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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Posts Tagged ‘stillness’

Four Tattvas For Yin Yoga Practice

Posted by terrepruitt on September 16, 2019

I’ve been preaching about the four principles of a Yin Yoga practice. The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga calls them tattvas and it lists three.  Tattva is Sanskrit and it is said to mean truth or principle. Some say it stands for “thatness” or reality. So we could say that these are four intentions or goals of a Yin Yoga practice.

1) Come into the pose at the appropriate depth.

I was actually taught to come into a pose about 80% of what I can do or could do. So, first of all, there is a difference between what you can do in a 30 second hold and what you can do in a three to five minute hold. Start in a pose at 80% of what you can do and hold. Then see how it goes. There is always time to go further into the pose. Often time there is “sinking” or “relaxing” into a pose and if you started out at that 100% mark there would be no room to sink and relax. So starting out at about 80% gives you room to lengthen into it.

2) Resolve to be still.

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 Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaIt is such a challenge to be still. Sometimes movement might not even come because there is discomfort we might just feel the NEED to move our hair, adjust our clothes, or examine that spot/lint/crumb on our pants/leg/mat. But the change comes from the stillness. The Qi moves when there is relaxation in the muscles and there isn’t something – a muscle contraction – blocking it. So resolve to be still, this does not include the sinking or relaxing into a pose. What I have experienced and what I see is that just happens and is almost imperceptible if not something that the participant is not even that aware is happening.  It is the actually moving around that you don’t want to do.

3) Hold for a time.

Since the tissue we are working with is not elastic and it really won’t stretch in the same way a muscle can be stretched it needs time to change and “lengthen”. Again, most of that sinking from relaxation doesn’t even come until after the one minute mark so the longer you can hold the more time the tissue will have to change.

4) Play your edge.

This comes after the “appropriate depth” idea. Once you have come into a pose at the 80% of what you can do, you want to push the boundary. That does not mean push into a pose that just means allow your body to sink into or relax into it until you are sure you can’t go any more. That doesn’t even mean go to you 100%, necessarily, it could . . . but it just depends. Remember every time we come to the mat it is different. There are days that we know we shouldn’t be doing what we consider to our 100% and then there are days that we are convinced we can do 110%. So that edge, that 100% is constantly changing and we can play that edge every time. That is where we affect the change.

So these are four principles that I learned that should be applied every time we come to the mat for a Yin Yoga Practice.  Starting at 80% will allow us space to sink/relax and give the body a change to lengthen.  Staying still will allow the Qi to flow.  Holding the pose give our bodies the time it needs for us to sink/relax and the Qi to flow.  And playing that edge ensures we will allow for change.

Do you have any tattvas you bring to you mat when doing Yin Yoga? 

Posted in Yin Yoga | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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 »