Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

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

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘Nia Technique Book’

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 »

Finger Extensions – One Of The Fifty Moves Of Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on May 13, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on June 27, 2013

Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot is certainly not unique to Nia.  Many dance modalities incorporate this move.  In fact this move is incorporated into every day life.  How often are you moving forward only have to stop and move back?  You could be in line at the store or anywhere when the person in front of you moves back towards you so you take a step back.  While you might not “hang” out on the ball of your foot as we do in Nia you more than likely don’t take a step backwards heel first.  Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaSo, yes, Nia has taken moves that might be done in other dance practices, martial arts, and even everyday life and put them in their list of Nia’s 52 Moves.  Nia then weaves the moves into the Nia Routine choreography.  This move Stepping Back Onto The Ball Of Your Foot is part of our Base Moves.  It is done with the feet and legs and they are a part of the base.

This move is described on page 123 of the Nia Technique book written by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas and you can purchase it from Amazon.

As I have said many times there is a proper way to do all moves and while you are practicing them and learning them you do it the proper way.  Then as you come across it in a Nia class while doing a Nia routines your body will know the proper way yet be able to adapt to the choreography that you are dancing at the moment.

So to practice this move you can start in Open Stance.  Then with one leg step back onto the ball of foot.  When stepping back pull the leg straight behind not to either side.  Keep the foot parallel to the stationary foot, don’t turn the heel.  As is indicated step back onto the ball of the foot.  Keep the spine up and the heel high off of the earth.  Then shift your weight onto the foot of which you just stepped back on and take the other foot off the ground.  Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaYour torso is upright, pelvis, chest, shoulders, chin, eyes facing forward.  Do the same movement with the other foot.  You don’t necessarily always have to start in open stance.

After you are comfortable with the stationary start, walk around and stop and step into the move.

This move helps with the mobility and flexibility in the foot.  It also helps create or improve stability in the ankle.  It helps with balance, especially if you hang out for a measured amount of time on the ball of your foot!

At the moment I can think of one routine in which we step back onto the ball of foot as a large portion of one of the dances.  I know we step back all the time, but in this routine I think of one of the songs as “showcasing” this move.  The choreography calls for lifting the leg of the foot that is off the ground.  Or doing a knee lift.  So that is a good example of the variations that Nia choreography uses with its 52 Moves.

Well, what do you think about this move?  Can you see how it helps with mobility and flexibility in the foot?

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

Index For The Nia Technique Book

Posted by terrepruitt on October 7, 2010

There is a book about Nia.  The Nia Technique Book authored by Debbie Rosas* and Carlos Rosas**.  When I first thought of teaching Nia I bought it.  I think I have said before that I thought Nia was a little too “woo-woo”.  When I read the book it helped me see that Nia is based on the science and the design of the body.  I often refer to my book.  I have little tabs stuck on almost every page and that gets bothersome.
While the book has a table of contents it is sparse and it does not have an index.  I always find myself searching and flipping and going back and forth in the pages because I can’t find what I want and I know it is there.  Last week when planning the Nia Playshop I just flipped back and forth one too many times.  So I created an index.I created an index of all the things I want to look up and arranged in alphabetically.  I also arranged it so that there are subsections within the index.  But then that seemed so long so I did an index with just the main sections and a separate index below of the subsections.  So, yes, I have the index arranged three different ways so that you can have a choice on how to look at it. It’s on my site HelpYouWell.com.

One of the “bothers”, cat eating tabs.

If you would like a copy of the Excel format just let me know.

*now known as Debbie Rosas Stewart
**now known as Carlos AyaRosas

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Sodalite and Moonstone

Posted by terrepruitt on April 29, 2010

Sodalite – From the things I have read the main thing sodalite is believed to do is bring calm, inner peace, and balance. I have often seen it associated with helping make clear and rational decisions. (Which I would imagine would be easier if your mind was calm and you had inner peace, so those two things seem like they would go together.) In addition to clear and rational thinking, some information states it helps with creative thought too. I have also seen that it helps with inflammation which goes along with the information I have seen that says it assist with immune systems. (Because inflammation is part of that system.)

Moonstone – I see that this stone is said to also bring calm. Most information states, “Moonstone is a stone of inner growth and strength.” Also, it is said to stimulate balance of hormones. (Which we must remember is necessary in males as well as females.) Several things say it is a stone of protection and that it is a healing stone.

This is stuff that interests me. At one time I thought it was pretty (what I call) woo-woo, but then when I start looking into Nia I started seeing things a little differently. When I first discovered Nia I bought the book (The Nia Technique Book). As I started reading it I thought it was too “woo-woo”, but then they related it to science and it made sense. Then I started thinking that there had to be things on this earth that we were given before we had science that could assist with our health and wellness. So I thought, “Why not energies in a stone?” So, I am just interested in this. I feel more comfortable when I read the information out there (and there is so much out there) and it states basically the same information. Then I feel like at least everyone is on the same page.

I was interested in some of the properties these two stones were said to have. I have not listed them all but just some. I have a few in the house. Not sure they are doing any good, but they are pretty.

Do you think stones have energies? Do you think stones have healing properties?

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

Same ol’ Nia Routine – NOT!

Posted by terrepruitt on February 23, 2010

When we do a Nia routine we set a focus and an intent.  In my classes I set a class focus and intent but participants are always welcome to set their own.  To focus on whatever they need at that moment.  I am not sure if I have mentioned it before on my blog, but a focus and an intent can greatly alter the Nia routine.  Recently I subbed a Nia class for another Nia teacher, in a different part of San Jose.  I had planned and practiced the routine I wanted to teach.  I had a feeling that the teacher had taught it because it is a new routine and a lot of teachers tend to start teaching those right away.  When I arrived I announced to the class that I would be teaching Sexi.  A few of the women, voiced some concerns.  They mentioned that their shoulders hurt.  They said that it was the routine that made their shoulders hurt. 

Well, there is so much to be said about that.  Nia is designed specifically NOT to hurt.  So it could be that their shoulders had been pushed too hard, but not by the routine.  🙂  It could be that their shoulders weren’t injured but were just sore.  Sometimes soreness, because it is a form of “pain”, is perceived as pain that one needs to be concerned about because there is an injury instead of just the “pain” that comes with moving a body part that has not been moved in a long time or has been moved in a way it is not accustomed to.  And that is just a FEW things that can be said.  At the beginning of a class where there is other classes that follow and a group of people to be attended it is not always possible to give each individual personal attention required—as they would get from a personal training session.  So what I suggested was for them to NOT move so vigorously. 

Before we started, I gave them the option of changing the routine.  I would have gladly done a different Nia routine in order for them to have a good time in their workout and to not be doing a routine they were tired of or a routine they felt injured them. But they said that it was ok, I could do Sexi.  And I was so happy, because I knew it would be different.  I advised them that even though we were going to do the same routine, we were going to use a different focus.

The original focus of Sexi is the spine.  When the spine is mentioned one thing people might think of is the back.  Even though this routine employs many movements to move the spine, with the focus being the spine one might be thinking “back”. 

Well, I changed the focus to the front.  The focus I set forth was actually the Fourth Chakra, the Heart Chakra. And I read out of the Nia Technique Book, as Debbie Rosas is always encouraging us to do.  The book states that this energy center is affected most by the motions of your rib cage and chest.  With that information it moved the physical focus to the front.

So we danced Sexi.  We danced Sexi sexy.  Oh yeah.  With our focus being the heart chakra and the intention being to allow a connection with love, compassion, joy, and sorrow–we danced.

While we danced I reminded the group to be aware of their shoulders and to try NOT to move them in the way that caused the pain.  Afterwards, the ones that had voiced concerns said they were glad that we did it.  They were able to do the same routine, but change the focus and therefore changing the routine.  I love that about Nia.  Because the focus is different the same routine is different.  Because I am different the routine is different.  Because the moves are basically the same, but the focus is different they were able to get an entirely different workout.  Just another wonderful aspect of Nia.

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

A Few Benefits of Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on August 18, 2009

You will notice that the numbers are not sequential, that is because this is just a few of the sixteen main benefits of Nia stated in the Nia Technique Book by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.   

1.  Nia increases the pleasure of living in your body.

2.  Nia creates weight loss and proper weight maintenance.

6.  Nia increases grace and flexibility.

10. Nia enhances sensory awareness.

11. Nia heightens sexual function.

12. Nia builds reservoirs of chi.

14. Nia improves circulation of blood and improves lymphatic drainage.

Please remember that these are benefits that people practicing Nia have had.  I invite you to share your experiences and tell me what benefits you have gained from Nia.  You can post a comment here or send me information through my site (you can scroll down the drop down menu to “share my benefit(s) of Nia”). 

Nia is a journey where you are invited to discover the wonders of your own Body. 

 

Nia is practiced in the Bay Area (San Jose, Mountain View, Cupertino, Los Gatos, etc.) and the East Bay (San Ramon, Oakland, Walnut Creek, etc.).

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