Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Posts Tagged ‘Nia White Belt Principle #10’

Observe, Listen, Guide

Posted by terrepruitt on February 2, 2013

This is Nia Blue Belt Principle #12, Observe, Listen, Guide, Co-Creating Movement.  This is something that we can do as part of the practice of Nia.  This is something we can do in a live Nia class or even while doing a Nia DVD.  Observe the teacher, listen-observe ourselves, then guide our own bodies to match what the teacher is doing.  So watch and follow.  Then really pay attention to what it is you are doing.  Sometimes we might think we are doing the same thing but we are not.  Then guide yourself to match what the teacher is doing.  It does not have to be rushed.  The moves do not have to match right away.

All of it is done with X-Ray Anatomy which is principle #10 of the Nia White Belt.  X-Ray Anatomy does not mean we have X-ray vision, but it does mean that we see the way the body moves.  We look at the body and observe the movement of the bones.  As we dance and observe the teacher we see the placement of the bones.  We see the vertical and the horizontal.  We see the different planes.

Then, with X-Ray Anatomy, we listen to our own bodies.  We acknowledge where our bones are.  We notice the alignment.  We pay attention to the structure.  We monitor our vertical and horizontal.  We discover how our bodies do the move.  We witness it.  We can stay here until we are ready to guide ourselves to match the teacher.  If we are playing with the principle in a live class it is recommended to speak with the teacher beforehand so that they understand that we might not move onto the move they are doing until we are ready.  It is also a good idea to stand in the back of the class so as not to distract the other students.  Most people will move on to the next move, following the teacher, within one or two repetitions, but with practicing, play with, and the dancing of Nia Blue Belt Principle #12, Observe, Listen, Guide an entire sequence of moves could possibly be “missed” while in the “listening” stage.

Then when you are ready — no rush — you move onto matching the teacher.  Have your bones and your angles match hers/his.  Have your alignment match, your vertical and horizontal match.

This also works as a teacher observing the student.  We can observe the student.  We can watch the way they are doing a move.  Then we listen to our body.  We pay attention to how we are doing it.  Then without rushing we can model our student’s move.  It is a way of Co-Creating Movement.  The practice of this principle also entails Nia Blue Belt Principle #6, because there is going to be some Split, Ellipt, Blend with this.  But the order would be more of an Ellipt, Split, Blend.  We would be ellipting onto the teacher or student to observe.  Then splitting into self to listen.  Then blending in the guide portion.

This is another interesting aspect of the practice of Nia.  This is another way that Nia is unique.  We Co-Create Movement to dance with our students.  With music as our main guide we have all these principles to play with.

Can you see how the practice of Observe, Listen, Guide is a way to Co-Create Movement in a class?

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Nia Principle #10 X-Ray Anatomy

Posted by terrepruitt on July 27, 2010

The 10th Principle of the Nia White Belt is X-Ray Anatomy.  When I first heard this I thought, “What? Do the people that do Nia think they have X-Ray Vision?” But that is not the case at all. (Whew!) To put it in its simplest form it is a way to see the body.

In Nia we study anatomy. We do not study it to the extent of doctors, but we read books and use tools to help us learn how the bones act as the frame and support of the body; how the bones protect organs, and how the bones connect.  We examine the joints and how they move.  Each type of joint: the hinged joints, the ball and sockets, etc. moves differently  We notice how they move and how they allow movement.  We also look at how the muscles move the bones, with contractions.  In addition, we think about the connective tissue, believing that in order for it to be healthy it must move and be supple.

Focusing on how the body was designed to move and appear allows us to “x-ray” beneath the skin using our intuition, our knowledge, and our eyes to possibly see areas that could use attention.  For example shoulders in general should be level.  Rounded shoulders could be weak muscles in the back not holding the back up and shoulders back, or tightness in the muscles in the front.  Level hips is the original design, barring injury, hips off kilter could be a matter of weak leg muscles on one side.   See how that can work?

Looking at our bodies using our X-ray Anatomy can assist us in seeing and learning what our bodies need.  Seeing what our bodies need give us the opportunity to give them what they need.  When we have an idea of what our bodies need it enables us to practice Nia in the way that best suits our needs.  Working out in a way that our bodies actually need makes working out enjoyable and makes you feel great.

Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »