Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 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 posts’

Ways To Practice Rock Around The Clock

Posted by terrepruitt on January 15, 2015

I have said it many, many times, but I am going to say it again.  Nia has 52 Moves which we incorporate into the Nia routines.  These moves have a specific way to be done.  But the way they are done is adjusted, like many things, when you are doing them in a routine.  There is or was a debate about one of the moves called the bow stance.  The debate is or was about how the weight of the body should be distributed. The reason I am saying “is or was” is because I don’t know if the debate was ever settled.  The discussion regarding it — at least one that I had seen — was on Facebook and it was a long discussion.  I don’t know what the end result was or what the “official” decree is because to me, I want to teach balance, so if I am JUST doing a bow stance then I would instruct people to have their weight evenly distributed.  Usually I am not doing JUST a bow stance.  If I am showing people the bow stance it is because it is in the routine and there are other steps prior to or after it and with other moves on either side the weight gets distributed according to the need.  So, in other words, we adjust the move to fit the dance and choreography.  So that is what my class and I are experiencing right now with the Nia 52 Move called Rock Around the Clock.

If you read my original post about it, the one that explains what it is, the instructions state to start the rock on the heels.  But in the routine I am leading my class through currently we start the rock on the toes.  Then we roll (or rock) to either the left or the right.  We actually go both ways and like many things, the different “sides” or directions are very different in regards to sensation and difficulty level.  One side is easier than the other . . . at least that is the consensus with my students.  So it is very beneficial to practice “rocking” both ways.

With this post I am doing two things; 1) I am reminding you to practice moves going both directions.  Just like we do both sides.  If we are doing a move with the left side we do it with the right.  We – trainers – often say to keep the body even and it really is to work both sides of the body AND the brain!  2)  Share with you a different or additional WAY to practice Rocking Around the Clock.

My original post says something about this being an example of an easy move.  It is not necessarily “easy”, what I probably should have said was the Rock Around the Clock was not a high intensity move.  So for those that are really starting out learning this move you might even want to sit down and do it.  Since feet are in shoes for a large part of the day and those shoes might not allow for a lot of ankle mobility, it could be that your ankles just don’t want to move in the way that is required with this move.  So it is a great idea to sit down and allow the ankles to loosen up.

For me, my feet want move opposite of each other.  So each foot wants to be on the opposite edge, so training my feet and my brain to be on the same edge it interesting.  Sitting in a chair while doing this move allows my feet and brain to understand that this move is “same edge”.  Once you get your feet and brain on the same page, then you can stand up.  (FYI:  Sitting and practicing this move is very different from trying to take pictures of your feet while sitting and practicing this move.  But hopefully you will get the idea from the pictures even though they are not very good.)

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When you are standing you can use something to hold onto like a counter, table, chair, wall, something that is sturdy and can assist you in balancing.  Having something to steady you while your feet get used to supporting your weight on the edges is nice.  The support also allows you to really exaggerate your foot movements to help get the movement into your muscle memory.

This move helps build strength in the ankles and the feet.  This is also a very “mental move”.  It is one of those moves you might have to really think about in order to do it correctly.  Then, with practice, it will become one of those moves you can do without thinking so much about.  And your feet and ankles will benefit greatly.

So have you tried it?  Can you do it sitting down?  Can you do it standing up?  Can you see how it is an interesting move?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Squatting Does A Body Good

Posted by terrepruitt on February 8, 2014

One of my Blue Belt Sisters (a woman I attended the Nia Blue Belt Intensive with) posted a link on Facebook to an article about 5 reasons to do a full squat.  I love when I see information like that . . . information about why it is good to do “something”, something we do in Nia.  I love that.  I love when people confirm and promote Nia movement.  As you know, if you have read some of my Nia posts, Nia is not new.  Nia has been around for 30 years.  Nia incorporates moves and ideals from different modalities so most of it is not new.  HOW they incorporate it is often unique, but we use a lot of movements used in other exercise and workout programs.  Which is a great thing.  Not that just because something is done commonly makes it good, but since Nia is based on how the body was designed to move it makes sense that we do movements done in other practices and vice versa.  So I was excited to see an article talk about something we do in Nia.  Nia knows the benefits of squats.

