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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Posts Tagged ‘Nia classes in San Jose’

The Nature In And Of Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on March 7, 2013

At the present time I am fortunate enough to be holding Nia classes at four different locations in San Jose.  Each location allows me to meet different people.  At one of the locations I have been teaching for four years and some of my students have been coming to my classes that long.  At three of my locations I am a new teacher and Nia is new.  Most of the people are new to me.  It is exciting to met new people and discover new relationships.  There is the relationships between my students and me and there is the relationship between Nia and the students.  One of my students told me after one class that she loved the part of Nia where we compare things to nature.  The specific example she stated was “tickling the clouds”.  She said that the mention of nature in Nia reminded her of one of her favorite poets, Mary Oliver.  She asked me if I had heard of Mary Oliver or if I was familiar with her.  I said no.  I also said that I would look her up.  Well, the following week, my student came into class and handed me a copy of two poems.  As soon as she held out the paper, I remembered that I had said I would look up the poet and that I had forgotten.  I gratefully took the paper without reading the poems because class was about to start.  After our class there is another class so I did not stop at that time to read the poem either.  It was not until today I picked up the paper to read the poem.  On the second line I realized I HAD heard this before and I laughed.  This very poem or at least a portion of it is in the Nia White Belt Manual.

I thought it was funny that my student related Mary Oliver’s work to Nia and obviously so did the creators of Nia, Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, because they put this poem in the manual.  Only the first few lines are in the manual, but I recognized it right away.

The lines are:

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”

From Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese poem.

That portion of the poem is at the very beginning of the section which is Principle #1, The Joy of Movement.  The last line of that section really struck me.

I want to continue to share with my students that a Nia class is not just about learning the moves and doing a routine.  It is about doing what the body loves.  It is about their relationship to their body.  It is about their relationship to Nia.  To me that is why we do a routine over and over.  That is also HOW we do a routine over and over and not get bored with it.  If we move and let our body do what it loves then it is moving in a different way.  Once we have done a routine a few times we can play.  We can move lower . . . if that it what the body loves . . . we can move higher . . . if that is what a body loves . . . all the time moving in the general pattern of the routine.  It is when we are not in tune or when we cannot let go, that the routine is tiring or boring.  If we are only moving the way it was choreographed and not putting our spirit into the moves it is as if we are walking through a desert on our knees.  Suffering through a workout.  UGH!  Repenting for the cream we had in our coffee, the workout we missed yesterday, or the cookie we had at lunch.

I used to do a different routine every class.  I thought people would get bored with the same routine.  But then I realized that the more I knew the music and the choreography the more fun I had and the more playful I could be.  I asked my class and they said they liked the fact that after doing the routine a few times they, too, could be less concerned with the choreography and more aware of their own spirit, dance, and play.  So it is a relationship with Nia and the body that we are building and experiencing in a Nia class, we are not just learning a routine, we are not just moving through choreography.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I work on a routine schedule, playing with it to see what works.  I want to ensure my students don’t get bored, yet I want them to build a relationship with Nia.  I want them to be able to dance and play with the routines.

I love that my student shared her thoughts with me.  To me that is me being able to witness her budding relationship with Nia.  I love that because of my thoughts about repeatedly doing a routine, I was able to look at this poem and relate it to that.  Like many things I might look at it sometime from now and have it relate to something else.  My relationship with it might change, just as my relationship with my students and with Nia will change and grow.  That is the nature of it all.

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

Crossover Ideas

Posted by terrepruitt on February 12, 2013

If you’ve read a post or two of mine you know there are many things I love about Nia.  I think that Nia is a great workout, but I also think that a lot of the ideas, principles, values, and “things” can be used in everyday life.  That is one reason why I share so many things about Nia here.  I am working to get Nia out there so people know what it is, but I understand not everyone likes to do dance exercise as their type of workout, but there is a lot of Nia that can be applied to every day.  Nia has a lot of ideas that can be applied to more than just the original place you hear it.  For instance in the Nia White Belt, the manual states:

“New Ways – It Can Be a Stretch!

Some of this information may shake up your reality.  Nia may disrupt your normal methods of doing, being and communicating.  We do not intend to create disharmony or fear.  We have no desire to aggressively challenge who you are, what you believe in, or what you stand for.  The information we share with you is intended to assist you, inspire you, and to celebrate human potential.”

The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual March 2001, V3, page 1-5

I love that.  I love that when taking a Nia intensive it is explained that you might come across new things.  You might be shown a different way or something new, but they are not out to change you into what they believe, but to allow you to see something in a new way.  All that is really asked of you is to have an open mind, heart, and body.  It is even suggested not to examine or think about stuff too much.  The belief is that you will get what you need when you need it.  That is a great relief too because there is so much information it really takes the pressure off when it is understood that you will not get it all or remember it all upon first being exposed.

What is so tremendous is that this same information, this same philosophy can be brought into a Nia class.  If you have never done Nia before the first time can be a surprise.  It can surprise your senses, your body, your mind, your spirit.  It can leave some people feeling a little unsure.  I mean not every exercise class has you parting clouds, swimming in water, stepping in goo, and prancing like a pony.  Some of this type of stuff can shake up someone’s reality.  This type of movement might completely disrupt what they think of as normal methods of exercise.  They might not be able to “get into” prancing like a pony.  Prancing might not fit into their idea of exercise.  But I know that if they have an openness of mind they will wake up the next day and realize that ponies get in a good work out.  The “normal” methods of being might not have them pulsing their pelvis, shimmying their shoulders, or doing a sexy hip bump.  Nia doesn’t want to make people uncomfortable with these things, but this type of movement is “normal” for the body by design.  These moves aren’t meant to challenge you or what you believe in, they are meant to allow you to move your body as it was designed to move.

With the fun movements and ideas included in a Nia class it can easily inspire your and allow you to celebrate the human potential—to celebrate your body’s potential.  This can kind of go along with my last post about spirit.  It could be your spirit that lets you just let loose and gyrate those hips without fear.  The idea here is to come to a Nia class with an open mind.  Don’t let they way you’ve been taught exercise should be to keep you from experiencing something new.  Don’t let fear of something unknown and/or different scare you off.  Don’t think that just because it is unknown to you or different that the goal is to change you into something you are not.  Just come and let your body move and let IT tell you what it thinks of Nia.

This week (February 10 through February 16, 2013) I am teaching EIGHT Nia classes.  If you are local it would be GREAT to see you in at least one.  They are at all different times on different days in many different places (most in San Jose, one in Santa Cruz).  I bet there is one that would work for you: http://www.helpyouwell.com  Also, in case you are not local or one of the eight doesn’t work for you check out Nianow.com.  There are classes all over the world!  Dare to dance?

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

31 Things Report So Far

Posted by terrepruitt on December 7, 2011

Nia Teacher, Nia in San Jose, Dance Exercise in San Jose, Cardio Exercise in San JoseReporting in.  How are you doing with the 31 Things Project?  Getting rid of anything?  Today after teaching my Nia Class I took my trunk full of plastic water bottles to the recycler.  Those things take up a lot of space.  My entire trunk and half my back seat was full.  I have a big trunk.  There were two large bags and a box sitting in our garage the rest I stored in my trunk.  It is not easy to save up recycling because it takes up a lot of space but it isn’t worth it to go to a recycling place unless you have a lot of stuff to recycle.  So we have it around for a long time and are always having to dance around bags of bottles.  But there is a place in San Jose next to the Willow Glen studio I teach at and the people there were SOOOO nice I think I might drop by more often.

My list thus far is: today, I rid our space of plastic bottles.  Yesterday, I went into my office closet for something and ended up throwing some stuff out.  Closet is still not clean, but it is a bit more organized and some of the stuff in it is more easily accessible.  The day before I noticed a drawer in the kitchen that had gotten a bit out of control so I tidied that up and threw out some of the stuff in there that was no longer useful.  The day before that I fixed a watch band.  I have several watches and most them need batteries or new bands (sounds like a perfect “thing” for my project).  The one that has a working battery has a “broken” band.  Well, the leather band itself was fine, it was the pin that hold the band to the watch that had broken.  Now, please understand that I know it is easy to remedy these things, I just don’t always think about them.  They slip my mind.  I was looking for something in a box and I found some pins.  I had saved the pins from a broken watch band.  So I was able to put the saved pin into my watch band and — Voila!  A watch.  Yeah!  I love watches and I have not had one that could actually be worn in so long.

Fixing that band did two things; 1) it has encouraged me to put “fix watches” on my 31 Thing Project list and 2) it changed two useless items (a pin and broken watch) to two useful items.  Unfortunately that little tiny pin was not taking up a lot of space so no space was created, but time certainly was.  Ha, ha.  Ok, times was not CREATED, but I now know what time it is!

This is proving less easy than I thought because of the Holiday season, but I am committed to the project so I am going to do it.  I need to remember that the idea is not to take up a lot of time.  Give me a chance to exercise focus.  Yesterday I spent way too much time in my closet!  I got distracted by things in the closet that I was not looking for.  So . . . how are you doing?  Do you have seven things on your list of “done”?

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

Bean Salad

Posted by terrepruitt on July 24, 2010

On the way home from a little Nia class / meeting in Danville I starting craving a salad.  All the way home to San Jose (its about an hour) I kept thinking of what ingredients I would need.  I didn’t have the recipe with me, but since it is so easy I remembered the few things I needed to get.  Recently I went to a little party where the hostess had made a bean salad.  It had two things in it I REALLY don’t like, one thing I don’t like, one thing I love in teeny tiny pieces, and one thing I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE (not including the spices).  So on my quest to learn how to like bean and get some legumes in my diet I decided to make my friend’s TWO bean salad recipe.

1 can kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 large red pepper – chopped (big or small, you decide)
½ large sweet onion – cut small square sizes
¼ to ½ bunch cilantro – cut ½ inch size
½ to 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon fine ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil

Drain the beans, mix everything together.  Like most salads it is better when the flavors have mixed so wait an hour or so, then eat.  Yum!

I adjusted the recipe to have MORE bell pepper (can you tell which ingredient I love, love, love?), I used a little more salt because I bought these really low sodium beans.  I mean compared to the other two brands I looked at these had about one third of the sodium.  I like that idea, but I also know that if it doesn’t have a good enough flavor for me I won’t eat it, so I actually put in 1 teaspoon plus two sprinkles.  I didn’t have granulated garlic so I used garlic powder and I probably put in more than 2 teaspoons.  I cannot tolerate pepper, but I loved her salad and she said she put in a lot of pepper so I sprinkled pepper in.  I also used 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.

I am sure this is an easy thing for people to make, but I have NEVER, EVER, EVER liked a bean salad before so this recipe just thrilled me.  Ya see, I REALLY don’t like cilantro either, but I think the kidney beans and the cilantro work to “cancel” each other out.  Ha!  I don’t know, but I like this salad.   I hope you do too.

Since I am on a quest to learn to eat (and like) beans, do you have a recipe that you would like to share to help me out?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Yup, She’s Purple And Her Sister Is Pink

Posted by terrepruitt on October 31, 2009

I teach my Nia classes in a studio in San Jose that is next to a pet store.  The groomer that works there usually gets there before the shop is open so she sits outside in front waiting.  Often she has a puppy or a dog that she has rescued and is trying to adopt out.  She seems to be able to rescue them and it works out that she can find someone to adopt them pretty quick.

This time she had her own animals.  I heard them yelping and realized they were puppies so I peeked out.  Imagine my surprise when I saw a purple puppy with black patches.  Her sister was black and pink.  They were jumping and yelping and vying for attention.  They were obviously cute little girls, but with their bright colors it made them even more adorable.

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Keep in mind these animals are puppies and you know how puppies are.  It was a miracle that they were still long enough to get a shot, but having them be in a particular spot for correct lighting was not possible.  In fact I don’t think the little one was still at all.  I did not retouch the puppies, but I did blur some of the background.

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The sun was really bright when it was shining on the purple puppy.  The sun almost washed out the purple.  It definitely made her color seem less bright.

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But she was pretty purple.  And her sister had a pink muzzle, chest, and pink feet.

It was really cute.  They were really cute.  Full of energy.

Since it is Halloween, I thought it would be cute to post pictures of Purple and Pink puppies!

Posted in Entertainment, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nia and Tai Chi

Posted by terrepruitt on September 26, 2009

A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts.  

From the martial arts, we use moves from T’ai chi.  Actually it is not just “moves” from Tai Chi but also some of the “ideals” from Tai Chi.  Nia calls Tai Chi “The Slow Dance”.*  Tai Chi allows for the elements of grace, ease, precision, power, and lightness to be accessed and brought in to our dance that is our workout. 

So while we do not do the sequences of postures that form a Tai Chi routine or exercise we might have some of the Tai Chi moves incorporated into a routine.  And/or we might take a portion of the routine and execute it “Tai Chi like”, moving slow and graceful.  Being mindful of our movements and moving from the feet with relaxed joints establishing that fluid Tai Chi like flow.  We might also incorporate circular movements and shift our weight to assist in balance, all the while sensing the gentle flow of chi. 

Some things we do in class to assist us in moving “Tai Chi like” is leading with our heels when we step, using our eyes to allow for our head to be included in our movement, keeping our joints open and soft, focusing on moving from our energy center, using our breath to generate power and support for movement, and moving systemically.** 

Hopefully this post will serve to address some of the inquires about the aspect of Tai Chi in Nia. This will give you an idea of how Tai Chi is brought into Nia. 

I love to watch the people in the parks of San Jose doing Tai Chi.  I actually see them all over the Bay Area.  In Nia we don’t “DO” Tai Chi, we glean from it and allow what we’ve gleaned to mix with aspects of Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Yoga, the Alexander Technique and the teachings from Feldenkrais.  It is all combined to be Nia.

 
*Both the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual state this.  Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.

**V3 of The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »