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

    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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Posts Tagged ‘training’

Beginner’s Mind

Posted by terrepruitt on October 11, 2014

In Nia there is something called “the beginner’s mind”. Since learning about it associated with Nia, I have heard about it in association with other things.  It might not always be called “beginner’s mind”, but it is the same concept, the same idea.  It is the idea of stepping into something – anything, even if is something you are well familiar with – with a mind as if you are a beginner.  Step into it as if you are hearing it, doing it, seeing it, or learning it for the first time.  Step in as if you are a beginner.

This is a wonderful tool.  When you walk into a situation with an empty cup, when it is not full of knowledge on the subject, it is able to be filled with all the information, new stuff is easy to learn, stuff you already “know” can be learned in a new way, and your cup gets filled again.

There are many reasons why you might want to practice the “beginner’s mind”.  It could be because you are required – perhaps through your company, your certifying board, or any number of things – to take a particular class.  It could be because – even though you know you don’t know everything there is to know . . . the timing of the class has you thinking it will be a waste of time.  It could be — as just mentioned — you know you don’t know everything, but the length of the class has you thinking you will only get two hours worth of information out of the twelve hours you are being required to attend.

When I take a Nia class I always step in with a beginner’s mind.  I know that no matter what routine is going to be taught it is going to be different.  Which is not to say that the teacher will not do it correctly or will not do it the way it was taught on the DVD, but it does allow me to easily accept.  I accept the way the teacher is teaching it.  It flows so much better if I am just receiving as opposed to trying to inject my knowledge and the way the routine is supposed to be done.  I accept that the teacher might not teach it exactly as I teach it.  The teacher might use different pearls.  The teacher use different cues.  She might have found that a slight change in the choreography works better for her students or even something for her.  And . . . with the idea that I am doing it as a beginner . . . instead of an expert who knows the routine . . . I can learn something.  If I just do as I am being instructed I might sense that the move she does is actually good for a particular audience.  Or the pearls that the teacher uses really matches well with the movements.  Instead of my inner dialog being the moves or worse something like, “Well, here I say, ‘XXX'” or here we move like XXX, with my beginner’s mind I am listening instead of “talking” over what is happening.  All of this could lead to discover of a new movement pattern.

In regards to a training where you are required to be, it could just make it be less dreadful than you thought it would.  If you accept the fact that it is a requirement and decide to walk in with a beginner’s mind being told stuff you already know is not such a waster of time.  Keeping the beginner’s mind and not telling your entire story to prove what you know gives you time to listen to what others know and learn about them.  And — as stated before — possibly hear the same information but in a new way.  Allowing yourself to let go and not be the expert is freeing and lets you relax into the learning process.

I was grumpy this past week because I knew I had to spend my Friday night (FRIDAY NIGHT) and all day Saturday in a training.  I was afraid that my grumpiness would keep me from learning and be recognized by others.  So I asked for help and was reminded of the beginner’s mind.  I was able to step into the class not as grumpy.  Of course, I did mention the fact to the trainer that it was a long training and the trainer – being an EXPERT trainer and pretty awesome – agreed, gave me the sympathy I wanted and boom!  I got over it.  🙂  With my “cup” empty . . . I learned some cool things!

Do you every have the opportunity to practice the “beginner’s mind”?  Have you every practice the “beginner’s mind”?  How did practicing the “beginner’s mind” work for you?  

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

No Pain, No Gain – Whatever! Relief!

Posted by terrepruitt on July 17, 2012

Because I teach Nia I am not used to wearing shoes when I workout.  Nia is a workout done in bare feet, so I don’t wear socks and shoes.  Yoga, Pilates, even resistance training can be done without shoes.  Recently I was in a training that required me to wear shoes.  And it was an all day training, eight hours.  Since my feet do not really like shoes AND my tennis shoes are kind of old, I decided to wear some additional cushion in my shoes to help my feet.  My right foot is very sensitive because the middle toes no longer straighten fully so the middle of my foot does not lie flat on the ground.  The ball of my right foot and the pinky edge get sore.  They get more work than they should.  So I decided to employ a method that I used when I was young, in addition to the extra cushion I had added relief later.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaMaybe this method can help some females that wear those REALLY high-heeled shoes that are so popular now-a-days.  When I was younger the style was to wear pumps.  I have a wide foot and pumps were not always comfortable.  What I would do was, I would put a gym sock on my foot but I would roll the sock down to around the ball of my foot, then I would shove my foot – with the sock on – into my shoe.  Then I would get ready.  And back then I was one of those girls who took a ridiculous amount of time to get ready.  So I would end up wearing the gym sock-shoe combination for at least an hour and a half.  This accomplished two things: 1)  It somewhat stretched out my shoe and 2) (after walking around and standing while getting ready to go out with my foot squeezed into the shoe) ANYTHING felt better than that!

One time I was getting ready and I was walking around the house and after passing my dad three or four times he finally said, “You’re not going out like THAT right?”.  And I laughed and I had to explain it to him.  No rolled gym socks were not part of the outfit.

So while I did not wear rolled up gym socks in the training I wore these foot huggers that have a little gel in them.  So I had extra cushion and I had something that felt nice when half way through the day I slipped them off.  While they were not hurting me as my gym-sock-wrapped feet did they did feel more roomy and happy after I took them off.

I think this method could possibly be applied to many things.  When you have to wear shoes all day if you wear something to help cushion your foot, but might take up a bit of room in your shoe, it will feel nice when you take the cushion off in the middle of the day.  At least that is what happened to me, plus it helped when I was young and smooshing my feet into pumps.

You know everything is just easier to handle when your feet are comfortable.  That is why they make those “gellin'” insoles.  That is also why I don’t wear uncomfortable shoes any longer.  I don’t think it looks nice when a female has on a pretty shoe, but you can tell she is in pain with every step she takes.  I would rather walk with comfort.  So sometimes using the stretch-y method might help.  The “No Pain, No Gain” is just a play on that famous saying . . . although when I was young I did it just while I was getting ready, I did not do it recently.  My feet were comfortable all day.  It was just that halfway through when they were a little sweaty and tired, I took off the huggers, changed my socks and gave them more room.  Ahhhh.  I was very happy that I had thought to do that.  It worked out very well for me.

Do you have shoes that you wear that you might benefit from if applying this method?  C’mon we all have at one time in our lives.

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Strength Training

Posted by terrepruitt on October 16, 2010

I have said it before that resistance training or strength training has many benefits.  I even have posted about it in my Resistance Training Benefits post.  But as I see people in my life age I am reminded daily that having strength can also equal independence.  Being able to do everyday tasks is a great incentive.

Everyday tasks like carrying the laundry, carrying the groceries, and moving the garbage can full of garbage, all things that many of us might not think about, but we would if we couldn’t do them.  So in addition to the health benefits there are also many other reasons to train with weights or resistance.

After age 20, most of us lose about a half pound of muscle a year. By the time we’re 65, we will have lost 25 percent of our peak strength.  Aging plays a part in s muscle mass, but it does not have to be as severe.  If you want to keep doing what your doing—be independent–it is good to put a little muscle into it.  A way to keep the muscles you have or build some is to work them two to three times a week.   Working your muscles does not have to be with weights, but it does have to be resistance.  Anything that you have to exert force to move.  It helps you stay young and independent.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Resistance Training Benefits

Posted by terrepruitt on November 10, 2009

Resistance Training has many benefits.  I say resistance training because the resistance may be any force the body has to overcome.  It does not have to be weights, it can be bands, springs, or even your own body weight.  In addition to doing something that you like you want to train according to your goals.

Some of the benefits of resistance training:

  • Increase in strength, power, and endurance in the muscles
  • Increase in size of the muscle
  • Increase in lean mass (or maintained lean mass)
  • Increase in the tone of the muscles
  • Increase in metabolism
  • Increase in bone density
  • Increase in energy
  • Improvement in the body’s muscle to fat ratio
  • Improvement in mood
  • Improvement in Insulin Sensitivity

and

  • can assist in lower your resting blood pressure
  • can assist in preventing sarcopenia
  • can assist in lowering your resting heart rate

I met up with a friend today in San Jose at the gym we had a nice workout.  We played with some of the equipment and managed to get a great set of exercises in.  It is nice to be reminded of why resistance training is important.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Maybe Stopping Isn’t What You Need

Posted by terrepruitt on June 13, 2009

I am very fortunate that the place I teach in Willow Glen is only about 15 minutes from where I live in San Jose.  But as I was driving home the other day something dawned on me.  It is my opinion that people often use their brakes when it is not necessary.  For example, I do not think it is safe to put on your brakes and come to a crawl on the freeway because you want to change lanes.  I see this a lot in our area.

So what dawned on me is that braking or stopping is NOT always the correct course of action.  I was thinking that this comparison could be used for life, then I realized it could be used for fitness too.

Some people think that if they have a little bit of discomfort they should stop doing what they are doing.  And–oh my, I just realized that I am pretty much back to Sustain, Increase, and Tweak, except this is coming at it from a different angle and it is more about exercise and workout momentum and not in-the-moment-movement.

Here, I am talking about just applying the brakes and stopping, whereas it could be that the best thing to do would be just to take our foot off the petal and slow down that way . . . more naturally.  Or it could mean that a swerve is necessary, or maybe even a turn, but NOT just stopping.   If you are sore or you are a little stiff, sometimes just stopping and not doing any exercise or movement is not the best way to get through it.  I am not one for stopping when I am sore, I just might slow down or work another part of my body, but just stopping kills my exercise mojo.  I gotta keep at it every day!

Part of what we need to do is understand the difference between pain and an injury and just discomfort and soreness.  So you need to be your own guide through this, but always think twice before you just stop.  I personally believe that sometimes just doing a percentage of what you normally might do is better than nothing at all.  When the situation is just soreness.  An actual injury needs to be treated with caution, but you still don’t always have to stop.

I might have partly been on this train (of thought) because one of my students came in with a sore hip flexor but instead of just not coming she said she was going to take it easy on her hip.  Nice, huh?  And then I know of another Nia teacher who recently injured herself and she is still going to teach, but she is going to modify her class.  She wrote an e-mail to her students and a blog explaining that she is going to listen to her body’s way.  So she is teaching them a lot by doing that:  she is going to show them what we talk about all the time in Nia and that is listening to our bodies and following the body’s way and she is going to show them a different way to do Nia.  But the point is, she isn’t stopping.  She is swerving or even turning but not stopping.

I think sometimes before we stop we need to think of how we can adjust to what we need, but keep going.  And as I said this can be applied to fitness/training/working out or just everyday life.  Do you think before you apply the brakes and stop?

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