Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 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 ‘stretch class’

Four Girls

Posted by terrepruitt on September 15, 2017

Look at these dogs. After Nia and stretch class once a month we go out for coffee at Peets near the community center. This guy walked up with four German Shepherds. And he just left them as he went inside. It was a sight to see. Four dogs just sitting there calmly. When he came out some of us walked over and asked if we could pet them and I snapped a couple of pictures. I love well-behaved dogs. These girls were awesome.

Last Friday was a bird this week I have dogs for the Friday Photo.

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

What do you think?  Aren’t they gorgeous?


Posted in Friday Photo | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Going On Five Years Of Good Things

Posted by terrepruitt on February 6, 2017

We are doing our Goodie Jar again this year.  Right now it is a divided bowl.  On one side there is paper which we can write the good things on and pens.  On the other side is where we are putting our notes.  It is getting full.  At the end of last year it seemed like we were not adding many good things.  It probably didn’t help that my dad died and we were shocked and thrust into having to do a lot of things we had never thought of and things that took up a lot of time and energy.  But also it could be that the goodie jar got overlooked.  Like many of us, my husband is a creature of habit and he claims his habit, regarding the good things jar, consists of it looking like it did when we very FIRST did it and having it be in the same exact spot.  And for ME, that is an overlooking type of habit.  With the pitcher in the same spot all year long – for me, it tends to blend into the surroundings and I don’t see it.  Ya know, like that item that you have to take to your friend the next time you meet, so you put it near the door.  But after a week you begin to ignore it.  You don’t really see it there any longer, it blends into the surroundings.  So when you finally leave the house to meet your friend you totally forget the item.  Having it there was supposed to remind you, but it became so normal for it to be there, it did nothing to help you remember.  So I like to switch it up.  I like to change the vessel that holds the good things.  I thought keeping it on the peninsula in the kitchen was good because we would see it.  And with it being different it would attract our attention.  Well, at the end of the year it got kinda over shone by other Christmas decorations.  So this year we started out with it on the coffee table in the living room.  It is pretty in our faces.  But as I said, it is getting full.

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, SJCityFitI am trying to decide what to do.  I am trying to decide on something else to keep the notes in.  Or I might just move some of the notes into another vessel and keep using the bowl for now.  I have so many pretty dishes that are seldom used so having them out with good things in them makes me happy.  I might move it off the coffee table for now.  If so, I do plan on moving it back during the year so that it is in our faces and we remember.  Sometimes it is easier to remember to make a note of a good thing.  Sometime it is helpful if there is a reminder or a prompt.

Either way, I am happy to continue this little project that we started years ago.  This will be our fifth year.  For us we put anything any it that makes us smile.  I think I saw my hubby put a receipt from dinner in there.  I don’t know what he wrote, but I am guessing it had to do with the nice dinner we had.  I was going to put a Dove chocolate wrapper in there.  They have sayings on them, so I saved it and I was going to write on it, but it got mistaken for trash and thrown away.  But the idea is that you can put whatever you want in your jar.

When I was commenting about it on a friend’s post someone asked if I date my notes.  Sometimes I do.  Like the other day when I was excited we had 18 people in Nia and 16 people in stretch class.  I put the date on that note.  But when I was looking at my cats and happy that they are so sweet and I feel lucky to have them, I wrote a note about it, but I didn’t date it.  A receipt or a ticket stub is going to have a date, but a candy wrapper would not.  It is whatever you want.  However you want to document the things that make you smile now and that will make you smile when you read them at the end of the year.

I am thankful to my friend Uptown Girl Denver for posting the practice on her Facebook page back in 2013.  I don’t think she is doing it any longer, but we are still enjoying the practice.

Are you doing a Goodie Jar this year?  What do you use for your “jar”?  What do you use for your notes?

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Day Two Of Your Daily Ten Minute Practice

Posted by terrepruitt on February 2, 2017

On Thursdays I teach Nia at 9:00 am, then at 10:15 am I teach a stretch class, so I will probably be doing my Daily 10 Minute Practice after my morning classes.  I want to get it done before the yoga class I teach at 6:00 pm.  I am putting this hear so that when you have completed your 10 minutes today you can comment.

Day two, how are you doing?


Posted in Ten Minute Daily Practice | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Happy New Year – 2017

Posted by terrepruitt on January 2, 2017

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, SJCityFitSo, Happy New Year, huh?  Yeah!  Let’s just make it a good year.  There is always going to be stuff going on that we can focus on to make it a “bad” year, but let’s not focus on that.  Let’s just decide it is going to be a good year and make it be a good year.  Well, again, I have that whole “thing” with years and days and the like being “bad” or “good”.  They actually just are.  It is the moments IN the year/day.  The moments that make up the year that one might label “bad” or “good”, but to label the entire length of time bad or good, is just not something I do.  So . . . let’s make a lot of fun, exciting, smile-worthy moments in 2017!

We shall have so many smile-worthy moments that when something happens that makes us sad or upset we will be able to face it better.  We can make it through and not have it turn us into permanent mush.  I mean sometimes things will happen in life where you might need to take some time to be “mush” – not doing anything, and just process the situation.  But I don’t think it is good to stay mush.  There are too many good things in life to just be a pile of mush.  So, if there are a lot of experiences that have created smiles AND things to come that will create smiles it is easier to get through the mush times.

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, SJCityFitMy hubby and I read all the things in our Goodie Jar last night.  It was fun to be reminded of some of the smile-worthy moments.  I did forget about a lot of them, so it was wonderful to be reminded.

I’ve had a week off from my Nia, yoga, and stretch classes and I am ready to get back to them.  We are going to be moving and grooving into 2017.  We had a nice rain to help us get a clean start in the new year.  It is looking good!


I hope you had a nice Holiday Season.


I am wishing you a very

Happy, Healthy, and



Make it so!

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

Death, Again!

Posted by terrepruitt on November 21, 2016

So, I have not posted a few times when I normally would have.  I was really going to make a huge effort to post on all my self-imposed scheduled days this month.  The Friday Photos are really helping.  I was confident I could do it, even with all of the Holidays.  I know that I can at least post on Friday even if I can’t think of anything to write because it is just a picture.  The 11th was a Holiday, Veteran’s Day, and I had planned to be out of town, but I was going to have it all set up to go.  I was going to be out of town taking my dad to his surgery for cataracts.  My hubby and I were going to leave late Thursday night to take my dad to an early appointment on Friday.  But on Tuesday a call from a neighbor had me concerned so I was going to go to my dad’s and see what was up then come home Wednesday, teach my Nia and stretch class on Thursday and get ready to be gone for the weekend.  But, I got a surprise when I got to my dad’s house.  He was not alive.  My dad was dead.  It was completely unbelievable.  I am still having a hard time believing it.  I still stop and think, “Wait.  What?”  So here I am writing about death . . . again.

I was just starting to feel really sad about my mom’s death, really feeling the loss, yet at the same time I felt like I was starting to be able to find that bubbly joy again.  Sounds odd and contradictory, but that is what I was feeling.  For me, it is almost as if for the first few months I could just say that I hadn’t seen her in a while.  Ya know, life gets busy . . . it has just been a while since I was able to visit.  Then after a year or so I really started to miss her . . . I couldn’t act as if it has just “been a while” since we visited.  Then recently I was really missing her.  It has been way too long since I heard her voice or seen her or gotten a hug from her.  It is as if the missing of her was settling in to my body.  At the same time I felt like there were days where my dance was just bursting with joy.

And now here I am in a shocker of a situation.

So I am busy dealing with death.  This one is all on me.  So I might be absent from my blog a bit more than usual.  Or I just might be posting about death a lot.  Or I might just stick to cat stuff for a while.  Cat stuff is easy.  There are always pictures to post of cats.  Our cats are awesome and while there might not always be a cute or funny story to tell there are always tons of pictures that I could post.


Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Where You Sit

Posted by terrepruitt on October 17, 2016

I always thought it was sitz boneS, but Wiki says it is sitz boneZ.  I will probably continue to call them sitz bones.  Or get really fancy and call them by the correct name: ischial tuberosity.  I thought I should post a picture of them since I am often instructing students to sit on their sitz bones.  I wanted to make sure that people knew where they were and what they were.  It is easier to consciously sit on something or affect something when you are aware of what it is and where it is.  While this (see below) is not the best rendering of the bones in the hip area I think you can get the idea.

Typically the front upper part of the hip bone structure is thought of and called the hip bones.  But actually the entire bone is the hip bone.  The hip bones are part of the pelvic girdle.  The front portion somewhat at the top, the area we often refer to as the “hip bone,” is the Iliac Crest which is on the edge of the Ilium.  The bottom portion is the ischial tuberosity or sitz bonez.  The sacrum and the coccyx are part of the vertebral column and not considered part of the pelvic girdle.  There are names for other portions and areas of the bones, but since this post is about the sitz bones, I’m not going to list and label them all.

We are all built differently so some of us will have more flesh to get through to actually feel the sitz bones.  And some of us will feel them rather easily.  Either way . . . . we all have them.  We sit on our sitting bones or sitz bones.  My drawing does not clearly show the acetabulum, the place where the head of the femur (thigh bone) fits.  It is about where the words “Tail Bone/Coccyx” is.  You might be able to imagine when the thigh bone is moved to a sitting position, the sitz bones protrude a bit.

In yoga often times the correct way to do the pose is to have both sitz bones on the floor.  In stretching having both stiz bones on the floor is sometimes the way to get the most out of the stretch.  At times the way to do the yoga pose it to be sitting directly “on top” of them.  Other times they might be used as reference points or points of focus.  When in downward facing dog the instruction might be given to reach your sitz bones away to help lengthen the spine and take the weight off of the hands.  For one stretch, one might instruct to pull your foot directly back to your sitz bones.

In Nia we occasionally use the sitz bones and the floor to give our glutes a massage.  Gently moving around on them, perhaps rocking and/or rolling, while sitting on the floor can be a great way to ease the muscles we just danced during the class.

Sitz bones are used a lot and referred to often in yoga, stretch, and Nia, so I thought I should highlight them.

Are you familiar with your sitz bones?

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

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Pan Fried Gnocchi

Posted by terrepruitt on October 12, 2016

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, SJCityFitWhen I get home at noon on Wednesday it seems like the day goes by really quick.  I am working on my Nia routine for class the next day.  I am working on the stretch routine for class the next day.  I might have to put together something for yoga for the class the next day.  Plus I have a blog post I would like to write.  So I just don’t have a lot of time to think about dinner.  Well, tonight was one of those nights.  I hadn’t even really thought about a blog post during the day.  And I was making up dinner as I was cooking it.  I really didn’t know what I was doing.  Cooking the steak we have is always an adventure.  I hadn’t really thought about a blog post as I was flying by the seat of my pants as I cooked dinner.  At the last minute I thought well this might work and I snapped a couple of pictures.  I didn’t really know how I was going to cook the meat or gnocchi.  I had taken out two packages of meat.  I thought each one was a steak, but it turned out each one was two cuts of meat.  Yay.  Now, we have dinner for tomorrow, well at least the meat part.  I always try to have some gnocchi in the freezer, I thought it would go well with the steak.  But I wanted it different – normally I just boil it.  I thought after I boiled it I could pan fry it, to give it that crispy brown.  My friend taught me that.

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, SJCityFitI have a friend who used to make . . . now I don’t even remember what type of gnocchi was . . . I think it was butternut squash gnocchi.  Perhaps it was sweet potato.  I didn’t even like gnocchi until she gave it to me.  She apologize when she gave it to me because “it didn’t turn out right” and she recommended pan frying it.  I thought, “Ok, whatever.”  It wasn’t potato gnocchi so I thought it must be better cooked differently.  Turns out ALL gnocchi is better cooked that way.  But her gnocchi was THE BEST.  It was sooooooo yummy.

Most gnocchi has to be boiled first and then it can be pan fried.  Well, that is the way I like it best.  With a little bit of browning on it.  I had never done such a large batch before and some of it broke up and got a little mushy, but then the mush browned so I was ok with that.  I threw in some kale and it rounded off our steak great.

Do you like potato gnocchi?  Do you like it boiled? Have you ever tried browning it?

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Sample Stretch Class

Posted by terrepruitt on September 23, 2016

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, SJCityFitSome people might wonder what a stretch class is like  Not the difference between yoga and stretch, but what a stretch class is like, what we do in class.  I am sure all stretch classes are a bit different.  My feeling is that basically you want to stretch the entire body.  Different bodies are going to have different needs.  Someone might have really tight hamstrings and perhaps need a lot of stretches that stretch the hamstrings.  Some people might have tight calves and need a lot of stretches that stretch the calves.  Someone might not have chronically tight triceps, but might need a good stretch for them because they used them a lot the day before.  So there might be some people with specific needs, but everyone can usually use a full body stretch.  So I thought I would share a stretch workout we have done so you can see what a class might be like.  As with a Nia class that has a “map” of seven cycles consisting of setting your focus and intent, stepping In, warm up, get moving, cool down, and floorplay, in our stretch classes I use the body.  I basically go from head to toe.  We just start at the top and work our way down.  Sometimes we do some middle work in between because I want us to be standing and it is what we can do standing.  Or we might do some foot stretches while we are seated in the beginning, but generally I like to work from head to toe.

The “13 joint” in this sample the Nia Thirteen Joints Exercise.  That is just one way to get the 13 major joints moving.  “Posture” is just us setting up with a long spine for the movements to come.  The “bend” is where we are standing and we keep our weight evenly distributed over each foot and bend left then right, closing one side and opening the other.  Then the lean is where we shift our weight to get a stretch.  “Peacock” is what I learned the movement as, where you clasp your hands behind your back then fold over and let your hands fall over your head to the earth.  I cannot remember where I learned it as that, but that is what I call it.

The “on all four hip circles” is being on all fours and moving your hips to the left, back, right, then forward, then reversing and going the other direction.  Hug (alt.) is literally hugging yourself with one arm on top then switching so the other arm is on top.  Great way to open the shoulder area in the back.  “Wind releases” are hugging one leg to the chest then the other.

We hold each stretch about 30 seconds.  Sometimes it might take us longer than anticipated to get into a stretch or I might see some really uncomfortable people, so I adjust.  If someone walks in with an obvious issue or states something or has a request we can switch things up.  It is very flexible.  Ha, ha, ha.  That is what we are working towards.

Any questions?  Care to join us?  Care to try this at home? 

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The Difference Between Yoga And Stretch

Posted by terrepruitt on September 9, 2016

Currently I am lucky enough to teach yoga classes and a stretch class.  And I say “lucky” because I was asked to do these classes but they can be cancelled at any time.  Class attendance needs to stay up or the classes can get cancelled.  This is the case with pretty much any type of exercise class at any type of place . . . a gym, a club, a parks and recs department, etc.  Ok, but where I am actually going with this post is: people ask me all the time what the difference is between yoga and stretch.  Well, my first thought is my post “More To Yoga Than Just Asana,” but that would only help to explain what yoga is and not what we do in a stretch class.  Because I teach gentle yoga classes people are curious about the difference.  It makes sense since they seem the same, but there are differences.  In addition to breathing yoga is different from stretch by a few points.

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitIn regards to the way I do my gentle yoga and my stretch classes here are some of the differences:

In yoga we work on more than just flexibility, we also work on balance and strength.  In stretch we focus mainly on STRETCHING muscles and, to a lesser extent, connective tissue.  We are not working either in a stabilizing or strengthening capacity.

The poses in yoga have names, at least two, the English name and a Sanskrit name.  In stretch my instruction is usually something like, “move your arm here or there” as I show them how to get into the stretch.  Sometimes I do refer to an asana by name that is similar because many of the students do take yoga also, so they know what to do when I say the name of a pose.

Some people “can’t do” yoga, but they CAN stretch.  🙂  Seriously, invite someone to a yoga class and they will say, “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible enough.”  Invite them to a stretch class and they say, “Oh!  I need to stretch.”

With yoga, people seem to want to “get” somewhere.  They want to be able to “do” a specific pose.  With stretching, even though they might be able to bend deeper or more fully as time goes on, there doesn’t seem to be the urge or need to “get there”.  With stretch the journey seems more important than the destination.  Although it really is supposed to be the same way for yoga.

Another question I am always asked is, “Are you on the floor the whole hour?”  No, but we don’t go up and down as much as in my gentle yoga classes.  In both my gentle yoga classes and my stretch classes we do poses/stretches standing up and on the floor.

Stretching is so good for you.  We all should be doing it, even if we don’t weight train or run marathons, it is really good to stretch the muscles.  But many of us need a class, something we are committed to doing in order to actually take the time to stretch.  I am happy to help in that area and teach a class.

Do you stretch?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

In The Looking Glass

Posted by terrepruitt on June 13, 2016

In Nia we teach facing a mirror with our backs to the students.  The mirrors help me stay connected to the class.  I can look in the mirror and make eye-contact with someone.  I can peruse the room and see what is going on.  It is different from the way it used to be when I took Jazzercise so many moons ago.  The teacher faced us and would do mirror actions.  When the class went left the teacher would actually go to his right.  When we went right the teacher went to his left.  When we moved forward the teacher also moved forward coming toward the class. When the class moved back the teacher would go back.  The teacher facing the class allowed for face-to-face connection.  The other day I was teaching a class and I was doing the “mirroring” and as I was pausing in the movement, I realized why I didn’t like “mirroring” as much as teaching with my back to them.  I couldn’t share my sensation.  I could not teach what I was sensing.

I think part of what makes Nia so joyful and fun is that the teacher is having fun.  We are taught to be in our bodies and dance.  We learn routines, but if while teaching the music motivates us to do something off from the choreography, that is fine.  We get to play.  We get to sense what is happening in our bodies and share it with the class.  Then the class gets motivated to dance what is in their bodies . . . their individual body.

When I was paused in that stretch I wanted to tell them what I was sensing and have them explore their bodies sensation, but I couldn’t.  I had to pause and adjust my mind and my words because we were not bending the same way.  So, yes, I could say, “side” leaving out which side, but it felt less authentic because we were not experiencing the same side.  Silly, I know, but it was a thought that popped into my head as I was teaching.  Sometimes there are no mirrors available in the classrooms I am assigned to teach in, so I have to teach facing the class and that is fine, but I really like having mirrors.

Also, I notice that when I am facing the students even when I used left or right or even use a landmark in the room . . . there are some that pause for a second in confusion.  They are looking at me and seeing me do the opposite from what I am asking them to do and you can just see the internal struggle in the face.   This is especially the case when instructing twists.  Twists are already a little challenge for the brain so when the arm goes up and around and the leg goes up and around, crossing over the mid-line of the body, the brain really likes to see it as the body is to do it.  The mirrored way really has people all twisted.

While we don’t have really complicated steps in Nia, it seems like the students learn them faster when they can see exactly how it is to be done.  They don’t have that extra brain work to do of adjusting for left and right.  They see my left foot going over to the right side and they get it.  It takes a lot to see the right foot going towards them and over to the left while I am telling them to take their left foot front and over to the right.

It is nice to dance without the mirrors sometimes, as I wrote about in my post Mirrorless Inward Reflection.  For some it helps them be less concerned about how they look while they are dancing.  It can allow people to be more introspective.  It can enable people to connect to their own Conscious Personal trainer.  It is a good thing and definitely something I / we can do when we do not have access to mirrors, I just happened upon an insight recently and thought I could share.

Do you like to take classes with mirrors?  Do you find it easier to follow when the teacher has his/her back to you?

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