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!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Bloggey Past

  • ******

    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Posts Tagged ‘Nia White Belt Principles’

Ready to Receive – Natural Time

Posted by terrepruitt on October 22, 2011

Nia class, Nia Teacher, Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia, cardio workout, cardio dance class, fun exerciseI have learned a lot in my 43 years.  I know there is a lot more I could learn, but one thing I have learned AND that I find fascinating is that I need to be ready to receive.  Have you ever shared something with someone and they “pishawed” you?  You had tried to tell them something you found fascinating/interesting/money-saving/yummy/good to do and they had acted as if you didn’t know what you were talking about.  Then two weeks later they come to you to tell you the very thing you tried to share with them?  I used to get offended, even upset, but I am starting to see it differently.  I am starting to see that when I tell people things and I feel as if I have been “pishawed” it is not as I once perceived it . . . it is not their mind is snapping closed . . . but, maybe, just maybe it is the mind just saying, “What? I have never heard of that . . . let me deal with that later . . .” And then when it is heard again the mind has a space for it because they had heard it before, so their mind is more open to accepting and listening.

It is somewhat like Natural Time in a Nia workout.  In Nia, in our workouts, we have natural time allowing individuals to move their bodies in their own time.  Could be they are not ready to do the move the first time they see it, but after a few repetitions they are ready to receive.  Their bodies are ready.  — Funny.  I didn’t start this post off as relating to Nia, but as I was sitting here typing it dawned on me that being ready to receive is Natural Time.  And as you know, all of the Nia White Belt Principles can be applied to everyday life.  Just as many principles from any practice; Yoga, Jujitsu, aikido, Ballet, etc. can be applied to life.

Sometimes we have so much on our minds that adding something new just isn’t gonna work.  So maybe when we first hear something we just say, “NO!”  Then our brains move on.  But maybe the new “thing” left a spot, like rust . . . . but good, where it just stays and either it actually starts seeping into our brain or it just sits there until we hear it again.  Then we are able to open to the idea.  It is like the old idea of a seed.  Sometimes it is not ready to be planted, but it is there in its own little space.

I can actually remember specific times when this has happened, especially with my hubby, but I am posting about it because I recognized awhile ago that I do this.  Because I have heard something and pishawed it then later examined it.  It fascinates me.  It makes me wonder why I didn’t recognize good advice/information when I first heard it.  I wonder why I am not smart enough to recognize beneficial information when I see it.  So that is why I think that we have to be ready to receive.  It really doesn’t have to do with being intelligent.  Sometimes being ready is something of natural time.  We have to be ready in our own time.  In our own time is the best time in which to learn.  Amazes me.

Have you ever learned or heard something and when you really thought about it realized that you had heard the same thing before but it didn’t sink in?  Have you ever experienced the second time around as being the time you benefited from something?

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

Dance Conditioning Tips — Not Just For Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on October 13, 2011

Almost a year ago one of my Nia students let me borrow a book, Conditioning for Dance.  Even though I had it for a week I didn’t take time to look at it in-depth.  But I like what I saw enough to buy the book.  A year later and I still have not looked at it in-depth, but again, when I pick it up and thumb through it, pausing to read here and there I love what I see.  Eric Franklin’s idea coincide a lot with Nia and many mind body practices.  I touched upon this in my original post Dance Conditioning.

The ideas he has shared in this book are somewhat like the Nia White Belt Principles in that they can be applied to more than just the workout or the technique, they can be applied to life.  In th beginning portion of the book Franklin talks about how sometimes when dancers are unable to perform a step, often the first thought is it is because the dancer is not strong enough.  So the dancer then works to build strength in the muscles required to do the particular step.  But it is not always because they are not strong enough, sometimes it is because they have other issues.  So getting stronger to power through the move will not necessarily allow them to do the move correctly, but it allows the issues to be reinforced.  If you are doing something incorrectly because of other issues continuing to do it without resolving those issues just enforces the issues.

His tips in regards to the above can be applied to life.

-When doing a task sense your body.  Learn to recognize when it is out of alignment or what behavior causes it to be out of alignment then practice doing that same task in a different way that allows your body to stay in alignment.

I know so many people who are in physical pain, it is my belief that many of them are because we do things without thinking and we do things that actually cause our bodies to be out of alignment.  When sitting at your desk at work do a body check.  Are you sitting up or are you slouched over?  Are your legs crossed?  Is your mouse so far away from your hand that you have to lean forward and/or really extend your arm?  These types of things that we do over and over and actually work our bodies into a state of misalignment.  I remember walking into a friend’s cube while she was working and after watching for a second I asked her what she was doing?  She responded that she didn’t know what I was talking about.  I said she was having to practically get out of her chair as she leaned forward to use her mouse.  She looked confused and then shrugged.  I suggested she move her mouse pad closer to her and she shrugged and did.  No, my friend is not stupid, she was just focused on working and never stopped to really think about her body and its alignment.  She just “did” because that was the way it was.  There are probably a lot of things — little things, just like that — we can do to help our body’s alignment.  Just sense your body as you go through your daily tasks.

-Imagine yourself doing the task.  Imagine all that it will require to complete the job then go through it mentally.  While imagining, sense the muscles that are used.

This is an easy one to apply to everyday. Whatever it is that you want to do imagine doing it beforehand and it will help you be aware of your body before you even begin the task. And this could also allow you to think of things that might slow you down if you had not thought of it before had. It will allow you to be better prepared.

-Seek the help of experts.

People that have done what you want to do before are always a great resource in life.

-Think positive.  If there are problems or issues think about them work to find solutions, but don’t dwell on them and allow them to affect your performance.

Thinking positive is a great tool and becoming so much more widely accepted as actually having benefit. Everyone has problems. Thinking positive doesn’t mean you don’t have problems it just means you don’t dwell on them.

-Work on flexibility making sure it the body is balanced.

In life it is good to be flexible, but you also need to have balance. Can’t be so flexible you become wishy-washy.

-Participate in strength training and do exercise that will help you reach your goal.

Strength training has so many benefits in everyday life, it is good for anyone at any age.

-Find ways to increase alignment without causing tension.

Everyone has different ideas on how to be aligned and in balance. But it should become a source of great stress in your life, so try to find ways to be balanced that will add to the ease and relaxation.

In his book Franklin goes into more detail and relates it specifically to dance. Here I was using my own words and trying to “vague it” up a bit so that it would be obvious how dance training tips could be applied directly to anyone’s life.

So amazing.  I am always amazed how our Nia White Belt Principles that we use in our dance practice can be applied to life.  But then, to me, that is what makes it a practice.  So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised .  . . and I really wasn’t, I was excited, that these tips for dance could be applied to more than just dance conditioning.

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

Levels of Teaching

Posted by terrepruitt on May 22, 2010

A lot of workouts have different levels of doing.  The second half* of Nia White Belt Principle #7 is (Intensity) Levels of Teaching.  So to a participant of Nia that would be levels of doing.  The different level in Nia are like most workout classes: level 1, level 2, and level 3.

In a Nia class, participants are always invited to try all the levels, if comfortable.  The idea is really to learn the value of each level. Trying the different levels allows the body to learn different things.  Also the changes in movements stimulates the brain.  Often times your energy level might dictate the actually level of intensity you are participating in during a particular class or kata, but that is up to you.  No level is “better” than the other one, the best one is what is good for you and your body. You, as the person that lives in your body everyday, are the only one that can truly decide which level is right for you, which level at any given moment is going to bring you most Joy.

As a Nia teacher, it is my job to show the participants three different levels.  It is also my job to encourage you to try each level.  It is important to remember that YOUR level 1 might not be the same as MY level 1, the same with levels 2 and 3.  It is up to you, as a participant, to find your different levels and play with and play in all three.

When you experience the different levels during your Nia workout you will learn to allow muscles that might be tired to rest and learn to stimulate other muscles.  In addition playing with the different levels will enable you to experience Nia routines in a new light and a different way.

So go.  In your next Nia class or your first Nia class try all three different levels.  Remember that everyBODY’s levels are different!

*The first half of Nia White Belt Principle #7 is the Three Planes of Movement.

Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Science, Craft, and Art

Posted by terrepruitt on May 11, 2010

There are a lot of tools used in Nia.  The way that Nia describes each principle includes the Science of the principle, the Craft of the principle, and the Art of the principle.

For instance, the latest principle I posted about was Nia White Belt Principle #5, a portion of that being Awareness.  The Science of awareness would be that you can make observations about your body as you move through your day.  You can be aware of your hand as you pull it back from the mug of coffee that was too hot.  You can be aware of the adjustment you make to your entire body to make it feel more comfortable in the seat belt.  Notice how you scrunch your toes in your shoes.  You can be conscious of the things that cause discomfort and maybe, in the future respond and change before the discomfort becomes pain.

With the awareness you can develop an ongoing conversation with your body that can help you move more freely and comfortable throughout your life.

The Craft of awareness is where you acquire the ability to sense with your entire body.  Utilize not just your eyes and your ears but your sense of smell and proprioception.  The craft are the exercises or the practices that we do in order to assist with the awareness.

Possible exercise, to increase awareness:

—brush your teeth with your eyes closed, sensing the tooth brush on each tooth
—brush your hair with your eyes closed, and notice the moment the brush comes in contact with your hair or head
—as you reach out to touch something image yourself touching it before you actually touch it
—then ask yourself; what will it feel like, what sensation will the nerves in my hand allow my brain to sense, will
touch it softly or roughly?

And as you go through your everyday movements observe if there is any tightness or discomfort.  Ask yourself is there an adjustment that can be made to your habitual movement–to the way you do it normally–that could easy that comfort?  Is there something you could do to tweak it and move your closer to pleasure?  Try it that way.

Recognize the body as a work of Art.  The Art of awareness is to be aware of the mechanics and beauty of the working body. Visuals could help with the art piece of awareness.  If there was an area of the body that was uncomfortable or there was a constriction of the movement, picture the blood full of life giving nutrients rushing to that area.  Picture the nutrients as different colors rushing in to saturate the discomfort and color as paint on a canvas.

Or picture any area of the body that could use relaxation as a tight ball of rubber bands and either just picture the ball become loose and opening and airy or picture it as you are moving and stretching that are.  All the while being aware.

This is just an example of how the Nia applies all three tools, Science, Craft, and Art to a principle.  The three are also used as tools for other purposes, but this is just to throw some light on the ways that Nia is shared, practiced, learned, taught, and enjoyed.

If you would like some tips on how to move with Nia, such as:

~Use visual imagery to make movements feel natural.

~Combine small movements with large movements.

~Use your Base, Core, Upper Extremities, breath and voice to add energy and power to your moves.

You can click here, and go to my website, HelpYouWell.com

I hope that you will have a day full of awareness that will allow you to dance through life.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »