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 ‘TBW’

Four Voices, Four Realms

Posted by terrepruitt on February 16, 2013

In Nia we have a lot of acronyms.  Seems as if all groups do that.  I know in the mortgage business there were many.  I know in the world of computers there are a lot.  That is just the way it is.  In Nia some of ours are FAMSS, OLG, TBW, SEB, and BMES to name just a few.  BMES stands for Body, Mind, Emotions, Spirit.  We can call these voices or realms.  I have recently posted about Spirit.  It is not the religious type of spirit, but the school-type or the team-type.  It is the part of you that — wheeee! — you just let out!  The others are pretty easy to describe, but it is very interesting to allow them into all aspects of Nia.  They are each separate and unto their own, yet they are all connected.

The body is the physical.  How we move, what we sense.  If we are open and listening to the body we can learn many things.  I know that sometimes I hear but I don’t listen.  I might “hear” my body tell me it is tired, but I don’t listen and do something about it because I am busy.  It can “tell” me it is tired by how many mistakes I make while typing, or that I keep nodding off while doing something.  But sometimes I don’t listen because I want to finish what I am doing.  In dance we can hear our body, we can choose to listen and act upon what we hear or we can continue on.  We could be moving a certain way and then feel pain (“hear”), and we can listen by giving that pain attention and tweaking our movement to remove the pain from our dance.  Also we can just let the body dance and in doing so without thinking it often moves in ways that it needs without our interruption or interpretation.

The mind is a powerful voice.  It can dictate our entire dance and life if we let it.  In Nia we use our mind to provide imagery that allows us to move our bodies in a particular way, but it is important to turn the critical part of our minds off.  We use our minds to progress us, not hold us back.  Letting thoughts flow through the brain and keeping what is useful in the dance.  Criticizing ourselves and others during Nia is not helpful or progressive.  We do not avoid moving a certain way because it looks “bad” or “not pretty”.  We do not avoid moving because people will think it is silly.  We move in safe and harmonious ways to bring FAMSS to our bodies, to relax, to rejuvenate, to allow our inner child out to play, but we don’t criticize.  We also practice turning off internal dialog or chatter.  We let our bodies dance us and not think about our to-do list.  We do use our minds when we dance, but we do not allow it to control our dance.

With our emotions we have an almost endless array of energy.  We can play with the emotions in our dance and they can provide movement and force.  While we dance we do not have to actually FEEL any of the emotions we call upon we just can ACT as if.  How would you walk around if you were angry?  Might you stomp?  How would you walk if you were happy?  Might you skip?  How would you walk if you were distracted?  Might you move slow or in an awkward pattern?  Emotions are a great part of Nia because they are feelings and feelings can be felt and/or experienced without taking over.  We can allow an emotion to happen or act as if, but in neither case does it have to control our dance.

As with many things in Nia this aspect or look at BMES is just one way to look at it.  Just one way we can connect to BMES.  Another way is with Nia Blue Belt Principle #3 where we use these realms to assist in teaching.  Nia is deep like that.  Many of the ideas, principles, “things”, can be separate and unto their own, yet they are all connected.  😉

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Floorplay

Posted by terrepruitt on January 22, 2013

One of Nia’s magic toys!  Floorplay.  This is where we actually get on the floor and play.  The most common comment I receive from people about floorplay is, “I don’t like to get down on the floor because I can’t get up.”  And sadly that is the most important reason one SHOULD get on the floor is so that they can LEARN to get up.  Even though most often with Floorplay we stay ON the floor, there is a time when we do get up.  Floorplay is both Nia Class Cycle #6 and the Nia Blue Belt Principle #10.  The tagline or second part of the principle is Movement on the Floor.

Floorplay can bring up all kinds of fun stuff.  It can bring up memories of infancy.  With the scooting, the crawling, the getting up to walk, and the falling.  It can bring up memories of childhood.  Children often play on the floor.  They do somersaults and gymnastic moves.  They drive their cars around and roll and play.  It is a fact of life that most adults lose their playful connection to the floor.  Watch a group of children when they are told in a room to go play.  The first thing most of them do is get down on the floor.  They go to their knees and start to play.  Most adults I know don’t ever think of the floor as a place to be.

Floorplay allows us to reconnect to the earth.  It allows us to reconnect to the ground.  It allows us to sense gravity and the strength and energy of the earth.  There is a pull that we can play with.  There is the sense of falling that we can use.

Floorplay is a way to explore.  It is a safe place and a safe time to move and sense the body.  Sometimes the floor can assist in a particular movement.  The gravity can work to enable additional flexibility.  It is truly a place of wonder to let go and move.  Rolling around, letting limbs fall to the earth, pushing and pulling, stretching and yawning . . . . floorplay is a magical toy in the Nia toy box.  It is a powerful time in the Nia workout for body, mind, and spirit.

Floorplay in a Nia class can be a choreographed cycle or a FreeDance.  Either way it is an important time to explore both The Body’s Way and Your Body’s Way.  It is an opportunity to play with movement and to progress to your ideal.  Even when the routine being done in class has choreographed Floorplay participants are free to do their own FreeDance.  I often encourage my Nia students to do a “body check” asking their body what desires attention.  If they want they are free to do what they need in order to give their body what it needs.

Because most Nia routines include this cycle.  It is recommended that Nia participants bring a mat to class in case they are more comfortable moving on a mat.  A mat sometimes is exactly what is needed to ensure bone comfort and let the student move more freely on the floor.  Most places I teach in San Jose have mats, sometimes there are just a few.

The Nia Blue Belt reminds us that being on the floor is not just about static postures and stretches, it is truly about movement on the floor.  That is why this cycle is called Floorplay and with the Blue Belt lens, the way we look at things, we are reminded to play and have fun.  We are encouraged to use all of Nia’s 5 Sensations along with gravity and the energy from the earth to connect to the vertical, horizontal, and spiral and to connect with our bodies in a dance on the floor that we call Floorplay.

So when is the last time you got on the floor and rolled around?  When is the last time you got on the floor and played?  What is stopping you?

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

I’m Blue, But No Tears Here

Posted by terrepruitt on November 13, 2012

Last week I cancelled my Monday and Wednesday Nia class and got a substitute for my Tuesday Nia class with the City of San Jose.  I decided to take the next level of Nia training.  I was a White Belt, now I am a Blue Belt.  Nia calls their trainings intensive.  I cannot assume to know why, but I am glad they do.  They are very intense.  The training is part lecture and part moving.  The moving can be dancing or types of exercises to further the learning process.  People tend to learn better when they are doing, so there is a lot of doing.  In my rough calculations it was about 53 hours of instruction, including the Master Classes.  It was Saturday through Friday.  It was exhausting.  It was energizing.  It was incredible.  As I have mentioned before and I will continue to mention Nia is a cardio dance exercise.  Come to a class.  Move.  Have fun.  Sweat.  Get your workout in.  But Nia is also a practice.  I compare it to yoga in that a person can go into a yoga class and work out and do the exercise and then leave and not give it a second though.  Or they could give it a second thought.  They could take on some of the aspects of yoga, they could practice breathing and/or meditating or anything else that might be attached to their yoga class on a deeper level.  That is what a person can do with Nia too.  So some people take the intensives for self-growth with no intention of teaching at all.  Even if they are not planning on teaching or are not currently doing so, the training is just as intense.

Each belt level has its own focus and intent.  Blue Belt focus is Communication, Relationship and Intimacy with the intent to energize personal connection through self-discovery and communication by following The Body’s Way.  Sounds like a lot.  Ok, it IS a lot.  LOL!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaIn addition to a focus and intent, each belt level (aside from Green) has its own set of principles.  With the Blue Belt, the principles were made to layer onto or over the White Belt Principles.  Some of the information is very close to being the same, but with a little more added to it.  It is very interesting the way Nia does things.  It is very amazing the training they come up with and the delivery of it.

In this training we were shown many things, one was an enlightened way to use the Nia 5 Stages or the Developmental Anatomy to measure all types of things and where we might be in a process.  It is a pretty cool tool.  It is part of the Body’s Way.

I am 100% positive I will have more posts regarding the Blue Belt Intensive, the Blue Belt Principles, and my thoughts on it all.  I am still processing it right now.  My mind is racing with thoughts, ideas, things I learned, things I didn’t learn, just a lot of things.  There is so much that I want to share.  There is also a lot I don’t want to share.  Nia is not a secret society by any means.  There are no secrets to the intensives, in fact most of the information is things that have been around for as long as I can remember.  The information is stuff you have probably heard before.  It is just the WAY they deliver it.  And the way it is connected to the body that is somewhat unique.  If I decide not to share something or talk vaguely about some things it is because I don’t want to ruin the surprise of some things for those of you that will be taking the Blue Belt.  Since the Blue Belt Principles are layered onto the White Belt Principles I will probably write more post about them too.  And we will see what comes up.  I have chosen to participate in Nia as a practice.  For now, I will revel in Blue!

Is there something that you have in your life you consider a practice?

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