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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    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:00 am

    Nia: Wednesday at 10:00 am

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:00 am

    Please see my website for details!

    I am also teaching a yoga class for the City of San Jose on Wednesdays through June at 5pm

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training all virtual, of course!

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Posts Tagged ‘San Carlos Nia’

Awareness – Dancing Through Life

Posted by terrepruitt on May 4, 2010

Nia White Belt Principle #5 – Awareness – Dancing Through Life

I have been avoiding this principle because it can be very complex. To me, all of Nia’s White Belt Principles can be complex because they can be applied strictly to the cardio workout that is one aspect of Nia, they can be applied to Nia as a practice—which translates into, they can be applied to life, or they can just be applied to life.

Debbie Rosas Stewart talked about Principle #5 in this month’s Nia Teleconference for EveryBODY. She kept it simple. In all the calls she talks for about 15 minutes then she takes questions for the last 15. The call is 30 minutes. I will share with you what she said, but I recommend you listen to the call when they have it up on the site. They record each call every month.

Since I like to keep my posts relatively short, I have realized that I can post short summaries of Nia information and re-visit the information in additional posts.

One of the first things she said is very true, and I would like you to think about it. She pointed out that we are often aware of pain whereas we are not aware of pleasure. If we have a sore body part, we are aware of it. It makes its presence known and we listen. I personally don’t think we always listen to what it needs, but that is topic of another post. But we certainly don’t always pay attention to pleasure.

With Nia we seek pleasure. We seek to move away from the pain and go towards the pleasure.

There are a few things we can do to assist with that. One way is to be aware. Be aware of what brings us pleasure. As we move throughout our day we can make our movements a dance. While we are “doing”, we can dance through life. As you are reading this and you shift in your chair, notice the movement of your hips, notice to tilt of your head, do it like a dance.

While you are not moving, while you are “not doing”. Notice the stillness in your body. Allow the stillness to bring calm, relaxation, a sort of meditation, if you will. Notice what it is you are touching. Not just touching with your hands, but with your entire body. Are you sitting on a chair? Are you leaning on a desk? Benefit from that touch and that “not doing”.

Life as art so notice the art around you. Notice the noises and allow them to filter in as sound. Breath in the sensation of life. Not talking about “art” that would be in a museum art, but just the beauty of the world. Whatever you find beautiful.

There is so much about Nia I always find myself saying, “Another thing . . . one thing . . . Nia this . . . and Nia that. . .” but really. Another thing about Nia is that it is kind. Nia believes that we receive what we need to receive. We are not expected to hear something and walk away knowing it all or knowing it perfectly. With that in mind, understand that this is what I heard. These are the notes I took. Please, I invite you to listen for yourself and glean from it what you need. Focus on what resonates with you.  Take away something you can share.

My site shows Nia class schedule in San Jose and San Carlos. On Nia’s main site you can look up classes in your area. There are classes all over the world.

Touching and Being Touched / May 3, 2010 Teleconference call is the call I have summarized here.

Presently in your life, do you dance through it?  Do you practice awareness?  Do you notice life as art?

Posted in Nia, Nia White Belt Principles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

FAMSS

Posted by terrepruitt on April 13, 2010

In Nia we refer to FAMSS.  We practice FAMSS.  We can use it for all types of things.  It stands for:

Flexibility
Agility
Mobility
Strength
Stability

And by “use” it I mean, it is often incorporated into each kata of a routine.  Or a kata might concentrate on just flexibility, the next one agility, the next one mobility, and so on.  Or we could use FAMSS as a focus OR an intention of a Nia class.  Either all of them (Flexibility AND Agility AND Mobility AND Strength AND Stability) or just one (Flexibility OR Agility OR Mobility OR Strength OR Stability).

But whatever we do with it or them, they are highly regarded as abilities needed to ensure one’s (high) quality of life.  So in Nia we honor them all.  In a Nia class we weave them into the workout.  In this post I am just referring to FAMSS in the physical.  They can certainly be applied to more than just our physical bodies, but that can be another post just by itself.

For now, I am just talking about our physical bodies needing to be flexible, agile, mobile, strong, and stable.  Just to move around in daily life these five things are very important.  In Nia we can bend down in a forward fold as in the familiar pose one might do in a yoga class, allowing our flexibility to be enhanced.  The music might encourage us to run, stop, run, stop, run, stop or move us to play the drums calling upon our bodies to display agility in legs, in arms, in our bodies as a whole.  We can move our bodies as if they are grass in a field or seaweed in the ocean, moving each part, each section, each muscle, and all major joints to help ensure their mobility.  We could crouch in a bow stance moving up and down exercising the strength in our legs.  Then we can we stretch, reaching to the sky as we look up, this can be stability practice, either on flat foot, on the ball of our feet, or in releve.  This could be one song in which all of this FAMSS is going on or it could be spread out over the entire routine.

Just tonight in my San Carlos class a woman told me that after her first class last week her hip felt better.  She said that after her hip felt better on that first night it encouraged her to do a few of the moves at home that we had done in class.  So she started working on her FAMSS in the first class, she was encouraged that movement was working to increase her FAMSS so she moved more.  With movement she felt more comfort and less pain.  FAMSS is necessary for a high quality of life.  Her ever day movements were better not because she did it once, but because she kept doing it.  Nia honors Flexibility and Agility and Mobility and Strength and Stability, so in Nia we practice it.

I hope one day you will attend one of my classes (I have two in San Jose and one in San Carlos*) to see how we can improve your FAMSS.

*Please see my website for my CURRENT class schedule.  Thank you!

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Day Of Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on February 27, 2010

El Camino Hospital sponsored a Free Health Fair today (February 27, 2010).  It was in one of the ballrooms at the Santa Clara Convention Center.  There was various Health Screenings.  I didn’t actually get any done because I just didn’t feel like waiting in the lines.  Although there were plenty of people that were willing to stand in the lines in the interest of learning about their health.

There was various demonstrations and audience participation dances going on.  On TWO stages.  It was very interesting and very loud since they had the “main stage” and the “side stage” set up right next to each other.

I was able to do a little Zumba, which I have done before.  But I didn’t have the right shoes so it made it difficult.  I should have stayed to do the yoga that was on the stage right after us.  But I didn’t want to keep my photographer waiting that long.

A fellow Nia teacher was invited to do a demonstration of Nia so she had asked people to join her.  I am not sure how many people were there from her invitation or how many were there because they joined us, but I think it turned out to be a good crowd.  I would say there was at least 30 people.  So many so that they did not all fit on the little dance floor she was given.

It was a great thing.  I believe that a lot of people were introduced to Nia.  I am thankful to Anita for doing this for us.

My husband came along to get some pictures.  He was taking pictures of me and we confirmed that our camera is not able to take good action shots in low light.  Here are a few.  Thank you for looking.

I hope that next year El Camino Hospital sponsor another Day of Dance and you come out to see that dancing is a great way to workout out and a very fun way to get your exercise on!

You can find information regarding my classes in San Jose and San Carlos on my web site (click here).

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

One Of My Favorite Snacks

Posted by terrepruitt on January 26, 2010

Edamame.  I first learned of edamame about 25 years ago.  I was working at a mortgage company and one of the secretaries (that’s what they were called back then) introduced us.  I can’t even remember where we had it whether it was a restaurant or if she made it, but I have loved it ever since.  And that was before I knew it was a complete protein* or that it has isoflavones**.

I like it served warm, salted, and in the pods so you can pop the soybeans out into your mouth.  It is fun.

I stopped by sushi restaurant tonight for a friend’s birthday on my way home from my San Carlos Nia class and since I don’t eat sushi I had a whole bowl of edamame.  Yum.  Perfect for after teaching.

I don’t really think of edamame as low in fat, but I do think of it as high in protein.

A 1/2 cup of in-the-pod edamame is about 75 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber.

I don’t often think of eating them on salads, but when I get a salad that has the soybeans on them, I really like it.  Once I had a vegetable dish with them in it.  I really liked that, but forget to do it myself. I usually just eat them out of the pods.  But there are so many other ways you can eat them.  I need to remember to add them to salads or put them in with other vegetables to make a vegetable medley.

Do you like edamame?  Do you like it served hot or cold?  What do you do with edamame, do you add it to other dishes?  Do you have edamame recipes?

Writing about it makes me want more.

*complete protein -contains all eight essential amino acids in appropriate quantity

**isoflavones – antioxidants that are believed to have health benefits

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Dynamic Ease

Posted by terrepruitt on January 21, 2010

With every Nia routine there is an original focus and intent.  On the Nia DVD either Debbie or Carlos* explain the focus and intent that was originally intended for the routine.  With the routine Sanjana Debbie explains the focus as being Dynamic Ease.

I remember Dynamic Ease as being Dynamic and Ease.  It can either be a stretch as one might do in Yoga or could be the sensation of the muscle squeezing the bone as in an isometric contraction.  When I do the routine with Dynamic Ease as the focus I often borrow Debbie’s words and explain it as: “the energy moving out as in flexibility or the energy packing against the bone as in strength”. 

The way we play with this is that we do a lot of the moves with one quality then the other.  So while we are moving arms upward we could be calling upon the dynamic energies of strength and really squeezing the bone with the muscle.  And the next time we can move our arms up with a big stretch move the energy out.  A punch could be done strong as if we were really punching something or could be done more like a stretch. 

The ease is just moving in a relaxed yet ready type of way.  When moving arms upward, as mentioned above, we can change the quality to a nice flowing easy movement.  Or a “punch” could just be the arms moving away from the body in a soft motion.  Its fun to play and try any exercise with the different energy qualities. 
 
We can do the same moves all three ways.  Practicing going back and forth between these qualities assists in both balancing the energy in the body and balancing the body itself.  An isometric contraction calls upon big muscles and small muscles and the combination is what is used in balancing. 

I believe that it helps with the flow of fluids and energy in the body.  I know that it leaves me feeling very energetic.  I did this routine with this focus twice this week, once for my San Jose class and once with my San Carlos class and both times I felt very great energy afterwards.  In addition to the energy I feel it brings me, I think dynamic ease can serve to add another element of challenge to the Nia workout.  Dynamic Ease is one of my favorite foci for this Nia routine.

*Debbie Rosas (Stewart) and Carlos Rosas (AyaRosas) the creators of Nia

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When I Sense It

Posted by terrepruitt on January 14, 2010

Recently I had a brief conversation with one of my Nia buddies regarding a routine. She had asked if it was easy to bar. I admitted to her that barring for me was difficult, but that some songs were easier to bar than others.

Later that same evening I was listening to music from a routine I have not learned yet.  I found myself stopping what I was doing and starting to do the dance that was associated with the song that was playing. I laughed because I realized that I was ready to learn the moves to the song. That is how it is with me. I will listen to the music over and over and over again. When I find myself saying, “What? What is this song? There is a kata to it?” When I don’t even recognize the song, then I know I am no where near ready to learn that set of movements. So I keep listening to the music over and over.  When I find myself stopping what I am doing to do the moves or at least going over the moves in my head as the song is playing then I know that is when my body, my brain, and my spirit is ready to learn the moves. Otherwise it is a struggle for me.

It is so much easier to learn the routine well, when you can sense the moves.  It is like you already basically know them and all you have to do is map out the music and put the moves on the paper where they actually belong.  Doing the workout to the routine DVD over and over is one of the steps in the first set of steps in learning the routine.  And I see why.  Listening to the music over and over is one thing that is recommended too.  And I see how these two things are important in learning a routine.

I also have learned that not only do I benefit from listening to it over and over, it helps to listen to the music on a variety of devices.  I teach in two different facilities and the sound system at the Park and Rec building in San Carlos is very different than the sound system at the studio in San Jose.  It it almost as if I need to learn different musical clues for each facility because the systems are so different.

As I said some music is easier for me to learn than others, but when I stick to learning it when I sense it, when I am ready to learn it, it works for me.

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Nia In The Mirror

Posted by terrepruitt on January 12, 2010

I went to San Carlos today to teach my first Nia class for the City of San Carlos Park and Recreation Department.  I wanted to get there at least 30 minutes early.  I was late, not for the class but for my getting there 30 minutes early.  The man at the desk was on the phone when I arrived and there was a woman in front of me needing assistance.

He was kind enough to get off the phone since he wasn’t able to help the person.  Sounded like a co-worker he said he would call back.  And he asked us if we needed help. The woman that was before me asked where the Nia class was and he asked her if she was the instructor at which time I pointed to myself.

So he took us to the room, helped with the music and the people started coming in.   (Thanks, Nick!)

There is always “business” to handle in a class.  Either signing in, or making sure everyone is signed up, or checking passes, or something.  So we handled that as people were coming in.

This class room was different as it has no mirror.  I have talked to a lot of people who prefer the teacher to face away from the students as we do in Nia, but I was not certain about that without a mirror to look at my participants in.  So I started off facing them.  Then when we got to a point when we would be moving right and left, I turned.

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, Community Center Classes

January 2010

Nia is so fun and amazing because even though I could not see the people in the mirror I could sense they were there and moving as I was.  When I turned around to look they were doing it just beautifully.  Was every doing it exactly the same?  No.  Was everyone perfectly on step?  No.  But it is so beautiful because when I turned to make sure everyone was ok, they would smile.  They would laugh.  They were ok, they were doing Nia.

Most of them were new to Nia.  We had a good time.  When we did some moving around the room using the space people were smiling and sounding.  It was good.  I felt as if even though I didn’t have a mirror in which to see my own face and my own body, I was still seeing my reflection.  I was seeing joy in movement.  Fun in exercise.  Happiness in the workout.  Nia.

Will all nineteen people come back?  Well, some of them will because they had registered.  Will the all thirteen that came for the “Try It”?  No, probably not all of them.  I know for a fact that one won’t because she has signed up for school with a class on that same night and she just came to try it.  And other people will not have the time, but at least we danced together.  We had fun.  I shared Nia with some people who didn’t know about it.  I am sure that even though they might not be able to make my class, they will be at others in the future.  I think that is good.

Next week I will leave San Jose a few minutes earlier and get there 30 minutes early!

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Nia Natural Time

Posted by terrepruitt on December 29, 2009

The Nia White Belt Principle #2 is Natural Time and the Movement Forms. I have posted about the movement forms, here I talk about Natural Time. There is the Natural Time of the Mayans with the 13 moons to a year and there is the Natural Time of one’s body and one’s own movements.

In a Nia workout class even as the teacher is leading the participants through a routine, the participants are encouraged to follow their own natural time. There could be a section of the exercise that consists of floating down and rising up. I might invite you to do it in “your own time”, your “natural time”, encouraging you to do it as you sense. The music could be motivating you to float down slowly and rise up quickly, or vice-versa, or slow both in the downward motion and the upward motion. But it is up to you and your body, your own natural time. So even though we are moving all together we are doing it in our own time. We are allowing our bodies to listen the music and move as we sense it.

The same goes, really for our choreographed moves, one might move it fast and big, whereas the person standing right next to them might move it slow and small. It all depends on one’s own body. Moving in natural time helps us connect deeply with our own bodies. Without being forced to move at a specific speed or “volume” we can ensure that we get the exact workout out bodies need.

The routines in Nia are choreographed in a way that allows for people to play with the moves.  Participants can move their own way and in their own time.  Most steps are simple and allow for simplifying or spicing it up.

Nia also considers 13/20 to be the code of Natural Time.  There are 13 major joints and 20 digits of the body.  Body movements moving all 13 joints and 20 digits is a way to receive information from the body.

Visit my site for details on my ON-GOING classes in San Jose (the schedule and the classes I mention on the blog might change from time to time.  The best way to find out about CURRENT classes is to visit: http://www.helpyouwell.com/nia-class-schedule.html .  Thank you!)

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