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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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘Nia trainers’

Nia’s Five Sensations, Well, Two and One Fourth

Posted by terrepruitt on May 29, 2014

Aaaahhhh!  I did it again.  I do it all the time.  I see things on Facebook that I want to look at but I don’t have time or when I see it is it not the right time to look at it so I open it in another window.  Then I can watch it, read it, do it (whatever) days later.  But then I forget who posted it.  This is a Nia video so I know that one of my Nia friends posted it.  It took me days to get around to watching it.  Then once I did watch it I was soooo disappointed.  It is a video of Carlos Rosas (NKA Carlos Aya-Rosas) at a conference talking about the 5 Sensations of Nia.  As he is talking I start looking at the time left and I keep thinking, he’s not going to make it.  I kept HOPING he would, but I kept thinking, he is not going to make it.  He didn’t.  He was halfway through (or so it seemed) his talk about Mobility when the video stopped.  Sad face.  That is why I was disappointed.  I was sad because we don’t get to hear all five sensations.  But . . . watching the ones he did get through are well worth it.  It is just a bummer that we didn’t get information on all five.

I am not sure what year it is, but you will see that they are being referred to as Debbie and Carlos Rosas.  Which I always thought that eventually they were referred to as Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.  But that is not the point of this post or the video I was just trying to see if I could have an idea of what year it was, but again . . . not that important because the information is tremendous.

The information is very helpful no matter when it was recorded.  Carlos first walks you through some things you can sense.  He connects them to the 5 Sensations.  If you’ve read a few of my posts about Nia you might be familiar with my belief that Nia takes everyday things you are familiar with and probably aware of and connects it to Nia ideas.   If you watch this you can get an example of them doing that in the time from 2:45 to 7:00.

After the initial connection to the five sensations, the first sensation Carlos defines is Flexibility.  He describes it as energy moving out.  So not just stretching, but energy moving out.  Then he talks about Agility.  He describes that as a quick start stop.  He uses the adjective “explode”.  This is a very entertaining part of the video.  Carlos is a very funny speaker.  Then he gets a few minutes into a mobility.  He describes that as continuous movement.  He talks you through a bit of it, then the video stops.

Even though we only get to see two sensations and a portion of mobility it is still great information.  I am not giving you too many details because I want you to watch it.  It is so much better from the creator than from me just typing what he is saying.

This was posted by Nia, in addition to watching this video you can go to the Nia Channel on Youtube (click here) and see other videos they have posted.  Also, you can go to NiaNow.com and watch recordings of classes.  From the home page scroll through the pages and you will find videos of Nia classes.  You can dance right along with Debbie and other trainers!

I invite you to watch the video and participate with his exercises to connect you with the sensation of Flexibility, Agility, Mobility, Stability, and Strength (this is the first portion I mentioned).  Then stick with it for even more connection to Flexibility and Agility.

 

Well, what do you think?

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Nia Shines

Posted by terrepruitt on January 21, 2014

Nia is a cardio dance exercise . . . . yes, it is much more than that, but that is sometimes where we start.  The Nia Technique produces DVDs that teachers use to learn the Nia routines that have been choreographed by the Nia Trainers.  The teacher-learning-routines process is similar to many exercise formats that are taught in group exercises classes across the board.  Most often the music is adored by my students.  They don’t like every song, but I would begin to wonder if they did.  Nia uses a large variety and I would think it odd if EVERY SINGLE SONG was liked by every student.  Every so often though there is a song that someone asks about.  They want to know who sings it.  They want to know the words.  All of Nia routines are available for purchase as an album*, but sometimes it is just a song.  Currently I am teaching a Nia routine with one of those songs.

The song is Shine by Joshua.  The lyrics are as follows:

People want freedom in life
People want freedom in life
come seek a, come seek a
People want freedom in life

Verse I
(Shine within)
My sun is blossoming my dreams
aloft amidst the winds and the promises they sing
walking in the stream
lovin’ runs often in my veins
become light
so I breathe softly when it rains
crossing over phases of the moon seas change in a whisper
risen from the chambers inner wisdom
painted with the pigments of a vision(ary)
dancing in the plumage of illuminary
I ruminate the way that newness carries me towards my selfness fragrances in praises form a shelter
waves of vibrations pour over relics saturated in wellness precious moments envelope me so my language is angelic
tell it – like a picture spoken in scripture
listen – to the morning born from hope in the mists of enigmas ocean of rhythms sweet ambrosia of beginnings openness is living

Chorus
People want freedom in life
come seek a
way of living, breathing the light
it’s gonna be the
eve before the dawn song before the rhyme
open up and let your love shine
(love shine)
(repeat)

Verse II
Rays of sun trickle down my throat coated with sounds of growing abound
and hope flutters on a melody telling me to develop these heavenly grounds of mine
*Shine* *Shine*
Soul surfing the divine
nurturing intuitions relearning to visualize the moment’s gift it’s open like an infant’s mind
an intimate design a wish up in the sky wisps by “Spread your wings! Come let your spirit fly!” (fly fly)
Ascending inside levity mending the mind states to befriend a sublime face of a love you always knew and present beside waves of benevolence, rise, bathe and through cleansing your eyes you’ll see:
that love was always you!
flow through the mirror to embrace your destiny it’s beckoning so hold it dearly to your breast and feel the blessings the fibers of your being vibrant reasons to let me be me – free
a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love shining to eternity, a love me to . . .

Chorus

Let your light shine, let your light shine
Let your dreams shine, let your light shine
Let your heart shine
Let it all shine, shine, shine
Shine now, shine now
(repeat)

Chorus

Heart shine, dreams shine, mind shine
I shine, you shine, we shine… we shine… we shine…

Composed, written, arranged, performed,
produced, and engineered by Joshua Seaman.

Give it a listen at:  http://music.relicpro.com/shine/  You can buy it from this site for a dollar, or you can *buy the album that this song is on from: http://www.nianow.com/product/music/r1-cd

I first looked up the words when I heard the part I have in bold.  I love that.  I hope you enjoy this song.  It is a look into some of the music that we dance to in Nia.

What type of music do you like to workout to?  Do you have a favorite song that really helps you get your “exercise on”?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Creation Of Space

Posted by terrepruitt on November 30, 2013

I am certain that I have mentioned the fact that Nia changes.  Like many things it grows, it morphs, it improves, it changes, yet it remains the same.  The basics stay the same.  The core of it stays the same, but as time goes on it morphs.  Sometimes it is the verbiage and the names of things, but it basically stays the same.  It has been a year since I have taken the Nia Blue Belt Intensive.  In that intensive we were given a Manual from August 2006 and while we were being trained we were told that a new manual was soon to be released along with some new ways of explaining, talking, and learning things.  So part of what I quote here might be a little different from what is being taught now, but the idea and the process is the same.  The process is Creating Space.

In an intensive, before every session we gather and create the space.  This practice was discovered as something done in martial arts.  Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, the creators of Nia, recognized its value and brought it into Nia.  It is the responsibility of the participants to create the space.  It is the responsibility of trainers to hold the space.

The Blue Belt Manual states:  “Creating space is the conscious act of preparing the environment, which includes your body.”

It is an incredibly powerful act that enables an individual and a group to become prepared for receiving.  It is — at its core — coming into stillness.  In preparation for creating the space we use a prescribed process.  There is a schedule that is kept.  A bell is rung seven to ten minutes before we are to start creating the space.  This allows for people to wrap up any conversations they might be involved in and to do any last minute things that need to be done.  Then there is a five minute bell and another one at one minute.  Then, the students create a circle in which we sit quietly while we create the space.  The things we do is quiet the mind, stop the inner dialog and just let the mind rest and become open to hearing and receiving the teaching that is about to happen.  The body is also stilled.  The emotions are balanced and not taking over.  We are connected to our higher self . . . the manual says, “open, but you are not seeking at the moment”.

A main point is to not allow for distractions of any kind.  No physical distractions . . . that is one reason why we sit still.  No mental distractions . . .that is one reason why we stop the inner dialog and the thinking.  All four bodies, Body-Mind-Emotion-Spirit (BMES), are stilled.

The space we create is “a way to set up an energy environment that supports your practice and learning.”  It really is a very helpful and powerful tool to help with the learning process.  We continue to sit in the space until the trainer interrupts us by thanking us.

I believe that many things could benefit from the creation of space; a meeting, family dinner time, Nia classes, a yoga practice, any exercise, and many more.  I think it is a good idea sometimes to clear your head and body of distractions in order to concentrate fully on the “task” at hand.  I know that for me this practice really works well in the intensives.

Is this something that you think you could benefit from?  What types of tasks or activities do you think you could create space for?

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

Breathing – It’s A Good Thing

Posted by terrepruitt on July 11, 2013

Many people hold their breath while working out.  Or even just concentrating.  I was recently learning something and concentrating really hard and my husband said, “Are you holding your breath?”  I burst out laughing because I was in fact holding my breath.  I didn’t even realize it until he asked.  I thought it was funny that I was holding my breath and I thought it was extra funny because I remind people to breathe all the time.  Exercising and concentrating are two things that make people hold their breath so if they are concentrating while exercising it makes sense that it happens.  Also people tend to hold their breath when lifting something heavy.  This type of  maneuver or effect is called the valsalva maneuver or valsalva effect.  While some people who do heavy lifting claim it is good to do the valsalva maneuver and that it helps with the lifting others say it is not good and it does not help.  For me and my students breathing is ALWAYS in order.  How you breathe depends on what you are doing.  If you are lifting weights or doing exercises your breathing is different from when you are doing a cardio workout, such as Nia.

Breathing allows oxygen get to the muscles.  The muscles need that.  For me, I find that when I breathe I can move better.  That was actually the point of my husband asking me if I were breathing.  He could tell by the way I was moving that I was not breathing.  He was across the room and he could tell.  Even though the movement I was doing was very small by holding my breath my movements did not flow and were very sporadic.

One of my husband’s favorite sayings is “If you do not breathe correctly, you do not move correctly.”  He got that from a campy film called  Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins from 1985, but, I’ll be darned if it is not 100% accurate!

One way trainers and instructors ensure breathing is to have the client/student talk.  When you are talking you are breathing.  In Nia we sing, laugh, shout, and in general make all types of noises.  In Nia we call it sounding.  By engaging in sounding we are ensuring we are breathing.  It is necessary for the body, but it is also fun for the spirit.

A sound made my a sharp exhalation helps both with stabilization of the core, but to me it seems to do a better job of engaging the core muscles than just holding my breath.  This method could be utilized during lifting or an agility move.  Sometimes when doing an exercise that is challenging it can help to pant with either your tongue out as an animal would or with semi-pursed lips.  Also when a muscles seems fatigued it often helps to take that extra deep breath.  No matter how you breathe remember it really is important to do so.  And even though it might sound silly that we “forget” to breathe, it is a common occurrence.  So practice remembering to breathe.  Breathing is a good thing!

Do you ever find yourself holding your breath?  When?

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

Principle #7 of the Nia Blue Belt – Nia Class Format

Posted by terrepruitt on December 27, 2012

Principle #7 of the Nia Blue Belt is “Nia Class Format” with the tagline of “Delivering the Promise”.   Before starting to write this post I opened my Blue Belt Manual and started reading what it said about principle #7 and for a moment I couldn’t remember learning anything about the principle in the training.  In the manual there is six and a half page table comparing a “Body/Mind/Spirit Teaching Style” to a “Traditional Teaching Style”.  I found myself thinking, “well, not any longer”.  As in the traditional style is really “old school”.  A lot of classes now adopt the formula that has ALWAYS been a part of a Nia class. Nia is different from many other workouts.  I believe in the almost 30 years that Nia has been around fitness classes have changed a lot and Nia is not the only one that incorporates a more mind-body approach.  Although I say that Nia is more a body-mind approach because Nia actually STARTS in the body. So . . . hmmmm?  If other classes are now doing what Nia has always done it goes a long way in showing that it is the better way.

Here is an example of the table, this is copied directly from The Nia Technique – Blue Belt Manual, August 2006, V4.0, page 132:

 Class Element:  Body/Mind/Spirit Teaching Style:  Traditional Teaching Style: 
Use of Language Uses healing phrases, words, and
visualizations that foster a positive self image.
Often times makes negative comments in humorous ways
that devalue the human spirit and lessen a positive
self-image of the human being.
Individuality Stresses the importance of individuality. Stresses conformity.

 

These are just two examples, as I said there are six and a half pages.  And, this table is not saying that every class that is not Nia does the things listed under Traditional Teaching Style.  It is just a sample of what some styles are like.

I like the table in the manual.  I feel it is a great tool.  I can see that sometimes I am using the Traditional Teaching Style (neither of the ones previously mentioned) and that is exactly why I wanted to participate in the Nia Blue Belt Intensive.  I wanted to work more on “delivering the (Nia) promise”.  I had been taught to exercise via the traditional way so that is what I know or knew.  I like the reminder of the Body/Mind/Spirit Teaching Style.  I also need the reminder because other people have been taught the other way too so that is what they respond best too.  It really is up to me to show them the alternative.  It is up to me to deliver Nia with the Nia class formula so that they can see that there is another way to workout.

This principle is about Body, Mind and Emotion, and Spirit.  Nia Blue Belt Principle #3 will assist me with this principle.  They are all connected.

Two things I want to mention to help clarify, when Nia talks about spirit, it is not in the religious sense, it is comparable to spirit as in “class spirit” or “spirit week”.  Ya know, like they do in high schools?  It is about the inner “you”, your enthusiasm, what drives you, your “spirit”, not something related to religion.

And the other thing, I believe that Nia is working on re-writing, adjusting, and updating the training material.  Nia is always working to remain up-to-date.  The trainers were working off of slides that were not even final.

Are you curious enough yet about Nia to find a Nia class in your area?  Do you prefer a Body/Mind/Spirit Teaching Style or a Traditional Teaching Style when you take a class?

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

Thanksgiving 2012

Posted by terrepruitt on November 22, 2012

I have so much to be thankful for I work on giving thanks all year long.  I tell the people who I am thankful for that I appreciate them.  I do feel so much gratitude that I don’t feel bad taking one of my posts for sharing some things and people who I am thankful for.  Why not, right?  It is my blog and Thursday happens to be one of the days I post.  And since Thanksgiving is set up to occur on Thursdays it just happens that I will be posting on that day.

I did have a conversation recently with my Nia students and we agreed that it would be nice if the United States celebrated Thanksgiving in October as our Canadian neighbors do.  We were talking about how it would be beneficial to have the Holidays spread out a bit.  Having more time in between Thanksgiving and Christmas could ease some stress.  It wouldn’t be one big rush.  Plus the fact that not all of the days off from work would be so close together.  Sounds like a good idea.

As I type this (a bit before Thanksgiving) what is really in the front of my mind to be thankful for is my Nia Students.  I am very grateful to them for holding space for me while I took the Nia Blue Belt Training, the next level of Nia.  As a dance exercise teacher there is a fear that students won’t come back if a class is cancelled.  It takes commitment to come to a class day after day and week after week and sometimes once that habit is broken it is easy to let it go.  So knowing that my students are committed to Nia and to supporting me really helped me let go of the fact that I had to cancel my classes and it allowed me to really BE where I needed to be.

I am also very thankful for the people involved with my Nia Blue Belt.  I am thankful for the organizer.  She kindly kept in communication with me when I didn’t know if I should sign up for the intensive because my mom had been having health issues and at one point she was going to be scheduled for a major (MAJOR, MAJOR) surgery the very week of the intensive.  She let me know that I could register as close as 30 days prior.  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, ZumbaI have huge gratitude towards the Nia Trainers who each have their own story, one flying from Hurricane Sandy to come teach us, and the other having had a bee sting, a car accident, and surgery.  And the class, my fellow Blue Belts.  Some of the trainees are actually other belts retaking the blue, but they will be fellow blues to me.  I appreciate the warm and welcoming space that was created and held.  There were many people going through personal situations and they were able to step into the space strong and ready to learn.  They put the issues aside and focused and made it through.  Thank you so much, Blues!

My husband was so great during the entire week of training.  I am a firm believer that the body and brain needs nutrients throughout the day so I make sure that I make him lunch every night.  He is one of those worker-people that will just power through his day not giving a thought to food.  So it is really important that he have lunch right there to eat.  During the intense week he made sure to make his own lunch (AND DINNER) because he knew that if he didn’t I would.  He helped it feel as if I were on vacation from my home duties.  This helped tremendously.

I am very thankful for my mom’s health.  She has been going through some issues this past year and true to my mom she has stumped her doctors.  At first they didn’t know what exactly was going on, then every time they had a treatment plan it would change because my mom does not follow text books or protocols.  She had a stricture in her throat which led to the discovery of lung cancer.  And over the past year has had surgery three times none of which were the one that was planned to fix her throat.  That surgery was to be a major surgery.  And by some miracle (the doctors are amazed) that surgery is no longer needed and her cancer was removed along with a lobe of her lung.  She is almost back to normal.  She just needs to work on getting used to have less lung.  I am very thankful for her health.  It was a very long, stressful year.

My friends are always on the top of the list of blessings I am thankful for.  I am always amazed at the wonderful people who I have that love and support me.  And I am eternally grateful.  I am grateful for my family.  I am grateful for Nia.  It is an amazing practice and through it I have met even more amazing people.

I hope that those of you that celebrate Thanksgiving have a very Happy One.  And I invite everyone to take a moment to think of something they are thankful for.  Anything you care to share that you are thankful for?

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

Its All About Love

Posted by terrepruitt on October 14, 2010

As you know, I wanted to share Nia with the world. There are a lot of people, students, teachers, trainers, and participants that share my desire.  For me the easiest and quickest thing to do was to join the plethora of Social Networking.  So I joined Twitter and when I did I looked for people who were tweeting about Nia.  In doing so I ran across Lissa Rankin.  She lives North of the San Francisco Bay Area.

She recently wrote a book that I had no intention of buying because I just didn’t think I needed it.  Then during her book tour she did an in person launch but she was across the country.  So for us on the west coast she did a live online launch.  She read from her book and that is what had me jumping on Amazon to buy it.  Her book is not so much NEW information as it is more like confirmation for me.  I am not even half way through the book so I can’t say that I won’t learn something I never knew.

I can say that I love the way it is written.  Lissa is down to earth and lovable.  While she is an Medical Doctor not all of her answers are “go see a doctor”.  This last section I read had me jumping up to the laptop because I have been trying to find a post topic and the feeling I felt made me think, “Ah-ha!”

The feeling I am getting from this book thus far is health and well-being.  Every topic she touches upon has the same message . . . “its your body . . . . be aware of what is a healthy state and a not healthy state . . . love and take care of your body . . . above all be safe.”

It is a book — so far — I would recommend women of all ages read and men read too.  It could serve as a great learning tool for men and women a like.  I am sure when I am done reading it I will have more to say, but so far, I just wanted to put it out there that even though this book is about “What’s Up Down There?” its underlying message is be healthy and safe and love yourself and your body.

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