Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 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 ‘planks’

Nia “Standing”

Posted by terrepruitt on February 6, 2014

My last post was about the Garland Pose or Malasana.  That is a yoga pose.  The Garland Pose post was long enough so I didn’t talk about the advanced positions of that pose.  In Nia the pose could be compared to “Standing” which is the fourth stage in Nia’s 5 Stages.  In Nia it is also a little different. Nia’s 5 Stages is a movement practice through the five stages of human development.  While I have mentioned Nia’s 5 Stages before in my blog I have not written about them in depth and this post will not be in depth either.  I am just touching upon the fourth stage, including it in my little series about squatting.  Squatting is important and Nia knows that.  Nia recognizes it as a stage of human development.  Although Nia does not believe it should be abandoned and that is why we have the 5 Stages as a movement practice and why we include squatting in many of our routines.  As I said standing is the fourth stage and it is somewhat like a squat.

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 YogaThe Nia 5 Stages are the stages we go through in development.  Stage one is Embryonic.  Stage two is Creeping.  Stage three is Crawling.  Stage four is Standing.  Stage five is Walking. First we are in the womb, then most of us creep, then we crawl, we stand (squat), then walk.  Stages of human development.  Stage four, “Standing”, is a low or full squat.

I have posted about squats before.  In fact when I did I mentioned that we don’t do them in Nia.  And we don’t — or I hadn’t done the type of squats I was writing about.  I was writing about squats done in a way that is more in line with weight training.  Using weights and other equipment.  I believe there are weight lifting competitions where people do really low squats with weights, but . . . I am not going to go there.  There are a lot of things that elite athletes do that I would STRONGLY recommend the average person NOT do . . . . EVER.

I DO recommend full squats (without weights) . . . providing your body is able to do them I believe you should.  And by able I mean there is no medical reason you can’t, you have joints and body parts that will allow you to do them.  Doing squats will help you in so many ways.

With Nia’s fourth stage – standing – we are coming from a crawling position.  The way we move from crawling to “standing” is we open our feet wider than our knees while our knees are still on the ground.  Then curl our toes then push back onto our feet.  Since the 5 stages of human development are based on the way the body was designed to move and how we develop ideally, the idea is to push back onto feet that are flat on the ground.  However, Nia is a practice done in YOUR OWN BODY’S WAY so it is possible that both feet cannot be flat on the ground.  So we take the stages in stages.  What works for many is to have ONE foot flat on the ground while the other one has a heel up.  Then we just alternate.  This allows for each foot to engage in ankle flexibility.

The next stage in this stage is to raise the torso up, have the chest facing forward and not down . . . if you are doing the alternating of the feet.  If both feet are flat on the earth the chest is probably already facing mostly forward because the buttocks are lowered and the legs are folded over so the chest is somewhat up against the thighs.  In both positions lift the chest up further, sternum to the sky.  When ready the arms also come up, reaching to the sky.

We stay in this stage as long as the present workout dictates.  Could be just a second or two . . . could be a bar (of a song) . . . whatever is appropriate for the moment.  Then we rise up – nose leading the way – onto our toes and into the fifth stage which is walking.

Squatting is important because of the benefits it provides.  Being able to come up from a squat provides even more benefits.  Like push-ups and/or planks, squats could easily be one of the “must haves” in ANY workout or exercise program.  Nia understands the benefits.  So when I said we didn’t do squats in Nia, I wasn’t talking about this type of squat or what Nia’s 5 stages calls standing.

What benefits can your body receive from Nia’s standing/squatting? 

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Multiple Planks In A Day Challenge – Check In #4

Posted by terrepruitt on April 28, 2013

Wow.  I just noticed that there are only three days (if you include today) left of the multiple planks.  Three planks a day every day for 30 days.  I missed three days.  Well, I have three days left to make sure I get all three in.

This morning I took a yoga class at the studio where I teach Nia twice a week.  This week is Bay Area Dance Week and so the class I took was free.  It was nice to get my mat out and do some poses.  I don’t use my mat at home, I just do it on the carpet.

There are a lot of free classes this week so you might want to check it out.  You can see a schedule of free classes in my post, Free Nia, Zumba, Belly Dance, Yoga, and More.

