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 routines’

Pop-Up Vs Pop-In And A Little Yin Yoga

Posted by terrepruitt on November 19, 2020

Sometimes the day escapes me. I am not going out, but with all of the stuff happening online I am doing a lot of exploring of additional tools to use to make class registration automated, I am doing tests on Zoom for different ways to bring classes to students, I am having to move and rearrange our furniture on a daily basis . . . so a lot of time-consuming stuff. Not complaining, but explaining . . . explaining why I can’t keep up with my own self-imposed posting schedule. I should have posted this yesterday since I am offering a Pop-Up Class tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 20, 2020). This post has a dual purpose, to explain the difference between a Pop-UP and Pop-IN and to expound a bit on Yin Yoga.

POP-UP VS POP-IN

What is a Pop-Up Class? For me, it is a class that is not on my regular schedule. In many cases with many different things a Pop-Up can happen rather quickly – it pops up – but for me, I am usually talking about it a couple days in advance so it is not a quick spur of the moment thing, but it is not a regularly scheduled thing.

Now, the Pop-UP is different than the Pop-In. The pop-in is quick (under 30 minute). So far we have had three pop-ins where we reviewed katas in a song from a Nia routine and then danced the song. It isn’t something where there is the structure of a regular Nia class (or yoga class or stretch class). It is quick – you can just pop-in. I have ideas to do other type of pop-ins maybe a quick stretch or a yoga pose or two, but we will see. A Pop-UP is a class . . . with the actual class structure so popping in and out is not advised.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom, Nia White Belt training via ZoomYIN YOGA

Yin Yoga has long holds in order to affect the tissue involved. It is not about the muscle but about the connective tissue. Since the connective tissue is not as elastic as muscles it take a bit longer to effect, AT LEAST a minute. When introducing people to Yin Yoga I generally will not hold most poses but for a few seconds over a minute.

In addition to the four Tattvas of Yin Yoga another very important thing to remember is to get out of the poses SLOWLY. In some cases if you feel the pose is too much, it could be just a simple matter of backing off, not getting out of the pose . . . if that doesn’t work and you feel you need to get out of the pose you must do it slowly. When instructing I allow for a transitional period and that could be just as long as the hold. Think of it like when you sit for a long time and how it might not work to jump up, ya gotta ease into standing or repositioning yourself. That is the same with Yin . . . you are in a pose for a long time so it requires a long time to get out of it. If you need to get out of a pose before the instructors instructs the class to do so, do it slowly just as if the instructor is walking you through the transition.

Some of the poses we do in Yin Yoga are similar to the poses in yang yoga. I have probably mentioned how I used to be so frustrated that the Yin Yoga poses had different names then the Hatha yoga poses even though they are “the same” . . . but then I learned they are not the same. Yin Yoga instructors may even use the other name (non Yin) to help you get into the pose, but the intent is different. In yang yoga the focus is stretching and strengthening muscle but in Yin the intent is to affect the connective tissue and move the Qi. But so many people ask about Yin Poses I am going to say here – just to give people an idea – that we do poses similar to pigeon, sphinx, bound angle, and extended child’s pose, to name a few.  Most Yin poses are done on the floor, so it is not as if you are going to be holding a Warrior II for five minutes.

Additionally, as a reminder Yin Yoga is not Restorative Yoga.  Yin may be restorative like all yoga can be restorative, but it is not Restorative Yoga.  Restorative Yoga is about relaxing and involves a lot of lying around.  Yin is not about relaxing although it does require the muscles to relax.

Well, a really good way to see what Yin Yoga is like is to try it.  For details regarding the Pop-Up Yin Yoga Class on Friday, November 20, 2020 please go to my website.  Maybe I will see you there!  (Update 11.28.20:  This class has already occurred, but do check my site because we plan on doing more because they are so FUN!)

Posted in Misc, Yin Yoga | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Changes For Nia Members And Teachers

Posted by terrepruitt on October 12, 2020

Ahhh, today there were two meetings on Zoom to introduce the new options for Members and Teachers.  There was one for brand new Nia White Belt Graduates, since I just attended that training I was able to listen to that one.  Then there was one for people who are current Nia Members and I am a current Nia member.  So in light of those meetings I feel like it is the perfect time to post this post that has been sitting on my desktop.  I want to remind readers that I am a Nia teacher, I teach a dance exercise class called Nia.  Nia is really much, much more than that, but that is how I describe it when talking about what I teach.  I have written many posts about it and I have a lot of information about it on my website.  Nia was initially created by two people, Debbie Rosas and Carlos AyaRosas.  Carlos left the organization in, I believe it was 2010.  Debbie has continued the work.  It is so difficult to describe what “the work” means.  She continues to learn about the body and why it needs to move and then applies that to trainings.  It is multi-dimensional.  I am posting this as a reminder that anything I post about Nia has come from their/her teachings.  As I have said many times before not everything in Nia is new . . . they did not invent the moves we do in Nia, but they have added their own way of doing them and learning them and showing how they can help you move in your body more comfortably.  In addition to that reminder I want to remind people that many of the movement class forms (Zumba, PiYo, etc.) that you may take require the teacher to be licensed.  Nia is one of those things.  I pay a fee in order to market my class as “Nia”.  And Nia is introducing new ways that people can be licensed.

When I directly quote Debbie or the material I state it.  As a Nia teacher we are encouraged to share information about Nia.  I have taken pictures of our routine covers and I have created documents myself.  I have also used pages of The Nia Technique Book.  But I don’t post pictures of the training material from the belts.  ANYONE can buy The Nia Technique Book, but only a participant receives the training material – well, now I can say only a graduate as a current member receives the training material.  🙂 (This is part of the new options.)  I share the information about the belt trainings to entice you into wanting more.

Nia is giving options on licensing.  It used to be that if you wanted to teach you paid a licensing fee – either monthly or annually.  That fee came with a lot of things . . . DVDs of the routines (music, the choreography, and the additional training for a routine), teleconference calls, written articles, handouts, and various stuff, now the routines are on NiaTV and there are podcasts and other recorded things.  There are meditations and various types of movements including routines with the 52 Moves and Moving to Heal . . . there is a plethora of stuff.  Nia is going to have three tiers in which people can stay connected to the wealth of Nia training, they will still have the monthly NiaTV subscription if you just want access to Nia Workout Videos, Music, and Podcasts. The tiers just relate to the additional stuff that is part of Nia.

They are putting up a new website this week (hopefully Wednesday, 10/14/20) so you will be able to get all the details there.  I do not want to start to list them because I don’t want to misstate anything.  It is better for you to get the information from the source.  I am just giving you a heads up to let you know that there are options now.  And with Nia there is always a huge amount of material to access.  So as a member you can get a lot of information and if you want to teach you get more.  Each tier adds on stuff we will have access too.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom, Nia White Belt training via Zoom

Since the old website is going away and it will have a new look, I thought I would post my profile page as a photo for this post.  I really hope that you will look into Nia . . . you can look into as a movement practice (if you like to dance) or if you want more.  Keep in mind the new website should be up this week.

So exciting!  Who wants to talk about Nia with me?

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Nia White Belt P12 – Body + Life Transformation – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on September 21, 2020

This week we quickly reviewed Nia White Belt Principle 12.  It is a pretty involved principle and there is not a lot of time to really dig deep into it.  There are four triads to this principle.  That information alone is an indication of how complex this principle is.  Nia White Belt P12 – Body + Life Transformation with a tagline of Purpose – Potential – Possibility.

Like many places, here is where Nia and Nia training can translate into something that a person that doesn’t want to teach can benefit from.  Even twelve years ago when I participated in the Nia White Belt Intensive it was not ALL about teaching us how to teach Nia, but as Nia continues to grow it has shifted even further into being a “life style practice” to include those that don’t want to teach.  The description of this principle is Sensory Study of Personal Enrichment and Growth.  The first triad is about Past, Present, and Future with the center being Knowledge with wings of NiaTV and Nia Training.  Basically it’s representing oneself and indicating that we can continue to learn and gain knowledge with the things available to us.

The additional triads each have a tagline and description, which you can learn about when you take the training.  As often is the case, I don’t want to give it ALL away and really can’t get into each principle or triad in depth because I do – believe it or not – try to keep my posts from being too long.  P12 (t1) is about oneself with purpose, potential, and possibility making up the three corners of the triad.  Tapping into our ideal of ourselves.  P12 (t2) is very complex and is about potential with a top-level “map” on how a teacher learns a routine.  But, it can be applied to a student too as it represents loDance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom, Nia White Belt training via Zoomoking, moving, then sharing a routine.  It reminds us of how we blend science, craft, and art into our dance.  The science has us looking, listening, and imagining as tool to learn and do the moves.  Then we can energize the moves with the nine energies (movement forms), crafting the routine.  And the art is the part where we share, having really connected through the music we are able to dance to the music sharing the science and craft.

P12 (t3) is class, core, magic where we learn, embody, and share.  I feel like these two triads should be switched, but I also feel the main triad should have a different order.  Which reminds me, there are a lot of different ways people learn and to me I would Learn – Embody – Share Nia Routines (t3 tagline) as a way TO engage the Somatic Wheels of Transformation (t2 tagline), but I also see needing to engage them first in order to share Nia.

While for me, aspects of the principle that are related to teaching Nia are the most intriguing I see how it is all related.  That is what is amazing and fun about Nia . . . the principles can be applied to daily life.  One does not have to want to teach Nia to be able to relate it to life.

This principle is about purpose, potential, and possibility and the triads are little maps or signs to remind us of the tools that we have in our Nia toolbox.

Can you see how this (thinking about your purpose, potential, and possibilities of your life) can be MORE THAN just an fitness practice?

Posted in 2020 Nia White Belt Principles, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nia Bundle

Posted by terrepruitt on February 19, 2018

So you may know that I teach a cardio dance exercise called Nia. It includes Martial Arts (such as Tae Kwon Do), Dance Arts (such as jazz dance), and Healing Arts (such as yoga). It is body centered. Basically, it has many facets and can explained many different ways, but it is best for one to see for themselves what it really is. So I call it a cardio dance exercise. That lets people know that they will be dancing and getting a cardio workout. It clues them into the fact that if they move, they will sweat. The rest they just have to experience. One thing we do in Nia is we move around the room. It is great to experience the world from other perspectives and just moving away from your regular dance spot in your dance class can help you do that. Sometimes when we move from our regular spots we are moving around the room in FreeDance . . . perhaps taking up as much space as possible, moving about the entire room or dancing in all the corners. Sometimes when we move from our regular spots we dance in a “bundle”. Nia is also about community so this really helps exhibit that. We dance in a group, in a bundle, as a community.

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, SJCityFitThere is a particular kata in which I remember the training DVD to have encouraged us to dance close, as stated, in a bundle. So I always try to get people to get close. I suggest we all move gently in the tight bundle. I ask that everyone move through the middle of the bundle at least once. I also propose that people make eye contact. This is something I usually say to remind myself. I am getting better at doing so. I used to always look down, but now we are eyeing each other.

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, SJCityFitDuring one class I stepped outside of the bundle to turn up the music and thought it would be a great time to snap a photo. As you can see our little Nia community is great at doing the Nia Bundle. We always speculate as to what people who might see us would think when we have this large wonderful dance floor and we are all in the middle dancing. We also laugh about elbows and toes, acknowledging that you might run into one and being very careful not to step on the other. I believe the Nia Bundle is one of the things that makes Nia unique.

If you have read some of my other posts before, this one might sound pretty familiar as I wrote about the Nia Bundle in my post Dancing Close. This post pretty much explores the same information, but with this one there are pictures.

Not every Nia routine’s choreography contains a Nia Bundle . . . but a Nia teacher can use a Nia Bundle anytime. Since it is such a fun way to dance in community we might just sneak it in whenever we want. I tend to stick to using it when we dance the particular song that Carlos choreographed the Nia Bundle in . . . .but ya never know, since my students are so good at it, I might start using it more.

How would you feel about a “bundle dance”?

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

Elbow Strikes – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on June 6, 2016

You may know from reading my posts about Nia, or even other material about Nia, that it is made up of three groups of movement forms.  Those three groups of movement forms are made up of three movement forms.  The first group is Martial Arts, which include T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, and Aikido.  In martial arts we can have moves like punches, kicks, blocks, and strikes. The elbow strike is one of Nia’s 52 Moves.  Now remember, the 52 Moves of Nia are not moves that Nia claims are unique to Nia or that only Nia does.  The 52 Moves of Nia are named that because they are incorporated into the Nia Routines.  The Elbow Strike might even be able to be counted as three moves . . . perhaps not, but there are three ways to do it.  I am betting you understand that all three ways involve the elbow.  There is the elbow strike down, the elbow strike out, and the elbow strike back or the Downward Strike, the Outward Strike, and the Backward Strike.

