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 HQ’

My Organization of the Choreography for Close to My Skin

Posted by terrepruitt on April 16, 2015

The current Nia routine I am trying to learn is taking me a long time.  I have mentioned before that I feel it takes me a long time to learn a routine, but this one seems even longer.  The first thing I do is listen to the music.  I had been doing so for a couple of weeks, then I got busy for a couple of days and hadn’t turned it on.  When I went to the album in my iTunes I was shocked to see I had never listened past the sixth song.  In fact, at that point I had never made it through the entire sixth song (that is how annoying it is).  So I realized I needed to watch the Nia Training DVD.  Watching the choreography usually helps me get through a song that I don’t like because it gives me points of reference.  But this workout is filmed where the teacher and class are FACING the camera.  I don’t like this since I primarily teach with my back towards the class.  Back to the class really helps people copy the moves because they don’t have the whole “mirroring” issue to resolve.  When I am trying to learn a routine and the people on the DVD are facing me, I don’t care for it.  I do it as mirror, they are using their left foot and I am using my right, so I go right when they say “Go left”.   All trainers sometimes state the opposite side or direction, but when they are actually USING the left, but I am mirroring them, it confuses my brain.  In addition to the camera angle challenge (for me) this particular song is said to be a different version than they thought they were getting.  So the choreography appears to be being created as the routine is being filmed.  So it is very loose.  I often feel that Debbie Rosas, in her brilliance, has so many ideas about choreography for one song that she sometimes shares them all during the filming and there ends up being a lot of moves in one song.  I am grateful that the belts I have taken thus far have emphasized “less is more” and we have permission to pick a couple of moves from the song on the DVD and do them to the song.  So that is what I did with one of the songs.  I picked a few of the moves she did and organized them into something I can learn.

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I will work on learning it this way.  Although I will need a lot of practice because the song tends to mesmerize me and I lose my place.  Hopefully as I grow more familiar with the moves and music I can play with it as the Debbie did. Since I don’t watch the DVDs that are filmed with the class facing front as many times as I watch the other ones I need to have a map I can follow from the get go.  That is also the case for me when the song is very long and repetitive.  I need to have a pattern, even then I can get lost in a song like this.  And as I mentioned — just listening to it, trying to learn the song itself is not something I have been able to do.  Every time I turn it on to learn it, half way through I am so annoyed by it, I turn it off.  But moving to it is another thing.  That is why when I don’t like a song, I look to the choreography because often times when the choreography makes sense it allows me to get through the song.  More often than not I end up liking the song.  We will see what happens with this song.  It is like a dripping faucet.

Except for the class and the trainer facing the camera and the song titles not being shown as each song begins, the Nia training material continues to be stellar.  At the end of 2014, Nia HQ put out the new Routines.  I had ordered three earlier in the year, I just received the fourth one.  I am going to add the titles in with the AWESOME software I have on trial.  I have to do it before my 30 days is up.  Then I will continue learning the routine I am working on.  I will debut it to my class soon.

When you take group exercise classes do you like the instructor to face you?  Have you ever noticed how a lot of songs are very repetitive?

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New Year, New Routines

Posted by terrepruitt on January 3, 2015

Nia Technique comes out with four routines a year. I actually do not know if this is how it has always been or if this is how it has been lately. When I first started teaching Nia there were so many routines – to me – that I didn’t bother to keep track of the new ones when they were released because there was a stock of them I could order from. I do vaguely remember reading some teachers saying on the teacher forums that HQ needed to create some new routines as they hadn’t done any for a while. I remember thinking, “Wow! I can’t imagine having the need for new routines, look at all of them!!!” HQ just released four new routines in December. I think they are considering them 2014 routines, but I think of them as new for the New Year.

It is really great to have new routines to start off the New Year. Facebook is all a buzz about the new routines. I think, I don’t know, but I think some deliveries of the new routines were delayed due to the Holidays. Many Nia teachers are talking on Facebook about waiting by their mailboxes. Everyone is very excited about new routines.

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, PiYoThere are four new routines. I only had enough credits for three so, I ordered three out of the four. I could buy the fourth one, but I will just wait until I renew my license. Four routines are included in the licensing renewal fee of $520.00.  So when I renew in a few months I can just get the fourth one at that time.  I am slow to learn routines so I will have not learned and taught the three I just bought by the time I can order the fourth one.

The new routines have great names: Magic, Beautiful, Dream, Reach. Could be that you Reach for your Beautiful, Magic Dreams. Ha. That is not what Nia HQ says, it is just dawned in me while writing this.

Anyway . . . . it really is exciting.  Although, as I mentioned, it takes me a long time to learn a new routine.  So I am still learning one that was released in 2013.  I will admit to not being able to learn anything new for the first half of the year.  It was like my brain just couldn’t concentrate and retain a new routine.  I have moved past that now.  And I am still current with my quota (we are supposed to learn four a year) so I don’t feel bad.

I do love how so many Nia teachers jump right in and on the new routines.  Some Nia teachers have been teaching Nia since in the ’80’s so they have done ALL the routines there ever were and more so they really NEED the new stuff.  I have only been teaching Nia since 2009 so there were twenty-six years of routines before I even started Nia.  Although, as I said, I don’t think they came out with routines every year so there are not 124 routines to choose from.  Especially, since a lot of the old routines are no longer available.

Well, I do hope I will see you in a Nia class in 2015.  Come sooner than later!

Do you like to do the same routine for a bit before you move onto another one?  Do you like to have a new routine to do every time you step into the class?

 

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Practicing Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Posted by terrepruitt on November 5, 2013

Nia is a cardio dance workout.  Come to a class, dance, sweat, get a workout.  Nia is also a practice, like yoga is a practice.  Just like yoga you can go to a class, participate, and get a good workout in and go home.  Or you can take some of the ideas and principles with you into your daily life.  If you chose, you can decide to apply some of the body mind “stuff” to your daily life.  All up to you.  Now the reason I explain all that is because – keeping in mind that Nia is a practice (for those that want to take it that far) – there are a lot of things to, well, practice.  And Nia HQ is great about creating and supplying continue education for its members.  Also, it is great about writing articles to help people learn more about the practice of Nia.  One such article that was recently posted is Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone.

It talks about how each individual has different comfort zones so that “moving beyond” would be something different to each individual.  It reminds us that moving beyond the place where we feel comfortable is “the best thing to keep the body and brain strong”. It shares a story and gives examples of comfort zones. I do hope you click the link above and pop over to NiaNow to read it.

Here I am going to share other ways that Nia helps us do “the best thing to keep the body and brain strong” by helping us out of our comfort zone.  One way is dancing to music we don’t like.  I know . . . I can hear a lot of people say, “But WHY?”  Well, that is part of moving out of our comfort zone.  There seems to be some beats that just call to everyone.  That one song that is popular on the radio that gets everyone’s foot tapping and head bobbing.  Those songs are easy to dance to.  The universal dance song.  But the songs that come on that you might find yourself reaching for that tuning knob are great songs to step out of the comfort zone to dance to.  They are the ones that your regular, normal, COMFORTABLE dance moves just might not fit with.  The song that might have you using different muscles than you are used to.  The song that might have you moving in an entirely different way . . . . away and out of your comfort zone.  That is one reason why that Nia routine might have one of THOSE songs in it.

Then there is the song you just love.  The second it begins to play in class you are so ready to just sink into it, then your teacher says to move in a way that is in COMPLETE contradiction to the tone of the song.  “WHAT?  You want me to do a strong block to this sweet, sweet melody?”  Moving in a way that seems opposite from what the music is “telling” you can be WAY out of some people’s comfort zones.  It is a great way to keep the body and brain strong.

Playing with emotions and acting “as if” can be beyond some comfort zones.  Allowing yourself to just let go and dance without caring what you look like or if your “form” is perfect can be a big step away from some people’s comfort zones.  In one of my posts recently, I wrote about “messing up” . . . . . that can be MILES away from some people’s comfort zones.  Sounding can really be a big stretch for some individuals.  Not everyone is used to making noises while they workout.

These are just a few examples of what we do in Nia classes to help us step out of our comfort zones.  As stated, the reason is to work the brain as well as the body.  Moving out of our comfort zone helps mix it up.  Keeps the body and brain moving in different ways.  So the next time you feel resistance, let go and know you are doing something good for your body and brain.

Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone?  

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Continuing Education – Nia White Belt Principle #12

Posted by terrepruitt on September 6, 2011

Nia’s training, the Nia Intensives are something that anyone can take. If you are not planning on teaching you can still attend the intensives. Nia is a practice that can be applied to life without ever having to teach it. Nia has several different ways of helping with continued education both for the livelihood member and for teachers. First for a person that is planning on teaching, #12 of the White Belt principles is continued education. There are instructions and ideas on how to learn Nia routines.

There are three stages to learning a routine. When I took my White Belt Carlos was very adamant about not skipping any of these steps. I am glad I have decided to post this because I am being reminded that there are a few steps in each stage that I could be better about doing. In the first stage we are reminded to just simply do the DVD. With each routine we have a DVD and we are instructed to just do it. Do it as if we are taking a Nia class. Do it as you would do any exercise DVD. Move, listen, and enjoy the workout. This is obviously one step that can be done several times.

Another step is to listen to the music all the time.  Listen and allow it to seep into the body. Then we are encouraged to FreeDance to the music. We are instructed to dance six of the eight stages. Keep in mind this can be over the course of days or weeks, whatever it takes. Then they advise us to just WATCH the DVD without working out to it. The last step in Stage 1 is to do the bars.

Stage 2 is where we watch the DVD and note the separate portions of the body’s choreography. Three separate steps, first we watch and note the legs, then the core, then the arms.

Stage 3 of learning a Nia Routine is where we start to go deeper into the routine by starting to have an awareness of the musical cues that signal a change in movement. By now, with having danced the routine to the Nia DVD as a student, listened to the music, mapped out the music, noted the choreography, and become aware of the sounds that tell us when there is a movement change coming we are ready to pretend. We call that teaching or dancing with your bears. It is the example used when you are at a point in the learning process where you are ready to do the workout and pretend there are students. During my Nia White Belt Intensive Carlos said something like set up stuff bears or spoons or pillows, just set up something so you can have a focus. I think the bear scenario is used in all intensives because we all call it “teaching/dancing with your bears”. Step 3 of stage 3 is to even go deeper into the music. It is amazing how the music will sound different after you have taught your bears. I might realize I need to pick a different music cue because while I am moving the one I originally chose gets lost, or I hear a better one. Sometimes I stop and don’t move at all to make sure I am hearing the music correctly. More advice includes being the student, doing the routine again, but as the student and not the teacher and getting more technical with the moves. Once you have the basic choreography down it is time to get technical and make certain you have all the levels of intensity familiarized in your body. The Nia Routine training DVD also has many other tools on it to help us learn the routine. They have a portion where they talk about the energy that goes with each move and more about the technical aspect of each move. One of the last steps is the recommendation to dance the routine with a different focus. That is a great way to learn a routine because it becomes practically brand new and you discover so much. The last stage encourages us to change the music. Because we have mapped out music and know the count of it we can pick songs that match and put the choreography to different music.

In addition to these great stages and steps they have mapped out for us to assist us in learning a routine, Nia’s continue education includes articles and telecourses. They also film classes that they hold at Nia HQ so that people can watch and learn about more ideas that delve into Nia. In 2010 the course of study was the 13 Nia White Belt Principles. The course of study for 2011 is “Becoming A Sensation Scientist”, learning about senses of the body. I am not sure of what the course of study’s name is for 2012, but it looks as if it has to do with the body itself with title such as, “Awareness of Muscles” and “Awareness of Ligaments and Tendons.” So this is part of what I mean when I say Nia is so much more than a workout.

YES, Nia is a cardio dance workout where you can go to a class and move your body to music get sweaty and get exercise for your body. But if you want, it can be a practice, where you learn more about your body. Even if you are not a teacher or a livelihood member Nia does a monthly telecourse call where everyBODY can listen, I would like to encourage you to check it out. Go to the main website for Nia and see all the education they have to offer. You might be just amazed as I always am.

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