Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘whole foot’

Nia White Belt P6 – Base – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on August 10, 2020

Wow. We are already on Principle 6 of the Nia White Belt Principles in the first ever Nia White Belt Training Online. Remember this is somatic training so it is about the body. For people that have not taken any type of anatomy training or exercise training the information might be new, but since Nia is based on the body a lot of it is not new because we pretty much have had the same number of bones in our feet since they have been able to count all the bones in the feet (26 in each foot). Nia is based on science but the way Debbie relates it to your everyday life is what makes it fun and amazing. Nia White Belt P6 Base. It is about the base, our foundation, from our feet to our hip joint.  The triad consists of feet, legs, hip joints.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via ZoomI love to remind my students that feet need to be flexible in order to provide the shock absorption we need with each step. Also, in order to help with the entire health of the body they need to be strong, and also allow the energy to flow through. Nia refers to the feet as the Hands that touch the Earth.   Feet like hands relay a lot of information to the body.  In Nia we dance barefoot to not only receive that information through the hundreds of thousands of nerve endings in each foot, but to help with the health of our feet.  Nia has 52 Moves the routines focus on.  Twenty seven of them are associated with the base and each move can help keep feet flexible, strong, and allow energy to flow up to the body.

There are four categories associated with the base. The “Feet” category has 8 moves, the “Stances” category has 6 moves, the “Steps” category 9 moves, and the “Kicks” category has 4 moves.  Below is the list of “base” moves and links to my posts about them, except the Cha-Cha-Cha.

Foot Moves (8)
1.  Heel LeadDance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom
2.  Whole Foot
3.  Ball of the Foot
4.  Rele
5.  Rock Around the Clock
6.  Squish Walk
7.  Duck Walk
8.  Toes In, Out, Parallel

Stances (6)
9.  Closed Stance
10.  Open Stance
11.  “A” Stance
12.  Riding (Sumo) Stance
13.  Bow Stance
14.  Cat Stance

Steps (9)
15.  Sink and Pivot Table Wipe
16.  Stepping Back onto the Ball of Your Foot
17.  Cross Front
18.  Cross Behind
19.  Traveling in Directions
20.  Lateral Traveling
21.  Cha-Cha-Cha
22.  Slow Clock
23.  Fast Clock

Kicks (4)
24.  Front Kick
25.  Side Kick
26.  Back Kick
27.  Knee Sweep

If you have never been to a Nia class you might be amazed at how many ways you can do each of these moves. There are many ways . . . you could shift your intention, you could shift your energy, you could shift your focus, you could shift your weight . . . . all of these things would allow you to sense the move differently.  And the great thing about them is you don’t even have to be in a dance class to practice them.

Can you spot one you might call a favorite?

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Students Are Teachers Too

Posted by terrepruitt on March 15, 2014

Sometimes after a Nia Class or even a yoga class a student will come up to me to explain why they weren’t doing something I said to do.  This is a HUGE education for me because some times what they say they can’t do is not what I intended for them to do.  When my students share with me it helps me teach them better.  Their understanding of what I am instructing them to do helps me hone my teaching skills and at times has me finding different ways to say things.  Could be an entirely different way of saying something or it could just be a matter of me explaining it a little better.  Either way, I am always learning from my students.

As an example, one day after one of my yoga classes a students explained to me that she has a very high arch so she cannot use her whole foot.  Many standing poses in yoga require you to stand on the entire foot and in Nia we also use our whole foot at times.  Whole foot meaning your weight is distributed over the entire foot.  Not standing on the toes or leaning back on the heals, or even to either side of the foot, but to use the “whole foot”.  Since I say whole foot all the time it didn’t even dawn on me that someone could take it as the WHOLE foot.  To be fair, she is correct.  When I say whole foot, I actually mean your whole foot PRINT.  I don’t mean to include the arch of the foot which would actually be covered in the term “WHOLE foot”.  I am not certain if this was ever a thought for any of my Nia students, but just to be clear, I throw whole foot PRINT out there every once in a while in all of my classes so people understand when I say whole foot, I mean the foot PRINT.  Not the arch.  Flash!  I learned something.

There was another time when we were on our hands and knees doing the cat pose.  In this pose I have my students look “down” into their lap.  If the individual’s neck allows and they are comfortable with that, I go for the big stretch all the way down the spine.  So when we arch down with belly towards the earth, I tell them to look up since I consider looking into the lap looking “down”.  After class one day, one student told me she can’t look up because of a neck issue and when she said it we were standing and she looked up at the sky.  At that moment, I just said, “Ok.  Good for you for recognizing a position your body cannot do and not doing it.”  I wasn’t exactly certain what she was talking about because I hadn’t instructed anyone to look up at the sky, but if her neck can’t do that, is great that she not do it.  The next time I was doing the combination, I thought “look up” and – FLASH! (the light bulb again) – I understood what she was talking about.  When I said look UP, she thought I meant UP at the SKY and not just up from the “down”.  So, again, I learned something.  I can still say look up, but I clarify that I mean up from your lap (or the other options I give).

It always amazes me and make me happy that I learn so much AS I TEACH.  I think I have shared before in a post that there comes a time in my process of learning a Nia Routine where I just have to take it to the class.  No matter how much time I spend at home by myself learning it, I always learn more in that hour of teaching it than all of that before time.  Awesome.  I might have even posted something similar to this before.  It just goes to show that I am always learning something from my students!  Ta-da!  Students are teachers too.

Do you ever talk to your teacher about stuff?  Did you ever thing that you could be teaching them something?  

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Whole Foot

Posted by terrepruitt on June 26, 2010

Using the whole foot is another one of Nia’s 52 Moves. The whole foot is used for secure stability. It is a powerful base.

Moving on the whole foot or just standing on the whole foot–either on both feet or just one foot allows for the bones in the feet to act as support for the entire body. Stepping or standing on the whole foot can bring rest to either the heel or the ball of the foot. The whole foot stance or movement calls different muscles in the foot and the leg into play.  If you are accustomed to standing and/or walking on the balls of your feet, this technique might be a challenge to your leg muscles.

Stepping onto the whole foot encourages a gentle flex in the knee so as to help absorb any shock that might be felt as the whole foot touches the ground.

There are times in a Nia class when we actually dance on the whole foot—you might recognize the whole foot dancing as what Carlos (Rosas now known as AyaRosas) called micro dancing. We use the whole foot to gently slap the earth. Moving around the space. We might stomp, bringing the foot to rest gently on the ground.

The whole foot is the middle of a stride in the heel lead walk. We sometimes will step onto the whole foot instead of the heel or the ball, this as I mentioned, can be a restful for the heel or ball if you normally step on it either. The whole foot can be used in all of the stances.

While you move through your day, be aware of your feet. Notice when you are on your whole foot. Take a moment to shift your weight from foot to foot. Sense the stability and power in your base, in your whole foot.

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »