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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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘OLG’

Four Voices, Four Realms

Posted by terrepruitt on February 16, 2013

In Nia we have a lot of acronyms.  Seems as if all groups do that.  I know in the mortgage business there were many.  I know in the world of computers there are a lot.  That is just the way it is.  In Nia some of ours are FAMSS, OLG, TBW, SEB, and BMES to name just a few.  BMES stands for Body, Mind, Emotions, Spirit.  We can call these voices or realms.  I have recently posted about Spirit.  It is not the religious type of spirit, but the school-type or the team-type.  It is the part of you that — wheeee! — you just let out!  The others are pretty easy to describe, but it is very interesting to allow them into all aspects of Nia.  They are each separate and unto their own, yet they are all connected.

The body is the physical.  How we move, what we sense.  If we are open and listening to the body we can learn many things.  I know that sometimes I hear but I don’t listen.  I might “hear” my body tell me it is tired, but I don’t listen and do something about it because I am busy.  It can “tell” me it is tired by how many mistakes I make while typing, or that I keep nodding off while doing something.  But sometimes I don’t listen because I want to finish what I am doing.  In dance we can hear our body, we can choose to listen and act upon what we hear or we can continue on.  We could be moving a certain way and then feel pain (“hear”), and we can listen by giving that pain attention and tweaking our movement to remove the pain from our dance.  Also we can just let the body dance and in doing so without thinking it often moves in ways that it needs without our interruption or interpretation.

The mind is a powerful voice.  It can dictate our entire dance and life if we let it.  In Nia we use our mind to provide imagery that allows us to move our bodies in a particular way, but it is important to turn the critical part of our minds off.  We use our minds to progress us, not hold us back.  Letting thoughts flow through the brain and keeping what is useful in the dance.  Criticizing ourselves and others during Nia is not helpful or progressive.  We do not avoid moving a certain way because it looks “bad” or “not pretty”.  We do not avoid moving because people will think it is silly.  We move in safe and harmonious ways to bring FAMSS to our bodies, to relax, to rejuvenate, to allow our inner child out to play, but we don’t criticize.  We also practice turning off internal dialog or chatter.  We let our bodies dance us and not think about our to-do list.  We do use our minds when we dance, but we do not allow it to control our dance.

With our emotions we have an almost endless array of energy.  We can play with the emotions in our dance and they can provide movement and force.  While we dance we do not have to actually FEEL any of the emotions we call upon we just can ACT as if.  How would you walk around if you were angry?  Might you stomp?  How would you walk if you were happy?  Might you skip?  How would you walk if you were distracted?  Might you move slow or in an awkward pattern?  Emotions are a great part of Nia because they are feelings and feelings can be felt and/or experienced without taking over.  We can allow an emotion to happen or act as if, but in neither case does it have to control our dance.

As with many things in Nia this aspect or look at BMES is just one way to look at it.  Just one way we can connect to BMES.  Another way is with Nia Blue Belt Principle #3 where we use these realms to assist in teaching.  Nia is deep like that.  Many of the ideas, principles, “things”, can be separate and unto their own, yet they are all connected.  😉

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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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