Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 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 ‘yoga asanas’

Light On Iyengar

Posted by terrepruitt on May 9, 2015

Some of you may have heard of Iyengar yoga.  It is a form of Hatha yoga created by Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar.  It was borne from hours and hours (equating to years and years) of practice.  Iyengar yoga focuses on doing the asanas in a precise and exact manner with mindfulness and specific breath.  The poses are also held so that the practitioner can have “microscopic awareness and inner penetration” and not just mechanically do the pose without thought.  I never knew Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja (B.K.S.) Iyengar’s story and having just learned it, I find it very interesting.

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, PiYoHis brother-in-law was a “respected yoga scholar” and he asked B.K.S. to move to his city to help his sister with running the house.  B.K.S.’s brother-in-law, Tirumalai Krishnamarcharya, was not impressed with B.K.S. suggesting he should practice yoga to improve his health.  B.K.S. did, and after three years he noticed improvement.  His brother-in-law ran a yoga school and during a yoga demonstration asked B.K.S. to execute a pose he was not familiar with much less able to do.  But B.K.S. did it anyway and injured himself.  It took him years to fully heal the injury.

This was the catalyst for his thoughts on progression and sequencing.  He realized that one needs to work his way up to certain poses.  One needs to prepare himself both mentally and physically for certain asanas.  Poses should not be done without any preparation.

B.K.S. married during the time when yoga was not very popular and his efforts to bring it to a wider audience did not help his family’s financial situation.  It took 12 years for B.K.S. situation to change for the better and many more years for yoga to become popular.  But as you may know yoga eventually caught on and is now practiced in many corners of the world.

In 1975, three years after his wife, Ramaamani Iyengar, died, the Ramaamani Iyengar Memorial Institute in Pune, India was opened.  Thousands of people attend the yoga school to learn Iyengar yoga.

B.K.S. Iyengar died in August of 2014.  If you consider 1934, when he moved to Mysore to help his sister, as the year he started doing yoga, he had been doing yoga for 80 years.  He died when he was 95.

The title of this post is a play on the titles his books Light On Yoga, Light On Pranayama, Light on Astanga Yoga, and Light on Life.  Having not read any of them, I am assuming the books shed light on each subject in the title.  Since I just learned a bit about B.K.S. Iyengar I thought I would share, shedding some light.

I just received B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga The Path To Holistic Health, I am sure that I will be learning a lot more about Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar and Iyengar yoga so I am sure I will be sharing more about it.  With  the different branches of yoga and the many different types there is always something to learn and that means there is always something to share!

Have you heard of Iyengar yoga?  Do you do yoga?  What type of yoga do you do?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Adding More Noise To The Mix

Posted by terrepruitt on June 10, 2014

We have sounding in Nia . . . where we make sounds as we are dancing.  Plus people are always invited and . . . in my class . . . encouraged to sing.  I’ve written several posts about sounding and put them in their own category under Nia.  (Click here for the link to those posts)  Although I do not think of making sounds as being regulated to Nia, I just have them as a sub-category under the category Nia.  I think sounds are appropriate to make during other exercises and workouts.  One that always comes to mind when people seem to need convincing of making noises and exercising is martial arts.  Once I remind them that “Hi-Ya!” is a common sound, they seem to relax into the idea a bit.  As I probably have mentioned before, I remember it being an unspoken rule that you didn’t make noise while you are doing Jazzercise, lifting weights, or working out at the Lady Spa.  Could have been ideal that it was unladylike to make noise.  I don’t know, because I never remember being told NOT to make a sound, I just know that no one did it.  It was almost as if even breathing heavy was taboo!  One reason I love Nia:   breathing and making sounds are encouraged.  But I think of these sounds as helping with the flow of oxygen and energy.  I think of them as stress relieving and joy bringing.  So when I was flipping through Yoga Journal and came across an article titled “How To Be Fearless” I thought, “Huh?  Interesting.”  Mark Moliterno, an opera singer and yoga instructor has paired yoga with voice to create YogaVoice.

This reminded me of one of Nia’s instructors who created Kivo® The Kinetic Voice . . . which is – according to her website – “a vocal practice that uses the whole body. It is designed to harness the power of vocal vibration and movement as transformational tools that unlock energy, activate your true radiance and empower you to go out and create the life you were born to live.”  So . . . back to the article when I looked at the chart within the article I realized that the pairings were for more than just overcoming public speaking jitters as the subtitle read.  It was for a list of different areas.

Just as we know certain sounds to be related to certain chakras and feelings, you probably also know poses are related to certain chakras and feelings.  When sounds and asanas are paired up they can be very beneficial.  I would bet many of you are familiar with “OM” as a yoga chant. Different sounds and different mantras can be used.  The information on the YogaVoice websites leads me to believe this is different from chanting while doing yoga, there are indications that it goes beyond that.

I just love that more sounding is coming into the workout.  Since I believe there is a lot more to sounding — a lot more benefits can be reaped than just breathing — I love movement forms that stem from sounding or that incorporate it.

Do you believe the is benefits to making noises while working out?  Do you make noises while exercising?

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

Practice Does Not Make Perfect

Posted by terrepruitt on September 5, 2013

When I typed in the word practice this is what came up in Google:

prac·tice  /ˈpraktəs/

noun
1. the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use.

2. repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.

verb
1. perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.
2. carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly.

Nia is a practice.  Yoga is a practice.  Playing a musical instrument takes practice.  One does not just step into a Nia class and do it exactly right the first time.  One does not move into a yoga pose and get it exactly right the first time.  One does not start to play a song and do it exactly right the first time.  It all takes practice.  With Nia the emphasis is on the body’s way.  I have said it before, but I will say it again, there is a right way to do the moves, the body’s way, the way the body was designed to move.  But every body is different.  Some bodies do not move the way they were designed.  Some bodies never will, but some just need time.  Yoga is a little different in that the positions are a bit more exact, but still, if your body does not move or bend that way do not force it.  It could be that your body needs to work toward that pose, it needs to practice or it could be that the actual structure of your body will not allow for the exact post to be attained.  Either way it is a practice.

Nia is more forgiving.  Since it is a dance there is a lot of room for freedom.  With yoga people expect there to be one way to do the pose but again, not exactly true.  The individual’s body needs to be taken into account.  Some bodies will just not bend or fold certain ways.  They might be able to bend more or fold more than the first time a yoga asana is attempted, but it might never look exactly like that magazine picture.  Most pictures of people in yoga positions are just like that of high fashion and/or make up models.  They are the exception not the norm.  They are showing an example of what the pose in its absolute perfection is supposed to look like.  They should be required to disclose how many years that person has been doing yoga or how long they were actually in that pose.  JUST like people are telling young girls to give up the idea of looking like the women in magazines, some people need to go a little easier on themselves when it comes to yoga poses.

The idea is not “to look like the picture” but to be better and more comfortable at doing the pose as time goes on.  In the picture the person might have their elbows on the ground and when you start you can barely touch the floor.  Well, the proper way to learn (at least one way . . . another is props, but for this example we are using progression) is to practice until you can touch the floor.  Practice with good form.  Then practice until you can stay touching the floor – with good form.  Then practice until you can stay longer each time at touching the floor – with good form.  Don’t injure yourself trying to put your elbows on the ground and all the while not achieve good form.

I do not believe that practice makes perfect.  Practice just makes time get used up.  But good practice, practice with good form, practice that allows you to get better than you were is good.  “Perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.”  Yeah that.  Being patient with oneself and allowing one to practice and make it good practice will get one further on a the path of proficiency than just trying to get to that pose without working into it.  While we all know this, I was reminded that many of us need to be reminded of this.

Nia is a practice.  Yoga is a practice.  Playing a musical instrument takes practice.

How are you are practicing?  Do you like the process of learning or do you like to just jump right in and do it right and all the way the first time?

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