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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Posts Tagged ‘yoga mat’

Knee Helper

Posted by terrepruitt on September 12, 2018

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, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise ClassesThere are standing yoga poses, there are sitting yoga poses, there are reclined yoga poses, there are prone yoga poses, and there are some yoga poses that require the person to be on their knees. There are a lot of reasons being on one’s knees might be uncomfortable. Sometimes people just fold up their yoga mat to give them extra cushion under their knees. Some people have opted to bring in additional cushions and pads to put under their knees. Recently one of my students discovered this gardener’s knee cushion. She purchased it on sale at Orchard’s Supply. She bought it but wasn’t sure it would work, but then after she tried it, she told everyone else about it and they all came back the next week with one.

If not being comfortable on your knees keeps you from doing yoga, perhaps getting a gardener’s cushion could help. Now there is a different between “being uncomfortable” on your knees and “not be able to be” on your knees. I know there are knees out there that people are just not able to be on. If that is the case then a cushion is not going to help. This post and suggestion is just for the people with basically healthy knees that need a little cushion.

This cushion is a Laura Ashley cushion but I don’t see it on her website, but I bet there are other ones out there that are like this one. It is covered in neoprene (the stuff wetsuits are made with) or something like it and it feels more comparable to a memory foam cushion then just foam or rubber. Some pads are made of form or cushion-y rubber, but this is different. So, if you are in the market for a cushion for your knees to use in yoga you might want to look into gardeners’ knee pad/cushion.  Then you can do yoga and your knees will thank you along with the rest of your body.

Do you like cushion under your knees during yoga?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ahimsa And Yourself

Posted by terrepruitt on February 5, 2016

Recently I posted a bit about the eight limbs of yoga.  Basically a list of the limbs and a sentence about each.  Then I followed up with a list of the yamas and niyamas which are the first two limbs of yoga.  I am sure each limb can and does have volumes written about them.  And I am sure that each of the yamas and niyamas have volumes written about them.  I thought I would just do a post on each yama and niyama.  I was taught the yamas are restraints or restrictions, while the niyamas are observances or rules.  Ethical principles and spiritual practices, respectively.  I mentioned one way to look at it is our attitudes toward our environment and our attitudes towards ourselves.  Well, this is a bit about Ahimsa.  A way to look at Ahimsa.  Not the only way, just one way.  And not even the entire way, just a bit.

Ahimsa is non-violence, non-harming, and/or non-injury.  Now for me, the first thing I think of is non-violence as a physical act.  I think of hitting, punching, stabbing, shooting – something physical and VIOLENT.  I don’t actually do any of those things.  So I think, “I’m good.”  I bet a lot of us are.  But then when I remember that the idea is to have it apply to our thoughts, our words, and our actions, I realize, “I’m not so ‘good'”.  How often do we say that all too common phrase, “I wanna kill . . .” or “I could kill for a . . . ” even though I never really would, am I practicing ahimsa when I say it?  I don’t think so.  I am not sure that this type of talk is not harmful.

Another way we can look at ahimsa is as compassion.  So if we are compassionate we are non-violent, non-harmful, and/or with not cause injury.  And this could be applied to ourselves.  Are we compassionate with ourselves?  Do we get down on ourselves when we don’t do as we expected?

An exercise I participated in recently had us examining how we practice ahimsa when it came to ourselves.  Ahimsa and our self on and off the yoga mat.  In regards to Ahimsa with myself off the mat I realized I say – to myself – I am stupid a lot.  Because of my habit of getting to bed so late the first think I think of on Monday morning is  “Oh, I’m so stupid.”  I think, “Every Sunday since you don’t have to teach on Mondays you stay up too late and then it is so difficult to get up on Monday.  And it sets the tone of being tired for the rest of the week.”  What about you?  Do you ever find yourself saying things not in keeping with ahimsa in regards to yourself?

On the mat or in any exercise situation, we could apply ahimsa.  It could be as simple as not being violent with oneself.  It could be as simple as not causing harm – don’t do anything that will harm you or cause you injury.  But sometimes it is the compassion that is the challenge.  The compassion that says, “You need to be gentle with your body today, right now.”  We so often have that other voice saying, “You are here, get the MOST out of your workout.  Work harder.  Burn more calories.”  Perhaps even chiding you for something you ate and so feeling like you were “bad” for eating something “bad” you have to punish yourself with a really hard workout.  That is not ahimsa from many angles.  Sometimes it is difficult to be compassionate with yourself on the mat or in a workout situation.

It could just be a matter of, as Aadil Palkhivala said, not pushing when we should be pulling back, not fighting when we need to surrender, not forcing our bodies to do things they are not yet ready to do. So sometimes it is not just “not doing” more, but surrendering or not fighting.

As with all the Yamas, there is a lot of room for me to improve in practicing them.  I am not posting about them because I have them all figured out and I practice them perfectly.  I am writing about them to help me remember them.  I think I have a lot to work on when it comes to ahimsa in thought and even words.

What about you?  Just in regards to Ahimsa towards yourself?  How are you with that?  How does it differ on and off the mat?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Finding Bright Spots

Posted by terrepruitt on June 26, 2014

Here is a beautiful picture of a place I am lucky enough to visit.  I was looking through my pictures and I thought I would share it.  I taught a Nia class this morning and we went to coffee afterwards.  It is so nice to have such a great group of students.  I also taught a yoga class this evening.  They are also a great group!  We have not gathered for a visit after class.  Not sure that will ever happen because I like to rush home to get dinner on the table.  But there is a very tasty taqueria really close so maybe one of these days we will go out after class.   Perhaps I can talk my husband into joining us, or at least promise him I’ll bring home a burrito!  This post is really just a filler.  I mentioned “stuff” in my last post.  Well, it is taking up my thoughts so I didn’t come up with an educational post.  I thought I would share some bright spots and remind you of your Goodie Jar.

If you are doing a Goodie Jar, I am using this post to do some checking in with you regarding it.  My wonderful students are often notes in my Goodie Jar.  Our current weather gets mentioned too.  Our weather has been very nice the past few days considering it is summer.  It has not been sweltering hot.  Yesterday my husband and I sat outside most of the day.   It wasn’t too hot to do so.  It even rained a bit last night.  We need rain so bad, it was nice to see the street wet this morning.  Since we need rain so badly it is so great that our temperatures are not so hot.

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 YogaLast week my niece visited us.  She and I spent one afternoon making candles.  You may have seen my post about when we did it the first time?  Last time I made myself a candle.  This time I made a candle for my hubby.  A sun, because he is my sunshine.  With kitties below.  Hummingbirds because we love ours in our yard, along with our roses.  And then the words because, well, I love him.  The colors were just because my niece and I liked them.  My niece is a bit of a Disney fanatic so she made one that looks like a symbol of Minnie Mouse.  I did not take a good picture of it, but it was very cute.

I did mention two other bright spots in my last post.  One was the return of a Nia student to my Nia class and another student bringing his own yoga mat.  Well tonight I had another returning student.  It was to my yoga class.  There are many, many teachers around so it is so heart warming when a student returns to class.  Something to put in the jar of Good Things.

I have many bright spots to acknowledge and be thankful for.  How about you?  Are you still making notes / documenting the good things in your daily life?  Jotting down things that make you smile?  Here it is open for sharing.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

A Breathe Of Fresh Caffeine?

Posted by terrepruitt on June 24, 2014

Wow, you might not believe I have more “stuff” going on.  More on that later.  I am sure I will write a post or two.  You know I always share, it just takes some time sometime.  So, instead – highlights of my day:  a student who has been away from my Nia classes for a bit came to class today.  That was wonderful, unexpected and very timely.  Another student in one of my yoga classes came to class with his own mat.  That put a huge smile on my face.  I took that as a sign that he is “into” it.  Later when I told him I was so happy to see him have his own mat, he said, “Yeah, I got to stick with it!!!!”  Thrilling!  Yes, gotta keep looking at the bright spots.  While perusing my cache of “topics to post about”, I came across one I found interesting.  Could be something you are aware of, perhaps I had heard of it too, but forgot.  I think the studies were done in 2009.  Did you know caffeine could, possibly, help people with asthma breathe better?

There is an article about a small study showing caffeine worked as a bronchodilator.  “A bronchodilator is a substance that dilates the bronchi and bronchioles, decreasing resistance in the respiratory airway and increasing airflow to the lungs.” per Wiki

The small study of 75 people with mild to moderate asthma was done.  Six trails showed 55 people had improved lung function for up to fours hours after consuming caffeine.

A study at the Indiana University show that caffeine an hour before exercise can significantly reduce exercise induced asthma.  I cannot find a link to the Indiana University study, but there are numerous articles about it that surface when a search is done.  One article on ScienceDaily said that it was LARGE amounts of caffeine that were used in this study.  The article stated “9 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight”.  Ok check my figuring on this using the information from the Mayo Clinic regarding a regular brewed cup of coffee, which is 8 oz brewed coffee has 95-200 mg of caffeine.  That is a big difference, but that is ok, it will still work in my “figuring”.  Let’s use the top, 200 mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee.  Well, lets say average man is 80 kilograms (176.37 pounds), that would be 720 mgs of caffeine.  That is roughly 4.5 cups of strong coffee.  Is that right?  The article also said that smaller amounts – 3 mg – 6 mg per kilogram of body weight “also reduced the wheezing, coughing and other symptoms of” exercise induced asthma.

Interesting.  I know many people who use caffeine to help fuel their workouts.  I know many people who use caffeine to help fuel their day.  So, while I am by NO MEANS saying to use caffeine instead of any physician prescribed medication for asthma . . . I just think it is interesting.  Since it could be that many people with asthma are drinking coffee anyway. I just like when I come across tidbits of information.

What do you think?

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

Get Down On It

Posted by terrepruitt on February 4, 2014

Did you sing it?  When I began to write this post the first thing I thought of is what I often think of when I sit down to share something on my blog and that is WHICH way do I want to describe it.  As I have said numerous times there are different ways to do things and you can check the web, books, magazines, and other places and you will see different instructions.  So while I was glancing at the different pictures what popped into my head was “GET DOWN ON IT!”  There really is no “it” in this position.  That is just what popped into my head, then as I was typing it . . . I was singing.  Of course, you were singing too as you read it right?  Please stop here and take a few minutes to Get Down On It!

Ok, now that you are back.  Let’s talk about the Garland Pose.  This is an instinctive position for the human body and one that gets abandoned as we age.  As I type, I see myself writing at least three posts about it, not the Garland Pose specifically, but this position.  I am starting with the Garland Pose.

The Garland Pose or Malasana is a yoga asana.  This pose can easily be described as a low, deep, or full squat.  I have posted about squats before, but the squats I was talking about previously were not full squats.  I think of those ones more as “weight training” squats.  Either doing them with weights or on a BOSU and not going all the way down.  The legs are not fully “folded” in that type of squat.

In the Garland Pose the legs are folded to where the back of the calf touches the back of the thigh.

Remember there are different ways to do this, the main goal for ankle and hip flexibility is full foot on the floor, legs folded with knees wide.  So these instructions are going to start with feet flat on the floor.  Place your feet about shoulder width apart (not wider than).  Have your toes pointing just slightly out on the diagonal.  Then lower your buttocks down, keeping your knees wide.

If it is not just a matter of “lowering your buttocks down” as in, this is not easy for you there are things to do to allow you to practice getting into that position.  One way is to fold over, bending at the hips, and place your hands on the ground then lower your tush down.  If that is not a comfortable option you can put your hands on the seat of a chair and lower your butt until it is comfortable.  With each try, go lower.  Eventually you will be using elbows on the chair.  With this method you have to be cautious with the chair.  If you are using it to hold your weight you have to make certain it will not move or tip over on you.  So use a secure chair.

If not the fold over or chair technique, you can use a strap or something secured around a door knob.  Hold onto that as you learn to lower yourself down.  There are many precautions to take when using a door knob so make sure you think about all of them (strap not slipping off, door knob not popping off, door secure – not opening, no one walking in the door you are using — and more, so please be careful if using this technique).  With a secure strap you can work your way down slowly or in increments.

Once down, center your torso in between you knees and thighs.  Your knees are wide.  Place your elbows at your knees hands in Añjali Mudra or prayer position.  Embrace the beauty of posture that is yoga and lengthen your spine.  Lift the crown of your head up, reach the neck longer, lower the shoulders as they pull back, lift the ribs off of the hips, all the while your tail reaching for the earth.  Stay as long as you are comfortable.

Another modification to practice is to put a folded towel or blanket under your heels until you are able to put your heels down.  One of the reasons this position gets abandoned as we get older is our calf muscles get shortened and/or tight.  In some people high heels are the cause of that.

This pose is beautiful for some many reasons.  To name a few; it helps with balance, it opens the hips, it improves flexibility in the ankles, it can transport you back to when you were a child and did not hesitant to squat to see what was on the ground!

When you are done push up to standing.  If that is not an option, I recommend getting up any way that is comfortable for you.  Eventually with practice you will get stronger and find many ways to rise.  Also with practice you might find yourself using the squat to pick things up instead of just bending over.  Remember it is a practice so you don’t have to save all the moves for the mat, incorporate them into your day.

So did you sing?  When practicing this pose how far can you get down?  Are you utilizing either the chair or the door knob technique?

Posted in Nia, Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »