Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach yoga, Nia, and stretch online!

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Posts Tagged ‘yoga asana’

Excited For Corpse Pose

Posted by terrepruitt on December 9, 2019

I recently taught a class where it was requested that I split the class. The facilitator wanted me to teach half of it as Nia and half as yoga. As we were getting up off of our mats at the end of class, one student said, “What happen? Why did you cut it short? Normally it is longer?” A couple of us stopped and asked, “What?” She repeated her questions and to us it sounded as if she was saying that we usually went until 1:10 because a few of us answered her with, “No, we always end at 1:00.” She clarified that she was saying that shavasana is usually ten minutes and she was asking why I cut it short. I was so happy. With the split class I thought that they would want a shorter shavasana so they could do more active yoga. I was so surprised.

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This class enjoys their shavasana. The class I teach is in the middle of their work day and so they come to get some yoga in and they love to end with shavasana. I am a real stickler when it comes to shavasana in the yoga classes I teach. I believe that for some people it is the only time of day when they might get a little rest. If I start shavasana and you, as a student, stay, then, in my classes you are agreeing to stay until the end and resolve to be still. You are agreeing to give yourself that time to relax and to rest. You are agreeing to keep the space that we created and not break it by leaving before the class is done. It could be the only time where someone isn’t making demands on you _ whether it is normally your job, your kids, your (other) family, or just life in general that is requiring your attention – shavasana is the one time for you. It is a sacred time.

I was so excited to hear that these students enjoyed shavasana. They were disappointed that it was not as long as it usually is.

After the class the facilitator and I were discussing the class and I mentioned that some people were disappointed because shavasana was cut short and she shared that the employees had told her that they really enjoy shavasana. I am so happy about that.

I often hear that shavasana is one of the most difficult poses. It seems that society has proclaimed that people always have to be busy, they have to be DOING, so it makes sense that shavasana is such a challenge. Some people have so much pain and discomfort in their bodies that is it difficult for them to lie on their back* and be still for some time. And some of us have that busy “monkey mind” so it is hard to quiet it. Often times when the mind can’t be quieted the body can’t either. If neither one can be still it makes shavasana very difficult. So it can really be a pose that needs practice. So I was excited to hear that some students actually look forward to the time we allow for it.

I am looking forward to this week and being able to give them the time they look forward to each week.

*Shavasana is done in corpse pose or IS corpse pose . . . which is lying on your back . . . I instruct students on how to do the pose, but always encourage those that have pain or who are uncomfortable to get into a comfortable position so that they can be still and enjoy the benefits of stillness of the body and the mind.

What about you?  Do you enjoy shavasana?

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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 »