So I am going to go do my three planks.  Have you done yours yet?

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

Multiple Planks In A Day Challenge – Check In #3

Posted by terrepruitt on April 21, 2013

Well, I have to say that this past week a couple of days I remembered about the planks at about 3 minutes past midnight. I decided to count those days as I promptly got down on the floor and did my planks. But I also have to say that Friday and Saturday I remembered too far past midnight! Friday it was about 12:30 and Saturday at 12:10 I remembered, but I decided to let it go. So that is three days this month I didn’t do them at all and a few days that I did them after midnight. My mind has been a little preoccupied lately, but that really is not excuse as we all have things that are on our minds.

What I do is I think about them and say, “Oh, I’ll do it later.”  Then next thing I know it is after midnight.” So while I was typing this I had to stop to do them so I would be sure to have them done.  I got all three in!

As I said in my last check in, it really helps me to have that every day check in. Checking in once a week is not a good enough reminder. Here’s to a more “on track” week!

How are you doing?

Posted in Planking | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

One Down, Two To Go

Posted by terrepruitt on April 1, 2013

Ha.  Ok, so I was thinking that I had a check in.  I think, “I will do one and post on my plank check in that I have one down and two more planks to go.”  I was looking to encourage and get encouragement.  Then I come to my blog and remember that I am doing a weekly check in.  So, ok, I won’t do this everyday.  I promise, but heck, since I got one down and two to go, I am gonna tell you about it.  Especially since it was such a good one.  If felt good!

It is really late, though so I need to go to bed.  But I want to cheer you on.  You can do it.  Just do it.

Get on the floor and do three planks a day with me for the month of AprilYes?

Posted in Planking | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Multiple Planks In One Day For Thirty Days

Posted by terrepruitt on March 30, 2013

So, what do you think? Do you want to do a Multiple Planks In One Day For Thirty Days Challenge? Oh, c’mon. You do. You saw how just doing one a day helped you feel good so why not do more than one a day? The challenge will be for three a day for thirty days, for the entire month of April. The idea is to take your last duration time and just do it three times a day. Or you can just let the stopwatch run, three times a day. If you want you can do it all at once or throughout the day. The ideal is THREE PLANKS A DAY. But two is better than one, and one is better than none. So even if you don’t get in all three it is still good. But aim for the three.

I will tell you (again, I think I’ve already mentioned it) posting on a blog EVERY SINGLE DAY is not easy. Even if it is just a few sentences. As you probably have experienced when checking-in with the challenges. Plus I know I have some lovely readers who have subscribed (THANK YOU!) and they get a notification when I post. Even if it is not an e-mail everyday it might start clogging up the in-box. So . . . . as you can see on the calendar in this post I have designated a check in day! I have made the check in day on Sunday. With a Sunday check in we can report on the previous week and get psyched up for the week to come! That will also spread out my check ins and posts a little. I have a Friday Goodie Jar check in and I post on Saturdays, so I thought Sunday would be good.

Also with a once a week check-in that will free up time to do the planks! Yay!

The forearm planks are what we are talking about. The ones where you are on your elbows and forearms, not the straight armed ones. No matter if you plank for a set time or just let the clock run be sure to keep the bones in alignment. Arms bones straight down from shoulders, head aligned with hips, straight spine, no peaks or valleys, straight legs, and feet hip joint width apart.

Remember the challenges we do are just to set a goal and get it done. But the way you do the challenge exactly is up to you. Our guidelines are: 1) Plank every day three planks a day 2) Document the number of times/planks you do a day 3) Post on Sunday how many times you planked the past week.

Your three planks could be the longest duration to short or the other way around. Or all three the same duration. There are a lot of ways you can do that portion, just do it three times a day/three planks a day, yes? Yes. However you are going to do it decide before you start so you have a your own guidelines to stick too. When you have a plan it makes it easier to get it done.

I will have to get at least one in before Nia everyday!

Well, you in? C’mon . . . . . .

