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 Practice’

Chop Cut, One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on February 22, 2017

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWell, it looks like I haven’t posted a Nia move from the Nia 52 Moves in a long time.  When I started my blog and website I wasn’t actually planning on posting about each and every move, but with only nine left that I have not posted about, I really might as well finish the list.  It might not be done quickly, but I will get to them all.  Why not, right?  Only nine, well, eight after this one, to go!  So today I am posting about the Chop Cut.

As with most, if not all, of the 52 Moves of Nia there is a specific way to do it, but then a lot of different ways it is done.  I will go out on a limb to say this move, the chop cut, is a common move.  I am sure many, many people have done this move whether they are dancing, practicing martial arts, or not.  It is just a common move.  Or at least I think of it as a common move.

To practice it as a Nia move, one of 52, we chop the air with the edge of our hands.  The edge of the hand we refer to as the blade side.  Using one hand at a time, raise the arm from the shoulder and bring it down.  Slice, with the blade, from up to down.  Allow the elbow to be slightly bent.  All fingers are extended.  Keep the hands active and engaged even the one that is not doing the slicing.

The Nia Technique book states the benefits as:

an excellent exercise for affirming your personal power.  This move is effective for building strength in the arms and shoulders, and it is superb for releasing stress.

The move itself can release stress but when combined with sounding it can be really effective.  The book recommends saying, “because.”  I usually have my class say, “HA!”

The ideal Chop Cut is using the whole arm and the blade of the hand.  Sometimes we might use straight arms.  At times while we are dancing, we might just make the movement from our elbows.  Just letting our forearms move, chopping at the air in front of us fast.  That kind of movement can be done faster than using the entire arm.  At times the chop can just be from the wrists.  So just the hands move.  It requires loose wrists.  This move can be done really fast.  Sometimes when we chop with our hands, we move them in the space around us, so we are moving more than just our wrists.  So the chop is coming from the wrists so it is more of “just a chop” than a “chop cut”.  The Chop Cut when done according to “specs,” is a power move.  The other ones are great and sometimes they fit better into the dance.

So, am I right?  Have you done a Chop Cut before?  Were you dancing?

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

Day Thirteen Of Your Daily Ten Minute Practice

Posted by terrepruitt on February 13, 2017

Ahh, I usually have Mondays off, but today I am subbing a class.  I will be teaching Nia when there is regularly Pilates.  I thought I would try Nia at the community center because this is the community center where I once taught gentle yoga and they wanted to know what Nia was.  Hopefully those that enjoyed the demo will show up and enjoy an entire hour of Nia.  So instead of Pilates at the Almaden Community Center today it will be Nia at 9:15am!

I will do my Daily 10 Minute Practice, after I get home.  We are on day thirteen.  When will you do yours?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit

I haven’t marked off today, yet.  I will when I get it done.  🙂

Posted in Ten Minute Daily Practice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Day Twelve Of Your Daily Ten Minute Practice

Posted by terrepruitt on February 12, 2017

Here we are day twelve of the Daily 10 Minute Practice.  Here is where you post your comment.  I don’t know if I will doing my “practice” before or after I teach Nia.  Today (Sunday, February 12, 2017) is my day to teach Nia at the NW YMCA in Cupertino.  There are three of us Nia teachers that teach the Sunday class on a rotating basis.  It is nice to have a Sunday class, but nice to not have to teach it every Sunday.  Perhaps I will see you there.

When are you going to do your 10 minutes?

Posted in Ten Minute Daily Practice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Cow Guy With Needle In Haunch

Posted by terrepruitt on September 5, 2016

What?  “cow guy with needle in haunch.”  That came up in the “top searches” on my blog.  I read it over and over thinking, “What?”  And even more disturbing . . . “it sounds familiar.”  The more I think about it, the more I think I know something about it, but I can’t remember what.  This situation is very weird and disturbing to me.  Cow guy with needle in haunch . . . . . . . . hmmmmm . . . it will come to me.  I bet just as I am about to press publish I will remember and then I will have to scrap this whole thing and think of another post.  It is at the edge of my brain.  I am sure it has to do with a TV show that my husband and I watch because I have no other connection to a “cow guy.”  I might have a connection to a needle in a haunch, but more like the skin of neck.  Hmmmmm . . . . don’t you hate that?  When you think something is familiar but you have no idea why?  It is like that thing on the tip of your tongue.  Or the thing on the edge of your brain or in the corner of your mind.  But what I don’t know is why that is a top search on my blog.  Even if I was searching for it because it has to do with a TV show we watch, why is it on my blog?

Next top searches are:  wrist blood pressure higher than arm, granola for gout, piyo satya.  The search terms used to be so much more useful but then a long time ago Google changed the way they did things and so the information we get on WordPress is pretty useless.  At least WordPress claims it was Google’s fault for the change.  I don’t really know.  I do know that at one point I used the searches to sometimes come up with post topics.  I figured if people were looking for the information I could write about it.

But in this case (“cow guy with needle in haunch”).  I got nothing.  I am somewhat wondering.  Is it the cow with the needle in its haunch or the guy who has something to do with cows?  Kinda sounds like there is a guy who has something to do with cows so he is called “cow guy” and HE has a needle in his haunch.  What kind of needle?  This search just really raises a lot more questions then there could ever be answers, don’t you think?

I kind of wish that people would have to explain WHY they were searching for the things they do.  But then I think about it more and realize that something like that could actually be pretty terrifying.  Eeeeek!

The highest search that comes up on my blog is the wrist monitor for blood pressure.  Always surprises me.  That is always the top search.  Which takes people to my post Blood Pressure Monitors – It’s All In the Wrist.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitIn regards to that, a few months ago, my father, my husband, and I were sitting around the table and my wrist blood pressure monitor happen to be on the table.  We were talking about the accuracy of it.  My husband took his blood pressure.  Then I took mine.  After I took mine, my father said, “Oh so it doesn’t work.  It must be broke.”  And I just smiled and said, “I don’t know.  Ok.  Take yours.”  Then he took his and it came up accurate according to his normal rates (my dad takes his blood pressure enough and has it taken enough he knows what his is).  And he said, “Oh.”  He felt it was pretty accurate.  I always take it three times when I take it.  I just took it now: 91/62  ❤ 55 and 103/65  ❤ 60 and 84/65  ❤ 60  I honestly think it has a lot to do with Nia.

Everyday I see more and more post on Facebook with links to how dance is really good for you.  I don’t read any of them, because I know.  I don’t read them because if you don’t like to dance then it doesn’t really matter.  Me telling you that they have done studies about how great it is for your health, if you don’t like to do it, you’re not just gonna start because it is good for you.  And I don’t need to read it for me, because I know.  I do believe Nia helps blood pressure, just like any mind-body or body-mind practice.

Anyway . . . I started off wondering about an odd search term and ended up on blood pressure which brought me to Nia because I think Nia helps with mine.  How is that for sitting down and just typing/writing?

What kind of search odd search terms do you see on your blog?  Do you do any type of mind-body or body-mind practice?  Yoga?  Pilates?  Meditation?  Chanting?

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

More To Yoga Than Just Asana

Posted by terrepruitt on January 13, 2016

I have often mentioned how Nia is a cardio dance exercise that you can take to another level and make it a practice, like yoga.  Yoga is an exercise that you can take to another level by practicing some of the other limbs of yoga.  Yoga has eight limbs.  These limbs are things that one can work with throughout a lifetime.  They are not necessarily things that one masters – well, not things that I can master.  There could be days when it feels as if they have been mastered and then days when it feels like you had never even heard of them because the ideas or actions were just not present.  So . . . these things get “practiced”.  The physical, exercise part of yoga is just one of the limbs.  While Nia is not as . . . I’ll say, “preachey” as yoga we do have some things that can be practiced outside of the dance class, off the dance floor.  Things like noticing your movement and being aware of your relationship with others and things.  But yoga’s limbs are more like rules to live by.

The eight limbs of yoga are:

1)  The yamas.  There are five yamas.  They are often compared to restrictions.  Some think of them as restraints or ethical principles.

2)  The niyamas.  There are five niyamas.  They are often compared to rules.  Some think of them as observances or spiritual practices.

3)  The asana.  There are thousands of poses.  This is the physical limb of yoga.  This is the exercise that has become very popular.  Not only are there a lot of poses, there are many different types of yoga.  Some are ancient and some are very new.  Some types have created new poses.  And sometimes I think that the ancient text has been translated so many different ways we end up with different poses.

4)  Pranayama.  There are various types of pranayama.  This is the breath work of yoga.  I have posted about two types of pranayama, Ujjayi Breathing and Equal Breath
Since this was originally posted I have posted about additional types of pranayama:  Dirgha.


5)  Pratyahara.
  This is the withdrawal of the senses.  The idea is that when the mind has control over the senses, can withdrawal them, then it can focus on the other limbs of yoga without distraction.

6)  Dharana.  This is concentration.  The idea of concentration of the mind on one thing leads to meditation.

7)  Dhyana.  This is meditation.  The idea is to be able to concentrate on one point.  Being able to breathe to a state of withdrawal of the senses.  Having complete control.  Then concentration is pure.  Meditation is supremely focused and then . . .

8)  Samadhi.  This is transcendence.  When one is in control over mind and body.

Each of these could definitely use a blog post of their own.  Not sure I will get to them all.  But, I will at least do a post on the yamas, a post on the niyamas, and a post on pranayama.  Probably multiple posts on each of them.  So, if you are interested stay tuned.

I had heard about the first two, and knew that poses and breathing were apart of yoga.  But was not and am not so familiar with the last four.  Did you know there were eight limbs to yoga?  Which ones are you familiar with?    

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Zorro Technique

Posted by terrepruitt on October 29, 2015

Back in 2010, I posted a bit about X-Ray Anatomy, principle #10 of the Nia White Belt.  It is what Nia Teachers, Yoga Teachers, Personal Trainers, and people in the profession of helping people move do to see how a body is moving.  We all do it, but Nia calls it X-Ray Anatomy.  We look at the posture of the body or the placement of the clothes to see the alignment of the bones or to see the movement of the muscle.  If we look at someone’s waist band and one side is higher than the other we can then look closer to see, if they were in a hurry when they pulled on their pants, hiking one side higher, or if their hips are actually askew.  We can look at shoulders, checking to see if one is tilted down.  We might check to see if a muscle is really tight causing an imbalance.  We look, then we go about guiding the person to adjustment, guiding them into ease.  Now . . . that is what we do for our students and/or clients.  But we wouldn’t do that to someone we just see on the street.  Even if we take a pad of paper to the park or to the mall or use our DVDs to practice with “Zorro”.

In the Nia White Belt Intensive I took, one of the tools that the co-founder of Nia, Carlos Aya-Rosas, gave us was “Zorro”.  Where you look at someone and with just a few strokes of the pen/pencil you draw their structure.  It is supposed to be quick, not a lot of details, just the things you are x-raying.  Just key bones or things (like a belt, pant legs, collars, etc.) to allow you to see posture and/or alignment.

Here are my “Zorros” from my White Belt in 2008.  We had split up into two groups and we faced each other.  Each group had a turn at making shapes and posturing and then “Zorroing”.

 

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

 

 

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueWhen I wrote my post back in 2010, I had said in a comment I was going to go out and do some X-Ray Anatomy Zorroing, but I hadn’t.  When I came across the comment again, I decided to do it.  Here is the result of me doing Zorro on a random video of people walking and of one of the Nia Routine DVDs.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

This type of practice can help us see things quickly that might need adjustment while we are dancing.  Then we can cue some guidance to help people move in a safe way.  As an example, an easy thing to see is thigh bones, while we cannot actually SEE the thigh bone, if we look at the toe and it is pointed off in one direction we can conclude that the thigh bone is rotated . . . depending on what we are doing, that might not be the safest thing for the knee and hip.  So we can keep an eye on toes and practice X-Ray Anatomy.

I have confidence in thinking that you get the idea of this.  You can see how you can quickly look at someone and have an idea of the placement of the bones.  You can glance at someones clothes and use them to determine their alignment.  Is the clothing method 100% accurate?  No, people’s clothes might be sitting off for a number of reasons, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, perhaps someone just pulled their pants on crocked, but this is an idea.  But using the clothes is a quick way to perhaps get an idea of what the body is doing.  Sometimes a closer inspection or more attention is needed, but for just practicing clothes are great to help with Zorroing.

Can you see how “Zorroing” can help with X-Ray Anatomy?  So might you us your X-Ray Anatomy the next time you are out?

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

Foot Fitness Workshop — Ahhhhh!

Posted by terrepruitt on April 11, 2015

This week my friend and Nia student, Dr. Tanya Baldwin, invited me to her Foot Fitness Workshop she was holding today.  I shy away from stuff that has me working on my feet.  I tend to think I have to “save” my feet for my classes.  But, it occurred to me that thinking like that might be backwards.  I started thinking it would be a good idea to see what type of exercises and care I could do for my feet.  I think that Nia and yoga are great ways to exercise the feet.  Since both are done barefoot they allow for an individual to practice using the feet the way there were designed to be used.  Nia is done barefoot so that we can bend and flex and move our feet to help them with strength and balance.  But this workshop was solely (ha, ha, ha!) for the feet.  It was an amazing workshop.  I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone with feet.

It was very informative and FASCINATING.  First it wasn’t so surprising that each of us had different issues with our feet.  So along that same line it wasn’t surprising that the different exercises presented different challenges for each of us.  What was surprises was how somewhat tiring it was.  Some of the exercises were as much BRAIN exercises as foot/muscles exercises.  Somewhat like what some of the things we do in Nia are – brain stuff!  With a couple of them the movement we were supposed to do with our foot was opposite of what we normally do.  For example pointing and flexing the foot.  Now when you point your toes you “point” your foot.  And when you flex your foot, your toes flex, too.  In one exercise we were pointing our toes then flexing our foot yet keeping our toes pointed.  It was hilarious.  Because at first the foot just doesn’t do it . . . but then it will, but you have to really think about it.  Or for some, even HOLD your toes in the point.

There were other exercises that really require thought.  Which is always great because that means that you are changing up patterns – both movement patterns and brain patterns.  So it is a win-win.

We started out with a self-assessment so we could see where we were at the start then sense how we felt at the end.  This included holding a pen (or not) and writing (or not) with our toes.  Then we did eleven “manual releases” without any props.  So just using our hands and the floor.  Some of these were not enjoyable for me.  My foot that I injured a few years back is very “stuck”.  So it did not enjoy some of the movements we did.

Then we had a soft spiky ball that lit up.  YUP!  That was really part of the fun.  Dr. Baldwin mentioned that at first she didn’t care for the lighting up part, but then she realized it could serve as a tool to help you see if you are putting enough pressure on the ball.  With this spiky ball, after another self-assessment, we rolled our foot over it and performed an exercise or two.

Then, our next set of exercises was with a towel.  YUP, a towel, a hand towel.  So this was great because maybe you don’t want to purchase a soft spiky ball, but most people have hand towels.  We did a variety of grabbing and moving the towels with our toes.  This portion included some other exercises (doming, inchworm, tapping, and strumming toes) without the towel.

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, PiYoThen we used a Theraband.  We did several exercises and stretches with the band.  This is the section where we did the pointed toes and flexed foot.  This section is the one that had me thinking a lot.  It was as if I had to keep my body from doing what it normally did.  It had to “forget” all that it has in its muscle memory.  The best tip from this section was when using the band to stretch the feet include the toes in the band.  I guess I think of the bands as stretching legs so I put the band over the arch of my foot.  Well, if the band is over the foot AND the toes, the toes can get involved in the stretching.  Ha!  Brilliant!

Then there was a section titled “Toe Corrector”.  Um . . . I don’t think my toes enjoyed being “corrected”.  We used a rubber band around our big toes and did various movements including walking, which was funny to me because — let’s just say I could use more practice walking.

The next section was Reflexology which sounds really nice, but it was the one that had us groaning the most.  This was done with a smaller than usual tennis ball.  We stood and rolled the ball under the various portions of our feet.  It is like that stretch or massage you know is good for you, but kinda doesn’t FEEL like it is good for you at the moment.

Then there was one last quick thing to help feet.  Kneeling with your toes curled.  By this time my right foot was tired so it didn’t care for the desired pose, where you are sitting on your heels.  But I was ok with the modifications where you take the weight off the toes by stretching forward and leaning on your arms.

This was a great workshop.  My feet are actually feeling pretty good.  Although I have to teach almost every day next week so I think I will soak them tonight just to help them recover further.

Easy(ish) things to do to help the feet.  Do you pamper your feet?  Do you specifically exercise your feet?

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Breath: Quiet And Safe

Posted by terrepruitt on March 14, 2015

There are a lot of different aspects of yoga.  Just like there are a lot of different aspects of Nia.  As I have said before you can do Nia without getting involved in all of the principles and aspects of it.  You can treat it like a workout and not take it any further.  The same goes for yoga.  That is why I always compare the two.  You can go to a yoga class and go through the poses without giving any of the other aspects a second thought.  I believe that both Nia and yoga can be more beneficial, more satisfying when you do think about the other parts of it . . . but we all have different goals and different ideas.  One of the “aspects” of yoga or limbs of yoga – is pranayama.  There are different pranayamas.  A common one – Ujjayi is typically done while doing the yoga poses, and it might be helpful in reducing or stopping snoring.

So, pranayama is the practice of controlling one’s prana (life force) through breath or the practice of controlling one’s breath.  There are many forms of this type of practice and many ways in which to perform them.  But as I said, a common one is ujjayi breathing.  It is what many recommend be done while doing the asanas.  Some call it the Victory Breath, the Warming Breath, the Ocean Breath, Snake-breathing, throat breathing, or even the Darth Vadar Breath.  It is done through the nose, both the inhale and the exhale.  Some of the names stem from the fact that when you do it you may sound like the ocean, a snake, or Darth Vadar.

This breath “exercise” is done by closing the glottis partially on the exhale.  This post is not to get into the mechanic of how to do ujjayi breathing.  But a quick way to give you an IDEA of how to do it, is to think Felix Unger.  Remember him?  Remember that annoying noise he used to make?  Well, that is a lot more sound than you want, but that gives you an idea of what needs to be going on in your throat / nasal area.

I am excited by the prospect that this type of breathing could help stop snoring or even more importantly sleep apnea.  The idea behind this thought process is that the muscles need toning.  People snore because stuff in there gets to relaxed and it makes noise as the person breathes.  So, it kind of makes sense that if it can be toned or trained then it could help stop the snoring or the life threatening sleep apnea.

Yoga Therapy.com says:  “In fact, this snoring is the sound that occurs when air passes through stenosed nasopharynx, caused by vibration in the air flow of compliant structures of the pharynx (tongue, soft palate, etc.). The main reason that causes vibration of the said formations is impairment of muscle tone of the pharynx and soft palate, structural anomalies and functional abnormalities of the pharynx and soft palate.”  Like I said the stuff in there makes noise.

Again, as I said, this makes sense to me . . . as in, why not try it, it can’t really hurt, but if it did help . . . Oh man, for some it would be a life saver.  I think it is worth a try.  Just another reason to practice pranayama.

Do you think a breathing practice is worth trying if it would stop snoring and/or sleep apnea?  Do you know anyone that snores?  Do you know anyone with sleep apnea?

 

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Dancing Free

Posted by terrepruitt on February 19, 2015

Do you ever just dance?  You might be one to turn on the music and start dancing.  Perhaps you have a favorite song you like to dance to?  Or you might be one who breaks into dance spontaneously.  You could be in the house and a song comes on and you don’t even really think about it, next think you know you are moving to the music.  Perhaps you are one that is so gusty or you just don’t care so you dance in the aisle at the grocery store.  Music moves us.  It is easy to dance to a song we like.  Sometimes we “can’t help it”.  We just burst into a dance.  But dancing without choreography in a dance exercise class?  No one telling you exactly how to move?  Just move to the music?  Without having consumed any alcohol?  It is a concept not easily grasped by many.  It is a concept that we practice often in a Nia class.  We call it Nia FreeDance.

As I mentioned dancing without choreography in an exercise class is a new concept to many.  Moving without having a structured plan doesn’t sound like exercise to many people.  Some people are very resistant to Nia FreeDance because of this reason.  Some people cannot understand how you can “get a good workout” without having a structured plan, without moving the same way over and over again.  The way we have been programmed to exercise includes repetition and structure.  It includes traveling in a straight line from point a to point b, it includes being told how to move.  So just moving without any idea of what comes after the present movement is vastly alien to some.

Yet, I have people who actually let go and try it.  Those who push beyond their own skepticism and doubt come up to me and say, “Wow!  I am sweating.”  Those who let the music move their bodies without thinking about it have said, “Who would have thought that I would have gotten such a great workout?”  Some realize, “I might be sore tomorrow.”  They MIGHT be sore the next day because they moved their bodies in ways that their bodies are not accustom to moving.

Nia FreeDance is there to help stimulate movement creativity.  So if you do it with full abandon you might end up with muscles that talk to you the next day.  Your body will have moved in new and different ways.  So Nia FreeDance is not the dancing you would do at a club or a dance lesson.  It is just free movement.  Yes, some of those cool club moves or patterns you learned in dance class sneak in because we dance what we know.  We think about it and move in that way.  But there really is more to FreeDancing.  It might have a pattern for a moment, it might have structure for a moment, but it moves away and comes back.  It is free.

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, PiYoTo assist with FreeDance and to deepen the practice there are eight stages that can be a guide, because as I said, it is not necessarily an easy thing to do.

Stage 1: FreeDance
Catch Phrase: Anything Goes, Movement-Wise

Stage 2: Being Seduced by the Music
Catch Phrase: Art of Listening

Stage 3: Feelings and Emotions
Catch Phrase: Pretend, Fake It, Act As If

Stage 4: The Creative Source
Catch Phrase: The Real You

Stage 5: Authentic Movement
Catch Phrase: Change!!

Stage 6: Witness
Catch Phrase: Interfere…Judge…Not! Observe

Stage 7: Choreography
Catch Phrase: The Accidental Click

Stage 8: Nia Class
Catch Phrase: Levels 1, 2, 3

The catch phrases have changed slightly since I participated in the Nia White Belt Intensive in 2008, but it is all basically the same.  The catch phrases give you a clue as to what the stage is for.  All the stages help you to FreeDance.  You can dance each stage separately or combine them in any fashion. 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, PiYo The idea is just to give you something to help get you moving and then give you something to keep you moving.  Moving in new and different ways.  The new and different active body, mind, emotions, and spirit.  FreeDance is one of the key things that makes Nia unique.  If you click on the stages above you will go to the post that I have posted for each stage.

I am very excited about the Special Nia Class and Nia Free Dance Playshop that I am producing next month.  So I have been thinking a lot about FreeDance and how great it is.  This post is a result of my excitement and my attempt at getting people excited and curious about FreeDance.  Reading about it is one thing, but getting up and actually DOING it is another.  These are the stages used to deepen your practice, but they are not what we will be covering in the Playshop.  As the flyer states, we will be learning Jason’s tools for FreeDance!  I hope you will join us!

Are you a dancer?  Do you break into dance?  What is the current hit that you can’t help but dance to?

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What You See Is Your Perception

Posted by terrepruitt on January 17, 2015

Perception.  Such an odd thing.  I remember when I was 15 years old and working in an office with some young women.  They were probably in their 20s so really still young.  I remember all the stories they would tell me and how they would carry on like 20-somethings do.  Then one day a child walked in and the woman I knew to be a young person who enjoyed to go out and have a good time became a mom.  It was the weirdest thing.  I am not saying this woman was a party animal, but it was just odd to see this woman go from working woman to working mom.  Since she didn’t really talk about her kid all that much it was easy to forget that she was a mom.  I am not saying she didn’t talk about her kid because she didn’t love her child or because she didn’t care.  She talked to me more about things that a 15 year old is involved in or going through; relationships, school, and being young . . . . not kids.  The group conversations in the office tended to be around other things since not everyone had kids.  Also, there was seeing a tough boss lady with her spouse.  Seeing the loving side of a meany.  Seeing different sides.  I didn’t know the woman as a mother, so it was odd to see her acting like one.  I didn’t know the gruff boss lady as a wife so it was odd to see her act like one.   Friends also might have different perceptions than family members because they’ve seen different things and experienced different things.  Also new friends and old friends.  Sometimes people modify their behaviors, mature, or just change so people who are just meeting someone for the first time might not have any idea of how it used to be.  So the perception of the person is different for the new person than for the person that has been around.  What you know to be true from your experience, can be different from what someone else knows because they have had different experiences.

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, PiYoSo amazing how that is. It is amazing how everyone’s perception can be different.  Our perception has a lot to do with ourselves.  Someone who has been cheated on by a significant other might take “I’m working late,”  completely different from someone who has never had that mistrust thrust upon them.

This is all just talking about people.  What about “things”?  Like viewing clouds or art.  Two people look up in the sky, one person sees a dinosaur and the other a horse.  And even if both people were to look up and see a horse it would probably still be different types of horses.  As I was contemplating the “people” aspect it occurred to me that recently I had been thinking about perception in regards to Nia.  I always say it is a practice like yoga, and for those people who think of yoga as a religion, I am wondering now if they think I mean that Nia is a religion.  A recent conversation made me think so.  Even though I was hoping I was explaining it well when I say that you can take some of the ideals and principles of Nia out into the world just like you do with yoga.  I guess that could sound like a religion – especially if you think of yoga as a religion.  Yoga being a religion is also a funny thing, because some people say it is and some people say it isn’t.  I was hoping to get a regular Nia class going at a yoga studio a long time ago and I said something about “some people believe it is a religion” to the owner of the studio, she got very upset saying that was not true.  Well, it is VERY true some people DO think it is a religion.  I never got a class there.

I think of Nia as an exercise program with a holistic twist.  Just like yoga.  But yoga can be taken to the point of being a religion, but not everyone that does yoga considers it a religion.  I actually don’t know anyone that teaches Nia who considers it a religion.  But the more I think about it, the more I can see how some people could think of it that way.  Perhaps comparable somehow to the people who have been cheated on.  If they think of everything as being in competition with their own religion maybe anything outside of it that you practice would be considered a religion to them.  I don’t know . . . that is one of the things I have been thinking about when thinking about how people see things.  Perception is weird.  The ol’ “glass half full, glass half empty” thing.

Do you ever experience the differences in perception?  With people you know that your friends know?  With co-workers?  With family?  How do you experience it?

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