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 Free Dance’

Worst Part Of My Job

Posted by terrepruitt on October 7, 2014

I often tell my students at the end of class that making them get up is the worst part of my job.  I have posted blog posts about savasana.  The restful period of time at the end of a yoga class where you take time to relax letting the body and mind absorb the benefits to be had from the asanas that were just practiced.  Let the body remember the stability and strength.  Give the body time to become accustom the space that was created.  Allow the mind to reflect on the stillness.  Well, in Nia we often end the routine in Floorplay.  Floorplay is either playing with gravity to experience the muscles or stretching or . . . it can be a combination of both.  There are a lot of ways to play on the floor.  There are a lot of ways to end the class.  Our Nia training DVDs have floorplay and ending movements, but they are not choreographed.  So there is a lot of freedom in the last songs.  Nia teachers can either duplicate what the trainer does on the DVD or they can create their own movements to the songs and end the class in their own way.  I know I sometimes do what I sense the class needs so sometimes I lead the class through movements and sometimes I instruct them to do their own free dance.  Often times we end by lying on the floor in a restful pose.  Just like in my yoga classes I don’t like to have to make my students get up.

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, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classesIn the studio I rent, I think that I should rent an extra 30 minutes so we can just lie there.  Sometimes I sense the class could easily just stay there for an extra 30 minutes beyond the one hour Nia class.  In the classes I teach for the San Jose Park and Recs Department, I sense they could do that too, but we need to end on time.  Sometimes there is a class right after us so our restful period is interrupted.  But when it is not, it is a challenge to know when to interrupt the peace.

Recently I taught a class and I really didn’t want to tell them to get up.  The clock in the room was not working so I snuck up to check my phone and as I was returning to the circle I saw such peace and relaxation I didn’t want to bother them.  I toyed with the idea of just letting them stay an extra 5 or 10 minutes.  But without having planned that in advance, I didn’t want someone lying there past the hour and not knowing it.  Many people workout on their breaks so they need to get back to work.  Or they just need to get on with their day.  So as much as I don’t like interrupting their peace and as much as I would like to just let them relax, I need to keep to our schedule.  But it really is the worst part of my job when I feel they would love to just stay.

But, on the other hand, it really is a great part of my job when I can be in the presence of those that can just relax and let go.  After dancing and getting all sweaty it is so nice that they can just take a deep breath and melt into the earth and relax.  I get a huge sense of peace when I am in the presence of their stillness . . . . that is why it is so hard to disturb them.

Do you take moments out of your day to just relax and experience peace?

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Yeah, Nia Makes You Think

Posted by terrepruitt on January 7, 2014

I had a new to Nia person come to class today.  She called me yesterday to ask about it and showed up to class today.  I like that.  Of course, I asked her about it after class.  She said she liked it because it made her think.  She said that is what she needed.  Nia is amazing because it is one of those exercises that DOES make you think.  There are differences in a Nia routine.  There are times when there is Free Dance, a time where you don’t think.  You just let your body move to the music.  You let it go and see where it takes you.  It is not a trance dance, you are not in a state of trance, but you are letting your body move to the music without thinking.  There is no thinking of what others think or how you look, or of a pattern, you just move.  There is also the choreographed steps.  Some of those steps are described as the actual dance steps there are, say a Jazz Square, a grapevine, a ball change, etc.  And when learning them or even when incorporating them into a routine there may be thinking involved.  There is also the imagery used in Nia.  Where instead of saying reach up we might say pick an apple, instead of just saying walk we might say walk Jazzy, instead of saying get down on the ground we might say melt onto the earth . . . .these things might cause you to have to think for a moment.  What are the movements involved in picking an apple?  What does “Jazzy” mean?  How does a body melt?  Sometimes a routine will have us doing a movement that is out of the ordinary.  Say against the normal “flow” of movement.  And again that is where we have to think.  So sometimes, yes, we do think in Nia.

Right now I have just begun teaching a routine, I have only taught it once and it is making me laugh because when I first saw Debbie Rosas do it on the DVD I didn’t understand why she said left hand on one section and right hand on another.  To me it looked as if she was alternating.  So the first few times I did it, I alternated my hands that I started with.  When I was barring the song and I went to write down the arm choreography I stopped to watch it closely.  She says left when we start with the left ONLY and right when we ONLY start with the right.  There is alternating hands in between, but not alternating starting hands.  This is one of those funny moves that makes me think.  I love that the other teachers on the DVD didn’t quite get it either.  Makes me feel better.  Makes me remember that it is a practice and my brain and body will have to think about this move until I have it engrained.

I love that Nia is Body, MIND, Emotions, and Spirit (BMES).  I love that new people come in and see all that it is and say they love it.  I love it even more when they come back.

I always say that there was a reason Nia was once named Neuromuscular Integrative Action . . . . because that is really what it IS.  I don’t know why they abandoned that, but I can imagine.  It is a mouthful.  And to some perhaps it sounded intimidating.  Once people come to class they get to see it for themselves.  It really was/is an ingenious name, just a bit much, I guess.  As we are thinking we are using our nerves and our muscles.

So, what do you think?

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Nia Free Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on May 14, 2009

In Nia (TM) we have FreeDance.  It is not easy for most people to do.  It is not easy for me to do.  I am still learning.  With Nia the purpose of FreeDance is “to stimulate movement creativity”.  Whoa.  Stimulate movement creativity.

Per an online dictionary:

Stimulate:  to excite to activity or growth or to greater activity

Movement:  the act or process of moving; especially: change of place or position or posture from the same source as above

And creativity:   the quality of being creative or the ability to create

So we FreeDance to excite growth or greater activity in changing our place, position, or postures into new places, positions or postures.  Hmmmm.

I will take this time to remind you that our bodies are built to move.  And they are built to move a certain way.  Our joints allow for certain types and amounts of movement.  Now barring any ailment or disease our bodies should move like they are built.  But we often don’t move that way.  Our way of life keeps us from moving as our bodies were built.  Sometimes social stigma keeps us from moving the way our joints would like.  So in FreeDance you are invited and encouraged to break habits and to move like your body was built.

I have experienced that for some, moving their head is a new thing.  Think of the old way models were trained with a book on the head, some of us were taught to walk and be in that position.  Can’t move your head with a book balanced on it.  So moving your head could be something new in FreeDance you could do and be amazed at the result.  Something as simple as moving your head, breaking that straight neck habit could release oodles of tension.

Same with rigidly straight spines or tight backs.  When you Free Dance you are not dancing like you would in a club, you are pushing the limits, you are moving your body to experiment with it.  You are Stimulated Movement Creativity.

There is so much more to say on this.  This is Nia White Belt Principal number 4.  This principal has 8 stages, so that alone is a lot to talk about, but for now, I will leave it at FreeDance – To Stimulate Movement Creativity.  See if you can add a little FreeDance into your day.  It doesn’t have to be wild, it could be done where no one even notices, just move one move a little different than you normally do, and you will be on your way to FreeDance!

Posted in FreeDance, Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »