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 ‘religion’

What You See Is Your Perception

Posted by terrepruitt on January 17, 2015

Perception.  Such an odd thing.  I remember when I was 15 years old and working in an office with some young women.  They were probably in their 20s so really still young.  I remember all the stories they would tell me and how they would carry on like 20-somethings do.  Then one day a child walked in and the woman I knew to be a young person who enjoyed to go out and have a good time became a mom.  It was the weirdest thing.  I am not saying this woman was a party animal, but it was just odd to see this woman go from working woman to working mom.  Since she didn’t really talk about her kid all that much it was easy to forget that she was a mom.  I am not saying she didn’t talk about her kid because she didn’t love her child or because she didn’t care.  She talked to me more about things that a 15 year old is involved in or going through; relationships, school, and being young . . . . not kids.  The group conversations in the office tended to be around other things since not everyone had kids.  Also, there was seeing a tough boss lady with her spouse.  Seeing the loving side of a meany.  Seeing different sides.  I didn’t know the woman as a mother, so it was odd to see her acting like one.  I didn’t know the gruff boss lady as a wife so it was odd to see her act like one.   Friends also might have different perceptions than family members because they’ve seen different things and experienced different things.  Also new friends and old friends.  Sometimes people modify their behaviors, mature, or just change so people who are just meeting someone for the first time might not have any idea of how it used to be.  So the perception of the person is different for the new person than for the person that has been around.  What you know to be true from your experience, can be different from what someone else knows because they have had different experiences.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoSo amazing how that is. It is amazing how everyone’s perception can be different.  Our perception has a lot to do with ourselves.  Someone who has been cheated on by a significant other might take “I’m working late,”  completely different from someone who has never had that mistrust thrust upon them.

This is all just talking about people.  What about “things”?  Like viewing clouds or art.  Two people look up in the sky, one person sees a dinosaur and the other a horse.  And even if both people were to look up and see a horse it would probably still be different types of horses.  As I was contemplating the “people” aspect it occurred to me that recently I had been thinking about perception in regards to Nia.  I always say it is a practice like yoga, and for those people who think of yoga as a religion, I am wondering now if they think I mean that Nia is a religion.  A recent conversation made me think so.  Even though I was hoping I was explaining it well when I say that you can take some of the ideals and principles of Nia out into the world just like you do with yoga.  I guess that could sound like a religion – especially if you think of yoga as a religion.  Yoga being a religion is also a funny thing, because some people say it is and some people say it isn’t.  I was hoping to get a regular Nia class going at a yoga studio a long time ago and I said something about “some people believe it is a religion” to the owner of the studio, she got very upset saying that was not true.  Well, it is VERY true some people DO think it is a religion.  I never got a class there.

I think of Nia as an exercise program with a holistic twist.  Just like yoga.  But yoga can be taken to the point of being a religion, but not everyone that does yoga considers it a religion.  I actually don’t know anyone that teaches Nia who considers it a religion.  But the more I think about it, the more I can see how some people could think of it that way.  Perhaps comparable somehow to the people who have been cheated on.  If they think of everything as being in competition with their own religion maybe anything outside of it that you practice would be considered a religion to them.  I don’t know . . . that is one of the things I have been thinking about when thinking about how people see things.  Perception is weird.  The ol’ “glass half full, glass half empty” thing.

Do you ever experience the differences in perception?  With people you know that your friends know?  With co-workers?  With family?  How do you experience it?

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

Don’t Be Afraid Of Spirit

Posted by terrepruitt on February 9, 2013

Recently a Nia student came up to me after a Nia class to ask me a question.  She said that she had talked to another woman about attending a Nia class but the woman didn’t want to because we said “Om!”  My student asked me if Nia was religious.  I shared with her what happened in the Nia White Belt Intensive I attended and my thoughts on it.  What happened in the Nia White Belt Intensive I attended in December 2008, was Carlos Rosas asked one of the intensive participants what was in Nia.  Her answer was “God.”  Carlos said, “NO!  There is no God in Nia!”  I don’t know Carlos’ religious beliefs, if he has any, or how he feels about God or religion, but I think he was saying that there is no religion in Nia.  It is not associated with any type of religion.  It is meant for everyBODY and everyone and people of all faiths and all belief systems can participate and enjoy Nia.  It truly is based on the design of the body.  It is not based on ANY religion or God.

I personally feel that if you have God or any belief system in you then you will bring Him/it into whatever it is you are doing.  But that is not a reflection on the event or activity.  With any belief if you believe it you are going to carry it with you.  So if you believe in God, Gods, Buddha, Allah, or whatever that will come with you into Nia.  But Nia has none of that as a part of it.  What Nia DOES have as a part of it is spirit.  But that should not be confused with any type of religious spirit or supernatural spirit.  Wiki states:  “The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning ‘breath'”.  And an online dictionary says:  “The vital principle or animating force within living beings.”  Yet some people often think of spirit as religious, as in the Holy Spirit, or otherworldly, as in ghostly spirits.

Because of that conversation I had with one of my students I had been thinking of this and in a class I said, “Let your spirit out.”  And I noticed a few students stiffen.  And I continued on, saying, “That is not to be meant religious or supernatural, I mean spirit as in ‘your school spirit’, when people say ‘show some school spirit no one gets all wiggy’.  It’s like that.  THAT type of spirit.”  And I saw people relax.  I saw some say, “Oh.”  And then I saw some spirit.

I think of spirit as a passion or your inner child.  It is the part of you that wants to slide down the banister, run up the down escalator, balance on a curb, jump in the puddles, take your shoes off and slide in stocking feet across the length of the mall, or say “WAAAAHOOOOO!”  It is the breath that we often hold in.  If your beliefs have your spirit saying or doing something in class then that is fine, but that is not to say that your beliefs are a part of Nia, that is a part of YOU that you bring to Nia.

The type of spirit you would have with school spirit, class spirit, and/or team spirit that is the spirit Nia calls upon and what Nia invites to be released in a Nia class.  Let your inner essence dance and be free, don’t be afraid . . . . . . let go.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

December 30 Minute Movement Challenge – Day #26

Posted by terrepruitt on December 26, 2012

Oddly enough, most of my Nia Students don’t even celebrate Christmas.  Most of them belong to a different religion that does not participate.  So why not get together and celebrate the end of the year, the holiday they celebrate, the holiday I celebrate, and just ourselves as a Nia Community!  Since today, Wednesday, is a day I have a Nia class regularly we are dancing, just as we did on Christmas Eve . . . . . Joy as Usual (a take off of “Business as usual).

And you?  You are here to check in for the 26th day of the December 30 Minute Movement Challenge!  Yay you!

I’ll be back with my check in!

Posted in December 2012 30 Minute Movement Challenge | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Lent – Give It Up, Change Your Life

Posted by terrepruitt on February 23, 2012

Before Nia class on Wednesday, I was talking with one of my students and she was sharing something with me I found to be an interesting idea. She said that her religion does not practice lent so she doesn’t normally participate, but last year she did and it was an amazing experience so this year she decided to do it again. The time frame for lent is generally from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. This is the period of time where practitioners prepare themselves for Easter “through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial”*. In our society it translates to giving something up. Since Jesus spent forty days fasting in the desert a common practice of lent was fasting. Now-a-days it seems as if the focus is on giving up some type of food for lent. My Facebook newsfeed during lent is usually full of post from people suffering through their lack of coffee, fast food, donuts, alcohol, soda, sugar, pizza, bread, cupcakes, gum, meat, candy, etc. Whatever is difficult for them to give up, they give up. For many I think that they really do challenge themselves and often I am amazed, but what my student decided to give up really had me thinking. I could easily live without my favorite food item or beverage for 40+ days, but her lent “items” would require a huge amount of self-control and thought. Last year for lent she gave up self-pity and self-criticism. This year she is giving up the idea of scarcity.

Now on the surface none of these things might sound as if they should be considered true items to give up for lent, but think again. Many people love to live in the pity-pool. In fact people have created pictures, signs, posters, and post-ups about how others are tired of those who are constantly having a pity party. It is easy to look at something that has happened in one’s day and think that the entire day is bad and “Whoa-is me. Now my whole life is bad.” I can see how for some this would be a challenge. I think that for me this would be the easier of the challenge because when I did start to wallow, I could easily recognize it. For me it is easier to spot than self-criticism.

I think the self-criticism is an awesome thing to give up for lent. Some people just do this out of habit or to be polite. We are taught to be modest so when a compliment is given we shoot back with a, “Oh normally, I can’t . . . . ” “Oh usually, my hair is a mess.” . . . or whatever and we criticize ourselves. I believe it is true that many of us are our harshest critics, so imagine if you couldn’t do it for 40+ days. While this certainly does not fit into the fasting category, I don’t see why it would not be an acceptable thing to give up for lent. I would think that God of all beings would want us to stop with the criticizing of ourselves and to get on with the loving.

Then this year’s, the scarcity. I might not have her idea completely right. We talked about it a bit, but not that long, because this all happened in the few minutes before class. I am going to recap as best I can but also add a little and probably go off away from her original idea a bit, but I think it is best to form it in a way that would best fit into your lent. The original thing she said to me was to give up the idea of scarcity, meaning to stop thinking that there isn’t enough. Usually there is enough we just tend to think there isn’t, so if we give up thinking there is not we can actually relax and see that there is. For her on that very morning, she woke up and thought there wasn’t enough time to attend the Nia class. But then she stopped and allowed her self to “be” and her heart told her that it wanted to dance and that there IS, there would be enough time to go to class and then get things done. So she came to class.

She had also mentioned how some people truly do not have enough. Enough whatever; enough food, enough water, enough heat, enough shelter, enough love, enough etc. So, being blessed with all of that she wanted to practice recognizing that it all is enough. As I type this it occurred to me that with that in mind, with practicing recognition, one could also possibly allow things to flourish on their own. Amazing. I like the idea of giving up something besides food. But even so, with either giving up a favorite food or giving up one of these other things mentioned it could lead to a lifestyle change. Maybe once someone lives without soda for 40+ days they won’t go back. Maybe once the pity party is unattended they’ll see it really isn’t that great of a party after all. Maybe there will be more self compliments. And I believe that there will be enough if we acknowledge there is enough.

What do you think? Are you a lent practitioner? What do you give up?

*quote from Wiki

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »