Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘Nia class’

Pop-Up Vs Pop-In And A Little Yin Yoga

Posted by terrepruitt on November 19, 2020

Sometimes the day escapes me. I am not going out, but with all of the stuff happening online I am doing a lot of exploring of additional tools to use to make class registration automated, I am doing tests on Zoom for different ways to bring classes to students, I am having to move and rearrange our furniture on a daily basis . . . so a lot of time-consuming stuff. Not complaining, but explaining . . . explaining why I can’t keep up with my own self-imposed posting schedule. I should have posted this yesterday since I am offering a Pop-Up Class tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 20, 2020). This post has a dual purpose, to explain the difference between a Pop-UP and Pop-IN and to expound a bit on Yin Yoga.

POP-UP VS POP-IN

What is a Pop-Up Class? For me, it is a class that is not on my regular schedule. In many cases with many different things a Pop-Up can happen rather quickly – it pops up – but for me, I am usually talking about it a couple days in advance so it is not a quick spur of the moment thing, but it is not a regularly scheduled thing.

Now, the Pop-UP is different than the Pop-In. The pop-in is quick (under 30 minute). So far we have had three pop-ins where we reviewed katas in a song from a Nia routine and then danced the song. It isn’t something where there is the structure of a regular Nia class (or yoga class or stretch class). It is quick – you can just pop-in. I have ideas to do other type of pop-ins maybe a quick stretch or a yoga pose or two, but we will see. A Pop-UP is a class . . . with the actual class structure so popping in and out is not advised.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom, Nia White Belt training via ZoomYIN YOGA

Yin Yoga has long holds in order to affect the tissue involved. It is not about the muscle but about the connective tissue. Since the connective tissue is not as elastic as muscles it take a bit longer to effect, AT LEAST a minute. When introducing people to Yin Yoga I generally will not hold most poses but for a few seconds over a minute.

In addition to the four Tattvas of Yin Yoga another very important thing to remember is to get out of the poses SLOWLY. In some cases if you feel the pose is too much, it could be just a simple matter of backing off, not getting out of the pose . . . if that doesn’t work and you feel you need to get out of the pose you must do it slowly. When instructing I allow for a transitional period and that could be just as long as the hold. Think of it like when you sit for a long time and how it might not work to jump up, ya gotta ease into standing or repositioning yourself. That is the same with Yin . . . you are in a pose for a long time so it requires a long time to get out of it. If you need to get out of a pose before the instructors instructs the class to do so, do it slowly just as if the instructor is walking you through the transition.

Some of the poses we do in Yin Yoga are similar to the poses in yang yoga. I have probably mentioned how I used to be so frustrated that the Yin Yoga poses had different names then the Hatha yoga poses even though they are “the same” . . . but then I learned they are not the same. Yin Yoga instructors may even use the other name (non Yin) to help you get into the pose, but the intent is different. In yang yoga the focus is stretching and strengthening muscle but in Yin the intent is to affect the connective tissue and move the Qi. But so many people ask about Yin Poses I am going to say here – just to give people an idea – that we do poses similar to pigeon, sphinx, bound angle, and extended child’s pose, to name a few.  Most Yin poses are done on the floor, so it is not as if you are going to be holding a Warrior II for five minutes.

Additionally, as a reminder Yin Yoga is not Restorative Yoga.  Yin may be restorative like all yoga can be restorative, but it is not Restorative Yoga.  Restorative Yoga is about relaxing and involves a lot of lying around.  Yin is not about relaxing although it does require the muscles to relax.

Well, a really good way to see what Yin Yoga is like is to try it.  For details regarding the Pop-Up Yin Yoga Class on Friday, November 20, 2020 please go to my website.  Maybe I will see you there!  (Update 11.28.20:  This class has already occurred, but do check my site because we plan on doing more because they are so FUN!)

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New Way To Connect

Posted by terrepruitt on October 14, 2020

I was recently listening to a recorded meeting for Nia teachers and one of them came on camera to share something she was doing as a way for her to learn a routine and connect with students. The teacher said that she had “pop-up” Zooms where they just popped on for 15 or 20 minutes to review a song and that was it. I thought this was a great way to connect with community during this time when we can’t actually meet in person, so I tried it today. We had a great time.

This being the first time I decided to do this “pop-up” Zoom right after our regular Nia class. I was thinking that it would be easier for the students to just stay then if it were a separate meeting. I figured the Nia students would stay and more people could join.  I had notified people of the plan ahead of time.  My husband pointed out that advance notification makes it not truly a “pop-up”.  To which I responded, that since it was not in my monthly e-mail or on my website I was considering it a “pop-up”.**

When everyone arrived I quickly spoke a bit about katas, what Nia calls a combination of moves. The katas were what I wanted to focus on, the arrangement of the katas can be changed and would take a lot longer than 15 minutes to learn so that was not what this meeting was for — AND THAT WAS THE PART I WAS TRYING TO LEARN. Simple review, me showing/explaining, then them doing.  I would check in after each kata and with a “thumbs up” response we would move to the next one.  I reviewed the three katas in the song, and then we basically did them to music in the order in which we reviewed them.  To me I often feel a review of moves does not prepare me for doing them with the music, so we did them to the song.  Then after a “thumbs up” all around we danced the entire song.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom, Nia White Belt training via ZoomThe moves were so easy and I didn’t talk too much beforehand so we finished – having danced the song twice – in 20 minutes.  We had a lot of fun.  I picked a really easy song so we could get through it and have fun.

Thanks to Joan T.  for her idea.  I think we are going to do it again!  Although the next time I will probably send out advanced notification and I might put it on my website so I might have to change the name to a “pop-in”.  Pop in, learn the song then go about your day.  I want it to be a quick thing so people will come and we can keep it light and fun.

What do you think?

Are you or your teachers finding ways to stay connected while we are not have in-person classes?  What are you all doing?

**(edited 11.19.20) I am not calling this quick “non-classes” POP-INS, and having actually classes that are Pop-Ups!

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Nia White Belt P12 – Body + Life Transformation – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on September 21, 2020

This week we quickly reviewed Nia White Belt Principle 12.  It is a pretty involved principle and there is not a lot of time to really dig deep into it.  There are four triads to this principle.  That information alone is an indication of how complex this principle is.  Nia White Belt P12 – Body + Life Transformation with a tagline of Purpose – Potential – Possibility.

Like many places, here is where Nia and Nia training can translate into something that a person that doesn’t want to teach can benefit from.  Even twelve years ago when I participated in the Nia White Belt Intensive it was not ALL about teaching us how to teach Nia, but as Nia continues to grow it has shifted even further into being a “life style practice” to include those that don’t want to teach.  The description of this principle is Sensory Study of Personal Enrichment and Growth.  The first triad is about Past, Present, and Future with the center being Knowledge with wings of NiaTV and Nia Training.  Basically it’s representing oneself and indicating that we can continue to learn and gain knowledge with the things available to us.

The additional triads each have a tagline and description, which you can learn about when you take the training.  As often is the case, I don’t want to give it ALL away and really can’t get into each principle or triad in depth because I do – believe it or not – try to keep my posts from being too long.  P12 (t1) is about oneself with purpose, potential, and possibility making up the three corners of the triad.  Tapping into our ideal of ourselves.  P12 (t2) is very complex and is about potential with a top-level “map” on how a teacher learns a routine.  But, it can be applied to a student too as it represents loDance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom, Nia White Belt training via Zoomoking, moving, then sharing a routine.  It reminds us of how we blend science, craft, and art into our dance.  The science has us looking, listening, and imagining as tool to learn and do the moves.  Then we can energize the moves with the nine energies (movement forms), crafting the routine.  And the art is the part where we share, having really connected through the music we are able to dance to the music sharing the science and craft.

P12 (t3) is class, core, magic where we learn, embody, and share.  I feel like these two triads should be switched, but I also feel the main triad should have a different order.  Which reminds me, there are a lot of different ways people learn and to me I would Learn – Embody – Share Nia Routines (t3 tagline) as a way TO engage the Somatic Wheels of Transformation (t2 tagline), but I also see needing to engage them first in order to share Nia.

While for me, aspects of the principle that are related to teaching Nia are the most intriguing I see how it is all related.  That is what is amazing and fun about Nia . . . the principles can be applied to daily life.  One does not have to want to teach Nia to be able to relate it to life.

This principle is about purpose, potential, and possibility and the triads are little maps or signs to remind us of the tools that we have in our Nia toolbox.

Can you see how this (thinking about your purpose, potential, and possibilities of your life) can be MORE THAN just an fitness practice?

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Nia White Belt P10 – X-Ray Anatomy – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on September 7, 2020

This is a great principle . . . ok, ok, yes, I know I say that about all of them . . . Debbie does, too.  I laughed at her today when she said something like that.  Again this principle has not changed since I originally took my Nia White Belt back in 2008.  Like I continue to say, the language has changed, the way it is presented, and the knowledge behind it has greatly increased but it is still the basic principle – look at the clues of the body to help you see what is “inside”.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom, Nia White Belt training via ZoomNia White Belt P10 – X-Ray Anatomy.  The triad, as you can see is Bones/Joints, Ligaments/Tendons, and Soft Tissue/Muscles.  These are the things we can “see”.  We make observations then move from there.

If you see one arm able to reach higher than the other or a pant leg shorter than the other, is it a mechanical situation or is it a structural one?  Is there muscle tightness in the shoulder that is preventing the arm to reach high or is one leg actually shorter than the other?  X-Ray Anatomy is just about looking and observing.  With the insight we gain from observing we can decide how to proceed in moving in a class, in teaching a class, and/or just moving through life.  We can then apply our knowledge of movement and anatomy to move in ways to help create ease in the shoulders that will allow the arm to reach its full potential and ease in the legs to allow for their full length.  We can also learn to give our body what it needs to find balance and ease even when it is not equal on both sides.

One way we learn X-Ray Anatomy is by Zorro.  Zorro is just a term Nia uses to describe making note of the flow of energy or the lines in a body.  You can do it by observing people – they can be people on TV or people you see in person.  Just quick strokes on paper (or if you have a device you can use) to note the movement of a body.

As I have said, I have posted about Nia Principle #10 X-Ray Anatomy and Zorro before so no reason to go further in this post.  Please click on over to those posts to learn more.

X-Ray Anatomy is just what we in Nia call observing a body and how it moves and we use Zorro as a tool to see the flow of energy all with the goal of helping ensure that we and our students are moving in the most safe and efficient way available.

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Nia White Belt P8 – Core – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on August 26, 2020

Nia describes the core as three body weights, pelvis, chest, and head. In the training we are currently studying Nia White Belt P8 – Core | Three Body Weights. Again – at least I think I have mentioned it – since Nia is so rich and it is easy to spend a lot of time on one thing, I somewhat feel our two hours are a little rushed, even though Debbie skillfully got through the entire lesson. It would be easy to spend more time. Not only does Nia study the bone structure of the core (the pelvis, chest, and head) but it incorporates the energies associated with each. So the description of the principle is “sensory study of energy centers.”

First we discussed the Nia 52 Moves associated with the core. There are seven.

PELVIS MOVES (2)Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom
Pelvic Circles
Hip Bumps

CHEST MOVES (2)
Chest Isolations
Shimmy

SPINE MOVES (2)
Undulation
Spinal Roll

HEAD MOVE (1)
Head and Eye Movements

Then we discussed the physical body as is represented by the three points of the triad for Principle 8, pelvis, chest, and head. We reviewed the bones in the pelvis and then moved through the two pelvis move. Since Nia is based on how the body moves we spend a lot of time on how the body is put together. When you understand how the bones move in relation to each other is helps you understand how the body is supposed to move AND, if you pay attention, it can help you understand how your body moves.  For many people, when bones are likened to objects it helps with understanding how they function, say the pelvis is a bowl or a container that is meant to hold and contain and ribs are like a cage made to protect. Remembering that the hip joint is a ball and socket and NOT a hinged joint could lead to a smooth gait when picturing the movement as a rolling movement and not a back and forth. So, in Nia, we examine the structures, learn how they are supposed to move according to the way they were designed, and then we move in different ways to allow us to sense our own body’s way.

We spend a bit of time reviewing the Nia Moves and how they can be adjusted in regards to the planes, the intensity levels, and different body’s needs.

Then she spent time connecting the areas of the spine and body with the energy bodies or the chakras.

CHAKRA 1 | Base or RootAssociation to Core:  Pelvis
It is located at the base of the spine, near the coccyx, in the pelvic area between the perineum and the anus. It’s energy is associated with your legs, coccyx, rectum, and sex organs.

CHAKRA 2 | The Sensual Center (Sacral)Association to Core:  Pelvis
Sacral chakra is located in the lumbar region, just above the sexual organs, and about 2 to 3 inches below the navel.  It is above the root chakra. It’s energy is associated with male and female sexuality, survival, and creativity.

CHAKRA 3 | Solar PlexusAssociation to Core:  Chest
It is located at the mid-thoracic area near your solar plexus. It’s energy is associated with your will, self-confidence, and personal power.

CHAKRA 4 | The HeartAssociation to Core:  Chest
It is located in the center of your chest, at the first, second, and third thoracic vertebrae. It’s energy is associated with love, compassion, joy, and sorrow.

CHAKRA 5 | The ThroatAssociation to Core:  Head
It is located in your throat at the third cervical vertebra. It’s energy is associated with ability to be expressive, to speak up and stand for yourself and for what you believe to be true and real.

CHAKRA 6 | Brow or Third EyeAssociation to Core:  Head
It is located at the first cervical vertebra. It’s energy is associated with your connection to your intuition.

CHAKRA 7 | CrownAssociation to Core:  Head
It is located at the point of your pineal gland. It’s energy is associated with your connection to divine spirit, and soul energy.

She also covered the vowel sounds associated with each chakra, as have I in a previous post.

So along with studying what makes up the physical body, how it is put together, and how it was designed to move, we also studying the energy body.  We move in ways to keep the energy flowing and balanced and we can add sounds to help with that.  Nia is based on Western science as well as ancient beliefs.  Nia White Belt Principle 8 – Core / The Three Body Weights is a very deep principle indeed.

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Nia White Belt P4 – FreeDance – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on July 27, 2020

I have several posts regarding Nia FreeDance. When I was teaching often there was a period when we had FreeDance Fridays. That was fun. I feel when I am teaching multiple times a week it is really great to have one class be FreeDance. I have posted about the 8 stages of FreeDance. There are a couple of posts about a FreeDance Playshop I produced once and one about the tools for the eight stages of FreeDance that we can use to help us “to stimulate movement creativity”.  We just had our class regarding FreeDance, Nia White Belt Principle #4. I am happy to report, not much has changed. Again, some of the language used has changed and certainly the way it is presented. I want to clarify that the training is always evolving, Nia is always finding new and better ways to deliver the information, but the core information is not changing. That is a great comfort to me and it makes sense. I want the organization I am involved with to grow and improve, but I don’t want it to change the core of what it does. So, 2020 Nia White Belt Principle #4 is FreeDance.

Now in my previous documentation of it, you may see FreeDance written different ways and that is because I understood Carlos (one of the original creators of Nia) to have different ways of writing it. The principle was one way (FreeDance) and then the first stage was another (Free dance). So, if you see differences that is why. And moving forward I will endeavor to keep it FreeDance.

This term sometimes confuses people because they think the class is free. I have experienced this many times. But FreeDance is something that Nia participants do, it is a practice, it is a principle of Nia. It is “stimulating movement creativity”.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via ZoomDebbie said something today that clarified something for me, she was talking about form and freedom, we have a lot of that in Nia. In light of the 2020 Nia White Belt, we have form in the way of choreography and we have freedom in the way of dancing free. Debbie equated form with “structure” and how that makes people feel safe.  Freedom could be compared to “no structure”, which sometimes makes people feel unsafe. The freedom in an exercise class can be intimidating for many people. Being told what to do and how to move the body is the way most people are taught to exercise, so when they come to a Nia class and they are told, “Move your body.” They don’t know what to do. It is just like the story Debbie tells about when she first when to a Dojo. People can be told to focus on moving their arms, but they want to know HOW to move their arms, they want specific movement instruction. We have language to guide people to move in FreeDance, but there is still a lot of freedom in that and for some people that is a huge challenge.

There is a triad for this principle, like with all of the principles, it consists of Move, Explore, and Create. They put the numbers for the 8 stages going counter clock-wise on the triad, but have created a separate graphic with the stages going clockwise. Instead of drawing the triad and creating the graphic I chose to write out the eight stages. We can use the eight stages to helps us move. Here I am just going to list the stages:

1 – FreeDance
2 – Being Seduced By The Music
3 – Feelings + Emotions
4 – Creative Source
5 – Authentic Movement
6 – Witness
7 – Accidental Click
8 – Body-Centered Choreography

The next post will contain the tag lines for each stage and the information I wanted to high-light for myself.

So, Dear Reader, how do you feel about dancing with no instruction?  How do you feel about dancing with little to no instruction in a cardio exercise class?

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Deflated By My Technology Struggles

Posted by terrepruitt on June 24, 2020

Wow. My day did not go as I had planned. How about you? I am teaching classes via Zoom and I am borrowing an amazing microphone from my husband’s office, it is great. It picks up sound incredibly well. But as the days continue to be so hot, I cannot function without a fan blowing directly on me. That is one of the things I miss (aside from my students!) when teaching from home – AIR CONDITIONING! Whew! It is hot. There is no way I can teach without a fan. I think the way Zoom is and the way the microphone is, it picks up the fan noise, but not so much the motor noise from the fan, but the air. I think they both work to keep that noise from transmitting and so it cuts out. So while I am instructing, my voice cuts out. When we are dancing the music cuts outs. It makes it difficult for students to follow. So, I broke down and bought a wireless headset mic.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, Zoom meetings, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exerciseI was taking a class from a friend and she was using a wireless headset mic and she told me what it was so I did some research. I researched for a few days and then with free returns available, I decided to get it and try it. It arrived Friday evening and I played with it all weekend.

I did tests, of all types, on Zoom – tests with music, without music, with speakers, with iTunes, with CDs, with fans, without fans . . . just all types of tests.  It worked great. I was fully prepared and so excited to teach Nia today.

My students “arrived” and we said hello and then I pressed play and my sound kept cutting out. Now, to me it is very important for my students to have good sound, that is why I am doing all this – and they did, but if I don’t have sound, I have nothing to teach too . . . . or worse, my sound was out of sync – to them . . . so I was instructing “off music”. It is very difficult to dance with instruction that is “off”. Sigh.

It was so bad, we restarted and I ditched my new toy for the old way.

I have not given up yet, but I was pretty deflated today. I had been so excited, I had done so many tests, I had spent so much time, I was ready to wow my students and make it great and so (insert sound of air being pushed out of a balloon). But, my students are very kind and understanding, they always have been. So their kindness made me feel a lot better.

As I said, I have not given up. I think I may have found a way to keep my sound from cutting out, but we will see.

I just thought I would share a portion of my day with you because I know that sometimes I can write it out and it helps.  I typed this out, then “sat on it” debating about posting it . . . people like positive and people certainly don’t want to hear that a class they are being asked to pay for has sound problems.  But, I also feel it is ok to be “real” and share struggles.  And . . . I can get “over” it with the combination of sharing and my students being so understanding.  Also, this is not to say everything is bad, this is just me sharing a bump in my journey in this odd new reality.

How was your day? What did you do?  Care to share, whatever it was?

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Answers To A Few Questions About Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on January 22, 2020

I think it is time to revisit some things.  A compilation of re-visitation.  How does that sound?  This is in regards to Nia.  I have all of this information spread out in various posts on my blog and in various places on my website but I thought I could revisit some information for a post.  This will help to get the information out there.  I will answer some questions that I have received recently as a new group of people are going to be treated to a Nia class.

How is Nia different than Zumba?
Well, based off of my Zumba and Nia training and based off of the Zumba and Nia classes I have attended the main difference is movement, both speed and type.  Zumba is regularly faster.  Nia can be fast, but in general is slower than Zumba.  Zumba’s movements tend to be more Latin; focusing on movement of the hips and feet, whereas Nia is more of an entire body movement type of dance class.  Nia incorporates three art forms into the dance (martial arts, dance arts, and healing arts – more about all of that can be found in the “The Nine Basic Movements Forms Of Nia” post.)

Is it sweaty?
Well, that is based entirely on you, the individual.  Some people dance Nia and don’t sweat, it could be that they just aren’t the type of body that sweats or it could be that they really didn’t move enough to sweat.  I remember teaching one class years ago and a student came up to me as I was toweling off and said, “You really don’t sweat much in Nia, do you?”  As I said, I was toweling off, my hair was wet, I was blind from sweat, and my glasses were fogged up.  And I said, “No, no YOU don’t.”  Because this person had stood behind me the entire class.  I never saw this student’s arms or legs or head.  So, in other words, this person didn’t move a lot, this person never lifted their arms up or out, nor did they kick out, so there wasn’t a lot of movement on their part so they didn’t sweat.  And that is fine, if that is what your goal is.  If you want to go to a cardio dance class and not sweat don’t move a lot.  If you are the type of person that sweats when you move and you decide to move in the class, then you will sweat.  It really is all about what you want for your body that day, during that class.

What do I wear?
Anything you want in order to feel comfortable.  Something you can move in and that you don’t mind being on the floor in.

Is Nia done barefoot?
Yes.  Nia is designed to be done barefoot.  Again, we do not jump – sometimes a trainer might get fancy and excited and include a little jump or two when s/he created the routine, but for the most part we do not jump.  We don’t typically twist on our feet, we pick up our feet.  There is a lot of foot work in Nia designed to stretch and strengthen the foot.  Nia believes that – while shoes can be lovely – they restrict the movement of the foot, so moving in bare feet allows the foot to move as it was designed.

What type of music is played in a Nia class?
All types of music.  Some routines run the gamut of tunes from rock to classical, some routines contain only one genre or one artist but the music for Nia as a whole varies.  You can click here and click around if you would like to hear some samples of the actual music in some of our routines.

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaAs a note, people constantly confuse IMPACT with INTENSITY. We had been trained to think we have to move fast with high jumps up and down (impact) in order to get a “good” workout and in order to sweat. But if you stand with your feet in A stance (slightly wider than your shoulders) and do squats for three minutes, you might get a little sweaty. You will have done an INTENSE exercise, but not one that is high impact. Nia is not high impact, yet it can be intense.  People who do the moves in their bodies way, always come up to me and say what a great workout they just had in Nia.  The routines are created from movements that the body was designed to do, but Nia knows that not everyone’s body can move that way so dancers are encouraged to move in their own body’s way.  And with that in mind individuals get the workout they need.

Above I mentioned sweating in a Nia class, well, it could be you do sweat when you workout, but it could be that you are taking a Nia class in the middle of your work day or you are meeting friends for lunch after class so you don’t CHOOSE to move a lot and you want to take it easy – that is perfectly acceptable.  It is perfect to dance how you want to/how you are able to at that time.

So, these are the questions that I have received of late.  I can go on for pages talking about Nia . . . and I have if you look here on my blog you will find plenty of posts about Nia.  Or you can check out my website, here are some pages that might interest you:

Nia Information / Nia Class Cycles / Main Benefits of Nia / Tips for a Pleasurable Nia Experience / Principles of the Body’s Way / Nia Tips for Moving with Nia / Sounding Tips / Nia’s 52 Moves / Nia Belt Levels and Focuses

Also, feel free to contact me if you any other questions or want more information.  Yay to new Nia dancers!

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Colorful Kitty

Posted by terrepruitt on March 8, 2019

Ooooo! I found this kitty at the community center where I teach Nia. I love it. It was behind glass though so there is a lot of reflection. But she is still beautiful.

This is the latest watercolor animal for my Friday Photo.

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD

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Bringing More Fun Into Class

Posted by terrepruitt on July 25, 2018

Sometimes we end Nia class with the laughter “exercise”. You know that saying “fake it ’til you make it?” Well, since the brain can’t tell the difference between fake laughter and real laughter it releases the “happy hormones” regardless. There are many additional benefits to laughter:

–it can trigger the release of endorphins (the “happy” hormones mentioned)
–it can help lower your blood pressure
–it can reduce stress hormone levels
–it can give your abdominal muscles a workout
–it can help improve cardiac health
–it can improve your immune system by boosting T-cells
–it can give you a sense of well-being and help you look at the world more positively
–it helps relax the body
–it burns calories
–it may even help relieve pain

What better way to end an exercise class than laughter?

There are a lot of ways to do it, but one way is by laughing and “cooking all four sides”. Debbie Rosas uses that saying when referring to being on or using the “sides” of the body; front, back, left, right or tummy, back, left side, right side.

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise ClassesSometimes in Nia class since we are already on the floor for the Floorplay cycle of class we will do the “exercise”. It is simple actually. While lying on your back just start to laugh. It doesn’t even have to be “real” laughter. Just start to chuckle or giggle. Or even just begin by saying, “Ha!” One loud HA! Then keep going. Pretty soon your “ha-s” will change into something else – again, it might not yet be real, but someone who has joined in will make a noise that will cause real laughter. Once one person has started, it just goes from there and the next thing you know everyone is really laughing. Even if or when it starts to die down something will happen, someone will think of something funny and start up again, or someone will snort (that is always good for a laugh), or someone will do that long sigh that always happens after a good laugh session and it will start back up again.

After about one minute roll to a side. Stay there and laugh for a minute. Just keep it going even if there are moments when it is not that real-from-the-belly kind of laugh. Then after a minute, roll to the other side. Stay there laughing for about a minute. Keep it going. Then roll to your tummy. Here is where you might start really sensing it in your belly, after three minutes of laughter your abs might already notice and when you roll on the belly and laugh more, they probably will be getting your attention a bit.

This is a really fun way to end the class. It reminds everyone that participates how fun laughing is. It reminds everyone how contagious laughing is. It reminds everyone that no matter what is going on there is a chance for laughter. It also reminds everyone that laughter can be a bit physical.

Of course you don’t have to be in a class to do this exercise. Perhaps there is someone in your home that would like to participate with you. Also you don’t have to do it for a minute on each side.

So what do you think? Is this an exercise you can enjoy?

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