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!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Bloggey Past

  • ******

    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Posts Tagged ‘resting pose’

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 »

More On Downward Facing Dog

Posted by terrepruitt on July 1, 2014

I once briefly wrote about the Downward Facing Dog yoga pose in my post Down Dog. This is considered a resting pose. For many; those starting out or those wanting a gentle type of workout, it is not extremely restful. There are many muscles that are being used so it is a very active pose. This pose could be qualified as a “push exercise” or using the muscles that are used for pushing. Muscles on the back of the body are considered the “push muscles”. There are many benefits to this pose.

The lower body gets the biggest stretch. If you are able to straighten your legs and place your heels on the ground the back of your legs get the stretch. The hamstrings get a good stretch along with the calves. If your heels are up there is still a nice stretch going on. With many people working in office chairs and having the posture of bent legs, tight hamstrings is a very common situation. So having heels up and bent knees is a widely used modification.

No matter how your legs are (straight or bent) your arms are holding you up. This pose does require your arms to do some work. It is considered an arm supported pose. In conjunction with latissimus dorsi, the muscles by the ribs, and your deltoids the triceps are working. So for some their arms might feel fatigued. So even though this pose is allowing for a very big stretch in the back of the legs there are muscles working on the top half of the body.

Even though the focus is in pressing the tailbone to the sky we don’t ignore the front. The front of the legs get a bit of attention, as we are lifting the knee caps.  We also have a sense of our spine lengthening.

In addition to increasing flexibility in your legs, hips, and ankles. And strengthening arms and wrist, this pose relieves depression and helps calm the mind. Additional benefits include:
-Energizing the body
-Increasing circulation
-Improving digestion
-Relieving headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
And it can be therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

I have learned to like this pose a bit more. I was reminded of what I tell my students and what we practice in Nia. Find the Joy in the movement, if you cannot tweak it until you do. I believe a portion of my dislike of this pose back when I first wrote about it, was that I was forcing it.  I was doing it in away that did not feel good for my back. Once I stopped the complete loose action of my spine, the pose became more comfortable. As it became easier there was room to move into the pose better and relax into it.

So, like many things it is good to do it at your level. As you improve it can be done better. The benefits can be received throughout the practice. It is a practice.

How is your Downward Facing Dog?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »