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

Posts Tagged ‘San Jose Yoga’

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 »

Nia’s Three Stages of Practice

Posted by terrepruitt on September 30, 2010

With Nia you get a workout.  It is not necessary to have any experience in any type of dance modality or martial arts, or any type of practice (Yoga, Pilates, etc.).  Any BODY can walk into a class and join in and following their own body’s way get a great workout.

In the Nia practice there are three stages.  So if you want you can take your workout into these areas.  The stages are:

1—Learn the Move
When you learn the move you are learning the name, you are thinking about the move.  The concentration is on placing your feet in the proper place, learning where your limbs are supposed to be.  Maybe trying some of the different intensity levels and the different planes.  This is the stage where you are actually doing a lot of thinking.

2—Move the Move
This is the stage we you move the move.  You are doing a routine and just moving.  Getting the moves into your muscle memory.  Your body is learning the move.  Here is where you are learning the combinations.  This stage is where you let your body lead and you don’t think too much.  The body has an intelligence of its own and if you let it sense it can flow.

3—Energize the Move
This is the stage that you can achieve once your body knows the move.  This stage could be during a song the first time you do it, if you feel comfortable and your body senses the moves you might be able to just put the energy into it from one of the Nine Movement Forms.  Or it could be the stage you get to once you have done the song a few times.  It really depends on the you.  It depends on how you feel and how you sense the music.  But this is where we really get to play with our routines, where we can energize with the energy of T’ai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Jazz Dance, or Yoga.

This weekend (10/03/10), in Willow Glen/San Jose I am holding a Nia Playshop where we will Learn the Move.  We are going to play with some of the moves that make up the 52 Moves of Nia.  Then after we are going to have a Nia Class where we Move the Move.  Since we will have spent an hour Learning the Moves I am hoping that some of you will be able to Energize the moves.  See you Sunday!

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

I’ve Been Here Before

Posted by terrepruitt on September 14, 2010

Presently I live in San Jose and teach Nia Classes in San Jose.  I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area all my life.  When I was growing up I used to tell people I lived in Santa Clara and they had no idea where that was.  So I would say, “San Jose?” and if I still received that look then I would say “San Francisco?” and most of the time I would then see a spark of recognition.

When the dot com boom happened that kind of helped put “Silicon Valley” on the map and is comprised of a few places most notable cities are Cupertino, Santa Clara, San Jose, and Mountain View.  A lot more people had heard of Santa Clara and San Jose after that.  We weren’t known only in the shadow of San Francisco any longer.  It was nice to not have to go through the entire San Francisco Bay Area to explain where I lived.

Now I find myself in that same exact “place” with Nia.  I tell people I teach Nia and I get a look back.  Most have not hear of it.  So we go through the, “Is it like Zumba?”  and I want to say:

Yes, Nia is EXACTLY LIKE Zumba: we get a workout via dance,we exercise to music, we sweat, we have fun, we work our muscles, we shimmy, shake, and gyrate, oh, except we do it in bare feet, to a variety of music, participants are encouraged to do it as their bodies allow, and there is a body-mind connection.

But most often say:  It is sort of like a Zumba class and sort of like a Jazzercise class in that we move to music.  Nia is a cardio workout with no impact. It is fun and unique because Nia incorporates moves and concepts from nine different movement forms a few being Tai Chi, Jazz Dance, and Yoga.

When they hear that, then they ask, “So it is Yoga?”  🙂

I was just reminded of the explaining-where-I-lived portion of my childhood when I was with a group of Nia Teachers recently.  Made me laugh when I thought about the going through the same type of thing when talking about Nia.  Yay, at least I am in a familiar place.  😮

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Bay Area National Dance Week 2010

Posted by terrepruitt on April 20, 2010

Some of the reasons behind Bay Area National Dance Week is the hope that the Bay Area will celebrate all the different forms of dance; to have the Bay Area be a place where people who love dance can learn, enjoy, and participate in all types of dance; to show that the Bay Area understands that dance is a part of an area’s identity and pride; to let the Bay Area demonstrate that dance is more than just fun and exercise, it is a large part of humanity, a part that helps define us.

The dance community in the San Francisco Bay Area, being one of the country’s largest, is offering hundreds of free classes and events.

There are going to be free Argentine tango classes, jazz dance classes, hip hop classes, hula classes, fire dance classes, Samba classes, modern dance classes, aerial classes, belly dance classes, Zumba classes, ballet classes, yoga classes, Nia classes, and more!  There will also be performances and many other events.

The studio where I teach in San Jose will be celebrating Bay Area National Dance Week 2010.  Several instructors are welcoming students to attend for Free, from April 25 – May 1.***

Sunday, April 25:
    Three separate classes are free

Monday, April 26:
Six separate classes are free* including Nia

Tuesday, April 27:
One class

Wednesday, April 28:
    Three separate classes are free* including Nia

Thursday, April 29:
  Four separate classes are free*

Friday, April 30:
  One free class

Saturday, May 1:
  Two separate classes are free

*some classes are free to new students only, please see my site for more information, or contact me if you have any questions.

I hope you can make it to one of the free classes being offered.  Plan your week.  Get your workout on!  Get your dance on!

***(04/21/10) Some classes have actually been added and the end date at the studio now matches the National Dance Week, Sunday, May 2, please see my site for the added classes.  Thank you.

2013: (My site no longer contains information regarding the 2010 Bay Area National Dance Week, but you can see my site for Nia Class Schedule).

Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Nia | 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 »

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 »

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 »

Review Blog Year – Top Ten

Posted by terrepruitt on December 31, 2009

So here it is the end of the year.  I have been blogging since March (2009).  I have posted 130 times.  This is 131.  I thought I would end the year with a review of some of my favorites and according to the numbers some of your favorites too.  Here they are, not in any order:

Lyrics Gone Wrong . . . I had entertained the idea of doing this once a month, but after the second month I ran out of songs to play with.

Interesting Picture – Marilyn Monroe Albert Einstein . . . I LOVE optical illusions and this one is a doosey.

Hummingbird Tongues . . . they still fascinate me and I am still surprising people with the fact that the birds have tongues and use them more than the beak is a straw.  And usually they tongues dart in and out so fast it is a rare treat to catch it out for a picture.  Yay!

A Poem Says A Lot . . . Fabulous!  We Have Come To Be Danced . . .

Nia Belt System . . . Before you can move onto the next belt they say a year must pass.   You do not have to get involved.  It is a great workout without being involved with the belts.  The belt system only comes into play if you care to get that involved in Nia.  Nia’s belts mimic some Martial Arts; white, green, blue, brown, black.    I am learning so much with my White Belt, I can see myself waiting at least another year before I move onto the next belt.  There is so much to learn and enjoy in each belt, I am not in a hurry.

Say: “I Am Wonderful” . . . I like to say this, I like to hear this song.  I like to remind people to go to iTunes each week to download the free song.

A Brief Look At Nia . . . still excited to share Nia with people.  It is a great body-mind practice and a workout that can make you sweat yet not really feel like exercise.  It is learning to follow the body’s way.

Wrapping Tips . . . WHAT?  I was shocked that everyone did not read my blog.  On Christmas Day and the day after the bags and bags and bags and bags of wrapping trash that I saw on the curbs just blew my mind. In this day and in these times, I was just utterly flabbergasted that people don’t re-use the wrappings.  It amazed and saddened me.

My Favorite Mugs . . . so I found out that not everyone got my little joke.  Ya know, back in the day (what day, I don’t know), they used to call faces mugs . . . get it now?

The Seven Cycles Of A Nia Workout . . . The workout has cycles, somewhat like Jazzercise.  I like to share this aspect of Nia so people have an idea of what a workout class will be like.  We set a focus and an intent, step in, warm up and move all the way through the cycles to the floor, and then we step out.

Well, thank you so much for joining me on my blog.  I hope that you continue to read, I hope you enjoy and learn.  I learn from your comments so keep them coming.  Thank you for a great year.  Here is to the NewYear.

But . . .before we jump into the New Year, share with me what your favorite post from my blog was?  AND/OR give me ideas on what you would like to see posted in the New Year.

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

Nia and Tae Kwon Do

Posted by terrepruitt on November 28, 2009

As you might now be aware Nia includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts. From the martial arts, we borrow from Tae Kwon Do. Not just “moves” from Tae Kwon Do but also some of the other elements of it. With its kicks, punches, blocks, and stances it helps allow Nia to be a great leg workout and provide a stable base for some of our other moves.  Tae Kwon Do can also contribute to one’s confidence by providing exercises that allow one to become strong and stable.  These are the things Nia gains from Tae Kwon Do.

Nia calls Tae Kwon Do the Dance of Precision.*  So when delivering a punch, block, kick, etc. with the energy of Tae Kwon Do, it is done with precision and intent.  However, Nia likes to play so at times even though we might not be executing a punch or a kick, but we might choose to energize our movement with “Tae Kwon Do” like energy, and be forceful and aggressive even adding sound to our movement.

Adding the energy of one form to the moves of another is one of the things that make Nia fun and keeps is challenging.  It takes different muscles to skip with force and authority than to skip like a child without a care in the world.  That is an example of how Nia incorporates different moves with different energies.

In Nia we don’t “DO” Tae Kwon Do, things have been gleaned from it and brought into Nia and mixed in with aspects of  Tai Chi, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Yoga, the Alexander Technique and the teachings from Feldenkrais, and the combination from each form is Nia.  A lot of Nia routines include moves and concepts from each discipline, but not always.  In an effort to keep each workout fresh, fun, and joyful teachers often mix things up.

If you are near San Jose, come to one of my Nia classes.  If not, I hope that you will find a Nia class near you and give Nia try.

*Both the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual state this. Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas. **V3 of The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Collage Video

Posted by terrepruitt on October 24, 2009

There is no substitute for going to an exercise class.  The energy and the camaraderie you get from BEING IN a class is uncomparable, but sometimes class schedules don’t mix with yours or you want to just get a quick workout in.

Like me recently, my husband and I were going to go see a play at the last minute at a little theater in downtown San Jose, but before we went I wanted to do a workout.  I pulled out a few of my videos to see the “total workout time” and did a few quick calculations.  I decided on Turbo Jam Cardio Party two.  But it got me thinking about how I love Collage Video because they do a great job of breaking down the “total workout time” on a DVD.

Do you know what I am talking about?  Has something like the following happened to you?  You want an Aerobic workout DVD  because you want to get your cardio done at home, you buy a DVD and that states it is a 60 minute workout. You put it in your machine and what it actuually turns out to be is 15 minutes of warm up and 15 minutes of cool down leaving you really with only 30 minutes of an aerobic workout.  When you were expecting 60 minutes or at least 50 minutes and you only get 30, it doesn’t make for a satisfying purchase (or workout).

Unfortunately you can’t get Turbo Jam from Collage Video so you can’t see a breakdown of workout cycles of those DVDs, but Collage Video has hundreds of other DVDs.  One way you can pick the DVD is by workout type: Aerobics, Muscle Toning, Both (Aerobics & Toning), Stretch/Yoga/Tai Chi, Pilates, Interval training, Dance, Kickboxing, Latin & Salsa, Bootcamp.

Collage, then gives a detailed breakdown of the total workout time, just as I had mentioned before.  Which can be really helpful, when planning your workouts.  If you want to get a combo DVD with Aerobics and toning it is good to know how much you will get of each.  Here is an example.

The above shows you will get 4 minutes of warm-up, 37 minutes of floor aerobics, 11 minutes of standing toning, 6 minutes of toning, and 4 minutes of stretching.  This allows you to plan both your purchases and your workouts better.  You can see exactly how much time you will be spending on each cycle.  I think that is very important.

If you are going to be able to make it to your favorite class, do you have a favorite workout DVD that you do instead?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »