Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach yoga, Nia, and stretch online!


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Posts Tagged ‘online training’

Tweaking Nia White Belt P11 – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on September 17, 2020

Normally I post on Wednesdays.  I have this self-imposed posting schedule.  I thought it was important to be consistent.  I have eased up a bit and try to cut myself some slack when I miss a day.  Sometimes I forget, sometimes I can’t think of anything to write, sometimes I just get busy, sometimes I wanna break . . . . I try to let it go.  And NORMALLY, I wouldn’t post on Thursday, because . . . well, so many reasons, but I decided to post today.  As many of you know I am taking an online training.  It is THE FIRST EVER Nia Belt training online.  It is amazing to be a part of the FIRST EVER Nia Belt Training ONLINE – but I don’t think we are that special because a couple of weeks in (if even that many) other trainers starting teaching Nia Belts online and Debbie started other belts online.  We were just the first by a couple of weeks or so.  But they learned a lot in those first couple of weeks.  Anyway . . . I started with that because part of the training is POD meetings.  I know I mentioned the PODs before, but it was in the beginning and I didn’t know exactly what they would be.  Well, it is great.  I don’t think that POD stands for anything in fact it should probably be Pod, but I got POD stuck in my head so that is how I think of it.  Anyway (again) . . . my POD meets on Thursdays and I wanted to share somethings that came out of my meeting today.

First of all the PODs are led by Nia Trainers.  Nia Trainers train for years.  I am not sure how many years – if there even is a requirement – one has to be involved with Nia before asked to be a trainer, but I do know that becoming a trainer is a long commitment.  I think it is about two years.  A Nia TRAINER is someone who can deliver Nia Training, so one of the belts or one of the other modes Nia has.  The trainers are volunteering their time to be POD leaders and to mentor us students.  With all of that said, I believe that all of the POD leaders are great, I mean they have to be because they are Nia Trainers, but I know I am very lucky to have a FABULOUS mentor.  My POD leader is Laurie Bass.  If you are looking at anything Nia you will more than likely see Laurie.  She has been used as a model for many of the promotional material.  You can see her at 2:34 in the Debbie Rosas and the Nia 5 Stages video.  She is an amazing trainer.  I feel very fortunate to have been assigned to her POD.  She is very generous with her knowledge and her time.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom, Nia White Belt training via ZoomIn my last post I wrote about how the term “Sacred Athlete” didn’t really resonate with me.  Well, Laurie gave me some suggestions and ideas on how to make it work for me.  As I have said over and over, Nia changes the language a lot so she reminded me that I could do that.  I could just use something else instead of “Sacred Athlete”.  If I use something that DOES resonate with me then I can work with the principle and use it to further my relationship with Nia.  Sticking with a term that I just can’t get on board with made me want to shrug off the entire principle.

The first thing she said helped too, “Where do I want to expend my energy?”  I feel this is a great question to start off the study of Nia White Belt P11 – 2020.  Then she threw out the idea of “sacred” meaning “with purpose” and “athlete” aligning more with “training to reach greatness”.  So trying to shed the definitions that bother me does help, but I really liked her suggestion to just let the “Sacred Athlete” phrase be “your goal/your ideal”.  Not the words “your goal/your ideal”, but the ideal YOU or the goal YOU.  And, to me that tied in to what I mentioned Debbie said . . . she said she had different philosophies for the different Debbie’s in her life . . . different for WifeDebbie, MomDebbie, CEODebbie, etc.  Ahhhhhh!

So that scrunchy face (the one I mentioned in my last post) relaxed.  My whole body went, “Ahhhh!” Being able to just dispense with that term made me feel much better about this principle.  Laurie also had more wisdom to dispense that is helping me cringe less, I am not saying that I won’t tense up when someone uses that term (ICK!!!!), I am just saying that I can now dig into Nia White Belt P11 – Creating A Sensory Life – 2020. because her take on it is making it less and less distasteful.

Do you have any phrases that bother you?  Do you have substitutes for those phrases?

Posted in 2020 Nia White Belt Principles, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nia White Belt P4 – FreeDance – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on July 27, 2020

I have several posts regarding Nia FreeDance. When I was teaching often there was a period when we had FreeDance Fridays. That was fun. I feel when I am teaching multiple times a week it is really great to have one class be FreeDance. I have posted about the 8 stages of FreeDance. There are a couple of posts about a FreeDance Playshop I produced once and one about the tools for the eight stages of FreeDance that we can use to help us “to stimulate movement creativity”.  We just had our class regarding FreeDance, Nia White Belt Principle #4. I am happy to report, not much has changed. Again, some of the language used has changed and certainly the way it is presented. I want to clarify that the training is always evolving, Nia is always finding new and better ways to deliver the information, but the core information is not changing. That is a great comfort to me and it makes sense. I want the organization I am involved with to grow and improve, but I don’t want it to change the core of what it does. So, 2020 Nia White Belt Principle #4 is FreeDance.

Now in my previous documentation of it, you may see FreeDance written different ways and that is because I understood Carlos (one of the original creators of Nia) to have different ways of writing it. The principle was one way (FreeDance) and then the first stage was another (Free dance). So, if you see differences that is why. And moving forward I will endeavor to keep it FreeDance.

This term sometimes confuses people because they think the class is free. I have experienced this many times. But FreeDance is something that Nia participants do, it is a practice, it is a principle of Nia. It is “stimulating movement creativity”.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via ZoomDebbie said something today that clarified something for me, she was talking about form and freedom, we have a lot of that in Nia. In light of the 2020 Nia White Belt, we have form in the way of choreography and we have freedom in the way of dancing free. Debbie equated form with “structure” and how that makes people feel safe.  Freedom could be compared to “no structure”, which sometimes makes people feel unsafe. The freedom in an exercise class can be intimidating for many people. Being told what to do and how to move the body is the way most people are taught to exercise, so when they come to a Nia class and they are told, “Move your body.” They don’t know what to do. It is just like the story Debbie tells about when she first when to a Dojo. People can be told to focus on moving their arms, but they want to know HOW to move their arms, they want specific movement instruction. We have language to guide people to move in FreeDance, but there is still a lot of freedom in that and for some people that is a huge challenge.

There is a triad for this principle, like with all of the principles, it consists of Move, Explore, and Create. They put the numbers for the 8 stages going counter clock-wise on the triad, but have created a separate graphic with the stages going clockwise. Instead of drawing the triad and creating the graphic I chose to write out the eight stages. We can use the eight stages to helps us move. Here I am just going to list the stages:

1 – FreeDance
2 – Being Seduced By The Music
3 – Feelings + Emotions
4 – Creative Source
5 – Authentic Movement
6 – Witness
7 – Accidental Click
8 – Body-Centered Choreography

The next post will contain the tag lines for each stage and the information I wanted to high-light for myself.

So, Dear Reader, how do you feel about dancing with no instruction?  How do you feel about dancing with little to no instruction in a cardio exercise class?

Posted in 2020 Nia White Belt Principles, FreeDance, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nia White Belt Principles 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on July 6, 2020

Back in December 2008 I took a training for a movement practice called Nia.  I had only taken a couple of classes and that was only to see if I liked it enough to teach it.  I liked it enough to want to teach it so I signed up for the week long training at the headquarters in Portland, Oregon.  I went having no idea what I was getting into and thinking I would walk out with routines learned enough to jump start into teaching.  Well, no, that is not what a week training for a Nia Belt is.  But it is pretty amazing.  Back then the TWO founders were still a part of Nia, whereas now-a-days it is just one of the founders.  Turns out Nia is a practice . . . like yoga is a practice.  You can do just the physical exercise part of it or you can add it to your life.  Adding it to your life is pretty easy since the main idea of Nia – to me – is to notice your body and how it moves.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, Zoom meetings, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exerciseOne thing Nia does is have principles for every “level” (called “Belts”).  I listed the principles of the (2008) White Belt in my post Nia Or Nia Technique Is A Specific Practice.  Then I wrote a post about each principle individually.  With an amazing and unprecedented opportunity to take the training again with one of the Founders online at an astronomically generous discount, I couldn’t say no.

It is the first time a Nia Belt has ever been offered online.  Nia is very much about the body and movement so it really does make sense to do it in person – to be in the same space with people learning and doing the same stuff.  But . . . Nia is amazing in its ability to adapt and change and do what needs to be done to continue on yet keep its members and participants safe, so we are doing it online.  Debbie Rosas (one of the founders) is determined to give it a personal feel and touch so we are on Zoom doing a portion of the training.  Then we are assigned to a POD, with over 200 people taking the training I thought the PODs would be big, but there were only five people on my POD list.

Anyway, the principles’ wording has changed a bit so I wanted to post an updated list.  With the slight changes I am confident that the principles are still the same.  I mean, that is what Nia is based on.  It is just that sometimes language can be updated, sometimes to more marketable friendly words.  But still stay the same.  We will see as I go through the training.  I never like to give too much away because it is something you need to experience for yourself, but I do plan to post more about it . . . the information and my experience.  That is the reason I started this blog in the first place.  I wanted to share Nia with everyone.  And now that so many things are having to be online, maybe you can experience it yourself.

Principle 1 – JOY OF MOVEMENT


Principle 3 – MUSIC + 8 BC SYSTEM

Principle 4 – FREEDANCE

Principle 5 – AWARENESS

Principle 6 – BASE


Principle 8 – CORE


Principle 10 – X-RAY ANATOMY




As I said I don’t think these have really changed, because if you compare lists they are basically the same but with slightly different wording.  Number 11 is what always changes the most.  I don’t know how many times it has changed, but I know I kinda didn’t care for some of the versions . . . but again, I think it is all BASICALLY the same.  I am looking forward to seeing.  This is not only new language to me, it is NEW to everyone . . . Nia just finished crafting it so this is really exciting.

As I said, I hope to be following up this post with more information as it unfolds.

Have you participated in any type of training or lesson online that you were/are enthusiastic about?

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New Stuff Is Learned, By Experts (And Me) – Part 2

Posted by terrepruitt on January 13, 2020

Oh, thank you for coming back.  If you don’t know what I mean, perhaps you want to read part one first.  I realize that to some of you this may not be new, but I get excited when I learn something new.  I think that is why I love to teach.  I want to help people learn stuff and perhaps feel excitement.  Here is the rest of what I learned in the latest CPR/AED class that I was required to take.

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaWe were told that through a little survey it was discovered that as high as 65% of first responders didn’t time the chest compressions right. This made me feel very, very, very good. The optimal is 110 compressions per minute. Getting the timing correct is very challenging to me – as I explained – so to hear that even first responders found it challenging was encouraging. To help with this issue in 2019 the 911 system has started using metronomes. There are metronome applications for phones. Download one and set it to 110 beats per minute and there you go. Compress when it ticks. Now there is no having to think about if you are doing it too fast or too slow, just make sure you can hear the metronome and press down when you do!

It has also been discovered that decompression is just as important as compression. There might be a tendency to lean on the chest or not come up enough to allow the chest to decompress and the heart fill with blood. Compressing the chest pushes the blood from the heart to the body and brain. Allowing the chest to decompress lets the heart fill back up with blood so as to not starve it. It is a muscle, it needs blood. So not only we were shown how far to press down we taught to make sure we came up enough. I have never heard that in previous trainings.

Now, for those of you that have taken CPR training you know this, but for those of you that have not one of the things that they emphasize (because it is so important) is to get 911 on its way. So once it has been determined that YES, in fact the person needs medical attention someone is assigned to call 911. And, if you are in a place that has an AED someone is assigned to go get it. That is as much team work as I have ever been instructed upon. One person takes charge and shouts assignments to specific people of calling 911 and getting the AED. Well, two things new to me . . . assign TWO people to go meet the first responders. Fire is going to get there first, so someone needs to bring them to the scene, but then the ambulance arrives, if no one is there to guide them they will not get to the person as quickly as they could then if someone is leading them to the victim. So . . . I would imagine the person calling 911 could be one of the guides.

Then the second thing was make CPR a team effort. If there are other people there that have taken training great! But if not, you can ask someone if they would like to help. Then while you are doing compressions you can instruct them on how to do it, so you can switch when you need a break. Compressions are not easy. They are very tiring. Even if you have your hips over your knees, your arms are straight, your heart is over their heart and you are using your larger muscles (and not your arms) to do the compressions it can get tiring. They say (again with the experts) that after 2 minutes the quality of the compressions starts to degrade. So after 2 minutes – which is 5 sets of 30 chest compressions and 2 ventilations) it is a great idea if you can switch to another person. We practiced working in teams in class. One of us did a set then we switched. The previous classes I took we worked in teams, but only to share a dummy. We didn’t switch off as you would when you need a break.  Knowing that I can recruit people to help and not be the ONLY person trying to save someone makes the whole idea of CPR on a non-responsive person less overwhelming.  I appreciated that.

In a well populated area it takes roughly 3 to 5 minutes for the first responders to arrive at a location, but it could take them an additional 3 to many minutes to arrive at the scene where the victim is. That could be 6 (at the least) when the person is not getting the blood/oxygen the body needs. So really, if you are doing chest compressions YOU are saving that person’s life.

So, it turns out the class was not as bad as I had thought it would be.  I feel I learned stuff.  Thanks, Lionheart Safety Training.

Well, are any of those things new to you?  What do you think?  Are any of these things interesting to you?  Have you ever taken a CPR class? 

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New Stuff Is Learned, By Experts (And Me) – Part 1

Posted by terrepruitt on January 8, 2020

CPR certification expires in two years (at least when you take it through certain organizations). Before mine expired I took an online class to recertify just as I had done the last time I needed to recertify. Having taken in-person classes before, I realized that online courses when re-certifying is a great service. Sometimes there are classes that are both, online review and then hands on experience. It is pretty interesting all the classes that are offered. I was kind of happy because the course I took from the American Red Cross was not the same as they have offered before — which is always nice. It is a drag to take the same thing over and over. The online course had some improvements. One thing I liked was it testing me on the timing of the compressions. Yes . . . the online course tests you on the timing. Over the course of the program I was too fast and I was too slow. At first, I was too fast – I didn’t realize it was actually timing me so I just starting clicking as fast as I could to be done with it . . . but it makes you do it again until you get it correct. Then I was too slow . . . anyway, by the end of the course I felt my timing was better. Never felt that way before in a CPR class so I thought it was great that the course actually was able to keep track and help me improve. But my employer didn’t accept this training this time. Last time I renewed they did, but this time they didn’t. So I just decided to take a class they offer. As I mentioned in other posts about CPR training, you should check with your employer. I did not because they had accepted it before . . . perhaps their policy changed.

I was not looking forward to spending four hours in training. The online course was about that long but I didn’t have to drive to it. This in-person training was scheduled to be from 5:30 to 9:30 – ugh! The last time I took a class offered by my employer all we did was watch videos and it was so boring and I didn’t feel I got much out of it. It was so boring that my supervisor at the time was on her phone the entire class. That didn’t help matters. Perhaps you can see why I was dreading having to take this class. The first thing the man did, however, was tell us what he was going to go over, then he asked us what time we were told we were going to get out, then as if bragging, he claimed he was going to dismiss us an hour earlier than scheduled. He had my interest. He had a HUGE list of things he was wanted to cover AND he told us we were going to get out earlier than scheduled. Alright, show me what you got, Dude.

BAM! He did it! Plus he entertained us, he told us some new stuff, and he made us feel we could do it (perform CPR) if we had to.

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaI have been taking CPR and AED training for 10 years . . . all people employed in the fitness industry have to so those of you in the industry know what I am talking about when I say hearing the same old stuff gets tiring. Yes, I will be the first to admit that I NEED to hear it again, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get bored.

But . . . within the last ten years, things have changed. I am going to share with you the things I learned in this latest training that I thought were cool. I am going to share with you in two posts because I don’t like long post. My last post was longer than I like them to be.  I want to keep them short so you will read them.

There was the decision to train people to do CPR without the rescue breaths/ventilations. Rescue breaths/ventilations are when you actually put your mouth on someone else’s mouth and breathe air into their lungs. Not everyone wants to put their mouth on a stranger’s mouth . . . there are SO many reasons for that, there is NO reason to be critical of that type of thinking. So, they (the experts, whoever they are) realized that chest compressions without ventilations are fine and much more effective at saving a life then nothing at all. So, hands only CPR is not new . . . I’ve been trained on it in the last ten years. But the sense that is ok, as in the complete and total non-judgment of someone not wanting to put their mouth on a stranger AND the acknowledgment that compressions only will get the job done is kind of new and rather refreshing . JUST compressions are ok and definitely better than nothing!

So, if that is all you do you are good, which is great because here I am already long . . . so, if you want to hear more of what I am excited about sharing check back, as I am going to try to keep you in suspense (not really, post is just too long.)


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