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 intent’

Focus – Without – The Forgotten Goodie Jar – Check In #39

Posted by terrepruitt on November 23, 2013

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 YogaBummer.  I was so determined to remember every check in to the end of the year and, alas, I got distracted.  Yesterday I forgot to post a Good Things Jar check in.  It was supposed to be Goodie Jar – Check In #39.  Sigh.  I do hope you are still filling your Goodie Jar.  I will only forgive myself because I was off doing things that actually are notable for the Good Things Jar!  I was so excited to be subbing a Nia class in Santa Cruz and I ended up having such a beautiful day, that I just plumb forgot.  We had a great focus in class, but I lost my blog focus when I arrived home.  The plan is usually something like Nia, breakfast, chocolate, beach, home.  This time we weren’t exactly sure of our plan.  Turned out to be a fabulous day.  As I said, one for the Goodie Jar.

I feel less wasteful when I have someone with me driving “over the hill”.  If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area we often call going to the beach “driving over the hill”.  It is about a 40 mile drive and–depending on the traffic–can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes.  If there is a lot of traffic or an accident it can take hours and hours.  When I go, I feel as if I should have at least one other person with me.  So when I get asked to teach a Nia class over there I like to take someone with me.  I have one student who usually is game.  She has a favorite chocolate shop over there so when she is “over the hill” she likes to drop by.  This last trip I was lucky enough to have TWO students join me.

The wonderful studio where I sub is in the Tannery and there used to be a great little cafe next door.  My student and I would dance then go get breakfast, then hit up the chocolate shop, then drive to the beach.  We have never actually walked on the sand . . . I don’t need to do that, I just need to be at the ocean.  Sadly the cafe is closed — although the sign says temporarily, we missed it.  So this trip we went to another place to eat, still got to the chocolate shop then went to the ocean.

ADance 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 Yogall week long it had been raining, both on our side of the hill and over the hill, but on Friday it was as pictured.  It was awesome.  We were blessed.  The place we visited is called Natural Bridges.  It is no longer has a “natural bridge”, but the beach is still wonderful.

Also, in regards to the focus, as you might be familiar with, in Nia classes we have a focus and an intent.  Well, I had been concentrating on learning a new routine, creating a gentle yoga class, and working out my schedule I hadn’t even settled on what we were going to dance, much less a focus.  I often ask my students what they might think or feel they need to focus on.  So I turned to my student and said, “Oh snap!  I haven’t even thought about a focus.  What do you got?  Do you have anything?”  She said, “I feel I need some healing.  I feel kinda uuughhh.”  And I said, “Thanks.  We can do that.”  I turned to one of the other students and gave her a questioning look because she was pressing on her ribs.  She said, “This is my first class back after having been in a bicycle accident.”  Ah-ha!  Healing was perfect as a focus.

It always amazes me and warms my spirit that it happens that one focus needed or desired by one person turns out to be the perfect focus for so many.  So often we are able to apply it to what is going on and find an intent that compliments it.

After class one the other student that came with me said that she enjoyed that focus.  I shared with her the way it came about and she was surprised because she had thought the woman who was touching her ribs had suggested it.  So she too was amazed that it was a focus that was appropriate for all.  But that is just how it always seems to happen.  It is so great.  It is —-ahhhhhh!

We shared a great focus although I was so focused on the Joy from class and my morning in Santa Cruz that I forgot about my Goodie Jar post.  But I think you will agree it was worth it.

So, do you think I had a good reason to forget?  Are you still filling your Good Thing Jar?

Posted in Good Things in the Goodie Jar, Misc, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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 »

Yin Yang

Posted by terrepruitt on April 28, 2011

I have written before about how we set a focus and intent for every Nia class.  With each Nia routine there is a set focus and intent, one that was used at the recording of the training DVD, but with Nia we are invited to use different focuses and different intents.  Using different focuses and intents allows for different sensations to be experienced with the Nia routines.  This week I am teaching the original focus and intent with the routine.  The focus is yin and yang.

I like this information I found regarding Yin and Yang, it states:  “Yin yang are complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, but either of these aspects may manifest more strongly in particular objects, and may ebb or flow over time. ”

With yin yang as a focus when we move our upper extremities in a manner akin to yin and our base in a yang manner we have complementary opposites moving the body which is the greater whole.  Additional yin yang sensations are hard and soft, rough and smooth, straight and curved, up and down, stable and wobbly, loud and quiet, silly and serious . . . . .ooooooh the list goes on and on.

Yin Yang is amazing.  It allows for many different movements, ideas, sensations, and feelings.  We move our bodies slow, then we move hips fast as our arms float slowly in the air, then its our whole body fast.  We hop reminding our legs of the sensation of agility, then we spend time with hands in a flutter so they can experience the fast start and stop of agility.  We invite our neurons to stretch and grow having one hand flutter and the other one move slowly through the air.  There are moments when the whole body is moving in unison in a yin way then it moves in unison in a yang way.  There are points where upper body is move in either yin or yang while the body is moving in yang or yin then there is a switch.  Yin yang is an exercise in coordination.  Also great balance practice.  As an example stand on one leg, then still standing on one leg move your arms around you in a quiet manner, then make them loud.  That yin yang really trains the intrinsic muscles for greater stability.

What made me think about sharing this was today while I was doing something at home I thought, “Do in yin and yang!”  So I did it fast then I did it slow, then I did it on two legs and then I did it on one leg.  Whatever I was doing I realized that I could bring the focus from my Nia class this week into my everyday household chores.  Yes, I know I have actually put this in a post before  . . . in Nia we do “Dance Through Life“.  This is dancing through life.  I just love when I am dancing through life and I can share it in a post easily.

I invite you to move through your day experiencing yin and yang.  So things fast then slow, move one arm fast and the other slow, move big, move little, move big and little at the same time . . . you understand.  Go.  Dance through life . . . be yin . . . be yang . . . be yin and yang!

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Fourth Chakra

Posted by terrepruitt on February 17, 2011

The focuses of my Nia classes this week were connected to love.  Since is was Valentine’s Day this week.  Monday’s Nia class the focus was Love with the intent of allowing what was needed.  Whether it was to give love to the community, the world, or oneself or to receive love from the community, the world, or for oneself.  The playlist was LOVEly.  Wednesday the focus was peace.  With somewhat the same intent but with the addition of the peace inviting in calm.  The playlist was the same . . . love, kisses, and hearts.  Tomorrow’s class in Los Gatos the focus will be the fourth chakra, the heart chakra.

The routine I’ve put together allows for the many opportunities to move the upper back, chest and the ribs.  Our intent will be move the physical area where the heart chakra is located in order to open the heart chakra.  Opening this chakra invites feelings of joy.  Joy shares company with calm.  With joy and calmness as companions additional positive feelings, sensations, and states of being are experienced such as compassion, prosperity, and abundance.  This also allows for connections to peace and harmony.

Also with moving our heart chakra we are enhancing our circulation.  Concentration and focus is a powerful tool.  While we might move our upper back, chest, and ribs it will undoubtedly affect our circulation but with the additional focus on the fourth chakra we can bring extra attention to it.  Bringing whatever healing to our heart chakra that might be needed.  This will round out the week of love quite well, I believe.

Posted in Chakras, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Letting Go

Posted by terrepruitt on December 7, 2010

In my most recent Nia class, I decided that I wanted to help people focus on the good of the season.  I think that sometimes there is a lot of negative emotions around the Holiday season.  By negative emotions I mean the way people actually feel during this time of year.  There is always the ever present I-don’t-believe-in-Christ-so-I-don’t-agree-with-any-of-it, the it-makes-me-sad-so-therefore-I-am-going-to-be-sad, the WHAT?-ITS-CHRISTMAS!  The feelings of inadequacy; there is not enough money, goals for the year were not accomplished, baking isn’t getting done, cards aren’t being sent, house isn’t getting cleaned, nothing is enough, there is too much . . . . .oh my the pressure!  I was thinking all of this is negative stuff.  So in class the focus was pushing away the negative, somewhat rejecting it, with the intent of bringing in the positive.

Both the “negative” and the “positive” is different for everyone so that was a very individualized point.  We didn’t discuss anything that I mentioned above, so everyone could rid themselves of whatever they needed and attract whatever they wanted. It was very nice.  It is a focus and an intent that can be used any time, I just thought we’d give it a spin this season.

As with all focuses and intents we use in a Nia class they can be carried into one’s day and/or daily living.  This is where the thought of “letting go” keeps popping into my head.  I love this season.  I love cleaning my house, getting it all ready to put up the decorations.  Then I love spending days . . . at least two or three days decorating the tree and the house.  I always laugh because sometimes I can’t remember where I “normally” put something and it might end up in a new spot.  Then I spend the season either saying, “Yes, that’s good.” or  “No, that really doesn’t work.”

I sometimes feel very foolish for the sheer joy I feel when I look at a silly Christmas decoration that I cherish.  But I do.  I feel joy at the beauty and the sparkle of Christmas.  This year since I am a bit limited in my movements I am having to really draw on that joy.  I am going to have to strategically place things so that I can see “Christmas” everywhere yet not have as many decorations out and up.

Things tend to work in concert.  We ended up with a much, much smaller tree than usual.  Cool, since my hubby had to handle it without my help.  Since it is smaller it will require less ornaments which will allow me to stay off my foot.  Also a small tree requires less maintenance and the couches didn’t have to be moved.  See?  It is all gonna work out fine, I just need to let it go.  Reject the negative when I start to feel a pout coming on.  It’s ok that it is my favorite time of year and I can’t run around.  Oh well.  I can walk.  My toe/foot IS healing.  It is all good.  For heaven’s sake its Christmastime.  Let the negative go, embrace the season, embrace the unity.

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

FAMSS

Posted by terrepruitt on April 13, 2010

In Nia we refer to FAMSS.  We practice FAMSS.  We can use it for all types of things.  It stands for:

Flexibility
Agility
Mobility
Strength
Stability

And by “use” it I mean, it is often incorporated into each kata of a routine.  Or a kata might concentrate on just flexibility, the next one agility, the next one mobility, and so on.  Or we could use FAMSS as a focus OR an intention of a Nia class.  Either all of them (Flexibility AND Agility AND Mobility AND Strength AND Stability) or just one (Flexibility OR Agility OR Mobility OR Strength OR Stability).

But whatever we do with it or them, they are highly regarded as abilities needed to ensure one’s (high) quality of life.  So in Nia we honor them all.  In a Nia class we weave them into the workout.  In this post I am just referring to FAMSS in the physical.  They can certainly be applied to more than just our physical bodies, but that can be another post just by itself.

For now, I am just talking about our physical bodies needing to be flexible, agile, mobile, strong, and stable.  Just to move around in daily life these five things are very important.  In Nia we can bend down in a forward fold as in the familiar pose one might do in a yoga class, allowing our flexibility to be enhanced.  The music might encourage us to run, stop, run, stop, run, stop or move us to play the drums calling upon our bodies to display agility in legs, in arms, in our bodies as a whole.  We can move our bodies as if they are grass in a field or seaweed in the ocean, moving each part, each section, each muscle, and all major joints to help ensure their mobility.  We could crouch in a bow stance moving up and down exercising the strength in our legs.  Then we can we stretch, reaching to the sky as we look up, this can be stability practice, either on flat foot, on the ball of our feet, or in releve.  This could be one song in which all of this FAMSS is going on or it could be spread out over the entire routine.

Just tonight in my San Carlos class a woman told me that after her first class last week her hip felt better.  She said that after her hip felt better on that first night it encouraged her to do a few of the moves at home that we had done in class.  So she started working on her FAMSS in the first class, she was encouraged that movement was working to increase her FAMSS so she moved more.  With movement she felt more comfort and less pain.  FAMSS is necessary for a high quality of life.  Her ever day movements were better not because she did it once, but because she kept doing it.  Nia honors Flexibility and Agility and Mobility and Strength and Stability, so in Nia we practice it.

I hope one day you will attend one of my classes (I have two in San Jose and one in San Carlos*) to see how we can improve your FAMSS.

*Please see my website for my CURRENT class schedule.  Thank you!

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