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 exercise class’

Non-Impact Aerobics

Posted by terrepruitt on November 16, 2010

Nia is a non-impact aerobic exercise.  I often get a quizzical look when I explain that to people.  It is done to music so maybe that might make it a challenge for people to understand.  It’s almost as if it is difficult to imagine a dance exercise class that is non-impact.  Or maybe it is the idea that we have been programmed with–you have to jump to get a good cardio workout.  But that’s when I need to remind them about:

—bicycling
—walking up hill
—elipical
—roller skating
—ice skating
—cross country skiing
—swimming
—rowing machine
—punching bag

All of these things can get your heart rate going without impact on the body.  It is a matter of intensity.  That’s what non-impact cardio is; getting your heart rate up with the level of intensity.   With the aforementioned exercises eight of them involve your legs, four of them involve your arms AND legs.  One of them doesn’t involve legs at all.  intensity–enough to bring the heart rate up–can be done by moving your arms only.  So, this is just a reminder, using exercises that most of us are familiar with, that you CAN have a cardio workout without the impact.  So if you have knees that prefer not to jump, tender feet, or delicate ankles you can still find something to do that is a cardiovascular workout.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Putting Students to Work

Posted by terrepruitt on October 5, 2010

I teach Nia in the San Francisco Bay Area. One thing I am trying to do is increase awareness of Nia and also, at the same time, increase my class sizes. So recently I hosted a Playshop in San Jose at the studio in Willow Glen where I hold my Nia classes. My topic for the Playshop was some of the 52 Moves of Nia. It was a success. I felt good about it, even though I put my students to work.

I had spent a day and a half or so preparing what moves I wanted to go over in the Playshop and what Nia katas from the various Nia routines I wanted to use in the Nia Class. I wanted the class routine to include all the various moves we explored in the Playshop. I spend a couple of days between doing other things reviewing to make certain I was comfortable with my presentation and to make certain I could get through it within the allotted time. So I was confident the Playshop and the Nia Class would go smooth. What I was nervous about was being able to get in and set up.

If you are a teacher of almost anything, you know that here is time needed to set up. Showing up early to set up and be ready to greet your students is not always possible with the time allowed in between workout classes. In exercise class situations sometimes there is NO time in between classes. They are scheduled to end on the hour and start at the same time. So I had scheduled 15 minutes in between, but there was still things that needed to be done and I wasn’t wanting to rush the class before us out.

So I came up with an idea . . . . now, I would bet I am not the only one to come up with this and I bet if I were to do minimum research I would find all the “Planning a workshop” information to tell me exactly this, but I am still going share it.

I realized that I could put my students to work! So I did. Most of the time people are more than willing to help. One of my students showed up really early—before me even. So I knew she was ready to do something. So I set her on one task. Then two of my students who I had been plotting to do this work all along were assigned tasks.

This assigning of tasks can also be connected to my post about “If You want something done right“. Because I had to be willing to “let go” and let my students do the tasks. And I have to say they did them beautifully. I was so proud. I was proud of myself for having thought of having them do it and I was proud of myself that I just let them do it. And I was especially proud that they did it so well. I believe they did better than I could have–it was awesome.

It was a great learning experience for me.

My hubby (thanks, Hubby!) also came to help. With him mopping the floor and some of my students setting up the room, I was able to concentrate on the participants coming in that needed to sign waivers and get settled. All of this allowed us to start on time . . . which allowed us to end on time — for the Playshop at least. The Nia routine I put together was a little longer than an hour so we went over on that. But all-in-all it was my students that allowed me to have a successful Playshop.

(Thanks Students!)

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Bow Stance

Posted by terrepruitt on January 30, 2010

One thing about a blog on WordPress, I can see search terms.  My blog statistics show me terms used in a search that led people to my blog.  One thing I noticed was bow stance came up a lot in the search terms.  People want to know what it is, how to do it, what is it for, etc.

So I thought I would post another post on the Bow Stance.  I am familiar with the stance from other exercises and other exercise classes.  It is not unique to Nia, but Nia includes it in the Nia 52 Moves.  I feel it can be compared to a lunge. 

The bow stance is one leg bent with the foot flat on the ground, the other leg is bent and out behind with the heel lifted and the ball of the foot on the ground.  The feet are not aligned, so if you were to bring your back foot forward it would not collide with the foot in front.  Can you picture it?  It is kind of like a lunge. 

The Nia Technique book states that the benefits are conditioning for walking and dealing with changing levels as the body’s center moves up and down. 

My feelings about the bow stance are that it is great for working out the lower body and for practicing balance. 

