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 Practice’

Shake And Roll For Poses To Do

Posted by terrepruitt on November 21, 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 so many different ways to practice yoga. I like to try different things aside from taking classes. I have applications on my devices, I’ve moved along with Youtube videos, I have created my own routines, I have just done what comes to mind, and I have practiced other ways.  I recently purchased Yoga Dice. It is a fun way to do some poses. There are so many ways you can use the dice. Each dice has five poses and their related chakra on it. There are seven dice which you can just shake in the tub then roll out.

I have been rolling out all the dice and then arranging them in the order I want to do each pose. Then I do all the poses then roll them again.  I do this several times to end up with an hours worth of “routine.” When it lands on the chakra I just roll that dice again so it will be on a pose.

In addition to the poses on each dice being related to a chakra the poses are also split up into types of poses. So one dice is Sun Salutation Poses, one is standing poses, one is balancing poses, one is seated, one is forward bends, one is back bends, and one is core poses. So you could decide to just do one or two types of poses and only roll those dice.  You could also decide which dice to roll uses the chakra.

Really, there are so many ways to use the dice it is quite fun.  It is just another way to put together poses to get a yoga workout in, another way to practice.  I like to use the dice because then I don’t really have to think about what poses to do.  The way I have been doing it there is a little thinking as I need to arrange the dice that I have rolled into a sequence that makes sense for me, but you don’t even really have to do that if you want.

As I said, there are so many ways to practice yoga it is up to you if these dice would be something you would like to do.  I like it as it is just another way to practice.  I will probably end up posting again about how to use these dice because the possibilities just seem endless.

Can you imagine all the ways you can use this dice?

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

A Time For You To Relax

Posted by terrepruitt on August 6, 2018

It is funny how time is. It might seem like you just saw a friend a couple of months ago, but it turns out to be a year or two. You might think you just got your nails done – because they look good still, but it has been three weeks. You might think you just saw a movie, but it turns out it have been years. The same kind of thing bleeds into writing a blog, at least for me. Sometimes I think I want to write about a topic and I think, “I just wrote about that.” Then when I look it up it was years ago. Or the really funny ones to me are when I can’t even find that I posted about it at all! I have been wanting to write again about shavasana, but I was thinking I had just written a post about it. But it turns out I posted about it four years ago. That is so amazing to me because I can hear and see the person (the one I mentioned in the post) talking to me. Anyway, I wanted to say some additional things about shavasana.

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 ClassesLet me alert you to the fact that if you come to my one of my classes, I always reserve time for shavasana. I like to start it at 10 minutes before the class ends. I like to give students about eight minutes. I consider shavasana a very important part of a class. I think of it as a sacred time. It is part of the yoga practice. It is part of the yoga routine. Just as much as all of the other poses, shavasana is about you, the student, and your body. Just like the prior portion of the class it could be the only time in my students’ day where they really are just doing something for themselves. There is nothing to be thinking of and no movement to be made. It is all about relaxation.

I feel it is very important to have this time in the day. Especially with the busy-ness of society. Just taking about 8 minutes to do nothing can help with so much.

Since I whole-heartedly consider this time to be sacred I ask anyone that has to leave before the class is over to leave before shavasana starts. The best way to go, if you have to leave, is to gather your stuff as quickly and quietly as you can and go. None of us mind putting away any props that were used (we only have chairs available) because the remaining students want to get on with their relaxation. When someone leaves – and there are times it is necessary – it kind of changes the atmosphere in the room so the sooner the departure the better so we can get back to the calm.

I usually talk for three to five minutes, slowly having the students focus on relaxation from toe to head. Then they just relax as the music plays. This is the time where the body is allowed to enjoy the sensation – even on an unconscious level – of the poses they just practiced. It allows the body time to adjust before it rushes back into the go-go-go. It is the same for the mind. Shavasana is time and space for the mind to rest. That doesn’t mean that thoughts won’t crop up, but it is the time where you are allowed to just give thoughts a nod and a little push, so they go away and you focus back on your body and your breath. This is the time when you can also take a break from emotions or just let them flow. Also a time when your spirit gets to rest and relax. No need to exercise anything but stillness.

I know it is so difficult for some people in the beginning, but just like with any practice it gets to be something one can do.  And just like all poses some days you may be “better” at it than others.  It is all great, because it is all part of the practice.  The important part – at least to me – is to not skip it.

What are your thoughts on shavasana?  Do you like it?  Do you not like it?

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

Cow Guy With Needle In Haunch

Posted by terrepruitt on September 5, 2016

What?  “cow guy with needle in haunch.”  That came up in the “top searches” on my blog.  I read it over and over thinking, “What?”  And even more disturbing . . . “it sounds familiar.”  The more I think about it, the more I think I know something about it, but I can’t remember what.  This situation is very weird and disturbing to me.  Cow guy with needle in haunch . . . . . . . . hmmmmm . . . it will come to me.  I bet just as I am about to press publish I will remember and then I will have to scrap this whole thing and think of another post.  It is at the edge of my brain.  I am sure it has to do with a TV show that my husband and I watch because I have no other connection to a “cow guy.”  I might have a connection to a needle in a haunch, but more like the skin of neck.  Hmmmmm . . . . don’t you hate that?  When you think something is familiar but you have no idea why?  It is like that thing on the tip of your tongue.  Or the thing on the edge of your brain or in the corner of your mind.  But what I don’t know is why that is a top search on my blog.  Even if I was searching for it because it has to do with a TV show we watch, why is it on my blog?

Next top searches are:  wrist blood pressure higher than arm, granola for gout, piyo satya.  The search terms used to be so much more useful but then a long time ago Google changed the way they did things and so the information we get on WordPress is pretty useless.  At least WordPress claims it was Google’s fault for the change.  I don’t really know.  I do know that at one point I used the searches to sometimes come up with post topics.  I figured if people were looking for the information I could write about it.

But in this case (“cow guy with needle in haunch”).  I got nothing.  I am somewhat wondering.  Is it the cow with the needle in its haunch or the guy who has something to do with cows?  Kinda sounds like there is a guy who has something to do with cows so he is called “cow guy” and HE has a needle in his haunch.  What kind of needle?  This search just really raises a lot more questions then there could ever be answers, don’t you think?

I kind of wish that people would have to explain WHY they were searching for the things they do.  But then I think about it more and realize that something like that could actually be pretty terrifying.  Eeeeek!

The highest search that comes up on my blog is the wrist monitor for blood pressure.  Always surprises me.  That is always the top search.  Which takes people to my post Blood Pressure Monitors – It’s All In the Wrist.

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitIn regards to that, a few months ago, my father, my husband, and I were sitting around the table and my wrist blood pressure monitor happen to be on the table.  We were talking about the accuracy of it.  My husband took his blood pressure.  Then I took mine.  After I took mine, my father said, “Oh so it doesn’t work.  It must be broke.”  And I just smiled and said, “I don’t know.  Ok.  Take yours.”  Then he took his and it came up accurate according to his normal rates (my dad takes his blood pressure enough and has it taken enough he knows what his is).  And he said, “Oh.”  He felt it was pretty accurate.  I always take it three times when I take it.  I just took it now: 91/62  ❤ 55 and 103/65  ❤ 60 and 84/65  ❤ 60  I honestly think it has a lot to do with Nia.

Everyday I see more and more post on Facebook with links to how dance is really good for you.  I don’t read any of them, because I know.  I don’t read them because if you don’t like to dance then it doesn’t really matter.  Me telling you that they have done studies about how great it is for your health, if you don’t like to do it, you’re not just gonna start because it is good for you.  And I don’t need to read it for me, because I know.  I do believe Nia helps blood pressure, just like any mind-body or body-mind practice.

