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 Technique’

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 »

My Cootie Catcher For Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on April 22, 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, SJCityFitIn my last post I told you how I was recently reminded of the Cootie Catcher.  I explained how you can make your own.  Did you?  What did you use it for?  Well, I also mentioned that I would be using mine for picking a focus and an intent for Nia class.  Well, I used it today and I liked it.  It worked.  In Nia we set a focus and an intent for each class, which allows us so many different things.  It could help us move differently to a familiar routine, it could allow us to help work out some kinks in the body and mind, it can do many things.  It is a powerful tool in the Nia tool box.  Most often I ask my students if they have anything they would like to focus on.  Then we go from there deciding an intent.  One of the most requested focuses is shoulders.  So many of us hold tension in our shoulders.  Rarely is there a time when no one has something they want to focus on, but I thought it would be fun to mix it up giving us an alternative for picking the focus of the class.  Plus I thought it would be a good way to get some focuses in use that we don’t use that often.  So I made a cootie catcher to assist us.

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 wrote four of the seven Nia Class cycles on the outside.  I used the number of the cycle.  Warm-up is cycle 3, Get Moving is cycle 4, Cool Down is cycle 5, and Floorplay is cycle 6.  I could have just used numbers but I wanted to remind people that Nia has cycles.  I wish I could have used all seven.  So we have someone pick the cycle, then we open and close the catcher that number of times.  Then someone picks a focus or I might have them choose a number . . . that way they won’t really know what focus they are picking.  Ha, I will probably do it both ways.  Anyway . . .we now have our focus.  Then the catcher is opened and closed as many times as the corresponding number.  Then someone picks another number and we open that triangle and read the intent that is behind it and that is our intent for the class.

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, SJCityFitToday in class we picked Natural Time . . . to empower us to connect with our body.  NICE!

Each focus can work nicely with each intent.  So no matter what combination is picked it will work.

You may notice the underlining on the focuses (Joints is underlined, Extension is underlined), originally I was going to use the words, spelling them out to open and close the catcher, but I decided to go with the numbers.  But again, I might try that way, too.  There are so many ways you can do it.  That is one thing that makes it so fun!

There are many ways we can decide on a focus and intent, this is just one.  If you are going to make one to use to help with a focus and intent you need FOUR things for the outside (that is where I put the cycles).  Then you need EIGHT focuses and EIGHT intents.  So that would be the same formula for anything you are going to use the catcher for.  Four, eight, eight.

I would love to make more and have all kinds of different focuses and intents.  So, you Nia teachers and Nia students, share with me your favorite focus and intent!

 

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

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

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

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

A Puzzle And Two Websites

Posted by terrepruitt on June 25, 2015

I am venturing a declaration, that we have all heard that exercising the brain helps it.  Whether it helps stave off memory loss, helps keep our memory sharp, or just helps keep our brain sharp, I bet we have all heard “exercising” it helps.  I bet one of the “exercises” you’ve heard suggested is puzzles.  Brain puzzles, as an example and as suggested in my last post.  Well, as I was trying to come up with a picture for the post, I was thinking I wanted to have a Nia puzzle.  I came across a cool website where you can create a word search puzzle.  I quickly decided NOT to use the puzzle I made as a picture because I wanted to make it a blog post!  I decided to make a picture for that last post, so I turned to another website that I have been using lately to create collages.  So this post is like a “Three-fer”, a puzzle, the website where you can create your own puzzle, and the website where you can create collages.

And, yes, you can Google all of this for yourself, but you know me, I like to share.  I know that I learn things from blogs I read.  I learn things that are common knowledge to a lot of people, but are new to me, so I like to share because I have faith that sometimes I am sharing something new to someone!

So, here is the Nia Word Search Puzzle.  The words all have to do with Nia: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, Nia Technique

 

Aikido – one of the nine movement forms
Awareness – a goal of Nia, to bring awareness to your body, awareness to your movements
Cardio – what Nia is, it is a cardio dance workout
Chakras – energy points danced in Nia
Crawling – one of the Nia 5 Stages, and something sometimes included in Floorplay
Creeping – one of the Nia 5 Stages, and something sometimes included in Floorplay
Dance – what Nia is
Embryonic – one of the Nia 5 Stages, and something sometimes included in Floorplay
Exercise – what Nia is
Fitness – what Nia encourages
Flexibility – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
FreeDance – a technique/practice used in Nia
Jazz – one of the nine movement forms
Joyful – what Nia can help you feel
Mindfulness – a goal of Nia, to bring mindfulness to your movements, mindfulness to your body
Mobility – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
Movement – something we do in a Nia class
Nia – the Technique, the form of cardio dance
RAW – a technique/practice used by Nia teachers when learning a Nia routine/music
Stability – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
Strength – one of the Nia 5 Sensations, something you will experience in a Nia class
Technique – Nia Technique
Workout – what Nia is, it is a cardio dance workout
Yoga – one of the nine movement forms

The website to make your own is: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/code/BuildWordSearch.asp

The collages are super easy to make, you just drag the photos you want to your browser.  You can pick a background if you want.  You can turn the photos, you can resize them, you can bring them to the front or the back.  All basic things.  I have several of these types of applications on my iPhone, but I didn’t have anything, but MS Word on my computer.  So this website is a great help to me.  Easy, quick, and free.  And I am not loading my photos onto their site. Website for the collages is:  http://www.photocollage.net/

Yay!  Exercise your brain!  Go create stuff!

 

The solution is at on my website (click here).

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

Folding Is An Art

Posted by terrepruitt on June 6, 2015

Many of you who attend yoga classes regularly might already know this, but then again, maybe not.  Sometimes there is not always time in any type of group exercise class to get the tips and tricks that are widely known.  As with me, I just recently learned this tip/trick.  And, I actually haven’t even had the chance to use is since I learned it.  This might not always be necessary even if you are using the same type of prop in a yoga class.  There are different uses and needs, so you might not always need this trick.  Recently I was in a yoga class and we were instructed to lie down on a specific configuration of blankets and blocks for pranayama.  The blanket was folded length-wise into thirds and we were to lie on it length-wise, with it running from the bottom of our neck to tail.  The idea is to allow the torso and chest to open.  We were to lie there and breathe.  As you may know, pranayama entails deep breathing and/or breathing specifically.  I think the pranayama we were supposed to be doing was three-part breath (Dirgha).  Where one is breathing into the belly, the rib cage, then the upper chest.  Then the exhale goes from upper chest, ribs, then belly.  Something I am just learning and that is not easy for me.  So, like I said before, breathing specifically.  Well, I could not concentrate because I was so uncomfortable. I couldn’t even take a full breath much less take it in from bottom to top and then breathe it out in the opposite fashion.  The blanket was bulky on the sides and it was keeping me from breathing with ease.  I couldn’t relax and let my chest open.  I ended up having to discard the blanket and just lie on the floor.

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, PiYoAfter that portion of the class another teacher came in and explained how to fold a blanket to allow for maximum comfort.  It is easy and made complete sense.  Instead of folding it in halves or thirds like you would a blanket you are going to put in the closet, fold it like an accordion so that it is even.  There are no sides that are thicker.  When it is folded like an accordion it lies more evenly.  This is a much easier, more comfortable support to lie on.  When she demonstrated it, it looked perfect and comfortable.  I wanted to use it to see if it felt as comfortable as it looked, but it was not the time to do so.  And, as I mentioned, I have not yet had the opportunity to try folding a yoga blanket like that and using it.

I know, folding a blanket is an easy thing to do, but, as you may know, yoga blankets are very thick and sometimes they can be very bulky and bulgy when folded wrong.  The blankets and other props are there to be used to make poses more comfortable and give proper alignment.  Having it bulge and press on your body is not comfortable.

Do you use yoga blankets in your practice?  Might you see how this type of folding technique could create a comfortable platform to lie on?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Church Yoga

Posted by terrepruitt on June 4, 2015

There are so many different types of yoga, it is out of my range to know them all or to even have HEARD of them all.  There are “ancient” types of yoga and types that have been around for a very long time, then there are new ones.  There are some that have popped up rather recently.  I believe many ancient types of yoga have been morphed into different types of yoga.  Then once you become aware of a type of yoga it can still be different from studio to studio and teacher to teacher.  I recently became aware of a type of yoga I had never heard of.  I read the description and I thought, “Ok, I’ll give it a try.”  Because I have to teach throughout the week, I have to be attentive to my energy levels.  I have no qualms about attending a class and, if it is more than I want to do at that time, not doing it at the level that is being instructed.  So if it was more strenuous than I wanted I was planning on just doing it gently.  But the description sounded like exactly what I wanted.  So, I went to this class I had never heard of and I am not sure if the class was a little different because it was a holiday or what, but there was a lot of talking.  It was Kriya Yoga.

Kriya Yoga – Low/Moderate

Kriya Yoga highlights the relationship between the breath and the mind.
Breath influences mind and vice versa. Breath control is self-control.
Techniques include preparing the body with stretching and bending
exercises, practicing meditation, and incorporating breath

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, PiYoThe description of Kriya Yoga that I read on Wiki, had me thinking that it was the type of yoga where participants would be experiencing two of the eight limbs of yoga; asana and pranayama.  But, the class focus or subject seemed more to throw us into experiencing about six of the limbs.  It was memorial day, and I had stopped looking at Facebook before class because I wanted to go to yoga and have a relaxing time of breathing, stretching, and bending.  I was avoiding all the war stories until after class, but I felt jolted by the homily.  It was like yoga and church rolled into one.

When I got home I discovered there are some descriptions online that describe Kriya yoga as the “spiritual yoga”.  That could explain why I felt as if I was in church.

The class is normally an hour, but this class was an hour and a half, so I don’t know if the extra time was used for talking or if the talking is part of the class.  I have not been in regular attendance in classes where talking and thinking about deep subjects are involved.  It was very interesting.  It was not the type of yoga I had been hoping for, I think it was a bit different than the description. I am not sure I will have the opportunity to get back to it because of scheduling conflicts and the location.  But we will see.  As I said, I think the regular class might be different, but I don’t know.  I wouldn’t mind going back to see.  The next time I will be a bit more prepared and not have the idea in my head that I will just be able to relax and focus on the poses.

I am planning on trying more types of yoga!

Have you ever heard of Kriya yoga?  What types of yoga have you heard of?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Have A Klip And A Smile

Posted by terrepruitt on June 2, 2015

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, PiYoThis past weekend there was a festival in one of the cities near us.  It was the Milpitas International BBQ & Festival.  It was very small which was kind of nice because it wasn’t as crowded as some of the festivals get.  There was a stage at each end.  One stage had kids performing.  It was really cool.  The first band we saw as we walked up to the festival looked as if the singer and two guitar players were kids, but I think the drummer was an adult.  The other band we saw as we were walking out looked like only the singer was a kid . . . but I only glanced up quick once and didn’t stop to look.  But I was impressed by the kids.  So, I just wanted to mention that because I love that the kids have a place to perform.  But what I am really writing about is one of the vendors was selling animal ears.  On my first pass, I thought they were cute, but I thought an almost 50 year old should not be walking around in animals ears.  Also, I didn’t want people to think I am a furry.  I don’t dress like an animal.  I don’t pretend I am an animal.  I don’t want to be an animal.  I don’t want an animal avatar or persona.  So, I walked right by the booth.  But . . . as I was walking around I kept seeing them.  At one point I looked up and for the smallest fraction of a second I thought the woman walking past me had “real” furry ears.  The vendor did a tremendous job of matching the ears to the woman’s hair.  And she did that with most of the women we saw.  So, I went back and got some ears.

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
I was amazed at how well the vendor matched all the different hair colors.  There were little girls who went for the brightly colored sparkly ones, but it seems as if the teenagers and up, opted for ones that matched, blended, or “went with” their hair.

If you see pictures of me with ears on, I am not a furry.  They are just cute.  They are fun to wear.  It is just like if I wore a flower in my hair that does not make me a plant. 🙂

When I first saw them I thought they were a headband, but they are not, they are separate.  The ears are sewn onto those bendable barrettes.  To hold them on more securely you put a bobby pin across the barrette.  I wore mine teaching two separate Nia classes on two separate days and they stayed in place each time.  I had to adjust some of my arm movements though because I am not used to having furry ears.  My hand had to go very wide around my head in that move where you circle your head with your hand!

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, PiYoI found that after wearing them, once I take them off my head feels lighter.

I get a kick out of driving and seeing the corner of my right ear in my rearview mirror.

They also compel people to talk to you . . . so that is nice.  It is fun to see their faces, for a split second their face seems to register confusion — just the quickest second — then their eyes light up, possibly with the silliness of it or the fact that for a second they thought a woman had furry ears.  Then their face breaks into a smile and it almost seems like they are speaking before they realize it.  Strangers sparking up a conversation is fun.

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, PiYoToday I wore them to my Nia class.  Afterwards I went to the store.  I would HIGHLY recommend getting some ears.  I was walking down the aisle and a young man working at stocking a refrigerated case looked at me and smiled – it was a nice friendly customer service smile, but then just as he was turning away he turned back doing a double-take and his face broke into a HUGE smile.  Again . . . not sure if it is because he didn’t notice the ears at first, then he did or what it is.  But it is WAY worth any type of feeling of I-am-too-old-to-be-sporty-fake-furry-ears.

Also, we live near a fire station and the store we go to is frequented by Firemen.  They have never talked to me before, but today they did.  I had just taught two classes, so I was not looking very “fresh” – let’s say – but who doesn’t want to talk to a person wearing furry ears?

So . . . there you have it.  I have ears and they are basically a hair accessory, to add some fun.  And they are bringing smiles to people faces and that really is one of the BEST things ever.

So . . . have I talked you into it?  Are you going to order some ears?

 

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Shredded Beef – Crockpot Cookin’

Posted by terrepruitt on May 30, 2015

We have these roast in our freezer.  HUGE chunks of meat I have no idea what to do with.  I am not a “roast” fan.  The hours of cooking so the fat can melt and seep into the meat, just does not appeal to me.  I have never liked the texture of roast and one day while flipping through channels I paused on America’s Test Kitchen (love that show, especially back in the day when it hadn’t yet been “glammed up”).  They were cooking a roast.  One reason I love that show is they explain the science behind the cooking or at least the reasons why you do what you do.  So they explained that the reason a roast is low cooked for hours is because the fat needs to melt into the meat.  It makes it tender and flavorful.  Yeah, snort!  I didn’t like it before and that REALLY made it unappealing to me.  But . . . . this beef is more lean, I believe.  I have also grown a little bit more tolerate of roast and have actually had some that were yummy.  But, cooking one?  Another story.  I can’t remember exactly how I came across a recipe for Cuban Beef.  I wasn’t looking for it, I think I might have just happened across a blog and it was on there?  I don’t remember, but I have had a recipe for Cuban Shredded Beef on my desktop for almost a month now.  So I decided to try it.  Well, not really.  I had read through the ingredients but not the instructions.  I started to read through them the night before I was going to cook the roast and I decided I didn’t want to do that.  I wanted to throw the thing into my crock pot and let it cook.  So, I started with her list of ingredients and went from there.  I bet it would help a lot if I were more familiar with the science behind cooking a roast.

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Shredded Crock Pot Beef – “Cuban Style”

3.5 pounds pounds of roast, trimmed**
salt
1 bottle lime beer
2 T sherry
1 cup orange juice
juice from 1 1/2 lime*
zest from 1/2 lime
3 teaspoon garlic
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 of an onion

You will use some of these ingredients in the crock pot and some in the oven.

Coat the roast with salt and let it set while you prepare the crock pot liquid.

For the crock pot:

1 lime beer
2 T sherry
1/2 cup orange juice
juice from 1/2 lime
zest from 1/2 lime
2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
a small portion of onions, sliced thin

(Salted 3.5 pounds pounds of roast, trimmed)

Mix the above ingredients together, pour them into the crock pot, then put the salted roast in the crock pot.  If the liquid does not cover the roast and you have a few minutes, let it sit, then flip it over.  Then put the sliced onions on top.  Let it cook on low for three hours.

Then flip it over and turn it to high for an hour.  Then turn the heat to low and let it cook for another two hours.

**this was a grass-fed roast.  Grass-fed beef tends to cook quicker so keep that in mind.

For the beef after cooking in the crock pot

1/c orange juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic
juice from 1/2 lime
onions

Mix all the ingredients.  Shred the beef (I used my blender), spread on cookie sheet, pour the liquid over the beef, stir it so all the beef can get some of the liquid.  Then put the cookie sheet in the oven for 20 minutes on 425° F.  You might want to cook it a bit longer if you want those crispy bits of beef.  You decide.

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https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7769/18285057272_2eb5d843ac_b.jpgI served it on bread.  A sweet submarine roll for my hubby and sliced sour dough for me.  I don’t really know how you are supposed to serve Cuban Beef.  I don’t know what Cuban Beef is.  I just made a “regular” sandwich; cheese, mayo, and onions.  I put quartered limes on our plates and we both ended up squeezing it on the meat.

*I am going to use more lime in the recipe itself next time.

This was very good.  I like the lime flavor.  It is zesty and a step away from our normal flavor palate.  It was nice.  I will probably do it again with one of the other roasts we have.

So . . . what is “Cuban Beef”?  Do you have a recipe for Cuban Beef?

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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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Really, It IS Exercise

Posted by terrepruitt on April 21, 2015

Recently I was visiting with a friend and she was sharing with me her experience in an exercise class that she had attended a few days earlier.  She was sharing that the things they were doing in the class did not qualify as exercise.  She was saying that shimmying and doing the hand-around-your-head-move was not exercise.  She said she didn’t want to do that type of stuff in an exercise class.  I think she forgot who she was talking to.  I mean, she was talking to her friend who she was looking at to support her in the fact that neither the shimmy nor the hand-around-your-head-move was exercise.  But I think she forgot what I do for a job.  I made a comment about how if she didn’t want to use all her muscles, I could see why shimmying would not be something to do.  But she said she DID want to use all of her muscles.  I did not take the opportunity to elaborate on how the shimmy is a great exercise and uses — not all, but many, muscles.  It really was HER moment to share so I just listened.  It was obvious she didn’t want to use her muscles THAT WAY.  It was not my time to defend my craft or dance as an exercise.  It did make me laugh though.  It also reminded me why some people don’t like Nia.  Some people don’t want to dance as exercise.  Some people do not feel that moving to music is exercise.  There are many people who think that the only way to get exercise is to do something the same way — to move in the same way, to move in a linear way — over and over again.  Some people have very specific ideas about what they want to do as exercise.  And that is fine, I am not going to try to get them to a Nia class because they probably wouldn’t be able to participate enough to get a good workout.  But I do get my knickers in a twist when people say it is not exercise.

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, PiYoI think it is more accurate to say, “It is not movement that I like or that I consider exercise.”  But to say it is not exercise.  Not fair.  But, again, very much a common way of thinking.  I have posted about exercise as dance before.  I even mentioned how I liked Dancing with the Stars (even thought I don’t watch it) because I think it helped some people realize that you CAN get a good workout in while dancing.  If nothing else, moving around for an hour is great cardio — if you are moving enough to get your heart rate up.

Some dance exercise classes use jumping movements to get the heart rate up.  Some — like Nia use big movements, fast movements, low movements, high movements, all over body movements.  As, I have said before, it is all there for the participant to use, it is up to each individual to do as much as they want.

Many people don’t care for the shimmying but it really is a great movement that uses upper body muscles.  I have seen many of my regular Nia students go from not being able to do it — for whatever reason — to embracing it.  I think I have mentioned before that there is one song in one of our routines where I like to keep them at doing the shimmy for a bit.  I usually ask, “Are you feeling it?”  I just like for people to experience that the shimmy can be an move that can qualify as “an exercise”.  Their answer – by the way is usually a laugh with a “OHH yeah!”

Some people move differently once they understand that the shimmy is not shaking what is on the front, but moving from the back.  I have a post on that, Shimmy From The Back.

I think there are a lot of dancers at there that would say dance is exercise.  However if you don’t like to dance I understand you might not feel that way.  But, if you ever want to see what I mean about the shimmy or Nia as a good workout, look for a class near you.  There are classes all over the world.  There are several in San Jose, California . . . . I know, because I teach ’em.

What do you consider exercise?  Have you ever TRIED dance-as-exercise?

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