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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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘Nia five sensations’

Nia Jam Palo Alto 2016

Posted by terrepruitt on April 4, 2016

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSaturday, April 2, 2016 there was a Nia Jam in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has been a long time since I have been to a Nia Jam.  The last one I went to was in 2013!  They are so fun. The energy at a jam is fantastic. I thought I was going to miss it because the event was being held at a studio in the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto.  It is a HUGE complex and I parked in the garage and followed the first sign that said fitness center. It led me to a courtyard where every door was locked. There was a sign pointing up and to the left, but there was no way for me to go up and to the left. I asked someone walking around if he knew where it was and bless his heart, he had no idea but he made an attempt to help me. We looked at a map and I decided the best route was to go out to the street and go all the way around to where I thought the studio was.  As I was making my way back to the garage, I made a few turns and ended up on the right track. I was supposed to be the first teacher and I was kinda bummed that I was late because I thought I missed it.  But as I was walking in they were saying. “Where is Terre?” and I was able to say, HERE!”  Yay! I made it. I was about 5 minutes late. I thought I was going to be early. I am so glad I made it.  Nia Jams are soooo fun.

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitOften times there are microphone issues.  It seems as if movement disrupted this one’s connection.  But Nancy H.  worked on it and got it fixed after the first few songs.  And it was good to go.  As we were making introductions one of the teachers told me she was going to be after me.  It is important in a jam situation to know who is before you and after you.  You need to know who is before you so you are paying attention and can be ready to switch off with the microphone.  And also, it is nice to know who is after you so you can make eye-contact as you are ending your selection so the switch off can go as smooth as possible.

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI don’t normally teach with a microphone so I always feel like I have to be quiet when I have one in my face.  Otherwise it would blow people’s ears out.

The focus was the Nia Five Sensations, FAMSS, (Flexibility, Agility, Mobility, Strength, and Stability) And I did it again, I don’t know what the intent was.  I always seem to miss the intent.  We had a great playlist (as you can see)!

It was super fun.  It is always so nice to see all the teachers.  We are kind of spread out in so many different areas.  It is even nicer to be able to dance with everyone.  And the JCC was very kind to donate the space so between ticket sales and the raffle, I think the association did well.

Here are some pictures and a video.  I will continue to encourage you to go to a Nia Jam.  They are so fun.  I know you will love it!

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit

 

 

 

See a short video of me teaching on my website.

I want to thank all the students that came and danced and all the teachers that taught.  Such fun!  See?  Doesn’t it look like fun?

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Taste Of The Nia 5 Sensations

Posted by terrepruitt on April 25, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I Changed My Mind, I DO Teach Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on January 18, 2014

I know – well, I am pretty confident that I have mentioned before in a blog post that I don’t think of myself as teaching people Nia.  Even though I say I teach Nia, I usually prefer to say I lead Nia.  I wish I could find that post because I would like to check what I said exactly because I am feeling a bit different these days.  Or maybe I have it clarified in my mind better.  I believe I said that I don’t like to say I teach Nia because I feel that a dance teacher is one that demonstrates the steps and then has the student try to do them while the teacher watches.  Then maybe the teacher demonstrates again and the student does it again and then maybe there is some adjusting done by the teacher.  Or even in a group dance class setting the move is done over and over until it is somewhat learned and then the next move is added on.  Sometimes there is a sequence of moves that is demonstrated then practiced over a few times and then a new sequence added on.  That is what I think of as teaching dance.  So in THAT way I don’t teach Nia, but I DO teach Nia.

I do not show the move then have the students practice it over and over before we dance it, but sometimes when the song allows we do a preview and practice.  It could be that the song has a long introduction in which there is no specific choreography and in that time we demo a move.  While I might not tell a participant in particular a way to tweak the move I will look out into my class and see something that could use tweaking so I might say or even do something that I hope will lead to a change.  Say, we are doing a move using our toe and I look out and see someone using their heel, I might suggest using the toe like squashing a bug or testing the water (depends on what we are doing).  So in essence I hope to teach the students that we are using our toe.  I teach the move as we are doing it as opposed to the aforementioned way.

IN addition, I like to share things about Nia while we are dancing.  Sometimes I talk about how Nia incorporates the BMES (Body, Mind, Emotion, and Spirit)  I might explain Nia’s Five Sensations while we are moving on the floor.  Allowing the Nia students to be reminded of them and possibly use them in the floorplay.  I often remind the Nia class about Natural Time letting them know they are free to move through the movement/choreography in their body’s own natural way and timing.  Sometimes this is actually part of the song and if not people are always encouraged to move in this way.

So, I take it back if I said — as I believe I did — I don’t like to say I teach Nia, because I do teach Nia.  But I don’t teach it as if it were a dance, because it is not just a dance.  While we do dance, Nia is so much more.  Maybe I should say I lead people through Nia Routines and I teach Nia?

Have you ever taken a dance class like I describe – the demo-do-type?  Do you see the difference between two?

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, Gentle Yoga

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What IS PiYo?

Posted by terrepruitt on July 9, 2013

I am very shocked and somewhat embarrassed that I have had this blog for over four years and I have never written a post explaining PiYo™.  PiYo is a combination of Pilates (Pi) and Yoga (Yo), brought to us by Chalene Johnson.  Chalene is the creator of Turbo Jam®, Turbo Kick®, TurboFire®, Hip Hop Hustle®, and ChaLEAN Extreme®.  These programs are put out by either Beachbody or her company, Powder Blue Productions.  With PiYo the idea is to combine the two mind/body practices in order to appeal to a large audience.  Pilates and yoga are somewhat similar to begin with, both have a component of connecting the mind and the body in conscious movement.  Both have ideals on breathing and breath.  Both are a way to improve flexibility, stability, strength, and balance.  Depending on which type of yoga practice there could be agility and mobility involved as in Pilates.  Now this might sound familiar if you know about Nia.  In Nia we have the five sensations flexibility, agility, mobility, strength, and stability (FAMSS) which we play with in our dance.  In PiYo the same sensations can be experienced.  The manual states:  “PiYo is considered a ‘Western’ approach to the practices of mind/body fitness.”

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia   workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYoI believe that many people think yoga has been “Westernized”.  Since there are so many types of yoga there might not always be a spirituality in the yoga class or chanting, meditating, or even the Sanskrit terminology.  That is true with a PiYo class.  It is more about the physical with an awareness.

PiYo combines yoga breathing and Pilates breathing.  In general a yoga pose is done with yoga breathing and a Pilates exercise is done with Pilates breathing.  Of course, students are encouraged to breath in a way that is comfortable to them and that works with their individual body, the aforementioned is just a general guide.

The PiYo class follows the tried and true module of a typical exercise class.  There is a section for warming up, a section for general strength and balance, a section with more of a focus specific area of the body (say a core, upper body, or lower body), then a cool down and relaxation section.  While yoga poses could meet all the requirement of each section and Pilates exercises could also, it is often the case that each section will have a majority of one or the other.  Although, you might be like me and think that there is such a huge cross over it is difficult with some moves to claim it is only a yoga move or only a Pilates move.  While I am certain the move did originate from one or the other practice specifically it seems as though currently there is a huge cross over.  That is one reason why I think Pilates and yoga marry ups so well.  They can be considered very similar.

So throughout the class there will be yoga poses and Pilates exercises.  It is up to the instructor and the make-up of the class as to whether the yoga poses will be held for a measured amount of time or done in a flow.  No matter which is chosen it will be a sequences of poses.  Whereas the Pilates exercises are done in repetition.  Generally sequences of repetitions.

A PiYo class is allowed the freedom of design.  As mentioned there is a class format, but then the way it is carried out is dependent on the instructor and students.  The consistence of a PiYo class is that it is for the body and the mind using both yoga poses and Pilates moves.

Do you practice yoga?  Do you practice Pilates?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

It’s Nice To Hear Someone Agree With Agility

Posted by terrepruitt on October 18, 2012

I teach a Nia Class for the city of San Jose.  The city has it set up pretty cool in that instructors can have a day and a time at a specific community center that we can call “my” class and we can also teach other people’s classes as a substitute.  We have this forum where we post requests and needs.  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, ZumbaMany instructors have full time jobs and kids so they have other responsibilities that call them away from their regularly schedule class.  Plus there is always a cold, a serious illness, or a bump/bruise or strain.  This network of teachers allows us to live our lives and take care of ourselves when necessary.  It also helps expose our community to different types of workouts and different teachers.  I have shared before how at one point I was trying to make Nia be more like whatever it was I was subbing for.  If you haven’t read that post, I am sure you might be able to imagine how that turned out.  It made this Nia teacher very unhappy and I don’t think it was a great service for the attendees either.  One of the reasons I applied for the job with the city was so that I could share Nia with the community.  Recently I taught Nia as a substitute class for Zumba, and my thoughts on Zumba and agility were confirmed.

A few of the student came up afterwards to talk to me about Nia.  Some shared how they like it because it was gentle yet allowed them to work up a sweat and get a great workout.  One woman made me giddy because she said the same thing that I had just decided about Zumba.  It took me a while to get to this conclusion and she jumped to it her very first time.  She said that Nia is more complete.  She said that she loves Zumba, she does it three times a week, but the moves are not completed.  She said it was nice to be able to finish a move.  Nia allows you to move through the entire range of motion, through the entire range of the joint.  I loved that she was able to get that from one class.  I also love and appreciate that she can like both, Nia and Zumba.  They are both cardio dance exercise workouts, but they are different.  Seeming to always have to explain the two together, I am always thinking about it and just recently reached the agility conclusion. I explained in one of my posts how I feel Zumba seems to only move in one sensation.  Well, having gone to a training and experienced the Zumba Fitness Program I believe a Zumba class can move in all five, but it concentrates on agility and touches on the rest.  But they are in there if you know to look for them.

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, ZumbaSo this student who was talking to me after class picked up on that fact that in Nia we move through all five sensations and Zumba focuses on one.  This is not to say that is bad, this is just again pointing out how they are different.  Also this is me sharing that it is not just other Nia teachers and my Nia students that think that, it is other people who are more familiar with Zumba than Nia.  This is just a happy confirmation post sharing that I felt I got it right when I explained Nia and Zumba in that way.  Yay.

Both Nia and Zumba are great fun.  I encourage you to do whatever it is that will get you up and moving!  If you decide what type of movement you want it can help you decide what you can do to get it.

Do you like to take different types of exercise classes?  Do you like to just stick to one type of class?

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