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

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

Day Twenty-Five Of Planking

Posted by terrepruitt on March 25, 2013

Just a week to go in a Plank A Day For A Month Challenge . . . . . wow!  Can’t believe it.  So . . . . you are still here.  That is awesome.  I hope you are feeling even better about your planks!

One day, I felt I went backwards, but that was one day.  Even a few days is ok to take a few steps back.  Because then eventually you get moving forward again, right?

So where are you at?

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

Monday, Planka, Planka

Posted by terrepruitt on March 18, 2013

Here we are on our Plank A Day For A Month Challenge post.  So really, it is not easy coming up with titles for a challenge for thirty one days.  I could just keep it at “Day XXXXX Of Plank A Day For A Month Challenge” but I get bored with that.  So . . . I make titles up, as you can tell.

Here is your Monday Plank Post to check in on.  How are you feeling today about your planks?

Posted in Planking | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

The Ten Minutes Pilates – Workout DVD

Posted by terrepruitt on August 18, 2011

One of my favorite workouts DVD besides my Nia routines is a ten minute one.  It might be considered an old one as it is from 2004, but I love it.  They always sell these things as a “Don’t have time to exercise” type of thing, but doing only a ten minute workout all the time won’t get you far.  As I have said before  when I was sharing my little ten minute workout in June, it is good when that is all you have time for but only every once in a while, honestly more is needed to reach fitness and health goals.  This DVD, done by Lara Hudson, has five ten minute workouts on it.  It has capability built into the DVD that allows you to play one workout or pick more than one to make a longer workout and they will play right in a row.  You don’t have to start one, do it, then manually start another.  When you set up the workout you pick the order you want them to play in.  You can even pick one workout twice so you can do it two times.

Nia teacher doing Pilates, Pilates, Nia workout, Pilates workoutThe five workouts are an ab workout, a buns and thighs workout, an arm workout, a cardio workout, and a flexibility workout.  There are about 10 exercises per workout — even with the leg workout.  The number of times you do each exercise varies from 4 to 12.

I’ve actually only done the cardio workout once or twice because I prefer to do Nia or Turbo Jam as my cardio.  I also like to do more than 10 minutes of cardio, but it could be that all of these together would work for you.

Lara has an easy way about her.  The instruction is clear and easy to follow.  Some times in her instructions she ends the word in a high tone and it never fails to make me laugh.  She is pleasant to work out to.  She also is very good at reminding you throughout the video to concentrate on each movement.  She often says, “Controoool.” in a way that encourages you to keep the movement controlled.  Precision is another key to Pilates and she does a good job getting you to remember that, too.

In the ab workout there are various sit-ups and leg lifts.  There are roll ups and roll overs. Lara is very clear with her instruction regarding breathing, which is very helpful.  This workout is done lying down.

The leg workout is done on the floor also.  It contains the usual leg lifts and bridges, and maybe some other exercises that are not so usual.  This workout has you do a set of exercises for one leg, then switch to the other leg. Then there is another set you do for each leg.  Even though the workout is only ten minutes the pacing is nice and you really are able to get through about 10 different exercises.

They call the arm workout “Sculpting Pilates”.  It is bicep curls and triceps extensions.  There is shoulder and back work in there too.  There might be some exercises in each workout that are new to you, but nothing to drastic.  For this workout the basic stance is the Pilates V, heels together with the feet forming a V.  At times we separate the feet, but most of it is done standing in the V.

The cardio portion of this DVD is a series of planks, push ups, curls, dipping lunges, leg lifts, swimmers, and mermaids.  As with all of the workouts the flow is nice and Lara keeps you moving reasonable pace.  Also, as with all the workouts, she gets a stretch in there.  It isn’t a long stretch but just enough to help you “reset” if you need to.

The flexibility one consists of the cat and the cow, and other stretches that really get pretty much every part of your body — all in ten minutes.

I think this is a GREAT little Pilates workout DVD.  It could even be a nice way to start to doing Pilates.  If you have never done Pilates this could give you an idea of what to expect if you were to go to a class.  It could help you learn a bit of the concentration and breathing.  I really like this DVD.  I feel it is a great addition to any workout program.  It allows you to do from 10 minutes to 50 minutes in the order you want.

Have you ever done Pilates?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »