Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Posts Tagged ‘San Jose Workout class’

Loose Feeling Joints

Posted by terrepruitt on November 11, 2010

Recently in my San Jose Nia Class we used elbows as our focus for the class.  The intent was to sense the connection that our elbows have to our entire body.  As we moved we connected them to our hips, our ribs, our thighs, our knees, even our toes.  An easy and almost automatic connection is elbows to shoulders.  Well, for me, this focus allowed me to move my joints to a state of complete and utter looseness.  I felt very loose and relaxed all day long.

That same evening I went to an Ecstatic Dance class and I almost felt as if I could bend like a contortionists.  Notice I said ALMOST.  In reality I could not bend like that, but I was sensing a greater flexing in my joints than normal.  Since I was actually aware of this and sensing it I decided to move with caution.  When I get the opportunity to just Free Dance with others that are doing their own thing I really end up moving.  I work up a sweat and get a really great workout.  But this time since I felt my joints might be able to bend more than normal I kept reining myself in.  I didn’t want to end up injuring myself.

I thought of my former dance teacher who used to do very deep stretches with her legs.  Since she COULD stretch so deep she would do it all the time thinking she was doing her body good.  But it turned out that all of that stretching ended up putting too much strain on her ligaments.  She ended up having to have several surgeries on her knee.  She was double jointed or had knee joints that hyperextended.  If you are double jointed it is good to use caution when moving because just because you CAN move like that doesn’t mean it is good for you to do so repeatedly.   The focus of this post is more about loose joints and not double-jointedness.

It is very important to stretch and be flexible, but there sometimes is a point when we are too loose or more accurately too loose to just let loose.  We need to know when to rein it in and take it easy.  Listening to our body and using body knowledge and awareness we can help from allowing ourselves to get injured.  If you normally cannot do a particular move but today you sense that you can, stop and think can you really?  Is your body ready?  If you are sure then by all means do it because doing what we couldn’t do before but can do now, is how we grow and progress.  But if you are not sure then maybe you want to wait until you are certain because you don’t want to end up having to start all over if you injure yourself.  If your joints are not used to a deep stretches then work slowly into it.  If you have done a juicy yoga class or Nia has all your joints open and saying “Ahhh!” but your joints are not always that loose – proceed with care doing any additional exercise.  Be sure to enjoy the sensation of happy joints.

Have you ever sensed the sensation of loose joints?

Posted in Helpful Hints | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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 »

Happy Bread Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on March 18, 2010

My husband does the grocery shopping. I know, cool, huh? Sometimes, when he is busy, I will do it. On my way home from teaching a Nia class on Wednesday, I decided to stop by the store.

Now, the store that is most convenient to us in San Jose we can’t always go to because they have bad milk and, I believe that my husband told me they also don’t have the bread I like. So we drive a little bit out of our way to go to the store where we can buy milk that will is not sour and bread that is what I like.

While standing in the bread isle I almost had to call my Hubby because I forgot what kind of bread we get. As I am scanning the packages I see this.

Oh yeah! THAT IS the bread that we get. But, I did a little dance because of that bright yellow label. See that is one of the reasons why that is the bread we get. The label made me happy.

Then while I was standing in line I was even made more happy because I was able to share with a woman in line why I looked like I just worked out (because I did) AND tell her about Nia. Awesome!

But, Honey, if you are reading this, I still don’t like grocery shopping. 🙂   It can still be “your job”.  (Thanks, btw.)

Posted in Food | 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

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

Nia In Many Forms

Posted by terrepruitt on November 7, 2009

There is always something Nia going on. Often times visting instructors will host a workshop or two. When they are in an area doing a workshop they often tack on a class or two so that even if you are not going to partake in the workshop you still can do Nia with them. It is a great way to other teachers from all over. This weekend there is a workshop that I am able to attend but I was able to go to the Nia class that was held the night before the workshop.

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It was an hour and a half class. Due to the huge amount of commute traffic from San Jose to Concord we missed the first 20 minutes, but we were able to jump right in and get a great workout in the time we had.

The visiting instructor was Winalee Zeeb. She has been doing Nia since 1991. She is a first degree Nia Black Belt, a Nia White Belt Trainer, and she has her own studio in Michigan called Heartdance.

The event is being held at The Big C Athletic Club. The class I went to was also at that location.  I had a great time moving on carpeted thick padded floor. We moved fast and slow, and experienced fire and soul. It was a great workout. Always amazing me because it never feels like exercise. I am always amazed when the class ends. It was the first time I had the pleasure of meeting Winalee. She said we did a bit of Aya and a bit of Velvet. I am not sure what other routines were in there, but it was a great time.

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I often post events on my site so if you are interested in attending Nia workshops and events in my area check my site.

 

 

 

 

 

I was still trying to get in the swing of things when I decided to snap a few photos.  I was planning on taking more, but since we had missed a few minutes already I didn’t want to take time standing around taking the pictures, but I snapped it and a couple more just to give you an idea.

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

CPR, AED, First Aid Training

Posted by terrepruitt on September 15, 2009

Wow.  There are different types of training.  I am not going to get into all of the different types because you need to determine what you need yourself, so you’ll need to do a bit of research.  Once you know what you need, shop around and find out the best one that will work for you.  I just want to share with you some information that you might not think about when shopping around.

I took my first CPR/AED/FA training a year ago.  The certification for CPR/AED-Adult lasted one year.  That certification for the Standard First Aid lasts three years.  I think it was an excellent course.  It was long, it was 7 or 8 hours.  But the instructor had been doing it a long time and he was very good.  He was entertaining and injected just the right amount of humor so as not to let the class be boring or to have us falling asleep.

I would recommend this long, extensive class for anyone that is getting certified for the very first time.  It was very detailed and we did a lot of practical practice.  We used dummies to do CPR, plus each group practiced with an AED.  Then we practice basic first aid on each other.

I also liked this class because it was really close to my house in San Jose.

This latest class I took was CPR/AED and the certification lasts for two years!  Yay!  I love that!  It will be perfect timing because that is when I will need a recert in First Aid.

This was the perfect re-cert class.  It moved much more quickly and there was not as much practice on the dummy.  Right now the ratio is 30 compression to 2 ventilations performed 5 times in two minutes.  Doing that three or four times is enough.  It takes a good amount of pressure to get that dummy’s chest to click.

With this class I think I got a little bit of a different idea about the whole thing.  The first class I took was with an instructor.  I don’t think he actually ever performed CPR.  Tonight the teacher was a fire chief (I think that is what he said).  He had a long list of in the field experience.  He had even worked as an EMT. He has actually done CPR and used and AED.  So a few of the questions actually made him pause.  You could tell he had an answer, but he was not going to just blurt out the truth, but he wasn’t going to lie about it either.

Both teachers were great, just in different ways.  It was just really interesting to get information from someone who had actually performed CPR and used an AED.  I honestly don’t remember my last instruction including the information that it would be “crunchy”.  The amount of pressure required to compress someone’s chest to get the heart to force it into pumping blood just might break bones.  He  said it probably would and it was ok.  I thought that was really important to hear, because I think I might have backed off from pressing as firmly as they are now saying you need to, if I had not been told that bones will break.  I thought that was invaluable information.  Need to know kind of stuff.

CPR/AED/FA training is one of those things, like insurance, that you hope you never, ever, ever need.  I hope it works out that I never need to exercise my knowledge.  It is good to have it, I just don’t ever wanna use it.  Are you certified?  Do you have any stories to tell about a certification class you have taken?

Posted in Helpful Hints | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Don’t Think – Move

Posted by terrepruitt on June 30, 2009

Where is it written that you have to walk into a workout class or a dance class and know every step?  Can you point me to that grand writing?  No.  It doesn’t exist.  Nowhere is it written that you walk in and know the steps or even that you know them after the first workout or the first class.  But we still think that we should “get it” right away.  Almost immediately we pull out labels like awkward and uncoordinated.  Not often do we stop to give ourselves a break.  Did we not have to learn how to walk, why is it that we think we must know how to move or dance?

I bring this up because I keep having this brought up to me.  People say they feel like a klutz or that they have two left feet.  Well, this could all be true as a feeling of what they feel, but how are they ever going to get over it?

With Nia (one of) the point(s) is to move how you need to move that day, in that class, in that moment.  NOT to move exactly like the teacher or like the other students, or to be perfect or workout like it is a performance.  It is to move how your body needs to move.  It is to stop judging HOW you are moving and just MOVE.  Yes, there are steps, there is a routine, most of the time you are doing guided movements, but you aren’t expected to know them and do them perfect.  And even if you do know them, sometimes you might need to adjust them.

I understand that there is a desire to do it right, but with Nia™ we really take that saying “If you stumble make it part of your dance” to heart.  No one is perfect, we are not expecting the routine to be done perfect.  We are expecting respecting, respecting your body and your heart.  You move, you mess up, you forgive yourself, you keep moving.  It is not because you are awkward or uncoordinated no labels, take the next step.  Come to class, learn, practice.  Once you get the moves down then the fun really begins because then you can play with the move making it big or small fast or slow do it with ease or make it dynamic.

But you have to start at the beginning.

Honest?  Want me to be honest here?  After I get the gist of the routine down, I stop watching the training DVD.  I refer back to it when I get stuck or want to refresh my memory or “tighten it up”.  But I don’t practice to it.  I don’t move like Debbie or Carlos*.  I can’t concentrate on my music and the movements when I try.  I have to turn them off and tune them out and concentrate on me and my workout.  I have to listen to the music and sense when I am supposed to cue.  I can’t learn what my body needs and get the work out I need if I am trying to do it exactly like them.  I am not them.  I am me.  I have to pay attention to what I can do especially since what I can do in my living room is entirely different then what I can do when I teach.  I have to make certain I practice the different levels so I have a chance to show them in class.  When I workout to the DVD, I don’t practice level one, I am trying to keep up with Debbie.

So what I am saying is give yourself a break.  We cannot all move the same.  So we need to practice quieting our inner dialog that tells us we have to do it like whomever, and just do it like our body needs.  It probably won’t be perfect because we are not perfect.  We are there to move and improve and enjoy.  So are you ready to give yourself a break and just move?

My schedule of classes in San Jose and Los Gatos.

*Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, the people that have brought us Nia.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »