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

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle 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 White Belt Intensive’

Zorro Technique

Posted by terrepruitt on October 29, 2015

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dancing Free

Posted by terrepruitt on February 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoTo assist with FreeDance and to deepen the practice there are eight stages that can be a guide, because as I said, it is not necessarily an easy thing to do.

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

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

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

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

Stage 5: Authentic Movement
Catch Phrase: Change!!

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

Stage 7: Choreography
Catch Phrase: The Accidental Click

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

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

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

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

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

Some Basic Fitness Guidelines Found In The Nia White Belt Manual

Posted by terrepruitt on October 18, 2014

Sometimes when I need to write a blog post I am inspired. Sometimes I have an idea. Sometimes I have something to say. Sometimes I even have a few ideas lined up and I have to make a schedule of what I am going to post and when. Then sometimes, like today, like now . . . I got nothing. When I have nothing I usually look at all my books, all my pictures, all my notes on “things to blog about”, all my “stuff” and I usually can find some inspiration to come up with something, but today nothing is coming. I have been sitting here for hours and I’ve gone through what I have access to and I am not feeling a particular pull, so I am going to share some information from my Nia White Belt Manual.  I am going to remind you that I participated in the Nia White Belt Intensive in 2008.  My manual says, “The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual, March 2001, V3”  Which is not to say the information I am going to share is out of date . . . because a lot of it is pretty general to many, many, many fitness forms.  I state date and volume information for those of you that might have a Nia White Belt Manual but perhaps this information is no longer a part of it.  Or it is worded differently.  Because Nia is always adapting and, even though these guidelines are — for the most part — general, Nia might have changed the wording or taken this piece out of the manual.

These are the basics of Basic Fitness Guidelines found in the Nia White Belt Manual *directly from the manual*:

1.  *Do not eat for at least two hours before you work out.*

2.  Wear comfortable clothing you don’t mind sweating it.  Something that makes you FEEL good, but that you don’t mind getting down on the floor while wearing.

3.  *Start easy.*  As you become familiar with the moves you can add more intensity.  But, like all things, get the basics first – crawl before you walk, walk before you run, that type of thing.

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, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA4.  *Move the way you walk, using your whole body.*  –  If that is not how you walk, practice it.  Move through the Nia workout using your entire body.  *Step heel to toe when you move to the side or to the front, and shift your weight from one foot onto the other.  Lead with your heel, gently rolling forward to the ball of your foot, and then push off to change directions as you feel your toes lightly touch the floor.*

5.  *Don’t force a motion.  Don’t strain.  Strive for a balance between control and relaxation as you listen to your body’s signals.*

6.  *Make the movements an expression of you.  This is your workout.*

7.  *Use “belly breathing.”  When you inhale, first feel your belly expand, then your ribs, laterally expand, and then your chest and clavicle rise.”

8.  *Step back onto the ball of your foot, keeping your knees soft and your heel high as you lower your body weight.*

9.  *Draw your knee up toward your chest before you kick out.*

10. *Use your arms to express your feelings, emotions, or mood.*

11. *Contract your abdominals to round the spine, don’t lean.*

12. *Get in as much non-stop movement as possible.*

13. *Take at least three classes a week.*

14. *Combine a good diet with internal and external exercise to balance your fitness program.*

 

Pretty basic stuff.  Some – perhaps – a little unique to Nia, but not so much so they can’t be applied to other fitness/dance exercise classes.

What do you think?  Do you follow these guidelines?

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Saving Bars

Posted by terrepruitt on September 2, 2014

If you have read more than one post on my blog you know (probably) that I teach a movement class called NiaNia is very much about “dancing” and moving to the music.  The training required in order to teach is called the Nia White Belt Intensive.  The training is over 50 hours long.  Believe it or not there is hardly anytime in that 50 hours learning a routine.  In fact, I don’t remember learning any part of a routine in my White Belt.  But I know people who have taken the training more recently and they said they did review a song.  I remember when I first arrived at the training I literally had NO IDEA what it was going to be like.  I signed up rather late and if there was any pre-training at that time, I didn’t get it.  I had thought I would walk out of the training ready to teach.  Ha.  Nope.  I was given tools to help me be ready to teach.  There might be people who are ready to teach when they walk out of the first training . . . but I wasn’t.  I wasn’t that familiar with Nia to begin with so the way we were taught to learn a routine was very new to me.  As you may know we were taught to map our music by “barring” the music.

I know that Nia is making an effort to make things easier on teachers.  Nia Headquarters actually documents the choreography on the bars now.  So, I feel that the focus has shifted a bit away from barring the music the way I was taught.  I think the way I was taught was very cool.  I love the way Nia had at one time had us learning the music.  But I also understand the need to learn quickly or to have tools available to allow people to do things faster.  That is just the way our society is.  Things need to be done fast.

I also understand that we all learn differently.  We all have our own ways of doing things.  I honestly don’t do EVERY step that I was taught to do.  I also mix it up and I don’t always do each routine EXACTLY the same.  But pretty much.

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For all the routines so far, I do bar the music myself.  Sometimes I have trouble with some of the songs so I might rely on the bars from HQ a little more than with other songs.  But I bar the music and I document the choreography myself.  I “fix” any discrepancies I might see on the DVD.  But I do this in steps.  First I bar the music.  I count the music and I dress my bars.  I have found the more detailed I am with the dressing the better it is for me.  I put as much detail as I want on there.  I don’t just put the sound I hear for the cue for the Nia routine.  I put the music on the page.  Then I scan the paper into my computer.  Now I have barred music.  So what I can do with that the barred page — without the Nia choreography on it — is use it for whatever I want.  I can add my own choreography.  I don’t just have the places marked where I would do or cue the already-created-Nia kata, I have sounds that I am familiar with document.  So noting my own choreography to the page is easy.

Then, on my paper I just scanned, I add the Nia choreography.  Once I do that then I scan my sheet again.  So now I have an electronic image of my complete and final bars.  I always know where it is.  I admit to taking my sheets of barred music with me either to teach or around the house, then I misplace them.  Or I mixed routines up so I have one song in with another routine.  Then after a year when I go to do a routine, I am missing a song.  I am pretty particular so I will look for it, but sometimes I let go and just look at my electronic copy.  I know that eventually I will find the hard copy so I just use the one I know where it is.

I am so happy though because I finally got a HANGING file system.  So much easier to file my routines that way.  I used to have them in a pile on a shelf in a cabinet.  So in order to get to them I had to take out the entire pile and go through it to find the routine I wanted.  Or to put one away . . . that is why I would end up with “lost” songs because I didn’t always want to take the time to take out the stack and deal with it.  But now, it is so much easier with them hanging!  Yay.

So, if you teach a dance class, how do you document your moves?  How do you note your choreography?  How do you store your notes?

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Nia Routines I’ve Learned

Posted by terrepruitt on May 9, 2013

I teach Nia.  I actually like to say I lead Nia because to me teaching a dance is more instructive.  What I think of as teaching is the type of class where the instructor demonstrates a step or two then the students do the steps a few times, then the instructor demonstrates more steps and the students practice them.  Eventually the steps are strung together in a dance.  But in my Nia cardio classes it is just lead follow.  I do – you follow.  I give verbal instructions and/or verbal guides but it is not the type of instructional class where I show you, then you do, then we practice and then we string all the steps together.  So I guess it is not an “instructional” or “instructed” dance class.  But I do teach by example.  You follow my lead.  In order to be a Nia teacher I had to take the Nia White Belt Intensive.  I have talked about this before, but to review the White Belt is the first level of Nia.  The White Belt Intensive is over 50 hours of instruction and is open to anyone.  Individuals do not have to have the intent to teach.  The Nia White Belt Intensive is about the body so anyone is welcome to join and learn.  In order to be a Nia teacher there is an additional licensing fee.  The fee is due annually and it includes four routines that we, as teachers, agree to learn per year.  I was just looking at my DVDs.  I have two routines that I have not learned.  I have 19 that I have learned.  I have been teaching almost four and half years so I am keeping up with the four per year schedule.

Now, I want to clarify that I have learned 19 routines.  That means that I basically did the bars and have shared 19 routines with my students.  That means I roughly know those 19 routines.  I could stand up right now and lead you through some of them, but some of them I would have to look at my bars, and some of them I would have to study my bars.  But I also feel I am better at just doing.  While I want to do the routine as per the choreography, I am not as afraid as I once was to just DO the routine.

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, ZumbaWhen I am preparing to do a different routine for my class sometimes I have a chance to practice and sometimes I don’t.  I will look at my bars for each song.  Sometimes I look at the first few lines and think, “Oh yeah, I know this one.”  Then when I am leading it my body and my mind don’t remember it as well as I thought and I just dance through it, but then when I get home I look more closely at my bars or re-watch the DVD.  It really is about moving and having fun.  As long as we are moving and we are doing it close enough then it is good.  Then, like I said, I come home to get the choreography better established in my head and body!

The routines I have learned are:

Alive – Carlos AyaRosas
Amethyst – Debbie Rosas
Aya – Carlos Rosas
Beyond – Debbie Rosas and Ann Christiansen
Birth – Debbie Rosas and Collaborators
Canta – Carlos Rosas
Clarity – Carlos Rosas
White Belt Dream Walker – Carlos Rosas
Earthsong – Carlos Rosas
Global Unity
Humanity – Carlos AyaRosas
Miracle – Carlos Rosas
Opal – Debbie Rosas
Passion – Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas
Sanjana – Debbie Rosas
San Medusa – Helen Terry
Sexi – Carlos Rosas
Velvet – Debbie Rosas
Vibe – Debbie Rosas

The names of the routines that I have on my shelf that I need to learn are Butterfly and Oshun.  I just renewed so I have four routines that I need to pick out as my new routines.  Picking routines is always a challenge because everyone has such different tastes.  Some people LOVE, LOVE, LOVE some of the routines I have and I don’t love them.  So for me it is a difficult decision.  I try to pick routines that I think my students will like, but then that is just a guess.  I know which ones they like out of the ones I teach because they request them often.

If you were just picking a routine from the name which one would you pick?  As a Nia student which one out of this list is your favorite?  What about Nia teachers, which is your favorite out of this list?

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Don’t Be Afraid Of Spirit

Posted by terrepruitt on February 9, 2013

Recently a Nia student came up to me after a Nia class to ask me a question.  She said that she had talked to another woman about attending a Nia class but the woman didn’t want to because we said “Om!”  My student asked me if Nia was religious.  I shared with her what happened in the Nia White Belt Intensive I attended and my thoughts on it.  What happened in the Nia White Belt Intensive I attended in December 2008, was Carlos Rosas asked one of the intensive participants what was in Nia.  Her answer was “God.”  Carlos said, “NO!  There is no God in Nia!”  I don’t know Carlos’ religious beliefs, if he has any, or how he feels about God or religion, but I think he was saying that there is no religion in Nia.  It is not associated with any type of religion.  It is meant for everyBODY and everyone and people of all faiths and all belief systems can participate and enjoy Nia.  It truly is based on the design of the body.  It is not based on ANY religion or God.

I personally feel that if you have God or any belief system in you then you will bring Him/it into whatever it is you are doing.  But that is not a reflection on the event or activity.  With any belief if you believe it you are going to carry it with you.  So if you believe in God, Gods, Buddha, Allah, or whatever that will come with you into Nia.  But Nia has none of that as a part of it.  What Nia DOES have as a part of it is spirit.  But that should not be confused with any type of religious spirit or supernatural spirit.  Wiki states:  “The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning ‘breath'”.  And an online dictionary says:  “The vital principle or animating force within living beings.”  Yet some people often think of spirit as religious, as in the Holy Spirit, or otherworldly, as in ghostly spirits.

Because of that conversation I had with one of my students I had been thinking of this and in a class I said, “Let your spirit out.”  And I noticed a few students stiffen.  And I continued on, saying, “That is not to be meant religious or supernatural, I mean spirit as in ‘your school spirit’, when people say ‘show some school spirit no one gets all wiggy’.  It’s like that.  THAT type of spirit.”  And I saw people relax.  I saw some say, “Oh.”  And then I saw some spirit.

I think of spirit as a passion or your inner child.  It is the part of you that wants to slide down the banister, run up the down escalator, balance on a curb, jump in the puddles, take your shoes off and slide in stocking feet across the length of the mall, or say “WAAAAHOOOOO!”  It is the breath that we often hold in.  If your beliefs have your spirit saying or doing something in class then that is fine, but that is not to say that your beliefs are a part of Nia, that is a part of YOU that you bring to Nia.

The type of spirit you would have with school spirit, class spirit, and/or team spirit that is the spirit Nia calls upon and what Nia invites to be released in a Nia class.  Let your inner essence dance and be free, don’t be afraid . . . . . . let go.

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Continuing Education – Nia White Belt Principle #12

Posted by terrepruitt on September 6, 2011

Nia’s training, the Nia Intensives are something that anyone can take. If you are not planning on teaching you can still attend the intensives. Nia is a practice that can be applied to life without ever having to teach it. Nia has several different ways of helping with continued education both for the livelihood member and for teachers. First for a person that is planning on teaching, #12 of the White Belt principles is continued education. There are instructions and ideas on how to learn Nia routines.

There are three stages to learning a routine. When I took my White Belt Carlos was very adamant about not skipping any of these steps. I am glad I have decided to post this because I am being reminded that there are a few steps in each stage that I could be better about doing. In the first stage we are reminded to just simply do the DVD. With each routine we have a DVD and we are instructed to just do it. Do it as if we are taking a Nia class. Do it as you would do any exercise DVD. Move, listen, and enjoy the workout. This is obviously one step that can be done several times.

Another step is to listen to the music all the time.  Listen and allow it to seep into the body. Then we are encouraged to FreeDance to the music. We are instructed to dance six of the eight stages. Keep in mind this can be over the course of days or weeks, whatever it takes. Then they advise us to just WATCH the DVD without working out to it. The last step in Stage 1 is to do the bars.

Stage 2 is where we watch the DVD and note the separate portions of the body’s choreography. Three separate steps, first we watch and note the legs, then the core, then the arms.

Stage 3 of learning a Nia Routine is where we start to go deeper into the routine by starting to have an awareness of the musical cues that signal a change in movement. By now, with having danced the routine to the Nia DVD as a student, listened to the music, mapped out the music, noted the choreography, and become aware of the sounds that tell us when there is a movement change coming we are ready to pretend. We call that teaching or dancing with your bears. It is the example used when you are at a point in the learning process where you are ready to do the workout and pretend there are students. During my Nia White Belt Intensive Carlos said something like set up stuff bears or spoons or pillows, just set up something so you can have a focus. I think the bear scenario is used in all intensives because we all call it “teaching/dancing with your bears”. Step 3 of stage 3 is to even go deeper into the music. It is amazing how the music will sound different after you have taught your bears. I might realize I need to pick a different music cue because while I am moving the one I originally chose gets lost, or I hear a better one. Sometimes I stop and don’t move at all to make sure I am hearing the music correctly. More advice includes being the student, doing the routine again, but as the student and not the teacher and getting more technical with the moves. Once you have the basic choreography down it is time to get technical and make certain you have all the levels of intensity familiarized in your body. The Nia Routine training DVD also has many other tools on it to help us learn the routine. They have a portion where they talk about the energy that goes with each move and more about the technical aspect of each move. One of the last steps is the recommendation to dance the routine with a different focus. That is a great way to learn a routine because it becomes practically brand new and you discover so much. The last stage encourages us to change the music. Because we have mapped out music and know the count of it we can pick songs that match and put the choreography to different music.

In addition to these great stages and steps they have mapped out for us to assist us in learning a routine, Nia’s continue education includes articles and telecourses. They also film classes that they hold at Nia HQ so that people can watch and learn about more ideas that delve into Nia. In 2010 the course of study was the 13 Nia White Belt Principles. The course of study for 2011 is “Becoming A Sensation Scientist”, learning about senses of the body. I am not sure of what the course of study’s name is for 2012, but it looks as if it has to do with the body itself with title such as, “Awareness of Muscles” and “Awareness of Ligaments and Tendons.” So this is part of what I mean when I say Nia is so much more than a workout.

YES, Nia is a cardio dance workout where you can go to a class and move your body to music get sweaty and get exercise for your body. But if you want, it can be a practice, where you learn more about your body. Even if you are not a teacher or a livelihood member Nia does a monthly telecourse call where everyBODY can listen, I would like to encourage you to check it out. Go to the main website for Nia and see all the education they have to offer. You might be just amazed as I always am.

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Energy Allies

Posted by terrepruitt on March 30, 2010

When I attended the Nia White Belt Intensive I had not heard of the Four Agreements so I was very captivated by what we refer to as our Energy Allies.  When I decided to attend the Intensive I had only been to four Nia classes and I had decided I wanted to teach it.  I had no idea what to expect.  So these Energy Allies came in handy for me.

We call them friends and rely on them as you would friends.  I am posting these because I often need to be reminded of my friends and I thought I would share them with you.

I was taught:

1–Speak with impeccability
We were reminded to stay “on task”.  Often times in a group setting questions are asked that do not actually relate to the subject being discussed.  Or people like to tell stories about something “sort of” related to the subject.
We were also instructed to use “I”.  When we talk we often tend to project what we are saying instead of saying “I”.

2–Don’t assume anything
Don’t “make up” stories in our head.  We don’t really always know what the story is so we shouldn’t make it up.
-Quiet our inner mind’s conversation.

3–Don’t take anything personally
Don’t get caught up in self-pity or self importance.
Try not to get emotional about a comment.

4–Always do your best
No holding back
Follow instruction
Recognize what is required

I thought this was a GREAT way to start a seminar or in this case an “intensive”.  I wished we could have employed these agreements when I was a corporate trainer.  I think they really assist in keeping the group on task.  When people are allowed to share information that pertains to the subject yet understand that off topic issues will be put on a back burner, that helps keep the subject flow steady.  Keeping the inner mind silent assists in hearing what is being said.  Not taking comments that were made personally allowed the information to be given and received so that it could be useful and not destructive.  Following instructions assisted with the energy in the room.  When we all understood what was required we were all able to focus on the moment’s assignment.

Keeping these four allies around really enabled our group to keep our energy going.  When listening is not at a premium and/or people are emotional about something it really can zap the energy of the collective.

These are friends that can be invited to anything in one’s life.  Do you have these Energy Allies as your friends?  Or are you familiar with the Four Agreements?

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