The bow stance can be done with many variations.  The typical bow stance is that described above, but, when the feet are place wider apart as if on two railroad ties the stance actually becomes more stable, but if you add moving arms to that it become less stable.  If you were to raise and lower your entire body, it changes the dynamics yet again.  If you were to add motion to the hips, it changes it again.  If you were to place the back foot further back it changes it again.  Another way to challenge the muscles is to change which foot holds the weight, leaning the weight to the front or to the back. 

This stance is used a lot in Nia routines and I imagine that is because it is such a great exercise and it can be used so many different ways.  It fits into many different songs and adds to the dance.  Sometimes we move in and out of it quickly, sometimes we stay and play.  It is a great movement.

Previously I mentioned it being good for the lower body that is because you can see how it is very good for the feet and ankles too.  When the back foot it resting on the ball of the foot, it helps with both strength and flexibility of the foot.  When movement is added to the stance it helps with both strength and flexibility of the ankle.

So we answered the question originally stated:

    the bow stance is somewhat like a lunge
    one foot is in front flat on the ground, the other is in back with the heel up, both legs are bent
    it helps with strength, balance, and flexibilty

I hope that helps.  If you have anything to add or ask, please do so.  And, as always thank you for stopping by. If you want to see how the bow stances is added to a dance workout and you want to try it yourself, join me in a class.

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Review Blog Year – Top Ten

Posted by terrepruitt on December 31, 2009

So here it is the end of the year.  I have been blogging since March (2009).  I have posted 130 times.  This is 131.  I thought I would end the year with a review of some of my favorites and according to the numbers some of your favorites too.  Here they are, not in any order:

Lyrics Gone Wrong . . . I had entertained the idea of doing this once a month, but after the second month I ran out of songs to play with.

Interesting Picture – Marilyn Monroe Albert Einstein . . . I LOVE optical illusions and this one is a doosey.

Hummingbird Tongues . . . they still fascinate me and I am still surprising people with the fact that the birds have tongues and use them more than the beak is a straw.  And usually they tongues dart in and out so fast it is a rare treat to catch it out for a picture.  Yay!

A Poem Says A Lot . . . Fabulous!  We Have Come To Be Danced . . .

Nia Belt System . . . Before you can move onto the next belt they say a year must pass.   You do not have to get involved.  It is a great workout without being involved with the belts.  The belt system only comes into play if you care to get that involved in Nia.  Nia’s belts mimic some Martial Arts; white, green, blue, brown, black.    I am learning so much with my White Belt, I can see myself waiting at least another year before I move onto the next belt.  There is so much to learn and enjoy in each belt, I am not in a hurry.

Say: “I Am Wonderful” . . . I like to say this, I like to hear this song.  I like to remind people to go to iTunes each week to download the free song.

A Brief Look At Nia . . . still excited to share Nia with people.  It is a great body-mind practice and a workout that can make you sweat yet not really feel like exercise.  It is learning to follow the body’s way.

Wrapping Tips . . . WHAT?  I was shocked that everyone did not read my blog.  On Christmas Day and the day after the bags and bags and bags and bags of wrapping trash that I saw on the curbs just blew my mind. In this day and in these times, I was just utterly flabbergasted that people don’t re-use the wrappings.  It amazed and saddened me.

My Favorite Mugs . . . so I found out that not everyone got my little joke.  Ya know, back in the day (what day, I don’t know), they used to call faces mugs . . . get it now?

The Seven Cycles Of A Nia Workout . . . The workout has cycles, somewhat like Jazzercise.  I like to share this aspect of Nia so people have an idea of what a workout class will be like.  We set a focus and an intent, step in, warm up and move all the way through the cycles to the floor, and then we step out.

Well, thank you so much for joining me on my blog.  I hope that you continue to read, I hope you enjoy and learn.  I learn from your comments so keep them coming.  Thank you for a great year.  Here is to the NewYear.

But . . .before we jump into the New Year, share with me what your favorite post from my blog was?  AND/OR give me ideas on what you would like to see posted in the New Year.

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

Nia Natural Time

Posted by terrepruitt on December 29, 2009

The Nia White Belt Principle #2 is Natural Time and the Movement Forms. I have posted about the movement forms, here I talk about Natural Time. There is the Natural Time of the Mayans with the 13 moons to a year and there is the Natural Time of one’s body and one’s own movements.

In a Nia workout class even as the teacher is leading the participants through a routine, the participants are encouraged to follow their own natural time. There could be a section of the exercise that consists of floating down and rising up. I might invite you to do it in “your own time”, your “natural time”, encouraging you to do it as you sense. The music could be motivating you to float down slowly and rise up quickly, or vice-versa, or slow both in the downward motion and the upward motion. But it is up to you and your body, your own natural time. So even though we are moving all together we are doing it in our own time. We are allowing our bodies to listen the music and move as we sense it.

The same goes, really for our choreographed moves, one might move it fast and big, whereas the person standing right next to them might move it slow and small. It all depends on one’s own body. Moving in natural time helps us connect deeply with our own bodies. Without being forced to move at a specific speed or “volume” we can ensure that we get the exact workout out bodies need.

The routines in Nia are choreographed in a way that allows for people to play with the moves.  Participants can move their own way and in their own time.  Most steps are simple and allow for simplifying or spicing it up.

Nia also considers 13/20 to be the code of Natural Time.  There are 13 major joints and 20 digits of the body.  Body movements moving all 13 joints and 20 digits is a way to receive information from the body.

Visit my site for details on my ON-GOING classes in San Jose (the schedule and the classes I mention on the blog might change from time to time.  The best way to find out about CURRENT classes is to visit: http://www.helpyouwell.com/nia-class-schedule.html .  Thank you!)

Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nia In Many Forms

Posted by terrepruitt on November 7, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Color Me A Reminder

Posted by terrepruitt on November 5, 2009

Recently I posted a bit about Focus and Intent.  One comment on that post was from someone who sets a daily intent, but hadn’t thought to carry the focus she has during her workout into her day.  She brought up that during her morning Yoga she is able to focus on her shoulders but during the day she forgets.

Well, a lot of us might do that, not remember to carry our focus and intent into the day.  There is so much going on it is easy to forget.  So there is a little helpful reminder that Nia’s co-creator does.  I heard her share it on one of the monthly teleconferences that Nia offers.  She said when she wakes up she thinks of a color.  I believe she indicated that the color presented itself or just came to her, as a thought.  If that doesn’t necessarily happen for you, pick one.   (I am amending this because the co-creator of Nia, Debbie Rosas, did say that she used a color for something, but it was not to assist her with the focus and intent.  It was for something else . . . . I don’t want to bring up what it was for because that is a subject that requires another post entirely.  I was reminded about picking a color in a Nia teleconference.)  So . .  .  Here is a little something to help you remember, when you wake up . . . . .

Pick a color.  Now what you do with that color is:  throughout the day, when you see that color think of your focus and remember your intent.

So if your focus is to remember to keep your shoulders down and in their place (this is something I struggle with, that is why I bring it up) you can be reminded of it every time you see your chosen color.  Doesn’t mean you have to stop what you are doing and examine yourself or rearrange yourself, it is just a gentle nudge. Green (for example) whispering, “shoulders”.

Or let’s say you’ve decided to drink more water.  So every time you see the color that you decided upon for the day you take a sip of water (or drink a glass—whatever you set your intention to be).

Do you get the idea?  You can set your focus and intent on whatever you would like, by having chosen a color is a tool to help remind you of your focus and intent.  Choosing a color can assist you in taking your focus and intent from your workout and/or from your exercise class into your day.

Share with me your stories.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Say: “I Am Wonderful”

Posted by terrepruitt on October 22, 2009

Do you take advantage of the free song that they offer on iTunes. It is a weekly song, but I am not sure when they post it, if it is Monday or Sunday. I don’t always remember to get it, do you? I just now set my calendar to remind me.

I actually haven’t remember that often, I have less than 40 songs, but of those 40 I have six that I absolutely love and listen to over and over. There are more out of the 40 that I like but there are 6 that I think are worth mentioning. And they range across the board and I like them for various reasons. Here they are in no particular order:

Song:                           Artist:

Neo Violence                 The Tough Alliance

Mr. Hurricane                Beast

Already Home               Ha-Ash

Cheater, Cheater          Joey & Rory

The Stoop                    Little Jackie

Wonderful                    Gary Go

I actually bought the entire Beast CD. It is very moving, I mean, for me, it makes me get up and dance. But not like bounce on your toes disco dance, more like pound-the-ground-get-up-get-down tribal dance or something.

I throw Neo Violence into my Nia routines because it has a very dicernible beat. Very catchy tune. Easy to dance, exercise, and workout too. (So is music from the Beast, but . . . the words might be a bit distracting in a Nia class.)

And the latest is Wonderful by Gary Go, kind of sounds like a lot artists out there now, but I love the words. “Say: ‘I am wonderful.’ You are a miracle.” “Don’t Stop to let it pass you by you gotta look yourself in the eye and say, I am wonderful!” “We are all miracles . . . .we are incredible.” Oh, I just love that!

So, what great find have you downloaded for free off of  iTunes? Any you love? Any you would like to tell us about?

Posted in Just stuff | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »