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

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle 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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Posts Tagged ‘stabilizing muscles’

Adding A Challenge To A Pose Mastered

Posted by terrepruitt on November 30, 2016

I teach two gentle yoga classes.  Gentle yoga doesn’t necessarily mean beginner yoga.  It can if the class is a beginner yoga class, but “gentle” doesn’t mean beginner.  The way I make the yoga class gentle is we don’t hold the poses for a long time.  We also don’t flow through a long combination of poses.  I usually do a sequence of two, three poses at the most, but the class is not a flow.  In my two regularly scheduled gentle yoga classes we actually just stop and get down (or stop and get up) because I feel that being able to get up off of the floor is very important.  We don’t use downward facing dog, forward folds, planks, or poses to get down and up.  We go at a comfortable pace slowly moving through poses.  The classes are not beginner classes because I have been teaching some of the same students for years.  So they are not beginners.  They know many poses and they know what their bodies should be doing in those poses, but they like to do yoga gently.  But we still need to add some challenge to some of the poses.  So, for a small group of students in my gentle yoga classes we have added a challenge to one of the poses that they have down.  For those that can balance fine, we have added the challenge of closing our eyes.

We are still doing the pose, but we close our eyes to add to the pose.  Just the simple act of closing our eyes causes us to get a little wobbly and therefore work more at standing upright.  Just like with our eyes open one side is easier than the other.  But this simple act gives the pose a new spin.

The inner ear plays a huge role in our balance, but so do our eyes.  Once we take vision out of the equation it makes balancing more challenging.  I believe practicing balancing with our eyes closed will allow us to get better at it over time.  While we are practicing we will be using those stabilizing muscles and that will help us be better balanced.  Just as practicing balance with your eyes open.

This is a fun thing to add to the balance practice because, as I said, my students can do this pose well, so it is kind of surprise that just closing one’s eyes makes it as if they can’t do the pose.  There are some “whoas” and “what the . . ” and giggles because it is just so funny that a pose we can do all of a sudden we can’t do it (as well).

For now we are only closing our eyes when doing the Stork pose, but once we have that down AND have more stability in some of our other balances poses we will add “eyes closed” to them.

So if you come to one of my regularly scheduled yoga classes you might experience this.  If you come to one I am subbing, I usually do things a little differently.  That is one thing that is so great about teaching yoga, it can be adjusted and modified so it is not always the same.  With the adjustments and modifications, hopefully, they are helping you improve your stability, flexibility, and strength.  Sometimes all it takes is something so simple as closing your eyes.

Did you try it?  Just standing with your eyes closed?  How about standing on one leg with your eyes closed?

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Balance Finger

Posted by terrepruitt on December 22, 2009

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This is the a picture of the Balance Finger from the Nia 52 Moves

The Middle Finger is pointing down.  In Nia this hand/finger position is general used in combination with your arms straight out and one foot in the air.  As you balance on one foot use your balance finger in space for support.

This exercise assist in integrating the two halves of the body, the upper half and the lower half.  Anytime you stand or lean on one leg you workout the balance/stabilizing muscles.  I think when your stabilizing muscles are used to working out they will be there when you need them and help keep you from falling.

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BOSU

Posted by terrepruitt on October 13, 2009

 

Know what a BOSU is?  It is a piece of exercise equipment.  Picture a stability ball, you know those round ones full of air that you can sit on?  Picture that cut in half with a plastic “cap” on the flat side.  It is very versatile.  It can be used for a variety of exercises and it can be used on either side.  The flat side can be placed on the ground so you are working on the rounded side or you can place the rounded side on the ground and do your work on the flat side.

Flat side on ground, standing on rounded sideEither way–depending on what you are doing–you are going to be challenging your stabilizing muscles in addition to the muscles you are exercising.  That is a great way to get more muscles working during your workout, burn more calories, and make you a more strong and stable body.

You can stand on either side (the flat side or the rounded side) and do dumbbell work: biceps curls, shoulder presses, upright rows, lateral and rear deltoid raises, bent over rows, etc.

You can lie on either side (the flat side or the rounded side) and do dumbbell chest presses, supine triceps extensions, curls, crunches, and sit-ups to name just a few.

Using either side you can do push-ups, mountain climbers, or add it to your burpee.

With push-ups you can either put your feet on it or hold it with your hands.They can also be used for cardio work.  They can be jumped on and off of, they can be used for lunges, or as I mentioned before, they can be used for mountain climbers and burpees.

I think they might be a favorite of personal trainers because there is so much you can do with it.

To me they are a little easier to store than a stability ball because they take up less space, but unlike a ball they won’t really challenge your muscles just by sitting on them.  But as I mentioned above you can use them for a lot of different exercises and they will add an additional challenge to almost any workout routine. I think I have see them in the Target by my house in San Jose, so I am sure you can buy them at Targets or stores where they sell sports equipment/exercise equipment.

As with any exercise equipment you use and as with any exercise you do–caution is required.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »