the triad for Principle #1 is kind of like Alex’s flow chart.  He asks the question “Are you happy?” whereas in Nia we choose it.  His flow chart goes through simple steps to get to happy, whereas the Nia triad leads us to sensation and guides us to “tweak” in order to “sustain” or “increase” our Universal Joy.  While I have been thinking about choosing “happy” and joy, I hadn’t thought about either of these ideals/posters.  Even though I have Alex’s on my wall, directly in my face.  And I certainly hadn’t thought about how they are slightly connected/the same, until right now.

I often feel that Nia and its principles apply to life.  That is why it is a practice and not just a cardio dance workout.  As I have said many times . . . it IS a cardio dance workout, and if that is all you want to get out of it . . . GREAT.  You will get a GREAT workout.  But if you want to learn more about it and see how it applies to life you will find things like this.

You will find that Nia and its principle align up with a lot of memes out there on Facebook  The information aligns up with so many things because it is body center and it makes sense.  Nia is not necessarily the creator of many of these things, but they do have an amazing way of packaging it up.  One way they package it up so well is to relate it to movement.  There we are back to the cardio dance workout.

Anyway . . . I was a bit surprised to realize both of these ideas pretty much matched up.  But then after my initial, “Oh wow!” I realized, as I stated above, Nia connects to a lot of things.  While happy and Joy – as in the Universal Joy might not be the same thing, both of these things (the poster and Nia’s principle) are telling us that we are in control.  We are in control of our happiness and we are in control of connecting to the Universal Joy.  Neither is always easy at all times . . . but they are both always available to us.

I also believe that sometimes we do not choose emotions, sometimes they just happen.  There are times in life when we might need to just let them be and experience them.  But that might not be where we want to stay and be all the time.

There are many ways to experience the emotion of happiness and there are many ways to connect to the Joy.  What is really amazing is that the ways to do so might not be the same for every one . . . everyBODY is different.

What do you think?  I am just thinking out loud and marveling at the Nia connection to things.  As I wonder – at times – about my choice of Joy.

How are you about finding your own happiness?  What do you do to experience your “happy”?  What do you do to connect to Joy?

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Drink Smart and in Moderation

Posted by terrepruitt on February 20, 2014

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, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaThe various surprising health benefits of wine

For centuries, people have derived pleasure from drinking many different varieties of wine. Whether it’s a sensuously versatile Pinot Noir or a divine Chardonnay, drinking wine in moderate amounts has proven to be one of the more effective ways to unwind, relax and allow the stresses of the day to just slowly fade away into the ether. Various studies have emerged throughout the years espousing the health benefits of drinking a glass or two of high-quality wine.

Experts from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic have stated that there are certain substances in red wine called phytochemicals (specifically, flavonoids and resveratrol) that may help prevent heart disease and failure by performing two critical functions: increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (also known as the “good” cholesterol) and protecting against artery damage. It is worth noting that both resveratrol and flavonoids are also recognized as antioxidants (not all phytochemicals are antioxidants, though).

Resveratrol, in particular, is markedly more prevalent in red wine than in white wine; after all, red wine is fermented with grape skins for a longer period of time compared to white wine. Additionally, resveratrol has gotten a lot of attention due to possibly playing an important part in maintaining healthy cardiovascular function. Some of the existing research has linked resveratrol to reduced blood vessel damage, prevention of blood clots, and a decreased amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). Dr. Eric Crampton, a highly respected University of Canterbury academic, has also opined that based on his interpretation of the current studies available, moderate drinking reduces mortality risk. Furthermore, according to Paul Jaminet of the Perfect Health Diet, animal studies have shown that the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver – fatty liver disease that inevitably leads to a scarred and damaged liver (cirrhosis) – occur only when it is combined with excessive intake of polyunsaturated fats.

Clearly, judicious consumption of red wine not only calms the senses; it’s also a healthful habit in moderation.

Image courtesy of M&S
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This post is a guest post.  The conclusion reached is that of the guest author.  My approach would be more from a “COULD be” healthful.  Many things we eat, drink, and do have the appearance of being healthful, but it always boils down to moderation AND the individual, so to me it is not so clear.

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Squatting Does A Body Good

Posted by terrepruitt on February 8, 2014

One of my Blue Belt Sisters (a woman I attended the Nia Blue Belt Intensive with) posted a link on Facebook to an article about 5 reasons to do a full squat.  I love when I see information like that . . . information about why it is good to do “something”, something we do in Nia.  I love that.  I love when people confirm and promote Nia movement.  As you know, if you have read some of my Nia posts, Nia is not new.  Nia has been around for 30 years.  Nia incorporates moves and ideals from different modalities so most of it is not new.  HOW they incorporate it is often unique, but we use a lot of movements used in other exercise and workout programs.  Which is a great thing.  Not that just because something is done commonly makes it good, but since Nia is based on how the body was designed to move it makes sense that we do movements done in other practices and vice versa.  So I was excited to see an article talk about something we do in Nia.  Nia knows the benefits of squats.

I posted about the Garland Pose and I posted about what Nia 5 Stages calls “standing“.  Here I am going to touch upon some benefits of doing full squats.  A few of mine are different than the 5 mentioned, so check that out too.  First, the article reminds us that children squat to reach for things on the ground and will get into that position when playing on the ground.  Many things that children do we understand to be beneficial yet we no longer do them as adults.  In addition to the many physical benefits of a full squat, it can possibly help us remember that child-like position of play.  A Nia workout includes “exercising” the BMES (Body, Mind, Emotion, and Spirit) and many people claim that the play we do in Nia is great for their spirit.  Squat like a kid!

Small children have all that yummy flexibility.  Their bodies have not yet sat in chairs for years or worn shoes that either keep their ankles from moving in a full range of motion or even keep their foot in one position, possibly even shortening their calf muscles.  So they can easily squat with both feet fully on the ground, and their legs folded, and their chest to their thighs with their bum low to the ground.  So a squat allows for all of that.  Mobility and flexibility in the ankles.  Flexibility in the knee.  And balance.  Being able to squat with flat feet and stay stable is proof of good balance.  Think of all those muscles you use to stay tush down and upright . . . (if you need help “thinking”, do it now and just sense all of that).

If you are doing the “Garland” type squat with the wide knees you are really opening the hips and groin area.  It is important to have flexibility and mobility in the hips because those things help make walking more comfortable.  A body is able to stand more upright when the hip flexors aren’t tight.  So squatting can help the body allow for good posture.  The squat also helps with stretching the back of the legs.  Squats target the hamstrings and the glutes.

And if you push up to standing you are using your glutes, so standing up from a squat is a good bum strengthener/toner.  Sometimes we move into a deep squat position in Nia as part of a Nia routine.  We do squats as part of the Nia 5 Stages and we push up into a walk.  So as I said Nia knows the benefits of squatting.  What about you?

Are you a squatter?  Do you find yourself squatting during the day?  Is the squat something your body needs practice doing?

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The Creation Of Space

Posted by terrepruitt on November 30, 2013

I am certain that I have mentioned the fact that Nia changes.  Like many things it grows, it morphs, it improves, it changes, yet it remains the same.  The basics stay the same.  The core of it stays the same, but as time goes on it morphs.  Sometimes it is the verbiage and the names of things, but it basically stays the same.  It has been a year since I have taken the Nia Blue Belt Intensive.  In that intensive we were given a Manual from August 2006 and while we were being trained we were told that a new manual was soon to be released along with some new ways of explaining, talking, and learning things.  So part of what I quote here might be a little different from what is being taught now, but the idea and the process is the same.  The process is Creating Space.

In an intensive, before every session we gather and create the space.  This practice was discovered as something done in martial arts.  Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, the creators of Nia, recognized its value and brought it into Nia.  It is the responsibility of the participants to create the space.  It is the responsibility of trainers to hold the space.

The Blue Belt Manual states:  “Creating space is the conscious act of preparing the environment, which includes your body.”

It is an incredibly powerful act that enables an individual and a group to become prepared for receiving.  It is — at its core — coming into stillness.  In preparation for creating the space we use a prescribed process.  There is a schedule that is kept.  A bell is rung seven to ten minutes before we are to start creating the space.  This allows for people to wrap up any conversations they might be involved in and to do any last minute things that need to be done.  Then there is a five minute bell and another one at one minute.  Then, the students create a circle in which we sit quietly while we create the space.  The things we do is quiet the mind, stop the inner dialog and just let the mind rest and become open to hearing and receiving the teaching that is about to happen.  The body is also stilled.  The emotions are balanced and not taking over.  We are connected to our higher self . . . the manual says, “open, but you are not seeking at the moment”.

A main point is to not allow for distractions of any kind.  No physical distractions . . . that is one reason why we sit still.  No mental distractions . . .that is one reason why we stop the inner dialog and the thinking.  All four bodies, Body-Mind-Emotion-Spirit (BMES), are stilled.

The space we create is “a way to set up an energy environment that supports your practice and learning.”  It really is a very helpful and powerful tool to help with the learning process.  We continue to sit in the space until the trainer interrupts us by thanking us.

I believe that many things could benefit from the creation of space; a meeting, family dinner time, Nia classes, a yoga practice, any exercise, and many more.  I think it is a good idea sometimes to clear your head and body of distractions in order to concentrate fully on the “task” at hand.  I know that for me this practice really works well in the intensives.

Is this something that you think you could benefit from?  What types of tasks or activities do you think you could create space for?

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Happy Nia Share

Posted by terrepruitt on July 30, 2013

I have been teaching Nia for over four and half years.  I have students that are Nia teachers.  I have students who have taken the training but are not teachers.  The Nia Intensives are open to people who do not intend to teach.  So I have people in my classes who have experienced the training, but this is the first time that I have people who are taking the Nia White Belt Training because I introduced them to Nia.  Well, one for certain, she did not know about it until she had taken my class and the other one I think didn’t know about it until she came to one of my Nia classes.  Now this is not me saying I am so great that I have inspired two individuals to take the intensive, this is me saying, “Yay!” to the power of Nia.  It is fun cardio dance exercise class . . . but if you want to take the intensive it is a lot more.

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, PiYoI am so excited.  I have not had a chance to talk to my student much.  She just returned and we have yet to meet so I can get the scoop, but she did express awe.  She is in my Tuesday morning class.  The Tuesday before she left for her training she was so kind she said that she was bringing a laptop and she would be able to send me some e-mails and we could communicate the week she was in the training.  I told her no we would not.  I told her that she is going to be so full she will not be able to e-mail.  For me, while I was in the intensive, any time that I was not actually IN the training, I was either trying to absorb it and remember and think about all that I had just heard or I was do a little bit of socializing.  The training is intense.  I have mentioned before.  It is not so physically intense that you feel as if you are at military boot camp, but it is physical.  There is a lot of moving.  I did send her an e-mail during the week and she said she was too tired to respond.  I laughed.  It is a lot.

Usually there is a Nia class at 7:00 in the morning or so.  And when I was in the training we were not required to go to them all, but why not?  So the day starts with movement at 7:00 am.  Then there is lectures and movement and all of it together.  And – something else I’ve said before – not everything you hear is a new concept or a new idea, but the way it is presented or tied into Nia and/or movement makes it seem new in the sense that your brain and your body want to examine it.  Learning can be exhausting.  Intensives are about 50 hours.  The day usually ends about 7:00 pm after an evening Nia class.  I know I said most of this just this past November when I took my blue belt.  But I am just so excited to have two students becoming Nia White Belts I wanted to share.  I want to shout it out!

The brief moments I did get to speak to my student she expressed exactly what one expects after a training.  She was happy and grateful and just full of new things.  She was amazed to see how much anatomy is part of the Nia training.  One of the co-founders wanted to be a doctor so she is very interesting in anatomy.  Plus knowing how the body is designed helps know how to create choreography that will allow the body to have a wonderful sensation while moving.  Nia is amazing.

I really just wanted to share my joy that one of my students took the next step in the amazing journey that is Nia.  She was very kind and as a thank you for introducing her to Nia, she brought me these lovely gladioli.

If you are interested in taking a class from me see my website www.HelpYouWell.com.  If you are anywhere else in the world and you want to see if there is a class near you see http://www.nianow.com/find/classes and if you want to learn about Nia trainings see  http://www.nianow.com/training

Well, what are you waiting for?

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Four Voices, Four Realms

Posted by terrepruitt on February 16, 2013

In Nia we have a lot of acronyms.  Seems as if all groups do that.  I know in the mortgage business there were many.  I know in the world of computers there are a lot.  That is just the way it is.  In Nia some of ours are FAMSS, OLG, TBW, SEB, and BMES to name just a few.  BMES stands for Body, Mind, Emotions, Spirit.  We can call these voices or realms.  I have recently posted about Spirit.  It is not the religious type of spirit, but the school-type or the team-type.  It is the part of you that — wheeee! — you just let out!  The others are pretty easy to describe, but it is very interesting to allow them into all aspects of Nia.  They are each separate and unto their own, yet they are all connected.

The body is the physical.  How we move, what we sense.  If we are open and listening to the body we can learn many things.  I know that sometimes I hear but I don’t listen.  I might “hear” my body tell me it is tired, but I don’t listen and do something about it because I am busy.  It can “tell” me it is tired by how many mistakes I make while typing, or that I keep nodding off while doing something.  But sometimes I don’t listen because I want to finish what I am doing.  In dance we can hear our body, we can choose to listen and act upon what we hear or we can continue on.  We could be moving a certain way and then feel pain (“hear”), and we can listen by giving that pain attention and tweaking our movement to remove the pain from our dance.  Also we can just let the body dance and in doing so without thinking it often moves in ways that it needs without our interruption or interpretation.

The mind is a powerful voice.  It can dictate our entire dance and life if we let it.  In Nia we use our mind to provide imagery that allows us to move our bodies in a particular way, but it is important to turn the critical part of our minds off.  We use our minds to progress us, not hold us back.  Letting thoughts flow through the brain and keeping what is useful in the dance.  Criticizing ourselves and others during Nia is not helpful or progressive.  We do not avoid moving a certain way because it looks “bad” or “not pretty”.  We do not avoid moving because people will think it is silly.  We move in safe and harmonious ways to bring FAMSS to our bodies, to relax, to rejuvenate, to allow our inner child out to play, but we don’t criticize.  We also practice turning off internal dialog or chatter.  We let our bodies dance us and not think about our to-do list.  We do use our minds when we dance, but we do not allow it to control our dance.

With our emotions we have an almost endless array of energy.  We can play with the emotions in our dance and they can provide movement and force.  While we dance we do not have to actually FEEL any of the emotions we call upon we just can ACT as if.  How would you walk around if you were angry?  Might you stomp?  How would you walk if you were happy?  Might you skip?  How would you walk if you were distracted?  Might you move slow or in an awkward pattern?  Emotions are a great part of Nia because they are feelings and feelings can be felt and/or experienced without taking over.  We can allow an emotion to happen or act as if, but in neither case does it have to control our dance.

As with many things in Nia this aspect or look at BMES is just one way to look at it.  Just one way we can connect to BMES.  Another way is with Nia Blue Belt Principle #3 where we use these realms to assist in teaching.  Nia is deep like that.  Many of the ideas, principles, “things”, can be separate and unto their own, yet they are all connected.  😉

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A Look Back

Posted by terrepruitt on February 7, 2013

I found Nia back in 2008.  I was looking for an exercise that was more like dance.  I had several people in my life at that time that loved to dance, but their partners wouldn’t dance with them.  They claimed they would love to do exercise if it was more like dance.  I also had people in my life at that time that were younger than me, my age, and just slightly older and they couldn’t move very well.  They moved with pain and/or it was an extreme challenge for them to balance and just a mixed bag of things.  I believed that movement could help some of the issues facing them and many others.  I also loved to dance and thought it would be great to have an exercise class that was dance.  I looked at doing Jazzercise, but I think at the time the franchise thing (or however they did it/do it) was not something I wanted to do.  And back then Zumba was not yet the rage and I had thought it was ALL Latin music (I know better now).  I remember I came across a website that was talking about Trance Dance.  So I researched that a bit.  That sounded interesting, moving your body in your own way to music.  But the information I found said that you kept your eyes closed and/or were blindfolded while dancing and someone would watch to make certain people didn’t injure themselves.  That part and the fact that some sites stated there actually was a form of “Trance” that people entered into kept me from wanting to do that.  But somewhere there was a mention of Nia.  So I tried to find all the information I could on this Nia.  Back then it might have even been NIA.  I don’t remember when it changed and even now some places still call it Neuromuscular Integrative Action.  It has gone through a few name changes, but at present it is just The Nia Technique or Nia.

It IS non-impact aerobics and it IS Neuromuscular Integrative Action, but the name is Nia and it no longer “stands” for anything.  And in the four years that I have been doing it and learning about it, it has changed.  It was originally created by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas in the early 1980s from a desire to help people exercise in a different way, a way that addressed more than just the physical body.

When I joined Nia there were really starting to talk a lot about the next phase of Nia.  You see, even though Nia remains true to the original concept of a Joyful workout, it does change and it does grow.  Anything that wants to survive has to change or at least be flexible enough to endure the change that happens around it.  Nia changes, they change the way they deliver training from the routines to the intensive — so the continued education changes. Nia’s training material is phenomenal.  When you read through a newsletter or a manual or listen to a conference call you can sense the care taken in creating the material.  It is nice to be a part of Nia.

It is interesting.  It is amazing to see how far Nia has come and how much is has changed in the short time that I have been a teacher.  The roots of Nia are still there they are just always finding new ways to share it.

As with any an all certifications I have earned I did my research beforehand.  It is important to know how much the initial training cost and how the licensing and/or certifications works.  It is important to know about continued education and re-licensing or re-certifiying.  I liked everything I saw about Nia.  It took me four classes before I decided to invest the time and money needed to teach.

I took the training in December of 2008.  I started teaching in February 2009.  I have been teaching Nia ever since.  I have had the same Monday and Wednesday class since February 2009.  I have had other classes at other studios and gyms on different days and different times.  At this writing I am teaching Nia five times a week in San Jose – not including subbing dates.  I have three classes for the City of San Jose; a Tuesday morning and a Tuesday evening class.  I also have a Thursday evening class.  My schedule is update regularly on www.HelpYouWell.

I took a second Nia training in November 2012.  I just finished posting my way through the #13 principles of that belt (Blue Belt).

I am excited to have so many opportunities to share Nia with people each week.  As I said, I have five classes and as I said things change.  So when you are ready to join me in one check my site to confirm time and place and all those details.  I would like for the number to grow.  Just as Nia is growing, in leaps and bounds and for the better.

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

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Vertical Routines – Conscious Transubstantiation

Posted by terrepruitt on February 5, 2013

I believe that in 2013 the training material for the Nia Blue Belt is going to change.  While it is not changing significantly the change will be significant.  🙂  The ideas will remain the same, but the verbiage and way it is delivered will be updated.  While I was attending the Nia Blue Belt Intensive in November of 2012 we were being shown the new slides.  The word that was used most often — or that I remember most is – simplify.  The idea was to simplify the training.  The Nia Blue Belt principle #13 in the manual* shows it as Vertical Routines. We were told it is going to change to Conscious Transubstantiation with Creating a Vertical Body and Life as the tagline.  Not a simplification to me, but . . . . there you have it.

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 will state again as I have been stating in many of my posts about the Nia principles, what I am sharing is somewhat off the top of my head, what I remember being discussed and it barely scratches the surface of each principle.  The principles are deep, I could write pages about them alone and the taglines add yet another dimension with even more information.  Here I am just sharing a little portion, just one aspect. Now for the purpose of Nia, transubstantiation does not mean the bread and wine will change into the body of Christ.  But Nia is using it to mean change and change the body.  🙂  So, maybe that is the tie in and the reason to use that word.  Nia is using the term Conscious Transubstantiation to mean consciously change your body to match the body of the teacher.

This somewhat ties back to Nia Blue Principle #12, which is funny because that also helps explain the vertical portion.  It is common for a participant in a lead follow type of dance exercise class to do the move and follow the leader trying to change at the exact moment the leader changes the move.  Even if the leader is excellent at cueing the participant could feel rushed into the next move.  Sometimes the participant is concentrating and doesn’t hear or see the next move only to look up and realize they are a step behind or not matching exactly so they rush to catch up and do what the teacher is doing.  Well with the conscious change it’s ok not to rush to catch up.  Get there when you can.  No need to disturb the nervous system and interrupt the flow, just catch the next round or the next step.  Consciously changing instead of rushing into the move because that is where you are “supposed” to be.  Allowing yourself to change consciously allows for a smooth transition.  While this is not exactly the same as Nia Blue Principle #12, it is similar in that you are not having to rush to the next move.

The “Vertical” means how things are connected and built upon one another.  The Nia Blue Belt Principles are built upon and woven into the Nia White Belt PrinciplesNia’s 52 Moves are built upon each other.  The “vertical” routines speaks to the moves in the a kata and how we change from move to move, the songs in a routine and the transition between the two and even the bigger picture of routine to routine.

So . . . in a Nia class you are encouraged to move in your own body’s way and “get to” the next move in your own natural time.  The idea is not to upset the body, mind, and spirit by feeling as if you are not doing it right because you are not RIGHT ON the mark of the change as it first happens, Conscious Transubstantiation.  Take your time and enjoy the movement and the moment you are in.  Allow yourself to change when you are ready enabling you to sense the “vertical-ness” of Nia so your workout can be one of Joy.

It might be a challenge to break the habit of interrupting your move to match the teacher when you notice the change, but you might be surprised at the effect it has on your body, mind, and spirit once you do get the hang of it.  What do you think?  Are you willing to give it a try?

*The Nia Technique – Blue Belt Manual August 206, V4.0

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