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

    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 ‘relaxation’

A Time For You To Relax

Posted by terrepruitt on August 6, 2018

It is funny how time is. It might seem like you just saw a friend a couple of months ago, but it turns out to be a year or two. You might think you just got your nails done – because they look good still, but it has been three weeks. You might think you just saw a movie, but it turns out it have been years. The same kind of thing bleeds into writing a blog, at least for me. Sometimes I think I want to write about a topic and I think, “I just wrote about that.” Then when I look it up it was years ago. Or the really funny ones to me are when I can’t even find that I posted about it at all! I have been wanting to write again about shavasana, but I was thinking I had just written a post about it. But it turns out I posted about it four years ago. That is so amazing to me because I can hear and see the person (the one I mentioned in the post) talking to me. Anyway, I wanted to say some additional things about shavasana.

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 ClassesLet me alert you to the fact that if you come to my one of my classes, I always reserve time for shavasana. I like to start it at 10 minutes before the class ends. I like to give students about eight minutes. I consider shavasana a very important part of a class. I think of it as a sacred time. It is part of the yoga practice. It is part of the yoga routine. Just as much as all of the other poses, shavasana is about you, the student, and your body. Just like the prior portion of the class it could be the only time in my students’ day where they really are just doing something for themselves. There is nothing to be thinking of and no movement to be made. It is all about relaxation.

I feel it is very important to have this time in the day. Especially with the busy-ness of society. Just taking about 8 minutes to do nothing can help with so much.

Since I whole-heartedly consider this time to be sacred I ask anyone that has to leave before the class is over to leave before shavasana starts. The best way to go, if you have to leave, is to gather your stuff as quickly and quietly as you can and go. None of us mind putting away any props that were used (we only have chairs available) because the remaining students want to get on with their relaxation. When someone leaves – and there are times it is necessary – it kind of changes the atmosphere in the room so the sooner the departure the better so we can get back to the calm.

I usually talk for three to five minutes, slowly having the students focus on relaxation from toe to head. Then they just relax as the music plays. This is the time where the body is allowed to enjoy the sensation – even on an unconscious level – of the poses they just practiced. It allows the body time to adjust before it rushes back into the go-go-go. It is the same for the mind. Shavasana is time and space for the mind to rest. That doesn’t mean that thoughts won’t crop up, but it is the time where you are allowed to just give thoughts a nod and a little push, so they go away and you focus back on your body and your breath. This is the time when you can also take a break from emotions or just let them flow. Also a time when your spirit gets to rest and relax. No need to exercise anything but stillness.

I know it is so difficult for some people in the beginning, but just like with any practice it gets to be something one can do.  And just like all poses some days you may be “better” at it than others.  It is all great, because it is all part of the practice.  The important part – at least to me – is to not skip it.

What are your thoughts on shavasana?  Do you like it?  Do you not like it?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Ideas For Focuses And Intents

Posted by terrepruitt on January 18, 2016

I have shared before that in a Nia class we have a focus.  In my classes we always have a focus and an intent.  Sometimes our focus and/or our intent might be loose or flexible or maybe even not clear, but we always have one.  Setting the focus and intent is the first of seven cycles in a Nia class.  I often ask my students what is going on with them and their bodies so that we can set the focus and intent together.  I think that if they are the ones coming up with the focus for the class then they will be more apt to stay focused on it.  A focus the take part in setting will be something more relevant to them and their bodies.  We focus on backs, shoulders, and necks a lot.  It seems as if a lot of us carry our stress in our shoulders.  And I say the because often times that seems to be what it is, but there are also a lot of reasons there is “something going on” with our neck and shoulders.  We do focus on other things, since there are so many things to focus on.  Here are some things we have focused on.

Focus on the shoulders with the intent of bringing relaxation to them.  Focusing on any body party with the intent of bringing relaxation to it/them, is a great one.  So often we hold tension in our body and this can help relieve some of that.  The focus could be the next with the intent of allowing it to relax.

Focusing on the shoulders with the intent of seeing how they are affected by the movement of our hands and arms.  Sometimes this one is a good one to do followed the next day by the first one because we can see how sometimes MOVEMENT can bring tension to a body part!

Focus on the toes with the intent of seeing how their movement affects the knees.  Focusing on a body part to allow awareness of how it is affected by other body parts is always interesting.

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitFocusing on the spine with the intent of creating length and space.  So this could help our posture.  We might dance taller as we reach up or reach away from our bodies with the crown of our heads to help bring a sensation of lengthening.

Sometimes we focus on a body part or area with just the intent of bringing awareness to it.  Sometimes as we move through life, since the world seems bent on teaching us to ignore things our bodies are telling us (“here take this pill to mask your symptoms and go on with your life”), it is important to just pay attention to our knees or our elbows (as an example).  It is important to check in with our hamstrings and/or our calves.  So sometimes we just dance with specific body parts or areas in mind.  This allows participants to think freely about something and receive sensation without a particular goal.

What do you think would be a good focus and intent for a Nia class?  What do you think would be a good focus and intent for you?

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