I posted about the Garland Pose and I posted about what Nia 5 Stages calls “standing“.  Here I am going to touch upon some benefits of doing full squats.  A few of mine are different than the 5 mentioned, so check that out too.  First, the article reminds us that children squat to reach for things on the ground and will get into that position when playing on the ground.  Many things that children do we understand to be beneficial yet we no longer do them as adults.  In addition to the many physical benefits of a full squat, it can possibly help us remember that child-like position of play.  A Nia workout includes “exercising” the BMES (Body, Mind, Emotion, and Spirit) and many people claim that the play we do in Nia is great for their spirit.  Squat like a kid!

Small children have all that yummy flexibility.  Their bodies have not yet sat in chairs for years or worn shoes that either keep their ankles from moving in a full range of motion or even keep their foot in one position, possibly even shortening their calf muscles.  So they can easily squat with both feet fully on the ground, and their legs folded, and their chest to their thighs with their bum low to the ground.  So a squat allows for all of that.  Mobility and flexibility in the ankles.  Flexibility in the knee.  And balance.  Being able to squat with flat feet and stay stable is proof of good balance.  Think of all those muscles you use to stay tush down and upright . . . (if you need help “thinking”, do it now and just sense all of that).

If you are doing the “Garland” type squat with the wide knees you are really opening the hips and groin area.  It is important to have flexibility and mobility in the hips because those things help make walking more comfortable.  A body is able to stand more upright when the hip flexors aren’t tight.  So squatting can help the body allow for good posture.  The squat also helps with stretching the back of the legs.  Squats target the hamstrings and the glutes.

And if you push up to standing you are using your glutes, so standing up from a squat is a good bum strengthener/toner.  Sometimes we move into a deep squat position in Nia as part of a Nia routine.  We do squats as part of the Nia 5 Stages and we push up into a walk.  So as I said Nia knows the benefits of squatting.  What about you?

Are you a squatter?  Do you find yourself squatting during the day?  Is the squat something your body needs practice doing?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sounds – Singing – Its All The Same

Posted by terrepruitt on January 14, 2014

You might have read my post about Sounding in Nia.  That is what we call it when we make noise in a Nia class — sounding.  You might have read my post about Reasons for Sounding in a Nia Class.  Even if you did not read that post, I bet you are aware of some of the reasons to make noise in an exercise class.  One of the biggest ones is to ensure breathing.  If you are making noise you are breathing.  Knowing the students are breathing is a HUGE relief to an instructor.  Some of the other reasons sounding is good are it can help stabilize your core, it can act as an emotional, spiritual, or physical release, and it can be really fun.  Sounding can be noises/words such as HA, HI, HEE, HOO, WAH, WAHOO, etc.  Sounding can also be singing. With “Nia Music” sometimes singing is just sounds.

I always invite the Nia participants to sing.  Often times I tell them it is really easy because there are no words.  I have often wondered how the singer sings.  I have often pondered how it is done.  Then Nia put out this video*.  It is an interview with Carl Tietze whose song Am I The One, is on the Sanjana Album.  Sanjana is the first Nia routine I learned.  In the interview Carl talks about how he invited a vocalist, Jen Folkner, to listen to the song.  He said he put the headphones on her and most of what we hear on the song is from her first time hearing the music.

She is sounding.  Granted, she is doing is beautifully.  I don’t want to put the pressure on and say this is what we do or need to do in a Nia class.  No, not at all.  I am just saying that it is fine to MAKE NOISE.  I did laugh when I heard this interview because I kind of imagined that songs that have no real words but are just a singer making noise was done like this.  I imagined the musicians just saying, “Go!” and the singer just letting her/his voice come out.

I was recently very amazed and in awe of a woman who had never been to a Nia class before – in fact, before class she asked me what it was.  So she didn’t even know what type of exercise/workout it was.  And yet, while she was moving to moves she had never done, she was singing.  The song was one of those songs without words, but she was just making noise in a “singing voice”.  It was great!  I was very impressed.

Making sounds or singing in a group workout class is not something that comes easy to everyone.  Sounding while learning moves doesn’t come easy to people who normally make noise, so it was especially fun to have her in class.  Plus she had that much more fun and received the benefits of sounding.

I hope this interview helps give you a glimpse into making sounds.  I hope you are able to experience the benefits of making noise while do your cardio dance.  You know it is fun.

Do you sing while you dance in your fitness dance class?  Don’t you love the way singing and dancing makes you feel?

*Click here to go to Nia’s website to sign up for the monthly newsletter!

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

No Slack-Jawed Yokel Here

Posted by terrepruitt on January 12, 2012

What?  What does THAT mean, right?  Well, as you know this blog was originally started to share Nia with the world.  But as you also know, I don’t feel that I need to post about Nia and my Nia classes every post.  I do feel I need to mention them in every post . . . . just to remind you about it!  🙂  So where am I going with this title and this post?  Sigh.  Confession time.  Yes, forgive me readers for I am more-than-not-perfect and I want to share with you a habit I have.  It is one of those habits that I don’t even know I am doing until I stop doing it and I sense the results of having done it.  It is also an unhealthy habit (I am calling it that because in no way does it contribute to my health and well-being).  I have been sitting at my computer for the last hour and a half — ha!  No, that is not the unhealthy habit I am talking about! I have been doing some work.  It is work that is taking a bit of concentration because I am searching for information.  I was searching and trying to think of ways and places I can find what I am looking for.  So I was concentrating really hard.  When I decided to stop I realized my jaw muscles were sore.  I stopped and thought about it and I realized I was probably clenching my jaw!  I can’t recall if I was grinding my teeth or not, but I KNOW I had to have been clenching my jaw because it is very sore right now.  Geez!  So that is what I mean by there is no slack-jawed yokel here!

Nia teacher, Nia class, Nia practice, Nia movement, muscle soreness, Nia San Jose, San Jose NiaSome of you might now know who THE slack-jawed yokel is.  He is a character on the Simpsons.  He is one of those people who you feel sorry for at the same time he annoys you because he is so not-smart.  But my jaw is tense and not slack, yet I still thought of him.  He is Cletus, the Slack-Jawed Yokel.  You can click here for his theme song.  As you know the title Yokel is not something to use for anyone . . . except maybe a made up character on a cartoon show.  So please forgive me if you find this offensive, I do watch the Simpsons every once in a while and he is one of the characters and so his title popped into my head as I was trying to figure out why my jaw was so sore and tense.

After I thought about what I had to have been doing to make my jaw sore, I looked it up.  The one site I read mentioned wearing a mouth guard.  Since I am thinking I am not grinding my teeth, I think a mouth guard would not solve the problem of clenching my jaw and could make my jaw muscles even more sore.  Unless just the fact that I have plastic in my mouth would make me think NOT to clench my jaw.  Another comment was about maybe caffeine being a cause which made me laugh because I have not been having coffee daily, but today I had some.  But I also have not been working on this project before so . . . . that is something I will have to pay attention to.  (Caffeine + project vs. project caffeine-free)

What about you?  Do you find yourself clenching your jaw?  Do you hold tension in your shoulders and/or neck?  Do you have any suggestions to offer?

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

Year End Review Of Terre’s 2011 Important Posts – Part II

Posted by terrepruitt on December 31, 2011

Not all of my posts on my list of Year End Review Of Terre’s 2011 Important Posts are Nia posts, but some of them are,  Here are the remaining four of nine that I thought were important enough to re-share.  This is the second half of my Year End Review Post.  When I wrote it as one post, it just seemed too long so I split it up.  Thanks for checking in.  As with the first half, I am just going to give a little summary so you can have the main point right here and you don’t have to go to the original post. But if you WANT to go to the original post (and comment even) please do! I am listing these in order of when they were posted.

I think of this post Muscle Weighs More Than Fat as being something we all need to be reminded of. Muscle DOES NOT weigh more than fat. The saying that muscle weighs more is one of those things that a lot of us say, but it is not correct. A pound of muscle weighs as much as a pound of fat. A pound of anything cannot weigh more than a pound of something else. A pound of muscle will take up a lot less room than a pound of fat as you will see in the picture on this post if you click over. 😉

If you are interested in a dance class that is pretty, a class that produces a performance then Nia is probably not what you are looking for. Nia Might Not Be Pretty — To Some. Nia is about authentic movement. Nia is about moving the body the way it was designed to be moved. Not everyBODY can move the way it was designed. There might be injuries, defects, tightness, or just plain ol’ non-use involved so it might not be pretty as we learn to move. But it is beautiful. This post reminds you that it is what it is and what it is not is a performance. A Nia class is freedom of movement, something to be enjoyed from the angle of the participant and not someone watching.

I have a post about listening with love, but the title is Let Love Be Your Ears. Ya know sometimes titles need to intrigue a potential reader, I was hoping that is what this title was. But the post is about listening with love. We all have heard and some of us might try to live by the old “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” But LISTENING with love is different. Not that common of a “golden rule”. We are not always taught we need to love ourselves, so we might not listen as if people are talking to us with love and not accusations and criticisms.  This might be something we have to practice.  Also listening with love can include giving the person talking a lot of “benefit of the doubt”.  Trying to see where they might be coming from.

Another post is about dance being exercise. It is a reminder that you can have fun and get exercise at the same time. Nia is just that!

So that is the last four on my list of posts I think really could use repeating. I know I picked a few because I need to work on some of them/it myself. I hope that you enjoyed either the summary or the posts themselves. I thank you very much for taking the time to read this. If you have been reading my blog and you recognize some of these I thank you.  I really appreciate you taking the time to read.  If you take the time to read and comment, I am really grateful and I very much appreciate it.

And, of course, I wish you a very happy and safe New Year’s Eve.  I wish you many, many, many opportunities to embrace happiness and experience joy in 2012.  Happy New Year.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Misc, Muscles, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Year End Review Of Terre’s 2011 Important Posts – Part I

Posted by terrepruitt on December 29, 2011

Many bloggers are posting end of the year posts. Some posts are the best, some posts are their favorites, everyone has a different take on it. Some are a review of the year, either in posts or pictures. I thought about doing a post about my favorites, but I was afraid they would all be my Nia posts. As I was going through my posts from the last year I came up with an eclectic bunch . . . . just like my post. I can’t say they are my favorites, but I can say they are ones that I want to point out again. I actually found twenty-three posts that I wanted to re-share. TWENTY-THREE! But that is way too many to summarize and share. I narrowed it down to nine. These nine are ones I think are the most important of the ones I’ve posted this past year.  I still think nine is a lot so I am going to do this year in review in two parts. I am just going to give a little summary so you can have the main point right here and you don’t have to go to the original post. But if you WANT to go to the original post (and comment even) please do! I am listing these in order of when they were posted.

One of the most important things I have posted about is Balance. The post is called Nia Balance and I was sharing about how balance was challenging because of my injured toe, but the main point of the post is that balance is really important and that our Nia routines are full of opportunities in which we can practice our balance. Since balance is so important you can practice it throughout your day without really changing the way you do things too much. Balance is so important, especially as we age.

It’s Out There is my post about how great Nia is! Ha, ha! Well it is a little bit about Nia, but a lot about the fact that there are many, many, many other movement forms out there. There are so many different forms of movements that there really has to be something for everyone. Nia is for everyBODY as it was created to move the body in the body’s way, but it is not for everyone. There is something out there for everyone! If you look you can find a class for you!

I posted about Feeling Vs. Sensing. Feeling is emotion. Feelings are how you FEEL. Sensing is what your body does. You FEEL happy. Your body senses heat. You FEEL sad. Your body senses cold. Knowing the difference can help you give your body and/or your emotional self, your spirit the workout it needs.

I made up a list of ten exercises that can be done in ten minutes. There is actually a lot of different ways you can do the list of ten exercises, but the idea was to get a full body workout in ten minutes. The hope was that the ten in ten would be an inspiration and a catalyst for actually doing more.

This past week I had company and they were here through the dinner hour. I didn’t know that they would be here that long so I didn’t have anything planned for dinner that would feed all four of us, but I still wanted to feed my husband when they left. So about the time they were talking about leaving I went into the kitchen. I was in the kitchen all of seven minutes. I washed the rice, turned on the rice maker, chopped the end off the asparagus, rinsed them, put them in a pan then put them in the oven, and dumped the marinated chicken in a pan and put it in the oven. I then set the timer for 20 minutes at which time dinner would be ready. I achieved a 30 minutes meal. All because when I froze the chicken I made a sauce for it at the same time. So when I took it out to defrost it was already marinating or doing so as it defrosted. So it really took seven minutes for me to make dinner. My friends didn’t even miss me because I was only gone seven minutes. This post is about Shopping Step to help Dinner Prep. After shopping before you freeze the meat make your marinade right inside the bag. It has really helped me get dinner ready much faster! Love it!

So this is five on my list out of nine post I think really could use repeating.   I hope you check back Saturday to see the rest of the list.  I thank you very much for taking the time to read this. If all of these or some of these are “repeats” to you, then I really thank you. Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate you reading and if you are a commenter . . . I appreciate you even more!!!  See you back here on Saturday for the rest of the review of my Year End Review!

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

Different Color Bell Peppers

Posted by terrepruitt on April 30, 2011

Sometimes I struggle with what to write. As I was sitting here trying to think of something, going through my Nia posts, thinking about my walk today for the MS Society, thinking about the awesome weather I remembered something my friends and I were talking about and I decided to write about it. Different colored bell peppers. I looked it up. I remember learning a long time ago that they all came from the same “plant”, but today I was thinking, “Hmmm? Is that right?”

Sometimes I learn things then forget them and have to re-learn them. I am surprised to see that botanically a bell pepper is a fruit. I don’t remember ever having learned that. I never understand how something is one thing, but we all call it another. What is up with that? Usually there has to be a reason. The information I’ve seen regarding tomatoes being a vegetable when they are really a fruit is tomatoes were considered vegetables because of taxes. Something to do with the difference between how taxes are applied to fruits and vegetables. This started in 1883.

I don’t know why we consider a bell pepper a vegetable and not a fruit. Also, it is called a pepper when it lacks the ability to produce the chemical that causes “heat”. I do now know that the different color bell peppers are a result of harvesting. The green ones are not fully ripened. Usually the order is green, yellow, orange, then red. Since the yellow, orange, and red ones need to be on the plant longer this is why they are more expensive. I have experienced them to be upwards of five time more expensive than the green ones.

To me I think of them as green, red, yellow, orange, in terms of sweetness. I find that — again, I want to clarify: to me — the orange ones are the sweetest.

So it is confirmed in my mind, the same species of bell pepper plant produces the different colored peppers because they are a factor of ripeness (or not in the case of green bell peppers). They are not different types of plants or different colors due to anything artificial. I would like to try a purple one. I have not even seen one in a long time. Have you ever seen one? The different colors have a different nutritional values. I posted about the green and the red before. Do you like bell peppers? Is there a color you prefer?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »