Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘Nia Move’

Finger Extensions – One Of The Fifty Moves Of Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on May 13, 2016

Finger Extensions, one of the Fifty-two Moves of Nia.  Yeah, extending your fingers is a Nia move.  It may sound odd, but it makes sense.  Extending the fingers helps move energy.  Each finger holds its own energy.  The finger movements also have emotional connections so these type of movements tie in very well with the whole body experience, the Body, Mind, Emotion, Spirit (BMES) connection.  The finger extensions are the thumb, the index, the middle, the ring, and the pinky.

Each finger holds specific energy and whether you can think about that and believe it or not, when you really think about it you can believe it.  Each finger has an emotional association.  The thumb is associated with nurture.  It is the finger babies suckle, it gives them comfort.  The index finger is the desire finger.  It is the finger a child uses to indicate what she wants.  We use our “pointer” finger to point to what we desire.  The middle finger is our power finger.  When used with an extended arm pointing down it is the Balance Finger. Sometimes when pointed up it is used as a way of communication.

The ring finger is the commitment finger.  It is where engagement rings and weddings bands are placed to signify commitment.  It is the point in which a hand hold is fully committed.  The pinky finger is on the edge of the hand it represents the boundaries.  Boundaries that are respected yet can be nudged and expanded.

With the emotional attachments of each finger, can you see how there can be energy linked with each finger?  Can you acknowledge how extending your thumb might elicit energy associated with nurturing because we or babies we know have sucked their thumb?  Can you fathom how extending your desire finger might cause you to have an emotional response?  And with our emotions there is energy attached.

I know that when I am dancing in a Nia Class and I extend my various fingers it often affects my feet.  When I am extending my desire finger sometimes I feel happy because I am pointing at what I want.  Sometimes that happy translates to strong movements of my feet because I am identifying my desire.  Dancing my pinky, the edge, sometimes makes me feel brave.  When I feel brave my movements, the energy, is different than when I am relaxed or feeling timid.

So now that you have an idea of how a simply hand movement can be used in an exercise class, in a cardio dance class, let me share how we do them.  It really is somewhat simple.  Just extend your arm and then point each finger one at a time, then take a moment to sense the “different qualities of energy”.

Some benefits to doing these extensions, as stated in The Nia Technique book, are that it “helps move energy in and out of the upper body, and keeps it from getting clogged in the next and shoulders.”. Finger extensions also help you move your fingers in a precise way which exercises the brain and the body.

So really this is an easy move and some might not even think of it as an exercise, but it is important to keep our hands strong and flexible.  And if, when we do this it activates our brain, that is even better.  And . . . if we can do it while we are dancing and having fun, then why wouldn’t we?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Fast Clock-One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on August 2, 2012

I learn A LOT when I teach Nia.  I learn a lot when I teach anything, but since my focus now is teaching Nia, I say I learn a lot when I teach Nia.  One thing I learn or I am reminded of is not everyone has taken a class that has taught them basic steps.  It is like when I take a Zumba class and the teach calls out a basic Latin dance and I have no idea what she is talking about.  I always laugh to myself and say, “I don’t know what the steps are to that basic Latin dance!”  But then I remember my Nia training and my Nia practice and while I try to do whatever dance it is she says we are doing, I remain in Joy and just allow myself to move my body in a way that is dance to me.  But not everyone has had Nia training and not everyone practices Nia so it is not as easy for them to just allow their bodies to move and not think so much. One of the tools that Nia uses to help teachers instruct the dance and to just help one dance in general is the clock.  I posted about how we look at the clock in a Nia class — ok that is just me because I need the actual reference.  I have posted about our step called the “Slow Clock”  .  This post is about the movement called the Fast Clock.  The Fast Clock is one of Nia’s 52 Moves

The Fast Clock is similar to the Slow Clock in that we are stepping on the “hours” of a clock (oh, imagine that!), but with the fast clock we don’t return to center before stepping on another number/hour.  So if you stand with your feet together imaging you are in the center of the clock, then step your right foot to 12 o’clock, then back to 6 o’clock (without stopping in the center) that is the fast clock.  There are a lot of combinations that can be done when doing a fast clock.  You could step to 12 o’clock, then 3 o’clock, then 6 o’clock, then return to center.  Then your other foot could step to 12 o’clock, then 9 o’clock, then 6 o’clock, then return to center.

POP QUIZ:  Which foot would step to 12 o’clock, then 3 o’clock, then 6 o’clock, then return to center?  🙂

Just the same as the Slow Clock you can actually take a step where you place the weight on the foot that is on the number/hour or you can touch or make it a tap.  Sometimes you might even get fancy or really dancy and just do it in the air.  But all that fancy stuff is obviously added after you learn the basic Fast Clock.  As with many things, Nia does have basic steps and proper ways to execute them, then as we dance we add on to them to make them a more animated part of the dance.

As with many of the moves in Nia the participant is responsible for providing their own desired intensity.  You can easily work up a sweat in Nia if you make your movements bigger or louder.  We sometimes refer to it as turning up the volume.  But again, that is up to you and how you are feeling during that class.  A “louder” fast clock could have lengthier steps making the imaginary clock face you are dancing on very large.  Or your “bigger” could be going deeper into the steps, bringing your body closer to the earth.  Having tools like the face of the clock to assist in knowing where to step, allows the Nia student to focus on their body and what it needs and not be so caught up in whether they are “doing it right”.   With the clock it makes it easy to teach and easy to follow!

Ok, now get up and practice your clocks!  Which foot goes to 12 o’clock?  Which foot goes to 9 o’clock?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »