Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘Nia energy’

Nia Jam Was Jammin’

Posted by terrepruitt on July 27, 2013

Today we had a Nia Jam.  I would have written about it right after and posted it, if I hadn’t of had theater tickets.  There is a little theater in San Jose that I love (Click here for City Lights Theater) and tonight they were doing the Rocky Horror Picture Show and — wow!  The singers/actors were all amazing, but wait, I digress, must be the time warp!  The Nia Jam was at Stanford, the awesome Nancy Hoebelheinrich orchestrated it all—as usual.  The focus was sound and movement.  There were seven teachers.  This was a unique Nia Jam because they decided to tie in some Kivo, which is “An Empowerment Practice that activates Voice and Body so you can do the Work you came to do.”  The creator of it is also a Nia Teacher.  You can learn more about it here.  I really go to the Nia Jams to fill my Body, Mind, Emotional Self, and my spirit with Nia.  I always have a great time.  I love that I get to both teach and be a student.  I am not a student enough so I really enjoy my time being a Nia student.  I learn a lot as a student.  I know I have shared on my blog before that I often want to just stop dancing and take notes.  Often times the pearls used are ones I would love to use in my class.  Today there were a few dances I would love to bring to my students.  Nia Jams are such a good time.

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, PiYo

(The white box is someone who requested to not be in the photos . . . some photos were taken before the request was made)

Nia Jams are jammed packed with energy.  With so many teachers leading so many different dances it is just one big cosmic burst of energy.  I do think that adding the other modality changed the tone and energy a bit, but everyone loved it and had great time.  The weather here in the San Francisco Bay Area and particularly Stanford — where the Nia Jam was held — was fantastic.  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, PiYoOne whole wall of the space where we get to dance is doors so it is open and lovely.  There are huge fans on the ceiling and several time during the hour and half that we danced, I sensed the air the fans were moving around the room and I was grateful.  It was a beautiful day.

I will continue to shout from the rooftops that if you ever have a chance to go to a Nia Jam — go.  I don’t just mean ones that I am a part of or ones that are in my area, I mean ANY Nia Jam.  I KNOW that ALL of them are infused with the same HIGH energy and fantastic music so I know that any one you attend would give you a GREAT taste of what Nia is.

This month also happens to be the 30th Anniversary of Nia so it was very fitting that we had a Nia Jam this month.

Thank you, Nia Teachers and Nia students for coming to the Jam and making it jamming.

What song would you love to hear at a Jam to get you moving with all you have?

(I will have more pictures from the Nia Jam on www.HelpYouWell.com shortly, so check it out!  Thanks!)

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Authentic Movement – Change – FreeDance Stage 5

Posted by terrepruitt on January 14, 2012

Nia, the dance exercise that I teach, is a great cardio workout.  Classes are fun and full of energy.  To become a Nia teacher one must take the White Belt Intensive.  It is 40+ hours of intense learning, discovery, play, dance, reading, listening, moving, sitting, and so much more.  A person that is just interesting in learning more about Nia as a practice may also take the intensive.  One does not have to have the intention of teaching to participate in an intensive.  In the Nia White Belt there are 13 Principles.  These principles are what teachers and practitioner use to expand their Nia practice.  Working and playing with the principles actually help bodies to move “better”.  Nia is a body centered exercise so these principles actually help us move our bodies.   The fourth Nia White Belt principle is FreeDance, this principle has eight stages.  The list of the eight stages is in my post Nia Class – Levels 1, 2, 3 – FreeDance Stage 8.  The fifth stage is Authentic Movement – Change.

Nia is “about” many things.  One thing Nia is about is Authentic movement.  Our dance is not a performance.  It is not meant to be pretty.  It is meant to allow us to move in our own body’s way.  The idea is that we will move in our own body’s’ way and we will move as we need to move.  With freedom and authenticity we will be working our bodies as they each individually need to be worked.  Yes, we do have specific steps in a kata or song.  But everyone’s body does the steps maybe a little differently — to their own body’s ability.  With practice the body will be able to do the steps and the moves in the Body’s Way, moving the way the body was actually designed to move.

With authentic movement we are letting the body move to the music in its own way.  We don’t think of how to move it, we just let it sense the music and it moves.  If one is practicing the Nia White Belt Principle #4, stage 5, then the authentic movement is done for two bars, two measures of how we count our music.  After two bars change the movement.  Do this for each song.  The idea is that after a few songs the body will have gone through all of its “normal” movements.  You will have danced out all of your movement tendencies.  You will have danced all of your bodies patterns and your body will seek new moves.  Your body will do things it does not usually do.  You might be one that often moves your hips a lot, but after a few songs and continually changing the way you move your hips you might realize that you are out of hip moves, so your body plants your feet and you end up kicking up one leg at a time.  Maybe kicking is not part of your typical dance move repertoire.  Maybe once your legs start kicking your arms start punching.  And this was not thought out or planned it just seemed natural.  Leg kick, arm punch.

So the idea is to exhaust the normal and journey into new territory.  If you have never done anything like this I want to warn you, you might be a little sore the next day.  If you are a booty shaker and you change to a “how-low-can-you-go-er” you will feel it the next morning.  If you always keep both feet on the ground and you start kicking or even just doing knee lifts to be different, your body will remind you the next day that you did something different.

If you let your body just dance to the music and switch it up, your body will give you great feed back on how you have never moved your foot/arm/head/butt/ankle/knee/whatever-you-moved-that-was-new the next day.  You will go to move foot/arm/head/butt/ankle/knee/whatever-you-moved-that-was-new and probably sense it.  This information will help you learn your movement tendencies and you can learn what new moves might help you improve your body’s movements.

Try it!  Put on some music and dance with Authentic Movement, then change.  Keep doing this through at least five songs and see where you end up.  See what new moves your body comes up with.  Ready?  Go!

Posted in FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nia Jam in Palo Alto

Posted by terrepruitt on July 28, 2011

This past Sunday we had a Nia Jam in Palo Alto.  The San Francisco Bay Area Nia Association tries to have four Jams a year.  The peninsula one is in Palo Alto, but it is usually at Stanford, this time it was at a gym.  It was a nice day so it was great that people came inside to support the local Nia association.   As with a music jam session there are switches and changes that occur.   A Nia Jam is where teachers gather and switch off leading songs so there is a mix of music and styles.  The routine is created to be about 90 minutes.  Normally we have a lot of teachers teaching so we only get to do one or two songs.  This time the group of teachers was much smaller and we were able to do three to four songs each.  The energy is always very high and exciting at a Jam because the teachers are from all over the Bay Area and beyond, so the students come from near and far.  It is also a GREAT way to experience Nia for the first time because you get a taste of all the different approaches to teaching.  Nia is specific in the way that we teach, yet at the same time it allows for the personality of the individual teacher to shine through.  So a Nia Jam is great fun.

The theme for this Nia Jam was Summertime.  The focus was moving with lightness with the intent of bringing in lightness and a sense of “summertime”, effortlessness and joy.  It allowed for a lot of play, like kids playing during summer vacation.  Not only were we able to bring in the lightness in our minds, our physical bodies, and our spirits, but we had the extra special treat of a skylight.  The room we were dancing in has a huge skylight in the middle of the ceiling and a few glass doors to the outside so we were able to share in the beauty of the sun light and move with it.   Along with the skylight and doors and windows to the outside, the room has a huge wood floor and a mirror on one wall.  A small portion of the back wall is made of glass “windows” that looks into the workout room.  I saw many people stop their workout to peek in at the Joy that was whooshing around the room in spirals, releves, kicks, and punches.

Nia Jams are no different than Nia Workout Classes  in regards to what to wear.  As you can see everyone wears what they are comfortable in.  Whatever allows you to move freely and makes you feel good is perfect.  But you also have to be ok with getting on the floor in your dance outfit.  Like most Nia classes there is almost always Floorplay — even at a Nia Jam!

There is a wonderful  sense of community at a Nia Jam.  Teachers gathered to share the Joy of Nia.  Participants gathered to experience a Jam.  All of us gathered to do our favorite exercise.  All of us ready to workout.  All of us ready to dance.  All of us there to do Nia.  It is really fun stuff.  I hope that you will be able to join us for our next Jam.

You can visit my website to see all the pictures from the Nia Jam in July.  (The link MIGHT change in the future.)

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Energy Type the Nia Way

Posted by terrepruitt on July 21, 2011

When we possess a better understanding of things it allows us to work better with them.  By “work” I mean anything from enhancing, to changing, to bettering, to “dealing with”, to molding, to melding, whatever.  It just is that the better we understand something the better “it” can be.  There are personality types, as an example Type A and Type B.  When there is an idea of how a specific personality acts, sometimes there can be ways of interacting with that personality to allow for harmony.  With any “typing” there is variation, so nothing is exact, it just can give us an idea.  In Nia, we have a little bit more in-depth approach to “types”.  It is energy type.  Now no energy is necessarily better than the other.  What is better or “best” is to have BALANCE of all the types.  So this form of “typing” can be utilized to allow you to learn what type you tend towards and give you a chance to work at balancing your types.  The system of energy typing Nia uses is connected with the nine basic Nia movement forms; T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Yoga.

In The Nia Technique, a book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, there are questionnaires that can guide you to understanding what your particular energy type might lean towards.  They are “True/False” questions. Here are some examples from each energy type:

(T’ai Chi)  “I am often, soft, relaxed, and internally calm” and “I breathe with great ease”

(Tae Kwon Do)  “I love speed and power” and “I am physical, conscious, precise, focused, and directed in my life, getting what I want through hard work and precision”

(Aikido “In life, I am all about win-win” and “I move with grace and seamless dynamics, turning lines into circles”

(Jazz Dance)  “I am impulsive, lusty, sassy, demonstrative, showy, alive, fun, and electrifying to my friends” and “I love to shimmy, get dressed for the party, and be uninhibited”

(Modern Dance)  “I love playing with extremes and contrasts” and “I love contrasts, gravity, surprise, and the start and stop of life, as well as moments of continuity”

(Duncan Dance)  “I am all about the soul, and in life I move in childlike ways”  and “I flow spontaneously through my life”

(Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais)  “I am all about sensation”  and “I am healthy and love anything that is healing”

(Alexander Technique)  “I explore life with ease and flexibility” and “I seek the simple, useful, authentic, and organic ways”

(Yoga)  “I can be gentle, powerful, focused, conscious, and receptive” and “I love lying down, sitting, being prone, and playing with back bend motions.”

There are nine questionnaires with nine statements you mark as true or false.  After answering each one there is information for those with “mostly true” answers and “mostly false”.  The idea is to be able to identify which energy is stronger and which one is weaker.  Then you can work on strengthening the weaker energy during your Nia workout and in your life.  It is interesting to find out where your tendencies lie.  If you are interested in finding out what your Energy Type done the Nia way is, get a copy of The Nia Technique.  It is a great way to get to know Nia and you’ll probably learn a lot about yourself on the way.

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Nia White Belt Principle #7

Posted by terrepruitt on May 25, 2010

The first half of Nia White Belt Principle #7 is the Three Planes of Movement.  The second half is Levels of Teaching.  (You can learn more about Nia’s Belt Levels here)  The three planes of movement in Nia can be easily described as low, medium, and high.  The planes are used to allow our bodies to practice agility and mobility.  We use the floor, the space in between, and the “high”.  We bend and fold.  We reach out and stretch up.  We move in space both horizontally and vertically.

With all the movements available to us in the three planes we have the opportunity to experience energy as it moves around us.  In addition to the possibilities of energies the journey should be to pleasure and comfort.   As you move through the planes part of practice of  Nia is to observe how our joints open and move more freely.

Just like the three levels of intensity Nia encourages everyBODY – regardless of fitness level – to work and play in all three planes.  Keeping in mind everyone’s low, middle, and high is unique to their own body.

Moving through the planes can tie into the levels of intensity.  For example if doing the bow stance, the lower or deeper you go could be considered a level of 3 intensity because going down and coming back up would require greater effort and be more intense than staying “high” and not lowering into a deep bow.

Strength, stability, and flexibility will also be a result of working through and in all the planes.  The more we play in all of these areas we develop more ability in all of them, the more we can maintain balance in the entire body.

If you want to join me in a Nia class please look at my San Jose Nia class schedule or my San Carlos Nia class schedule.  I look forward to seeing you.

Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sodalite and Moonstone

Posted by terrepruitt on April 29, 2010

Sodalite – From the things I have read the main thing sodalite is believed to do is bring calm, inner peace, and balance. I have often seen it associated with helping make clear and rational decisions. (Which I would imagine would be easier if your mind was calm and you had inner peace, so those two things seem like they would go together.) In addition to clear and rational thinking, some information states it helps with creative thought too. I have also seen that it helps with inflammation which goes along with the information I have seen that says it assist with immune systems. (Because inflammation is part of that system.)

Moonstone – I see that this stone is said to also bring calm. Most information states, “Moonstone is a stone of inner growth and strength.” Also, it is said to stimulate balance of hormones. (Which we must remember is necessary in males as well as females.) Several things say it is a stone of protection and that it is a healing stone.

This is stuff that interests me. At one time I thought it was pretty (what I call) woo-woo, but then when I start looking into Nia I started seeing things a little differently. When I first discovered Nia I bought the book (The Nia Technique Book). As I started reading it I thought it was too “woo-woo”, but then they related it to science and it made sense. Then I started thinking that there had to be things on this earth that we were given before we had science that could assist with our health and wellness. So I thought, “Why not energies in a stone?” So, I am just interested in this. I feel more comfortable when I read the information out there (and there is so much out there) and it states basically the same information. Then I feel like at least everyone is on the same page.

I was interested in some of the properties these two stones were said to have. I have not listed them all but just some. I have a few in the house. Not sure they are doing any good, but they are pretty.

Do you think stones have energies? Do you think stones have healing properties?

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

Movie and More That Is The Difference

Posted by terrepruitt on March 2, 2010

A month or so ago I received a call and was told that there is a woman who is going to make a movie about making a difference in the world and that I had been picked to be a collaborator. I was intrigued. I was told it would be a two hour meeting in San Jose at which I would be told about the project and then I would have the opportunity to decide if I wanted to be involved. (This clued me into the fact that there was a price tag.)

Well, I went to this meeting. First of all, I hadn’t seen the information that might have been out there that it would be a small meeting. I also had not seen the website so I had no idea what The Difference was about. I was surprised that it was a small meeting. But for the small amount of people the energy from the women there was amazing. There were all types of different women who do different things to make a difference; there was massage therapist, psychotherapist, feng shui designers, personal assistants, energy workers, Nia teachers (ok, that was me!), etc. Jacqueline Bignell was leading the meeting and she spoke to us in a very conversational manner. She was amazing at presenting her passion. She was great at getting the group excited and yearning for more.

She is going to make a movie, a two-hour docu-drama that she believes will change the world, by providing answers to questions like the following:

–Why are you here?
–What do you think your life’s purpose is?
–What do you do in your life to be truly filled with love and joy?

Her vision is to get 6000 people to collaborate on this, answering these questions. Their ideas, opinions, stories, etc. will be filtered up to a National Group who will filter it up to the World Group and they will filter it up to the script writer. The idea is to have four main characters in the movie. But the idea of the script is not quite formed yet.

Her mission is to touch the lives of 6 Billion people. The idea is that 6000 people can touch 60,000, 60,000 can touch 600,000, 600,000 can touch 6,000,000, and so on, multiplying by 10.

It was an amazing meeting. Her idea incredible, change the world with a movie. A movie collaboration of 6000 people, never been done . . . . .all amazing stuff. And the real idea is to have the 6000 people fund the movie, or at least pay to be collaborators.

In addition to being a collaborator you receive a lot of other things for your part in funding of the movie. Some incredible things . . . .to me what I think of it as is purchasing a self-improvement package where the end result is personal growth, a 6 minute interview on an internet TV show, inclusion in The Difference Website and The Difference Network, and bragging rights that you were a collaborator on this historic project.

But one of the big “sells” is that one’s self, one’s uniqueness would touch 6 Billion people. Now that is a great “sell” and sounds so very appealing, but with the filtering process I am not sure that it is an accurate selling point. I am not confident that my uniqueness, would actually get through the filters. My story could be the one that was filtered out. In addition, I am not confident that all 6 BILLION people will be “touched”. See what I am saying?

If you desire to become a collaborator and you are able, I have no doubt that if you actually participate in all that they are offering it will be an incredible experience. I believe that the training and mentoring that they say they are going to provide would be amazing . . .but you have to commit to do it. This is about a two year commitment.

I admire her for attempting this. I believe that it is an amazing idea.

I look forward to hearing more about this. I look forward to watching the end product. I look forward to seeing the difference The Difference makes.

Posted in Just stuff | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments »

Nia and Aikido

Posted by terrepruitt on January 16, 2010

As you might now be aware Nia is a wonderful mix of elements from three different movement forms from three different arts. Martial Arts is one of the art forms.  Aikido is one of the movement forms from the martial arts.

According to the Nia White Belt Manual that I received during my Nia White Belt Intensive Aikido was the martial art that Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas enjoyed the most.  The spirit of it that was added to Nia was the translation of “the way of harmony”.  Conflict is resolved lovingly.  During the intensive I remember the idea was mentioned of using the opponents own weight and energy to take control of the situation.  While in Nia we don’t have opponents or enter into competitions with each other, the example was intended to express the idea that a blending of energies makes it easy to move.  Aikido in Nia is the notion of a peaceful warrior. 

As with all of the art forms that have been studied in order to create Nia, it is ideas, concepts, and moves that have been integrated.  All of the movement forms are understood to be something that takes practice and maybe even years of training.  That is respected when we talk about forms being added to Nia. 

Aikido brings grounded energy to Nia.  We practice spiral swirling motion blending the energies outside with the energies inside.  Focusing on our center, the hara, we practice grace.  We also exercise our awareness and embrace the moment.  We hone our skills of moving from lines into spirals and spirals into circles with the energy surrounding us.

Aikido somewhat reminds me of Nia itself, they are both a blending of energies and movements.

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »