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 ‘workout’

This Might Interest You

Posted by terrepruitt on March 5, 2018

I’ve been blogging for a long time. At least I think it is a long time. I know there are people out there who have been blogging for even longer, but to me nine years is a long time. In fact this month is my nine year anniversary to the blogging world. I started in March of 2009. Well, since I have been blogging so long and not all of you have been reading my blog that long, I thought I would point out some posts that you might be interested in. Keeping in mind the comments I have received and the conversations I have had with some of you. Also keeping in mind your blogs, here are a few posts that I thought I would point out in case any of you might be interested.

This is one about an amazing product that helps me with my bumps and bruises. Some of you may be interested.  The product is Zheng Gu Shui.

Foam Rollers are COOL! is a post about two stretches that you can do with a foam roller. Many of us need to stretch more often and many of us love it when we do. These are super easy ones some of you may like.

I teach Nia, you may have heard :-). One of the things I love about Nia is that a lot of our practices within the practice can be applied to life. Here is a post about Sustain, Increase, Tweak, we do it in Nia while dancing and it can easily be applied to our every day life.

I LOVE to watch birds taking a bath in our bird bath. We used to have blue jays that would come back every year to have their babies near by. One time I got a few photos of a baby taking a bath. Even though he may look big, he is a baby. The young ones usually look larger and fluffier than the adults. Pictures do not capture the joy this bird seemed to be experiencing! This post has is about a Baby Blue Jay Bath.

Hummingbirds’ beaks are not straws they suck through, they actually have really long tongues. You can see that in my Hummingbird Tongues post.

More for the bird lovers: Silhouettes

For the dog lovers: Honey, I Shrunk the Doberman Pinscher

The comments on this one are worth a read, Lyrics Gone Wrong. Too funny!

Some nice shots of a beach trip. Do you wanna see the ocean? Check out my post Santa Cruz, California

Ahh, this one I am posting just to remind myself . . . . I need a color for that! Color Me A Reminder

Ok, sorry, I have shared more than I was planning, because I want you to look at all of them, but ten might be too much. I might just have to do another post somewhere along the way to point out some of my old posts that might be of interest to you. And get them some love.

Thanks for taking a look.

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

What Did Frankie Say?

Posted by terrepruitt on March 28, 2015

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoLast night we had a visiting Nia teacher come to Campbell and present a routine that he has created.  Jason Alan Griffin is a First Degree Nia Black Belt and he created a routine he calls Frankie Say Nia.  He travels around to different places with his dog River and he brings Nia with him.  He has routines he has created and playshops.  Friday night was the Nia class where he did his 80’s Alternative New Wave music routine.  People were invited to dress in 80’s style – bright clothes, animal prints, whatever they think of as 80’s fashion.  It is difficult – for me – to think of dressing up at the same times as wearing clothes I can workout and move comfortably in.  Jason was wearing shorts that reminded me of Saint Patrick’s Day and I was wearing animal print with my hair up in a silly pony.  That was as far as I was able to take my dressing up.  I’ll have to check with Jason about the shorts.  I forgot to ask him about them today.  The dressing up and the clothes were not what makes it fun or 80’s, it was the music.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoJason had us dancing to many familiar tunes.  I was happy to hear all of them that I knew.  I knew all of them until we arrived at the Floorplay portion of the Nia class and then I was just mystified.  I kept thinking I would eventually recognize it, but it was out of my scope of knowledge.  And I don’t even remember what it was.  I believe there was mention of a bar.  It was odd to me.  And, later it was indicated that I had a look on my face (odd) matching what I was thinking.  As I said, I kept waiting to hear something that would spark some sort of little hint that I had ever heard the song before, but nothing came.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoJason’s playfulness and ability to match movements to music is so evident in his routines.  And they are just fun.  I can say that we all had a great time because every commented on having one!  His choreography and the music made for a great time.

I was very happy that he had some FreeDances in the routine because I was looking forward to gleaning some tools from them as he taught.  And I did.  Then the next day he took it to the next level with the FreeDance Playshop.  That has to be a post all of its own.  Perhaps more than one.  We will see.  I am still processing.

As I have recommended before to you, Dear Readers, if Jason comes to your town you should go to his class.  That is, if you like to have a great time while you are getting your dance workout in.  You can always check out his schedule on his blog.

I have included some pictures.  As I have said before, it is not easy to get pictures of moving bodies.  I had help from my hubby.  We had at least three devices taking pictures and videos.

Can you tell from the pictures that we are having a good time?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoI hope one day we will be able to dance together!

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

More On Downward Facing Dog

Posted by terrepruitt on July 1, 2014

I once briefly wrote about the Downward Facing Dog yoga pose in my post Down Dog. This is considered a resting pose. For many; those starting out or those wanting a gentle type of workout, it is not extremely restful. There are many muscles that are being used so it is a very active pose. This pose could be qualified as a “push exercise” or using the muscles that are used for pushing. Muscles on the back of the body are considered the “push muscles”. There are many benefits to this pose.

The lower body gets the biggest stretch. If you are able to straighten your legs and place your heels on the ground the back of your legs get the stretch. The hamstrings get a good stretch along with the calves. If your heels are up there is still a nice stretch going on. With many people working in office chairs and having the posture of bent legs, tight hamstrings is a very common situation. So having heels up and bent knees is a widely used modification.

No matter how your legs are (straight or bent) your arms are holding you up. This pose does require your arms to do some work. It is considered an arm supported pose. In conjunction with latissimus dorsi, the muscles by the ribs, and your deltoids the triceps are working. So for some their arms might feel fatigued. So even though this pose is allowing for a very big stretch in the back of the legs there are muscles working on the top half of the body.

Even though the focus is in pressing the tailbone to the sky we don’t ignore the front. The front of the legs get a bit of attention, as we are lifting the knee caps.  We also have a sense of our spine lengthening.

In addition to increasing flexibility in your legs, hips, and ankles. And strengthening arms and wrist, this pose relieves depression and helps calm the mind. Additional benefits include:
-Energizing the body
-Increasing circulation
-Improving digestion
-Relieving headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue
And it can be therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma, flat feet, sciatica, sinusitis

I have learned to like this pose a bit more. I was reminded of what I tell my students and what we practice in Nia. Find the Joy in the movement, if you cannot tweak it until you do. I believe a portion of my dislike of this pose back when I first wrote about it, was that I was forcing it.  I was doing it in away that did not feel good for my back. Once I stopped the complete loose action of my spine, the pose became more comfortable. As it became easier there was room to move into the pose better and relax into it.

So, like many things it is good to do it at your level. As you improve it can be done better. The benefits can be received throughout the practice. It is a practice.

How is your Downward Facing Dog?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Home Gym Machine

Posted by terrepruitt on June 28, 2014

I bought a machine like the Total Gym awhile back. I just have not used it much because it is one of those things that can take longer to set up in my house than to use, so it is annoying. It is also one of those things that if you have room to set it up quick or have it already set up it is a quick and easy thing to jump on and workout on. When I bought it I thought I had room and also it was one of those awesome Costco deals that are silly to miss. I’ve had it for about a year and when I “Googled” it today the ads still come up over $125 more than we paid for it shipped! Today I moved it to a “permanent” position so I will be inclined to use it more often. I have some favorite exercises to do on it.

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, PiYo, Gentle YogaThe machine I bought is a Jillian Michaels‘ Body Shop. It is pretty much like a total gym but WAAAAY more affordable. It comes with an exercise printout that I used when I first got it. It has been so long since I used it I don’t know where I put that. But I will find it again and use it as it was a quick easy guide to use. Just a simple way to track what you are doing. It is nice to have a list. It is nice to just “jump on” and go without having to think about what to do. It is nice to have a plan.

I like to do Triceps Kickbacks on it.  With this machine you can change the level of the incline and also the tension.  Since you are on the sliding “board” your body weight is always a factor, but the incline and the tension you can adjust.  Then you can adjust the challenge by your body position.  You can lay on the sliding board or you can kneel on the sliding board.  Even with kneeling you can adjust the difficulty, you can kneel “sitting up” with a straight back or you can knee laying down on your legs.  There are so many ways you can do an exercise.  With simple tweaks you can make it different.

You can also do different versions of a triceps extension.  One you can use the cables to pull yourself up and let yourself down as you lay on your back.  You keep your long arm bones down at your sides and pull your forearms down, straightening your arms.  Keep your legs in an unmoving “table top” also helps activate your core.  As you are having to keep your legs still while you are sliding the board up and down.

Or you can flip your body around and use the “kick plate” as a push off.  Laying on your back with your arms overhead, you can use the plate portion to “push up” or push “off” from.  In order to activate the triceps the long arm bones remain stationary as the forearms do the work of moving the body board.

With the machine already set up and no moving of it having to occur, these are a few of the exercises you can do quickly.  If you have to set it up . . . these are still a few of the exercises you can do on it.  I have more that I like that I will be share soon.  But this is all for now.

Do you have any exercise machines in your home that you use?  What are they?  What exercises do you do on them?

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

Nia/Yoga, Similarities And Connections

Posted by terrepruitt on May 17, 2014

I was in a yoga workshop all day.  The day was beautiful and I was in Santa Cruz, but I was inside all day.  Well, most of the day.  I was in a class about “How do we make our yoga practice and our approach to teaching yoga more meaningful?”  A lot of people do yoga just for the physical exercise of it.  But some people are interested in making it more of practice.  Some people are interested in exploring the deeper aspects of it.  I often compare Nia to yoga because it is the same thing in that both are a great workouts in and by themselves, but there is the part that I call the “practice” where it is more than just doing the exercises it is it taking some of the “deeper aspects” out into the world.  Or even applying them in the class.  But first you have to be exposed to the deeper aspects.  This class touched upon that and throughout the class I smiled at the similarities between it and Nia.

Yes, Nia has taken aspects of yoga and used them to make the mix that is Nia, but I am not certain that all of the similarities were used on purpose.  As an example, several people have told me that they do not do yoga because it is a religion.  I have experienced debate on this.  I have read articles that exclaim angrily that Westerners have taken their religion and made it into an exercise.  Then I have had yoga instructors/owners of yoga studios vehemently deny that yoga has anything to do with religion.  I have had people say they will not come to Nia because we talk about “Spirit” and in a song or two there is an “Om.”

Today it was said that some people do use yoga to connect to God.  But “there is no God in Nia” (as quoted from Carlos Rosas during my Nia White Belt Intensive in 2008.)  Today’s workshop started out with the religious aspect.  Briefly exploring how to teach and stay true to oneself.

During the class there was a lot of talk about awareness and being present.  Something that is understandable when in a yoga class.  Sensing the body while moving through and holding asanas.  This is also something we employ in a Nia class.  Being able to dance in the now.  At one point Nia was NIA = Now I Am.  So during both types of workouts there is an emphasis on moving with awareness and being in the present.  Being aware of how your body moves.  Noticing the bends and flexes, the circles and lines.  Being present and not thinking about our to-do list we have to accomplish after class.  And, this is where I consider it a practice . . . where you take those ideals out into your everyday life.  Be aware of what you are doing while you are doing it and BEING in the moment.  (By the way:  This is particularly challenging for me right now.  As you might imagine.)

Then the topic of listening to students to learn what they needs was discussed.  It went along with teaching people as opposed to teaching poses.  I particularly loved this because just last week I told my students we were going to start doing a particular group of poses and they looked at me and said, “Why?”  And I said because you told me you needed to.  They hadn’t actually told me they needed to so I explained to them that what they told me led me to that conclusion.  As a teacher you might be able to relate to the eye rolls I received.  Of course, as I feel I do this (teach people), I know there is always room for improvement so I will continue to listen.

Most often I ask my Nia students if they are having any issues or would like to focus on anything in particular during the class.  I feel that allowing them to pick the focus or take part in picking it helps me teach to them and their needs.  I felt that was a Nia connection to this part of the yoga workshop.

In the workshop, I also kept hearing talk from the students about no judgment and self acceptance.  Two things which are also taught and emphasized in Nia.  No Judgment is part of witnessing which is a stage in Free Dance.  While dancing just witness what is happening but don’t judge.  Could be something like, “I kick to shin height.”  Instead of, “I am in such bad shape I can’t get my leg higher than my shin.”  Non-judgment.  Accept what you can do and work to do more if that is your desire.

It was a nice day.  And this about sums it up.  Plenty of things to think about and work on.

What did you do today?

Posted in Nia, Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Drink Smart and in Moderation

Posted by terrepruitt on February 20, 2014

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, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaThe various surprising health benefits of wine

For centuries, people have derived pleasure from drinking many different varieties of wine. Whether it’s a sensuously versatile Pinot Noir or a divine Chardonnay, drinking wine in moderate amounts has proven to be one of the more effective ways to unwind, relax and allow the stresses of the day to just slowly fade away into the ether. Various studies have emerged throughout the years espousing the health benefits of drinking a glass or two of high-quality wine.

Experts from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic have stated that there are certain substances in red wine called phytochemicals (specifically, flavonoids and resveratrol) that may help prevent heart disease and failure by performing two critical functions: increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (also known as the “good” cholesterol) and protecting against artery damage. It is worth noting that both resveratrol and flavonoids are also recognized as antioxidants (not all phytochemicals are antioxidants, though).

Resveratrol, in particular, is markedly more prevalent in red wine than in white wine; after all, red wine is fermented with grape skins for a longer period of time compared to white wine. Additionally, resveratrol has gotten a lot of attention due to possibly playing an important part in maintaining healthy cardiovascular function. Some of the existing research has linked resveratrol to reduced blood vessel damage, prevention of blood clots, and a decreased amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). Dr. Eric Crampton, a highly respected University of Canterbury academic, has also opined that based on his interpretation of the current studies available, moderate drinking reduces mortality risk. Furthermore, according to Paul Jaminet of the Perfect Health Diet, animal studies have shown that the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver – fatty liver disease that inevitably leads to a scarred and damaged liver (cirrhosis) – occur only when it is combined with excessive intake of polyunsaturated fats.

Clearly, judicious consumption of red wine not only calms the senses; it’s also a healthful habit in moderation.

Image courtesy of M&S
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This post is a guest post.  The conclusion reached is that of the guest author.  My approach would be more from a “COULD be” healthful.  Many things we eat, drink, and do have the appearance of being healthful, but it always boils down to moderation AND the individual, so to me it is not so clear.

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

Nia “Standing”

Posted by terrepruitt on February 6, 2014

My last post was about the Garland Pose or Malasana.  That is a yoga pose.  The Garland Pose post was long enough so I didn’t talk about the advanced positions of that pose.  In Nia the pose could be compared to “Standing” which is the fourth stage in Nia’s 5 Stages.  In Nia it is also a little different. Nia’s 5 Stages is a movement practice through the five stages of human development.  While I have mentioned Nia’s 5 Stages before in my blog I have not written about them in depth and this post will not be in depth either.  I am just touching upon the fourth stage, including it in my little series about squatting.  Squatting is important and Nia knows that.  Nia recognizes it as a stage of human development.  Although Nia does not believe it should be abandoned and that is why we have the 5 Stages as a movement practice and why we include squatting in many of our routines.  As I said standing is the fourth stage and it is somewhat like a squat.

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, PiYo, Gentle YogaThe Nia 5 Stages are the stages we go through in development.  Stage one is Embryonic.  Stage two is Creeping.  Stage three is Crawling.  Stage four is Standing.  Stage five is Walking. First we are in the womb, then most of us creep, then we crawl, we stand (squat), then walk.  Stages of human development.  Stage four, “Standing”, is a low or full squat.

I have posted about squats before.  In fact when I did I mentioned that we don’t do them in Nia.  And we don’t — or I hadn’t done the type of squats I was writing about.  I was writing about squats done in a way that is more in line with weight training.  Using weights and other equipment.  I believe there are weight lifting competitions where people do really low squats with weights, but . . . I am not going to go there.  There are a lot of things that elite athletes do that I would STRONGLY recommend the average person NOT do . . . . EVER.

I DO recommend full squats (without weights) . . . providing your body is able to do them I believe you should.  And by able I mean there is no medical reason you can’t, you have joints and body parts that will allow you to do them.  Doing squats will help you in so many ways.

With Nia’s fourth stage – standing – we are coming from a crawling position.  The way we move from crawling to “standing” is we open our feet wider than our knees while our knees are still on the ground.  Then curl our toes then push back onto our feet.  Since the 5 stages of human development are based on the way the body was designed to move and how we develop ideally, the idea is to push back onto feet that are flat on the ground.  However, Nia is a practice done in YOUR OWN BODY’S WAY so it is possible that both feet cannot be flat on the ground.  So we take the stages in stages.  What works for many is to have ONE foot flat on the ground while the other one has a heel up.  Then we just alternate.  This allows for each foot to engage in ankle flexibility.

The next stage in this stage is to raise the torso up, have the chest facing forward and not down . . . if you are doing the alternating of the feet.  If both feet are flat on the earth the chest is probably already facing mostly forward because the buttocks are lowered and the legs are folded over so the chest is somewhat up against the thighs.  In both positions lift the chest up further, sternum to the sky.  When ready the arms also come up, reaching to the sky.

We stay in this stage as long as the present workout dictates.  Could be just a second or two . . . could be a bar (of a song) . . . whatever is appropriate for the moment.  Then we rise up – nose leading the way – onto our toes and into the fifth stage which is walking.

Squatting is important because of the benefits it provides.  Being able to come up from a squat provides even more benefits.  Like push-ups and/or planks, squats could easily be one of the “must haves” in ANY workout or exercise program.  Nia understands the benefits.  So when I said we didn’t do squats in Nia, I wasn’t talking about this type of squat or what Nia’s 5 stages calls standing.

What benefits can your body receive from Nia’s standing/squatting? 

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

Can’t See What Is Not There

Posted by terrepruitt on October 1, 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, PiYo, Gentle YogaI am playing a game on my iPad that is a hidden object kind of game. I like games where I don’t have to concentrate a lot, ya know, think too much – a little is good, but I like it to be fun. I have other things I have to think about so my games I want to be brainless and easy. This is kind of like that. Just look at pictures and pick out the objects. To me it is cool because it is not the same as the hidden objects games of my youth where the object is drawn into the scene. This game is tricky because the object are not necessarily hidden. Yeah, I know, they are right there in plain sight sometimes and it is still a challenge to see them. I find that really funny. I actually employ a theory of my husband’s about a phenomenon to play this game. It makes me laugh whenever I think of it. Especially when it works. My husband’s theory is: You can’t see what is not there.

That sounds obvious right? And it is, in reality you cannot see what is not there, but what he means when he says that is “I can’t see what I THINK is not there.” But the belief is so strong — it (the object you seek) is not there. So we don’t even bother with the “think” we just say, “I can’t see it because it is not there.” Because no matter what, once you believe it is not there it might as well not be.

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, PiYo, Gentle YogaMy husband will often look for something then say, “Honey, can you look for the XXX (whatever) because I have been looking and it is not there.” Then I walk over without even looking and pick it up and give it to him. He says, “See? Sorry.” I say, “That’s ok. I get it.” Once you think it is not there — IT IS NOT THERE!

When I told him I was going to post about this he said it wasn’t originally his theory. He can’t remember whose it is. He kinda thinks it might have come from Sonny. Yeah, Sonny as in Sonny and Cher. But he can’t remember.

When you are looking for something that might truly not be there then this theory is difficult to get around. But in my game I can easily get around it. I know that the object on the list is there. So I have found myself thinking, “I will never find it.” Then I remember I can’t see things that aren’t there and I can’t see things if I think I can’t see them. So I take a breath and remind myself it is there and I can find it, and usually I find the object. I know it might sound silly to post about applying a theory to a game, but ya know, most of the time thinking is just a practice so if I practice it in a game situation, I can learn to practice it in real life. I just think it is funny because I believe the theory to be true so I work to counteract it in the game.

Also with the game I am not sure what the object will look like. So it is a good practice for opening my ideals of what things look like. Again, just a practice. As an example the object list might say bell. What did you picture? Bells can look a lot of different ways. As I typed this I thought of one of those bells that one used to ding for service. But it could be a bell like the liberty bell, or a school bell. You don’t always know. So in addition to letting go of not being able to see it because I THINK it is not there or I can never find it, I have to be open to recognizing what it might actually look like.

Ha. Just had a thought . . . just right now as I am typing . . . these ideas can be tied to Nia. Nia is not familiar to a lot of people so some think they will not get a good workout in a Nia class. Well, if that is what you think . . . then that is what you will get. If you walk in knowing it is a good workout then you will be able to participate fully. Also, when the participate releases the idea of what a workout “SHOULD” look like, they will be surprised that our skipping, moving, bending, dancing, etc. is great exercise.

So yeah, the theory can be applied to a lot of things so in some cases, when you don’t have a spouse to “see” it for you, you can be aware of the phenomenon and work to counteract it for yourself.

So are you aware of this phenomenon? Do you feel like this happens to you?

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

Plank Muscles

Posted by terrepruitt on March 19, 2013

While you are doing your plank you might notice some of the muscles involved in doing the plank.  As I am sure you know, there are many variations to the plank.  Many movement practices/exercise disciplines do planks.  There is a plank in yoga, in Pilates, in weight training . . . you probably have seen it all over.  That alone tells you that it is an exercise/pose worth doing right?  We even do planks in Nia.  If there is a version in so many different disciplines it could be that is because does a body good.  The plank we are doing in our Plank A Day Challenge is the plank on our forearms as opposed to the plank where your arms are straight (the position of the “top” of a push-up).  There are a lot of muscles used in this plank.

The muscles being used in a plank are the abdominal muscles, the back muscles, the muscles in the arms, the shoulders, leg muscles, and butt muscles.  So pretty much muscles in every muscle group.  You can understand why it is such a great exercise.  It is a full body workout.  So, while it might not utilize every muscles it calls upon a lot of them.  If you are participating in the challenge you might even notice that the endurance in the muscles is improving.

I often think of the plank as a great exercise to work on your core.  You might have heard “core” and “core muscles” before.  You might even wonder what they are.  And just like so many things there are so many answers.  I think of the core as a muscle group.  I think of the core muscles as the group that allows your body to remain stable and/or upright.  So sometimes that could include your quads if you are standing or doing a plank.

Having a strong and stable core helps us accomplish everyday things.  From sitting, to walking, to doing things with our arm as in pushing, pulling, carrying, etc.  A strong trunk helps us when we need to work with are arms.  Especially with our arms extended.  If we are do something with our arms out, say opening a window, grabbing a grocery bag and bringing it towards you, or pushing something in to a vehicle for transport, you rely a lot on your torso.  So when it is strong and stable it can support you while you do these task.

On top of the strong core having arms that are able to open windows, grab and hold groceries, pull them towards you or push things help with every day life too.  Be able to do all of these everyday things might be one reason the plank is in so many exercise disciplines.  It is a great functional exercise.  It is understood that it can assist with muscle strength and endurance.  And it is one of the exercises that gets a lot of muscles all at once!

Are you participating in our challenge?  Are you feeling your muscles?  You have probably felt the muscles used in a plank, right?

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Ninth Day Of Our Month Of Planking

Posted by terrepruitt on March 9, 2013

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Saturday and our ninth day of planking.  The nice thing about this challenge is even if it is your “rest” day in your workout schedule you can still get in some planking time!

I have another idea on how to time yourself.  Once you feel you have good form, your body is aligned properly, you can use a stopwatch type of timer.  I have one on my iPhone.  I would imagine other phones have something like it.  I know there are a lot of apps for timers.  Get into your plank position and then press start on the timer.  Check your form, get comfortable, settle in and then look at your timer.  I bet by the time you look at the stopwatch you will have already done the time you think you can do.  Then if you want you can hold it for a few seconds more.

This is a way for you to find out how long you really can do it.  Then you can add accordingly.

Also remember there might be days where the duration is less than normal.  It is ok to have a day that is a bit off.  Just get back to it the next day!

Whatever way you choose to time yourself is great.  This is just another way to do it!

How is your planking going?

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