Anyway . . . I started off wondering about an odd search term and ended up on blood pressure which brought me to Nia because I think Nia helps with mine.  How is that for sitting down and just typing/writing?

What kind of search odd search terms do you see on your blog?  Do you do any type of mind-body or body-mind practice?  Yoga?  Pilates?  Meditation?  Chanting?

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Socks Could Help You With The Pose

Posted by terrepruitt on May 23, 2016

I have written and posted about shavasana (savasana) before.  This asana can be used to start a class or be done anywhere in the sequence that you see fit to use it.  It is used in many yoga classes as the final pose.  I think of it as a Challenging Easy Pose.  It is a challenge because many of us have busy lives and things to do all the time.  Many of us have a lot to think about.  Many of us are challenged with quieting the mind.  Not necessarily having no thoughts because I am not sure that is even possible, but not having a lot of chatter in the mind.  Having focused thoughts.  The thoughts focusing on breath, body, and the practice just experienced.  Some people are further challenged with just being still.  So in addition to the busy, moving mind, there is the busy, moving body.  For some just relaxing and not fidgeting is a challenge.  I find that being comfortable really helps.  When doing shavasana as the final pose, I instruct my students to put on their jackets, if they want.  I encourage them bring blankets.  I almost plead with them to bring sock, nice, comfy, fluffy socks — and use them during shavasana.

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI think this one simple thing will change your shavasana.  It doesn’t matter what the temperature is.  The room could be hot and the last thing you would think to do is put on socks, but I invite you to try it.  I reserve at least 7 minutes for shavasana.  I shoot for 10 minutes but sometimes that doesn’t work.  But we do at least 7 minutes.  So there is plenty of time to sink into relaxation.  It could be that in my classes, with all of that time the feet have a chance to cool off so socks are great.  When the feet are chilled it might keep you from completely relaxing.  You might not even realize they are chilled.  So socks can help.

Also air moving around your more than 7000 nerve endings (in each foot) might distract you.  With many yoga classes there are some standing poses, so you’ve activated the nerves in the feet.  Perhaps sensitized the feet during the class.  So nice socks could help keep the distraction to a minimum. COMFY socks might help bring some calm back to those nerves.  So if possible use warm and comfortable socks.  Not dress socks, because those do not help with warmth.

I am not sure the ancient yogis would endorse or even agree with such a recommendation, but I think of socks as a prop to help me achieve the purpose of the pose.  If props are used and recommended for other poses why not shavasana.  I do know that some people use bolsters when they are available, so why not use socks?

For me, once I started using socks, my shavasana changed.  I hadn’t even really thought about my feet affecting the pose until one day I decided to put on socks.  The few students of mine that have decided to use socks during their shavasana mentioned how it made a difference.  We all marvel at how it did!

So . . . whether you love shavasana or not . . . whether you are challenged by it or not . . . I suggest trying it with socks on.  See what you think.  Then let me know.

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Yoga Bodies

Posted by terrepruitt on May 2, 2016

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitRecently I attended a yoga class just to observe.  Sometimes just observing is difficult because the desire to get up and participate is often there.  But I thought this class was beyond my level of doing.  I like slow mindful classes.  I am not a fan of the speed of a flow class.  I also know this teacher to be a bit of a tough cookie.  And I have come to the studio AFTER this class – in the past – and the participants are just dripping and wobbly legged, so I had never thought to participate before.  So . . . I thought that observing would be a piece of cake.  There would be no desire to jump to participate.  Now, let me explain this “observing,” it is for me to become a better teacher.  I am not there to judge or criticize the students nor the teacher.  But I am there to gain knowledge.  Observe how one sequences a class.  To observe how assistance is given.  To observe the yoga teacher’s pacing and volume.  To learn by observing.  I have three separate papers for three separate types of notes.  I have POSES, for poses I want to either do myself or bring to my classes.  I have Cues and Things I want to bring to my classes.  And I have just notes that I will refer back to.  While I was doing my best to listen and look without staring at the participants I got a little misty eyed.  My breath caught in my throat and I thought, “Damn!  Bodies are beautiful!”

You probably know I have a tendency to ramble on and on when all I really wanted to tell you is –  if you want to learn yoga stop staring at the Yoga Journal, stop looking at models on websites – GO TO A CLASS TO OBSERVE!!!!!  Look at REAL people DOING yoga.  Look at REAL bodies doing yoga.  Just watch, just observe, don’t judge.  We do this in Nia all the time, we call it witnessing.  We “witness” without judgment.  So just go to a class and witness.  Appreciate what you see.  Notice the strength.  Notice the weakness.  Notice the flexibility.  Notice the stiffness.  Notice the intention.  Notice the determination.  Notice the frustration.  Notice the effort.  Notice the triumphs.  Notice the concentration.  Notice the distraction.  Notice the trying.  Notice it all!

I was struck by it all when I looked up and saw someone in a pose perfectly.  I thought, “Dang.  I will glance back over throughout the class because that is awesome and I want to see more of that.”  Then I looked back a few poses later and I thought the person had moved spots because what I saw was misery.  The person could barely get into the pose.  And the next person was Yoga Journal perfect whereas they couldn’t do the previous pose.  A few of the people I noticed in pose “perfection” in one pose were in the total opposite of perfection in other poses.  The class was full of perfect poses and not perfect poses . . . all at different times by the same and by different people.  And I wanted to jump up and join in!

This was not a beginner class, it was a class of real people doing yoga in real bodies.  Some bodies whose arms are not long enough to hold the foot when the leg is extended.  Some bodies whose hamstrings are too tight or too short to do a straight legged fold.  Some bodies whose bones or bodies get in the way.   Bodies that come to class and do real yoga.

The models in the magazine and on the websites more-than-likely were chosen to do that particular pose because they can.  Their limbs are just the right length to do the poses.  Could also be that the model only did that one pose or was put into that pose whereas in a yoga class there is a sequence and it could be that by the time you get half way through your muscles are tired and so the poses might not be picture perfect.  Yoga is a practice not a photo.

So, while there are correct and more importantly SAFE ways to do the asana try not to get caught up in doing it “perfect” or doing it exactly like someone in a magazine.  Do what you can and keep practicing.  Remember to breath.

Namaste~

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

Tapas – The Third Niyama

Posted by terrepruitt on March 11, 2016

Tapas, no, not the little plates of appetizers in Spanish cuisine.  But that is, honestly, how I remember this niyama.  I think, “What is the third one?  Oh yeah, little plates of food.”  As I have mentioned before, and this word is no different, you will probably see it spelled many different ways.  If you want to not confuse it with the little plates you could spell it Tapahs. Although, the Heart of Yoga, does link Tapas to food.  First he says that it literally means “to heat the body”.  He goes on to say that by doing so we cleanse it.  Another form, he says is “paying attention to what we eat”.  So that does kind of tie in with food.  The book further states that “posture, attention to eating habits, attention to breathing patterns are all tapas.”  I learned tapas as discipline.

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSo that would be discipline over your posture, eating habits, and breath.  The idea is that if you have discipline over all of these things you are purifying the body and practicing tapas.  The Heart of Yoga also says, “Tapas is often described as penance, mortification, and a strict diet.”

I like the way Connie Habash, talks about it in her article. She talks about tapas as being that fire that gets you to do things.  The inner flame that motivates you, she says.  That desire or discipline that has you doing chores or a daily workout even when you really don’t want to.  The thing that keeps you on track.  I am way more on board with that then “voluntary self-punishment inflicted as an outward expression of repentance for having done wrong”.

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWhich is good because I guess even though “tapas is often described at penance” it doesn’t mean penance or castigation” so it is mentioned later in The Heart of Yoga.  Basically we are disciplined with ourselves.  Not doing something (eating, exercising, working, playing) in excess.  Doing what we need to stay healthy, but not taking it overboard.  While exercising is a good thing it can be done to a point of making the body or mind unhealthy.  And that can be said of many things, as I mentioned work and even play.  If there is too much “play” then there is no balance.  Yoga is all about balance.  Things need to be in balance.  The yin and the yang.

The practice of tapas allows for balance as it is the discipline that keeps everything in check.  So, this is a brief idea of tapas.  Tapas is the third niyama.  There are five niyamas.  Niyamas are the second limb of yoga.  There are eight limbs of yoga.

I have mastered none.  I am just posting about them as a way to familiarize myself with them and a way to keep them and their ideas at my fingertips.  Yoga is a practice so these are things I can process for years to come.  I share them, too, as a way to introduce you to the other aspects of yoga.  Just like I share the principles and other things that make up Nia.

Can you easily see why yoga is called a practice?  🙂

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Being Content – The Second Niyama

Posted by terrepruitt on March 9, 2016

Ahhhh Santosha, the second niyama.  The niyamas and the yamas are the second and first limb of the Eight Limbs of Yoga.  As with many things there is often more to it than what is popular knowledge.  Most people are familiar with yoga, in the sense that they know it has to do with stretching.  Many people will even say, “I am not flexible enough to do yoga.”  Ha . . . that is probably more true than they know.  Tee hee.  But, actually they are just referring to the physical aspect because, again, that is what is popular knowledge.  To me, that is fine, just knowing yoga as a physical practice is fine.  In fact, if that is all you want to do when you think of yoga, that is fine too.  I am not here to say you have to do yoga a certain way or that you have to practice all the limbs or you aren’t doing real yoga — in fact, to say that, in MY opinion — is not practicing “real” yoga.  Ha . . . so intertwined it all is.  But anyway . . Eight Limbs . . . More To Yoga Than Just Asana.  The first two limbs (yama and niyama) are rules and observances.  There are five of each.  I have posted a bit about the five yamas and now I am working my way through the five niyamas.  This post is about the second one — Santosha, contentment.

Ahhhhh.  Sigh.  Sounds so super easy . . . if you consider yourself content.  But it might not be if you look at it.  If you really look at “true” contentment it might be a little bit more difficult than at first glance.  This one is tricky because in some cases it might appear to be laziness or unambitious.  But really it is just being content with where you are.  Again it can be connected to some of the yamas, because we would be content with where we are and not try to “steal” something away from someone else.  We will be content with what we have in that we won’t try to get all that we can (either material-wise or sexually).  We will not try to possess everything and hoard it all.  These are comparisons to the last three yamas.

Santosha extends to worrying.  Worrying is a form of non-contentedness.  We are thinking about the future and not content to be right where we are.  It could be a matter of not trusting that we are where we need to be.  It could be a matter of not focusing on the now.  There might even be an aspect of control to consider.  If we are always trying to control things it could be that we don’t trust what will happen to be the right thing or that we are unable to surrender to it.  Hmmmm . . . .

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, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSo we are to accept what is happening, what is in the present, and what we have.  We are to be content with what is.  Santosha is not to worry about what will be and try not to control everything.  This does not mean we cannot make plans and have ambitions, it just means that we should enjoy what we have and not be too disappointed when it is not the way we think it should be.

Again I will say, I have not mastered this entirely.  I think I am content in some situations, but I might be a little non-Santosha in others.  But, again, it is a practice.

What would you like to share about Santosha?

 

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The Fourth Yama – Brahmacharya

Posted by terrepruitt on February 29, 2016

This one sounds like a weird one.  Well, I think it sounds weird, but then again, these are the rules of yoga and yoga was actually meant to be for those that were very serious about it.  Those who were pretty much willing to give up everything and willing to follow the Eight Limbs of Yoga.  But since it has been introduced and fed to the masses the ideas have been adjusted a bit. Often times Brahmacharya, the fourth yama is described as celibacy.  I actually like continence better, with it meaning self-restraint or abstinence, especially in regard to sexual activity; temperance; moderation it allows a little leeway in there.

The text talks about how having sex actually releases your life force so it shouldn’t be done just carelessly.  One shouldn’t just have sex to have sex . . . . so opposite the many teachings and attitudes of today.  So many things are geared towards getting more and having more no matter what it is, just doing what feels good with no regard to consequences.

So perhaps in terms of sex we think of Brahmacharya as not having meaningless sex.  Because many of use are not going to be on the path of celibacy.  Since marriage and relationships are part of what make many of us happy.  There are other ways to think about Brahmacharya.   The Heart of Yoga says moderation in all things.  In a lecture about they yamas, Connie Habash, our teacher, said she likes to say that Brahmacharya is a balance of ALL of our energy (not just sex).  She even gave an example of wasting energy as go over things in your head over and over.  Perhaps having a conversation that will never happen, or replaying a situation in your head over and over.  Dwelling on things.  Wasting the energy.  These makes sense to me.

At this time I would like to point out, I am just sharing, it is not that I have mastered this.  I actually kind of think of myself as the queen of going over and over things in my head.  Ha, this is part of what makes things like yoga a practice.  I need to continually remind myself to “let things go”.  And move on.

Energy can be wasted on other things, too, just in the having and doing too much.  This wastes energy.  All of the needing to have keeps us so busy working that we don’t have time for relaxation.  And there are so many other “doings”, we are always on the go, that we don’t have time for just being.  There is so much energy being expending that it seems we just run ourselves down.

Always being on the go and not allowing for time to relax and play is not a balanced situation.  Not having the balance does not lend to a healthy life.  The idea, especially in regards to sex, is to not get so caught up in things that we lose our way.  We lose sight of trying to better ourselves through things that might take time, such as eating well, exercise, relaxation, and meditation.  All of these things take time and should be included in our lives to help us achieve balance and not have us wasting our energy.

Don’t you like the sound of balance and moderation better than celibacy?  Also, do you feel that balance in one’s life IS a good thing?

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More To Yoga Than Just Asana

Posted by terrepruitt on January 13, 2016

I have often mentioned how Nia is a cardio dance exercise that you can take to another level and make it a practice, like yoga.  Yoga is an exercise that you can take to another level by practicing some of the other limbs of yoga.  Yoga has eight limbs.  These limbs are things that one can work with throughout a lifetime.  They are not necessarily things that one masters – well, not things that I can master.  There could be days when it feels as if they have been mastered and then days when it feels like you had never even heard of them because the ideas or actions were just not present.  So . . . these things get “practiced”.  The physical, exercise part of yoga is just one of the limbs.  While Nia is not as . . . I’ll say, “preachey” as yoga we do have some things that can be practiced outside of the dance class, off the dance floor.  Things like noticing your movement and being aware of your relationship with others and things.  But yoga’s limbs are more like rules to live by.

The eight limbs of yoga are:

1)  The yamas.  There are five yamas.  They are often compared to restrictions.  Some think of them as restraints or ethical principles.

2)  The niyamas.  There are five niyamas.  They are often compared to rules.  Some think of them as observances or spiritual practices.

3)  The asana.  There are thousands of poses.  This is the physical limb of yoga.  This is the exercise that has become very popular.  Not only are there a lot of poses, there are many different types of yoga.  Some are ancient and some are very new.  Some types have created new poses.  And sometimes I think that the ancient text has been translated so many different ways we end up with different poses.

4)  Pranayama.  There are various types of pranayama.  This is the breath work of yoga.  I have posted about two types of pranayama, Ujjayi Breathing and Equal Breath
Since this was originally posted I have posted about additional types of pranayama:  Dirgha.


5)  Pratyahara.
  This is the withdrawal of the senses.  The idea is that when the mind has control over the senses, can withdrawal them, then it can focus on the other limbs of yoga without distraction.

6)  Dharana.  This is concentration.  The idea of concentration of the mind on one thing leads to meditation.

7)  Dhyana.  This is meditation.  The idea is to be able to concentrate on one point.  Being able to breathe to a state of withdrawal of the senses.  Having complete control.  Then concentration is pure.  Meditation is supremely focused and then . . .

8)  Samadhi.  This is transcendence.  When one is in control over mind and body.

Each of these could definitely use a blog post of their own.  Not sure I will get to them all.  But, I will at least do a post on the yamas, a post on the niyamas, and a post on pranayama.  Probably multiple posts on each of them.  So, if you are interested stay tuned.

I had heard about the first two, and knew that poses and breathing were apart of yoga.  But was not and am not so familiar with the last four.  Did you know there were eight limbs to yoga?  Which ones are you familiar with?    

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So Ancient, There Are A Lot Of Differences

Posted by terrepruitt on November 12, 2015

So I was told that Sanskrit is an ancient language.  About 14,000 years old.  It was not a written language, it was mostly just an oral language.  It was not written until 5000BC.  Sanskrit is known as the language of the gods.  It is a sacred language.  It is the oldest language.  It is the root of many languages.  That is what I was told.  I imagine that if it is actually the oldest language it would be the root of many languages.  Since it was first an oral only language and is so old I believe it has changed.  I believe it has changed A LOT.  How I think about it first off is like that game telephone, I mean if the language wasn’t written for thousands of years that is a lot of ways it can get changed.  Then once it gets written things get lost in translation.  And it just gets more and more morphed from there.  So there are a lot of translations out there where it comes to Sanskrit texts.

Originally I found it VERY, VERY annoying that almost every yoga pose I researched had different names or slightly different names.  Now, since I can understand how things could have gotten mixed up and changed it is only annoying.  Sometimes it makes learning and even teaching difficult because there are so many translations out there, and then on top of that so many versions and modifications . . . but finding one and sticking to it is a good way to keep your practice consistent.  For me that translates into meaning when I meet someone who says it different or has a slightly different name for it, they aren’t wrong, it just means that I have my path that I am following and they have theirs.  Some words, things, poses are more common and people have seem to agree on them, but some seem to be different no matter what.

One thing that can help with learning poses is to have some of the words memorized.  A break down of the asana name.

Here is what I am going with.

adho   — downward
agni     — fire
anga     — limb
angusta     — big toe
ardha     — half
baddha     — bound
baka     — crane
bala     — child
bandha     — formation
bharadvaja   — ancient sage
bheka     — frog
bhujanga     — snake
chandra     — moon
chatur     — four
danda     — staff
eka     — one
go     — cow
hala     — plow
hasta     — hand
janu     — knee
jathara     — stomach
kapota     — pigeon
kararu     — doing, making, action
karna     — ear
kona     — angle
krouncha     — heron
kurma     — tortoise
marichi     — sage / ray of light
marjari     — cat
Matsyendra   — lord of the fishes
mayura     — peacock
mukha     — facing
nata     — dancer
nava     — boat
pada     — foot
padma     — lotus
parivartana   — turning, rolling
parivrtta   — rotated / revolved
parsva     — side
paschim     — west
pida     — pain
pinca     — feather
raja     — king
salabha     — locust
salamba     — supported
sarvanga     — all the limbs
sarvanga     — entire body
setu     — bridge
simha     — lion
sirsa     — head
supta     — reclined
svana     — dog
tada     — mountain
tan     — stretch
tri     — three
triang     — 3 parts of the body
upavista     — seated
urdhva     — upward
ut     — intense
utkata     — intense fierce
uttana     — intense
utthita     — stretch / extended
virabhadra   — warrior
varja     — thunderbolt
vasistha     — celebrated sage
viparita     — turned around/inverted
vira     — hero, warrior, chief
vrksa     — tree

 

I reserve the right to change, too.  But for now, I am using these translations to add to my yoga practice and yoga teaching.  I am going to learn the Sanskrit names of the asana by this list/translation.

Does your yoga teacher say the poses in Sanskrit?

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