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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    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Posts Tagged ‘Willow Glen Nia’

Happy One Year Anniversary

Posted by terrepruitt on August 31, 2013

I am really happy.  This coming week marks a year that we have had Nia on Tuesday mornings at the Camden Community Center in San Jose.  Workout classes – especially group exercise classes at city community centers – can come and go.  I have been blessed with a small but very consistent group of individuals who are interested in gaining or retaining their health through movement.  I am further blessed that some of my students who attend my Monday and Wednesday Nia classes have made it over to the community center.  Nia on Tuesdays started on Tuesday, September 4, 2012.  Our year class will be Tuesday, September 3, 2013.

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, Zumba, PiYoI have been teaching Nia on Mondays and Wednesdays in the Willow Glen area of San Jose since February 2009.  Most of the individuals that make up the Monday and Wednesday group have been coming for most of the four years and seven months.  They too are a dedicated group of students that I appreciate.  I rent the time at that location.

I am not sure if many classes at city community centers go on for years.  So I am very happy that we have made it to the year mark.  I think that as long as the students continue to attend we will have a class.  I am hopeful that we will expand our numbers as we enter into our second year.  This is the community center where the students requested a second class.  There was an opening so their thinking was, “Why not fill it with Nia?”  So they wrote a note asking the supervisor if they could have Nia in the time slot that has just opened.  The supervisor is allowing us to give it a go.  If, this story sound familiar it is because I wrote about it in my Goodie Jar – Check In #27 post in the beginning of the month.  I was so excited that was definitely something that went into the Good Things Jar!

The Thursday class has started out with good numbers.  Hopefully that class will grow too.  It is made up of the core group from Tuesdays, but with a few different people.  This past Thursday they were all very kind, patient, and understanding while my music and the player were not cooperating.

As with most dance exercise workouts it is really fun when there is music.  While Nia can be done without music, it is nice to have music so that each individual can dance in their own way while we do the routine.  The group was very nice and let me run to my car after three songs so I could get my boom box.

So, I am just grateful and sharing my gratitude.  I am grateful to have great Nia students at all of my classes.  And I am very grateful that the San Jose Parks and Recreation Department is allowing me to have two Nia classes.  I am jumping for joy at our one year anniversary.  I have actually been working for the city for over a year, but it took a couple of months to get a class.  Yay us!

Here’s to our Nia class being one year old at the community center.  Here’s to more to come!  Thanks for sharing in my joy!

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Veggie-Less

Posted by terrepruitt on May 18, 2013

The other day we were out of vegetables.  OH MY!  On my way home from Nia in Willow Glen I was going to go to the store to get some.  For some reason there’s a street in Willow Glen that has been closed for quite some time now so I was unable to take that street home.   So the detour had me going past a different store than I was planning on going to.  It is a produce store.  Maybe kind of more like a small market because they have dry goods also.  The produce there is not that great so I decided not to get lettuce and salad fixings.  I thought I could just grab a veggie for that night’s dinner since I was going to be going to the store the very next day after my Nia class at the community center.    All I bought was broccoli.  When I got home I decided to have a sandwich. I like lettuce on my sandwiches or cucumbers or bell peppers something like that. I usually put at least one of those vegetables, sometimes all three, or a combination on my sandwich.  But I didn’t have any because I didn’t buy any salad ingredients.  Argh!  I had only the broccoli I had bought.  I started thinking.  I’ve had shaved broccoli on pizza before and it was good but I didn’t think the shaved broccoli would go that well on my sandwich.  I remember having posted something about broccoli before and people saying that you could use the stocks or stems so I thought,  “Can I do that?”  So I peeled a stock of broccoli and sliced it thinly and put on the sandwich was pretty good. I was happy I had a vegetable on my sandwich.

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, ZumbaI guess I could do that all the time.  In the comments of the post where I spoke about broccoli the one in which people told me to use the stems I said I would start and I haven’t. I have left more of the stem on when using broccoli but haven’t necessarily used the stocks.  I suppose I could begin making my sandwiches with broccoli stocks in them.  It is a good way to get additional vegetables and use broccoli stocks.

We used to have a dog that ate broccoli stocks.  She loved them.  She loved salad too!

Speaking of salads . . . . I didn’t use all the stocks in my sandwich.  So the next night when I did get around to making a salad I decided to add some of the stocks to our salads.  To me the stocks are a bit fibrous and stringy so I chopped them up pretty small.  I tossed it on the salads as an added veggie.  I think that worked out well.  My hubby didn’t say, “Ewww.  What is this?  A broccoli stock on my salad???”  So it must have been ok.  I liked it.

At first I was not happy that I didn’t buy any produce that I would normally put on my sandwich.  But now I am glad that I didn’t.  I caused me to think of using the stems.  And since my friend had shared that she eats the stems it encouraged me to try something new.  Lovely.  It has only taken me three years from when I originally posted!  🙂

What about you?  Do you like produce on your sandwich?  What do you prefer?  Do you make use of broccoli stocks?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“A” Stance – One Of Nia’s 52 Moves

Posted by terrepruitt on September 6, 2012

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, NiaAnother one of the 52 Moves of Nia is the “A” Stance.  This is the stance where the position of the legs allows the body to look somewhat like the capital letter A.  The legs are placed wider than hip distance apart, even wider than shoulder width.  The legs are far enough apart and wide enough for them to appear to be as the bottom “legs” on a capital letter A.  The feet are parallel, the upper body is relaxed.  The Nia Technique Book states the benefits as:  “Practicing “A” Stance improves hip flexibility and leg strength, which improves agility and mobility.” 

I would like to add that it improves or at least allows the practice of balance.  Not balancing on one leg which we do a lot in Nia, but balance between the body and the legs, balance between both legs, and balance between the legs and feet.  Also balance of weight between the two feet.  This is a stable and balanced stance.  The weight is not on one foot more than the other.  The weight is not on the front or the balls of the feet more than on the heels.  This is a great stance to practice balance in.  To allow the body to rest onto the whole foot. 

Not only having the feet be parallel but even.  If you were to stand at a line would your toes be even, both up to the line?  I had noticed with myself for a while now that when I step into an “A” stance my right foot is ALWAYS slightly back from where my left foot is.  I have been noticing this since I injured my foot in November of 2010.  Just last week as I was teaching my regular Nia Class in Willow Glen, I noticed I stepped into “A” stance and my left foot was the tiniest bit back from the line on which my right foot landed (had there been a line).  I thought that was funny.  I giggled, but I hadn’t thought of it again until now.  I don’t always think about my uneven landings until I have the opportunity to land in a stance where I see my feet several times in a routine.  Then during the routine I focus on having my feet land even.  There are times, of course in a dance where they don’t need to be or aren’t supposed to be even, but when doing a regular closed, open, A, or sumo stance I think the feet should be even.  The “A” stance is a great stance to practice that because you can clearly see your feet and the pose is relaxed enough that there are not other things you might be thinking about.  I feel the “A” Stance is a great way to practice balance.

As with all stances one way to practice the “A” stance is to simple stand in one place and move through the stances.  Another way to practice is to walk and then stop in the “A” stance.  Walking and stopping into an “A” Stance would be a great way to work on landing “even” — as I mentioned before.  Walk, then stop, then look at your feet, notice the sensation in your hips, if your feet are even then that is the sensation you want to replicate, if not, then adjust your feet, notice the sensation in your hips and try to replicate it again as you step into “A” Stance.

The “A” Stance is just one of the six stances in the Nia 52 Moves.

What do you sense when standing in the “A” Stance?  When you step into the “A” Stance do your feet land “even”?

Posted in 52 Moves (of Nia), Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fun, Beautiful, A Great Addition – San Jose Art

Posted by terrepruitt on August 25, 2012

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 I cannot believe it has been over a month since I was driving around to the Community Centers of San Jose that offer Group Ex classes checking out their floors!  Since we do Nia bare footed I wanted to see what community centers have dance studios.  While I was looking for the community centers is when I first noticed the painted utility boxes around.  I can’t believe it has been over a month since I was driving from my Nia class in Willow Glen and I noticed someone painting the utility box that I pass all the time.  Over a month ago!  Wow.  Time goes so fast.  I was hoping to have more pictures of more boxes, but I haven’t seen any since then.  I must not be in the areas where there are boxes — could also be that I am a little distracted and not noticing the boxes.  Sigh.  Anyway . . . I think the artist might have completed painting these boxes in one day.  I am not certain because I didn’t drive by again until the following Monday and I didn’t stop to take pictures until a week after I first stopped.  I was just waiting to post because I didn’t want to have the utility box posts right in a row.  I don’t mind having Nia posts, or exercise posts, or food posts consecutively, I just didn’t want to have utility box posts one after the other.  Before I knew it, it has been a month.  Wow.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

The first picture is a shot of the front of the boxes together straight on.  The next “picture” is a collage (obviously) of pictures of different angles so you can somewhat see the side of the boxes.  The second collage is pictures of the back of the boxes and the little label disclosing the artist and the sponsor.

Looks as if the birds are driving around in San Jose.  These boxes are on Bird Avenue so I think it makes total sense that birds are driving cars, vans, motorcycles, sports cars, and delivery trucks.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

You might have noticed that the artist incorporated the vent on the back of the box painting it as if it is the back of a truck.  Cute.  You may also have noticed that one truck seems to be carrying eggs.  I think Mr. Willis is showing his sense of humor by having a bird drive around as either an egg delivery service or perhaps a pickup service.

It is quite a cheery little mural.  Also very responsible.  You might not be able to see, but all of the birds on scooters or motorcycles have on helmets.  It is a law in California that you have to wear a helmet, so it is good of the artist to have legally correct drivers. I am not sure that any birds have been ticketed for not doing so, but it is still a good idea!

So what do you think?  Cute, huh?  Have you seen any painted utility boxes in your area?  If you have I would love to see.  Send me a picture with some information and I can post it.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

HelpYouWell.com Got a New Look!

Posted by terrepruitt on February 18, 2012

After three years of teaching Nia and promoting it via my website, I have moved my website to a different host.  Sometimes it is nice to have a new look to things.  I don’t necessarily always feel the need for a new look.  Since I have limited time I don’t always enjoy going to a site that I visit often and have it be completely revamped so I have to spend extra time on it to find what I need.  But, I understand that it is nice to change things and have a fresh look.  Sometimes there are other reasons to change things, there might be other benefits that are sought so it is all just part of the change.  My site is still the best source for my Nia Class Schedule because even though I have been teaching at the same place for three years* sometimes there are changes.  Sometimes it is out of my control, like when one of the studios I teach at moves my class time, but sometimes I am holding a special class or announcing an additional Nia class (new Nia Class in Campbell).  Either way, it is best to always check my site for any adjustments that might occur in my Nia Class Schedule.  Otherwise you can find the same information on my new site as you could my old site.  The way is it arranged is slightly different as I put more of the information under headings instead of having the long list of pages on the side.  The new look to HelpYouWell.com is a nice way to start off 2012!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout,My site still contains the following information:  How Nia started, What is Nia, Seven Cycles of Nia, Main Benefits of Nia, Tips for a Pleasurable Nia Experience, Nia’s Principles of the Body’s Way, Tips for Moving with Nia, a list of Nia’s 52 Moves, Nia’s Belt List, Indexes for the Nia Technique Book, and a few other things.  New is a list and map of locations where I hold Nia Classes

Because I switched to a new host I have to go through all of my blog posts and update my links, both the hotlinks in the text AND the pictures.  Not sure everyone even realizes that the different color words in a post are links to other things.  Usually they link to my site, so since the page addresses have changed, I am working on going through all 491 posts.  If you click on a link and it does not work, then I have not gotten to that one yet.  I always welcome the information though, so if you want to let me know, I would appreciate it.  So far I have made it through September 2011, and May 2009.

*I have been teaching at the same place for three years.  I am still at the studio in the Willow Glen area of San Jose.  For three years I have had a Monday and Wednesday morning class at 9 am.  I would love for you to join us one of these days.  I make it a point to teach on Holidays because since it is a morning class that is the time when many people can make it.  When they have the time off of work.  So if you ever have the opportunity please join us.  We are there every Monday and Wednesdays (do check the schedule, though). 

Well, I hope you will take two minutes to click through my new site.  Let me know what you think.  You can comment or contact me through the contact page on my website.  Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

So?  What do you think?

Posted in Misc, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Halanda Studio Holiday Party 2011

Posted by terrepruitt on December 13, 2011

Nia Studio, Dance Exercise, Cardio Dance, Aerobic Exercise, San Jose Nia, Halanda Studio, Willow GlenI teach Nia at a studio in San Jose.  The studio is in a part of San Jose called Willow Glen.  In January (2012) I will have been holding Nia classes there for three years.  It is a studio that is owned by two women who teach and perform belly dancing.  One woman is named Hala and the other Amanda.  The name of the studio is Halanda.  See how they did that?  Well, every year they have a Holiday Party which is like Christmas Parties at offices once were, a BIG thank you.  The teachers come together to display their talent in front of the audience made up of students, other dancers, and neighborhood people.  It was an awesome show and a great party.

Halanda Studio Holiday Party, Nia, Nia Teacher, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia classes, dance exercise

As I mentioned in a previous post, this is the first year that I have been able to attend.  I was very amazed and impressed.  I am going to spend from now until the next party telling my students they really want to attend next year.  It is a busy time of the year, but it is so great to come and see all the beautiful dance we have going on in the studio.

There was a lot of food.  As you can see there were vegetables, fruit, meat, and cheese.  There were several types of crackers.  Someone brought sandwiches.  Someone brought spanakopita!  There were trays of cookies.  You can see the huge trays of turkey wraps.  There was so much food.  As one dish was emptied something else would replace it.  The table was like the never ending table of food.

As you may know it is difficult to watch something AND take pictures at the same time.  So I really rushed through taking pictures.  I was using my phone and my camera.  I was taking pictures on my phone and posting them to various social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, and Streamzoo.  In addition to this being a “thank you” party, it is also a networking party and a way to try to get people interested in taking classes at the studio.  So I was trying to watch at the same time I was Facebooking, tweeting, and posting to Streamzoo.  All of this in addition to the fact that the subject(s) are shaking, shimmying, bouncing, and jittering caused me to have mostly very blurry shots.

dance exercise, Nia, San Jose Nia, Nia in the South Bay, San Francisco Bay Area Nia, Nia Classes

 

 

 

The first dance shot is of Farima and her Students performing a Silk Road Fusion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dance exercise, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Cardio workout, Nia, Nia classes, Nia teacher

Then there is Marie Manila showing us what Hot Hula is.  It appeared to be hula dance, with her telling you what muscles you are working.  Maybe they repeat some moves more than they would in a typical hula dance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dance exercise, Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia teacher, Nia classes, San Jose Nia, Nia in Willow Glen

Then there is a picture of Farima and some more of her students.  They are doing a Persian Dance and they are dressed like princesses.  I think the costumes are one of my favorite things about belly dancing.  They can be very sparkly and shiny.  I love that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dance exercise, Nia, Nia San Jose, San Jose Nia, Nia teacher, Nia class, belly dance, Laura Thompson, Setareh

Here is a shot of my friend Laura Thompson.  She is multi-talented.  Here she is dancing under her stage name, Setareh , with a sword.  I have known here for years and I have never seen her dance.  It was awesome.  Her other passion is jewelry making and her talent lies not only in the beautiful pieces she creates, but in the way she can tweak one of her creations to match you perfectly.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Amanda, a co-owner of the studio, doing a Turkish Dance.  dance exercise, Nia teacher, Nia class, Halanda Studio, Nia studio, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is photo of Vy performing an Egyptian Oriental Dance.

 

 

 

dance exercise, Nia, Nia Class, Nia dance, Nia workout, belly dance, Nia teacher, Nia routine, San Jose, Nia

 

 

Next is Hala, the other co-owner, doing Egyptian Bellydance.

Dance Exercise, Nia San Jose, Nia teacher, Nia dance, Nia class, San Jose Nia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then a shot of Michelle and her students.  Michelle teaches something called No Rules Dance, which I believe is for belly dancer who have belly dancing experience, but want to learn new things and “break” the rules.Dance Exercise, San Jose Nia, San Jose Nia classes, San Jose exercise classes, Nia teacher, No Rules Belly Dance

 

I didn’t take pictures of all the performers, plus some that I did take were too blurry to post. Every dance was a delight to see. So much talent at the studio!

I did a two song Nia demo and many people joined me. It was awesome. We had a great time. I was so happy to be able to share Nia with so many people.

 

Well, I will probably point you to this post as NEXT December nears so that you can be reminded of what a GREAT time the party is and maybe (if you are around) you will attend.  It really is a treat to be able to see so many different types of dance and belly dance all in one show.  Thanks always to Hala and Amanda for having such a great little place we all can dance!

Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

31 Things Report So Far

Posted by terrepruitt on December 7, 2011

Nia Teacher, Nia in San Jose, Dance Exercise in San Jose, Cardio Exercise in San JoseReporting in.  How are you doing with the 31 Things Project?  Getting rid of anything?  Today after teaching my Nia Class I took my trunk full of plastic water bottles to the recycler.  Those things take up a lot of space.  My entire trunk and half my back seat was full.  I have a big trunk.  There were two large bags and a box sitting in our garage the rest I stored in my trunk.  It is not easy to save up recycling because it takes up a lot of space but it isn’t worth it to go to a recycling place unless you have a lot of stuff to recycle.  So we have it around for a long time and are always having to dance around bags of bottles.  But there is a place in San Jose next to the Willow Glen studio I teach at and the people there were SOOOO nice I think I might drop by more often.

My list thus far is: today, I rid our space of plastic bottles.  Yesterday, I went into my office closet for something and ended up throwing some stuff out.  Closet is still not clean, but it is a bit more organized and some of the stuff in it is more easily accessible.  The day before I noticed a drawer in the kitchen that had gotten a bit out of control so I tidied that up and threw out some of the stuff in there that was no longer useful.  The day before that I fixed a watch band.  I have several watches and most them need batteries or new bands (sounds like a perfect “thing” for my project).  The one that has a working battery has a “broken” band.  Well, the leather band itself was fine, it was the pin that hold the band to the watch that had broken.  Now, please understand that I know it is easy to remedy these things, I just don’t always think about them.  They slip my mind.  I was looking for something in a box and I found some pins.  I had saved the pins from a broken watch band.  So I was able to put the saved pin into my watch band and — Voila!  A watch.  Yeah!  I love watches and I have not had one that could actually be worn in so long.

Fixing that band did two things; 1) it has encouraged me to put “fix watches” on my 31 Thing Project list and 2) it changed two useless items (a pin and broken watch) to two useful items.  Unfortunately that little tiny pin was not taking up a lot of space so no space was created, but time certainly was.  Ha, ha.  Ok, times was not CREATED, but I now know what time it is!

This is proving less easy than I thought because of the Holiday season, but I am committed to the project so I am going to do it.  I need to remember that the idea is not to take up a lot of time.  Give me a chance to exercise focus.  Yesterday I spent way too much time in my closet!  I got distracted by things in the closet that I was not looking for.  So . . . how are you doing?  Do you have seven things on your list of “done”?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nia Temporary Studio – Because We Love It

Posted by terrepruitt on October 4, 2011

If you follow me on Twitter, are a Facebook friend of mine, or look at my website, you will have seen that my Nia students and I have been doing Nia in the park.  I teach Nia at two different facilities.  There is my Monday and Wednesday class that meets at 9:00 am.  We meet in a little dance studio in an area of San Jose called Willow Glen.  The studio is about 900 square feet, it has a laminate floor and a large mirror.  It is long and slightly narrow.  It is a nice little place.  I have been teaching there for over two and a half years.  Some of my students have been dancing Nia with me for that long.  In November of 2010 I started teaching Nia on Fridays at a different studio in Los Gatos.  It was a different type of studio . . . it was more of an exercise studio where exercise classes are held.  They had a separate room for Pilates Reformer classes.  Well at the end of August this studio said they were moving.  When they would be done with the move and how it all was going to work was very up in the air.  At one point I was told by one of the owners that we would only miss one Nia class.  So I just decided that one class would be ok to miss.  It would not be worth the time involved to secure another place to hold a class.  But then the next week we were told it would be at least another week.  So I asked my students if they wanted to hold a class in the park.  Many students are wanting to participant in Nia three times a week so they said yes.  We decided to try it.

Well, I think that not having Nia that one Friday really helped us all realize that we do like to have it three times a week.  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday just seems pretty perfect.  On the Friday we met in the park we didn’t know how it would go.  We didn’t know if the weather would cooperate.  We didn’t know if there would be too many people for us to dance on the volleyball court.  See that is one thing, I have often entertained the idea of do Nia in a park, because grass really sound likes a great place to dance barefoot.  Natures cushioned dance floor.  But I have always been concerned about holes, bumps, and ruts.  The thought of someone turning their ankle on the grass has always kept me from following through with it.  Plus, the idea that was tossed about had always been an evening class.  I imagine parks being really busy in the evening.

This park that we have been at is really close to the studio in Willow Glen.  There is a basketball court and a volleyball court that have been empty in the mornings.  I imagine the basketball court is occupied in the evenings, but while we are there it is empty.  The volleyball court is somewhat in the shade and provides us with a smooth flat surface to move on.  The park seems rather busy the hour before we arrive.  Seems like many loving dog owners take their dogs out for morning exercise.  There are mother’s and children at the playground.  We have had to dance without music when the lawnmower has obliterated the sound.  But that was only once or twice for a song or two.

The studio has been closed for longer than we had anticipated.  So we have been doing Nia in the park for four weeks.  The weather has been very nice.  Once it was warmer than we like, but so far we have had great temperatures.  This week it is raining.  The forecast is saying that it will be sunny on Friday, but we will see.  The studio has also announced that it will not be open for two more Fridays.  So we might get this week in at the park and next week.  I have been leaving it up to my students.  If they tell me they are going to be there, then I say, I will be there too!

I have really enjoyed our time at the park.  I sort of wish that we could do it there all year, but with winter coming, although winters in the San Fransisco Bay Area are not full of snow, we do get rain and I don’t think we want to dance in the rain.  So I am sad that our time in the park is ending.  I hope that we will be inspired to do Nia in the park again at some point after these next two weeks.  I am really doing it because my students wanted to do it because we love Nia.  I know that some classes take place on the beach and other outdoor places.  I am so happy that I have been able to experience Nia outdoors and share it with my students.

Yeah, this is me sharing.  🙂

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

MBTs

Posted by terrepruitt on April 14, 2011

One Monday after my Nia Class, I went to a store down the street from the studio in San Jose.  I went to a shoe store in Willow Glen.  I had decided that I was going to buy myself some MBTs.  MBTs have been around since 1996.  I would say since 1997 I have wanted them.  But they were huge, clunky, and EXTREMELY expensive.  I had never even tried any on because I could never bring myself to spend over $200 on tennis shoes.

I am very excited to have FINALLY purchased a pair of MBTs.  I spent almost two hours in the store trying on different styles.  I was fortunate that I liked the ones that were on sale.  Yay!  Even though the price of tennis shoes has probably caught up to the price of MBTs.   I still couldn’t bring myself to spend $200 on tennis shoes.   I figured if they help me walk properly they really are worth it, but I am still glad I saved my Christmas gifts so I could splurge on these “shoes”.

What are MBTs you ask?

MBTs are the “antishoe”.  Their websites states:  “MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) was born in 1996 when we discovered that natural instability can have positive effects on the human body. We made this discovery by observing the wonderfully agile Masai people walking barefoot on natural, uneven ground.”  Because the shoes were designed to allow us to experience walking on uneven ground even as we walk on flat ground the idea is that one needs to give the body time to adjust.  I looked on the site to see if they have a guide as to how to acclimate the body, but I didn’t see anything.

Kind people keep telling me to go slow, but unfortunately I don’t think I will have the opportunity to get to that point where I need to take a break because my legs need a rest.  Ya see, as you might know, I injured my toe about five months ago.  I want it to be completely better and function as it used to, but it is not.  It is MUCH better, but nowhere near where it used to be.  It gets tired.  I still have to rest it.  I still have to pay way too much attention to it.  But that is what I have to do.  My toes are the reason I finally decided to treat myself to my long lusted after MBTs.

The sole of an MBT is curved so the idea is to encourage the wearer to walk heel toe.  Those of you familiar with Nia know that is one of the “body’s way” movements we practice doing.  The ankle was designed to flex and extend and walking heel first, rolling through the foot to the ball/toe is good for the ankle and lower leg.  With my toes as they are, I can’t roll through my foot so I thought the MBTs would be perfect to help me/allow me to do that.

Well, the shoes are great.  They do allow me to walk whole foot and through my whole foot.  It is easier to do that in these shoes than in regular shoes, but my toe still gets tired.  I think my toe gets tired and makes me take my shoes off long before my legs get to the point of being tired.  I think that my toe will be the guide I need to acclimate myself into using these shoes–or shoe I say these “anit-shoes”.  😉

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Salsa, Tango, and Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on January 4, 2011

When I first started teaching my Nia classes I was doing it three times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the studio in Willow Glen. Not every class had many students. I remember talking to different people about the low numbers. Some of them suggested not having that many classes in a week, not having that many dance lessons a week. Understandable. Most people didn’t know what Nia was. Since it is dance many people thought of it as a dance that you learn. But Nia is not like Salsa or Tango where you are shown steps, then asked to mimic them, then instructed to practice, then allowed to practice to music. Nia is not a dance lesson type of dance.

Even though Nia incorporates nine different movement forms, Nia is more comparable to Zumba or Jazzercise where the music is playing and the participants follow the lead of the teacher. No experience in or with any of the movement forms is required. Nia is a cardio dance workout, it is exercise so it is GREAT to do it three times a week. It is recommended to participate in a form of cardio exercise at least three times a week to maintain heart health. Depending upon your individual needs and goals cardio more often might even be in order. So Nia three times a week is great.

When I had the opportunity to hold a third class in a week that is exactly what many of my Monday and Wednesday students said, “Nia three times a week is great!”  Now I have a third Nia class on Fridays in Los Gatos.  (I know I have said that before, but I am excited.  Plus I need to get the word out!)

Another point about Salsa and Tango is a partner is needed. Nia does not require a partner so it is often easier to actually do it three times a week since you are not trying to coordinate with another person to meet and dance three times a week.

Participating in Nia with any regularity participants will learn, but it might not be dance steps. There are many things to learn when participating in Nia, but it is not taught as steps and or patterns are taught in a dance lesson.  Instead of Nia being a dance lesson, you will learn lessons as you dance Nia.  🙂

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