To do this move you would first get into Riding Stance also know as Sumo Stance.  Have a strong and stable base.  Push into the earth with your feet. Engage through the core and the whole body.  The fists are in ready position, which is palms up, at chest height and at the side of the chest . . . so elbows are drawn back past the rib cage.  The downward strike is with the elbow moving downward into the open palm of the opposite hand.  The outward strike is the elbow moving out away from the body using the opposite hand to push the power through the elbow.  The backward strike has the opposite hand pushing the elbow backwards away from the body.  All of these are done on one side then the other.

As I have mentioned with all the moves, there is an exact way to practice it or them, in this case, if you are just practicing each move.  But when you are dancing the exactness can change.  In a Nia class, we might do elbow strikes from an A Stance or while we are stepping into a stance.  Or we might do them from a bow stance.  Sometimes we might not use the opposite hand to help push the power, or strike down into the open palm of the opposite hand.  It all depends on the dance.  The above is just to help you learn the move and how you would practice it on its own.

The Nia Technique Book says:  “Benefits:  Practicing Elbow Strikes is excellent for releasing stress and anxiety.  These moves will strengthen and define upper chest, back, hands, and arms and will enhance your sense of confident determination.”

Elbows strikes do feel powerful and give you a sense of confidence.  It is really fun to do them while sounding, perhaps saying, “HA!” or even just saying, “Strike!”

Well, what do you think?  Did you try it?  Can you feel the power in this move?

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

Music Arrangement That Helps Me

Posted by terrepruitt on April 29, 2016

I am not organized in all areas of my life.  Who is, right?  But I do find that when I am organized it makes things easier . . . faster . . . quicker.  And, most of us can benefit from that, right?  There is so much going on, if we can do something faster it helps.  Even if it is just to allow us time to slow down.  Hurry up and cook dinner so we can sit and relax.  Hurry up and clean up so we can go off to play.  Whatever . . . hurry in one area of life to make it easier so we can get to the OTHER things in life.  Well, I teach Nia, which is a cardio dance that is done to a variety of music.  Nia Teachers purchase routines from Nia Technique.  They are playlists and choreography.  Ok, really they are A LOT more than that, but if I got into ALL of what the routines are in this post it would be really long and I would probably not even get to the point of this post.  The point is some information on how I “organize” or arrange my music in iTunes.

So, Nia teacher purchase routines and for some reason sometimes the Album is titled the name of the routine and sometimes it is titled “NiaSounds”.  Sometimes it is the name of the routine-NiaSounds.  It is NOT consistent.  The artists are all over the place from the ACTUAL artist to “Nia Technique”.  It is not consistent.  And the genre is spotty too, sometimes it is “Alternative”, sometimes it is “New Age”, and I am not even sure what else.  This inconsistency does not make it easy to organize the music.  And it is very desirable, if not necessary, to have the music labeled consistently so that it can be organized consistently.

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, SJCityFitWhat I do, is I make certain the genre is “Nia”.  The ACTUAL genre could be anything because we dance Nia to all types of music.  So what it REALLY is, is not what I am looking for.  I want my Nia Routine music to come up all in one spot when I look at it if I am looking at it via genre.

I change all the Albums to be the name of the actual Nia Routine so I can find music easily by the name of the routine.

I don’t bother with the artist because I like it when it is the ACTUAL artist, but I am not going to spend the time to correct all the music to be the actual artist.  As I said, the way Nia labels it is not consistent.

iTunes changes the way it functions WAY TOO often for me.  I notice that the length of a song doesn’t show any longer where it used to.  I have to go in and out of playlists to see the length of songs.  When I have a playlist pulled up, I have to go out of it into the list of playlists to see the length.  I have been delaying the update that is currently out there because I can’t even imagine the new changes they have done, the last time an update came out someone on Facebook asked a question about where the total time of the playlists had gone to and that made me think I had better not update because one of the things that makes an iPhone and iPad useful to me is that it can be used to create playlists.  And when you are teaching you need to know how long the playlist is.

One of my devices is on a really old iOS (6something) and the other one is at 9something.  I think my iTunes is a few versions behind.  But I am afraid to update because I don’t want to lose the function that I use.

Another way I organize the music is I have three separate playlists for the Nia music.  One is arranged by Album.  So I can easily see what song goes to which routine.  I can pick out a song that I know is in a routine, or identify a routine when I know the song.  Also, I have a playlist arranged by BPM . . . which means Beats Per Minute, but in Nia we don’t go by BPM we go by the 8BCs.  So once I figure out that count I try to remember to put it in my iTunes (under BPM).  I have not successfully remembered with all the routines, so not all of them show up properly in that playlist but enough to help me when I am trying to put a particular speed song into a routine I am trying to create.  Then I also have a playlist arranged by time because sometimes I need a LONG song and sometimes I need a short song.  When they are all clumped together by time it makes it easier to pick the length of time I need then I can just pop it into the correct Nia Class cycle.  So these three separate “playlists” allow me to see the music in ways that I need, in order to create playlists on my device that I will use in class.

That is what I do to help keep my music organized in a manner that works for me.  I am sure there are different ways that other Nia teachers do it as this is not the only way.

Whether you are a teacher that uses music or not – how do you organize your music?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Affordable Wireless Earbuds

Posted by terrepruitt on April 27, 2016

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, SJCityFitI teach a cardio dance exercise called Nia.  It is dance, it is exercise, it is a cardio workout.  It is done to music.  Nia teachers pay a licensing fee and included in that are routines.  The Nia Technique creates routines.  One part to learning a routine is to listen to the music.  I listen to it a lot.  Sometimes I have difficulty or I feel I do, if I don’t like the music.  But most of the time I like it.  But either way, I listen to it a lot.  Sometimes I listen to it while I am cleaning, but when I have the vacuum on I can’t hear it so I have been wanting some Bluetooth headphones.  I have had my earbuds in with my phone in my pocket or tucked in somewhere when the wire has gotten caught and the earbuds RIPPED out of my ears or out of the phone.  Neither one is good.  So I thought it would be cool to have a wireless pair.  Originally I was looking for headphones.  Everything I found was expensive.  I didn’t even realize they made wireless earbuds!  My husband found some that were affordable.  It turned out he liked them and they worked well.  Sometimes the affordable things don’t always work well, so it is nice that these did.  So I went looking and I found a pair that looked almost exactly like his but were even less expensive.  I’m only talking $4.00, but, $4.00 is $4.00.  So I got some.  And I like ’em.  I like mine better than his.

Both pair are over the ear type of wearables.  Both pair stick IN your ear.  On mine, the earbud part seems to be made of metal whereas his are plastic.  Also, the over-the-ear holder on mine seems a little softer more flexible.  I liked that a lot better.  It made them more comfortable.  When I tried his on, one of my ears started to hurt.  With the softer holder they might flex more and allow for better movement with my glasses.

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, SJCityFitOf course, at $13.99 they are from a brand I have never heard of – Parasom.  But they work.  Who knows if they will keep working.  I have experienced many off-brand – or more accurately – not a name brand – product that has stopped working after a couple of months.  So we will see.

Mine also had a little clip, which I liked.  The control portion of the earbuds on mine is about an inch or so closer to the earbud than his, but that is ok for me.  I am not using mine while running like he is, so it is easy for me to stop what I am doing if I need to in order to work the controls.  Although they are pretty easy and pretty standard controls.

One button powers it on – and it says, “Power on” and off (it says “Power off”).  The same button starts the play of music and pauses it.  One button turns the volume up, goes to the previous song, and restarts the song.  Another button turns the volume down and advances the music to the next song.

I haven’t used it as a headset for phone calls because the first time I tried it with my hubby’s he said he didn’t like the quality of my voice, so I haven’t bothered trying mine.  I know when I am using my regular headset and driving I can’t be on the phone that long because the quality of the caller’s voice is distorted.  Probably has to do with the fact that it is only coming through one ear bud.

Anyway, I am always excited when I get a product that I think of as expensive at an affordable price AND it works.  So, I like to share.  So far, this was at an affordable price, it works, so I am sharing.  I would like to point out that I did NOT receive this product for free or at a discounted rate for my unbiased and impartial review.  But, hey, how do I do that?  I read A LOT of blogs and reviews where the people say that.  Sign me up for that!

Anyway . . . if you are looking for an affordable wireless headset the one my husband got is good or mine is – which I think is better.

Have you ever had your earbuds ripped out of your ears because the wire to the phone get caught on something?  Have you been thinking about a wireless pair?

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

Nia Jam Palo Alto 2016

Posted by terrepruitt on April 4, 2016

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, SJCityFitSaturday, April 2, 2016 there was a Nia Jam in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has been a long time since I have been to a Nia Jam.  The last one I went to was in 2013!  They are so fun. The energy at a jam is fantastic. I thought I was going to miss it because the event was being held at a studio in the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto.  It is a HUGE complex and I parked in the garage and followed the first sign that said fitness center. It led me to a courtyard where every door was locked. There was a sign pointing up and to the left, but there was no way for me to go up and to the left. I asked someone walking around if he knew where it was and bless his heart, he had no idea but he made an attempt to help me. We looked at a map and I decided the best route was to go out to the street and go all the way around to where I thought the studio was.  As I was making my way back to the garage, I made a few turns and ended up on the right track. I was supposed to be the first teacher and I was kinda bummed that I was late because I thought I missed it.  But as I was walking in they were saying. “Where is Terre?” and I was able to say, HERE!”  Yay! I made it. I was about 5 minutes late. I thought I was going to be early. I am so glad I made it.  Nia Jams are soooo fun.

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, SJCityFitOften times there are microphone issues.  It seems as if movement disrupted this one’s connection.  But Nancy H.  worked on it and got it fixed after the first few songs.  And it was good to go.  As we were making introductions one of the teachers told me she was going to be after me.  It is important in a jam situation to know who is before you and after you.  You need to know who is before you so you are paying attention and can be ready to switch off with the microphone.  And also, it is nice to know who is after you so you can make eye-contact as you are ending your selection so the switch off can go as smooth as possible.

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, SJCityFitI don’t normally teach with a microphone so I always feel like I have to be quiet when I have one in my face.  Otherwise it would blow people’s ears out.

The focus was the Nia Five Sensations, FAMSS, (Flexibility, Agility, Mobility, Strength, and Stability) And I did it again, I don’t know what the intent was.  I always seem to miss the intent.  We had a great playlist (as you can see)!

It was super fun.  It is always so nice to see all the teachers.  We are kind of spread out in so many different areas.  It is even nicer to be able to dance with everyone.  And the JCC was very kind to donate the space so between ticket sales and the raffle, I think the association did well.

Here are some pictures and a video.  I will continue to encourage you to go to a Nia Jam.  They are so fun.  I know you will love it!

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, SJCityFit

 

 

 

See a short video of me teaching on my website.

I want to thank all the students that came and danced and all the teachers that taught.  Such fun!  See?  Doesn’t it look like fun?

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Taste Of The Nia 5 Sensations

Posted by terrepruitt on April 25, 2015

Today we had a workshop to talk about and discover the Nia Five Sensations.  Just like a lot of things we do and use in Nia, the five sensations are not unique to Nia, but they are tools we use to enhance our dance exercise.  In a Nia class we strive to be in sensation.  Being aware of the sensations allows us to choose and dance what we need at the time of the class.  We had a small turn out, but the number of attendants is never the measure of success.  One of my Nia Students and fellow Nia Blue Belt’s helped me present the workshop.  This workshop was held at the request of the Camden Community Center.  Our participants shared that they felt they had a better understanding of the sensations and would be able to apply awareness to them either in a Nia class or just in everyday life.

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, PiYoFirst we started off moving right away.  The participants walked in, we said hello then started dancing.  We danced to two songs.  Then we did a brief introduction of Nia then we shared the five sensations and how we experience them everyday.  We shared how they could be helpful to know and be aware of in a Nia class.   The 5 sensations are: Flexibility, Agility, Mobility, Strength, and Stability (FAMSS).

Then we moved to each sensation.  As we talked we guided the students into the sensations.  We shared that flexibility is sensed as energy moving outward. It is the opening your body, the lengthening and yawning.  So we stretched and yawned our bodies open.  We reached out to lengthen our limbs.  We imagined our bones moving away from our center.  We practiced sensing the sensation even as our bodies showed no outward movement.

We talked about how agility can be sensed in the quick start and stop of a movement.  It is the physical feeling of pulling and pushing.  We hopped and jumped.  We chopped and slapped.  We “played” soccer and tennis.  We danced in a “strobe like” fashion.  We even stood still and let our gaze bounce around as our eyes moved with agility.

When talking about mobility we said it is sensed as energy in constant motion. It is youthful freedom.  (A description from the Nia Technique that I really like.) It is flowing movement, graceful, and easy.  We twirled and whirled around the room.  We let our bodies ebb and flow.  We rolled like the ocean.  We moved our arms.  We moved our legs.  We mobilized our spine.  We allowed the energy of constant motion to energize us.

We used the ballet bar and wall to start us off understanding that strength is sensed as energy moving inward.   With that first example it gives way to us sensing strength as a resisting, or a quality of weighted energy being moved in ways that allow you to sustain a movement or posture. It is the contraction of muscle.  It is the muscle squeezing bone.  We contracted and pushed.  We squeezed and resisted.  Allowing the effort to tire us a bit.

Then we experienced the calm of stability.  Stability is sensed as balance and comfort.  It is the physical feeling of harmony and peace combined with readiness for action.

After having practiced the sensations we then added them to the stances that are part of the 52 Moves of Nia.  We moved through the stances in the 5 sensations.  Then we put on the music and danced the stances in sensation.  After two songs we reviewed the kicks that are part of the 52 Moves of Nia.  We moved through the sensations doing the kicks.  Then onto dancing again.  We danced doing our kicks in sensation.

We finished off the workshop with two songs focusing on the sensations, but primarily using the Nia choreography and not so much sticking with the kicks and stances.  This allowed us to practice dancing in the sensations to whatever moves that come as part of a Nia routine.

It was a great little taste of the Nia 5 Sensations.  I can say that because no matter what I am teaching it is ALWAYS the students that make the class GREAT!

Are you aware of any of these sensations in your everyday life?

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Dancing, Learning, Posting, Editing

Posted by terrepruitt on April 2, 2015

Nia has been a cardio-dance workout since 1983.  It is not as well known as some other cardio dance exercises.  So when we have events, such as Nia Jams, Playshops, Plearns, Workshops, Intensives, Master Classes in addition to attending and enjoying these events I ALWAYS think of those things as opportunities to take pictures and videos.  I always think that the pictures and videos can be posted on social media so that we can “get Nia out there” so it becomes more well known.  The videos and pictures are meant to show people how fun it is.  The pictures and videos are to show that it is a workout.  The videos and pictures are meant to show people how anyone can do Nia.  I was so caught up in getting people signed in and getting things ready to go for the Nia Class that I recently produced, I neglected to ask permission to take and post pictures and videos.  But . . . I also had it in my head that it is well known that while we do our Nia events we want to have pictures of them to promote our Nia events.  Well . . . . this is the result of me not doing due diligence and gaining permission BEFORE taking the pictures and the videos.  These are some of the pictures and videos from the Nia Class on Friday, March 27, 2015.  I have posted other pictures where I had to block someone out, but never videos.  It takes a long time, so this is the end result of a non-professional video editor (me).

As I stated in my post, What Did Frankie Say?, on Saturday after the Nia Class, Jason Alan Griffin, a First Degree Nia Black Belt is travel the United States presenting his Nia routine he calls Frankie Say Nia.  I didn’t do well, at all, with the dressing in the 80’s style, but I did think the animal print would work.  My little head top pony-tail was supposed to be a tribute to the “BIG HAIR” of the 80’s.  I didn’t bother actually doing my hair up in that BIG way because after the first song it would have just been flat.

Nia IS a cardio-dance WORKOUT and the routine followed the classic Nia style with all seven cycles of a Nia workout.  And in keeping with the seven cycles this routine has a focus and an intent.  The focus being the Creative Hand and Arm Expressions.  The intent is to allow us to relax into personal power.

The routine is full of fun and familiar songs, except the last three.  There were three songs in the Floorplay section and the first one just struck me as odd.  I don’t mind dancing to odd music.  Dancing to odd music is fun.  And, in fact, part of the Nia White Belt Training gets us to dance to music that might be considered undanceable by many.  I have yet to come across music that is undanceable, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think some of it is odd.  And it wasn’t so much that it was odd, it was that I couldn’t remember ever hearing it before.  Jason, kindly reminded me again (because I asked him at least three times and couldn’t remember still) that it was Ghost Town by the Specials.  I was also trying to follow the moves and allow myself to dance, so I didn’t even listen to all the words.  It is a very varied song.  I am listening to it now as I type and it is making me laugh!

Regardless of my error in not getting permission beforehand and regardless of the less-than-professional job of “editing”, I believe it is still obvious that fun was had by all.  It was a great time.  I still have the Playshop to post about.  I will get to that eventually.  So stay tuned!  We can’t wait to have Jason back for more Nia.  I will keep you posted so next time you can join us!

EnJoy!

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