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 San Jose’

I’ve Been Here Before

Posted by terrepruitt on September 14, 2010

Presently I live in San Jose and teach Nia Classes in San Jose.  I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area all my life.  When I was growing up I used to tell people I lived in Santa Clara and they had no idea where that was.  So I would say, “San Jose?” and if I still received that look then I would say “San Francisco?” and most of the time I would then see a spark of recognition.

When the dot com boom happened that kind of helped put “Silicon Valley” on the map and is comprised of a few places most notable cities are Cupertino, Santa Clara, San Jose, and Mountain View.  A lot more people had heard of Santa Clara and San Jose after that.  We weren’t known only in the shadow of San Francisco any longer.  It was nice to not have to go through the entire San Francisco Bay Area to explain where I lived.

Now I find myself in that same exact “place” with Nia.  I tell people I teach Nia and I get a look back.  Most have not hear of it.  So we go through the, “Is it like Zumba?”  and I want to say:

Yes, Nia is EXACTLY LIKE Zumba: we get a workout via dance,we exercise to music, we sweat, we have fun, we work our muscles, we shimmy, shake, and gyrate, oh, except we do it in bare feet, to a variety of music, participants are encouraged to do it as their bodies allow, and there is a body-mind connection.

But most often say:  It is sort of like a Zumba class and sort of like a Jazzercise class in that we move to music.  Nia is a cardio workout with no impact. It is fun and unique because Nia incorporates moves and concepts from nine different movement forms a few being Tai Chi, Jazz Dance, and Yoga.

When they hear that, then they ask, “So it is Yoga?”  🙂

I was just reminded of the explaining-where-I-lived portion of my childhood when I was with a group of Nia Teachers recently.  Made me laugh when I thought about the going through the same type of thing when talking about Nia.  Yay, at least I am in a familiar place.  😮

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Day Of Dance

Posted by terrepruitt on February 27, 2010

El Camino Hospital sponsored a Free Health Fair today (February 27, 2010).  It was in one of the ballrooms at the Santa Clara Convention Center.  There was various Health Screenings.  I didn’t actually get any done because I just didn’t feel like waiting in the lines.  Although there were plenty of people that were willing to stand in the lines in the interest of learning about their health.

There was various demonstrations and audience participation dances going on.  On TWO stages.  It was very interesting and very loud since they had the “main stage” and the “side stage” set up right next to each other.

I was able to do a little Zumba, which I have done before.  But I didn’t have the right shoes so it made it difficult.  I should have stayed to do the yoga that was on the stage right after us.  But I didn’t want to keep my photographer waiting that long.

A fellow Nia teacher was invited to do a demonstration of Nia so she had asked people to join her.  I am not sure how many people were there from her invitation or how many were there because they joined us, but I think it turned out to be a good crowd.  I would say there was at least 30 people.  So many so that they did not all fit on the little dance floor she was given.

It was a great thing.  I believe that a lot of people were introduced to Nia.  I am thankful to Anita for doing this for us.

My husband came along to get some pictures.  He was taking pictures of me and we confirmed that our camera is not able to take good action shots in low light.  Here are a few.  Thank you for looking.

I hope that next year El Camino Hospital sponsor another Day of Dance and you come out to see that dancing is a great way to workout out and a very fun way to get your exercise on!

You can find information regarding my classes in San Jose and San Carlos on my web site (click here).

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

Nia and Tae Kwon Do

Posted by terrepruitt on November 28, 2009

As you might now be aware Nia includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts. From the martial arts, we borrow from Tae Kwon Do. Not just “moves” from Tae Kwon Do but also some of the other elements of it. With its kicks, punches, blocks, and stances it helps allow Nia to be a great leg workout and provide a stable base for some of our other moves.  Tae Kwon Do can also contribute to one’s confidence by providing exercises that allow one to become strong and stable.  These are the things Nia gains from Tae Kwon Do.

Nia calls Tae Kwon Do the Dance of Precision.*  So when delivering a punch, block, kick, etc. with the energy of Tae Kwon Do, it is done with precision and intent.  However, Nia likes to play so at times even though we might not be executing a punch or a kick, but we might choose to energize our movement with “Tae Kwon Do” like energy, and be forceful and aggressive even adding sound to our movement.

Adding the energy of one form to the moves of another is one of the things that make Nia fun and keeps is challenging.  It takes different muscles to skip with force and authority than to skip like a child without a care in the world.  That is an example of how Nia incorporates different moves with different energies.

In Nia we don’t “DO” Tae Kwon Do, things have been gleaned from it and brought into Nia and mixed in with aspects of  Tai Chi, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Yoga, the Alexander Technique and the teachings from Feldenkrais, and the combination from each form is Nia.  A lot of Nia routines include moves and concepts from each discipline, but not always.  In an effort to keep each workout fresh, fun, and joyful teachers often mix things up.

If you are near San Jose, come to one of my Nia classes.  If not, I hope that you will find a Nia class near you and give Nia try.

*Both the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual state this. Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas. **V3 of The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Nia and Yoga

Posted by terrepruitt on October 3, 2009

A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts.

From the healing arts, we use moves and ideals from Yoga.  As with all the movement forms incorporated into Nia, Nia does not claim to be practicing Yoga.  It is understood that years of studying and practice can be involved in the practice of Yoga, and Nia respects that, that is why I say that we “use move and ideals”.  Nia recognizes the benefits that can result from Yoga and with that does its best to utilize some of its amazing power.  Nia calls Yoga “The Conscious Dance of Alignment”.*  It helps with the proper alignment of the bones. It also assists in increasing flexibility for all fitness levels.

We use the aspects of Yoga to help find balance in the body.  In Nia we can also call upon the focus that is evident in Yoga.

The White Belt Manual 3/2001 V3 states:

Witness the value this form provides to increasing and restoring the natural flow of energy throughout the entire body.  Recognize the specific principles that help to clear and calm the mind, bring balance to the nervous system, improve breath and posturing, and strengthen specific body parts.  Acknowledge the way Yoga unifies the body, mind, spirit, and emotional being, and how the internal, core body becomes soft and supple to provide real “energy” strength from the inside out.

So we might do some exercises of twists, bends, and poses in our workout, it is to help increase strength, flexibility, alignment and our conscious connection.

The breathing in Nia reminds me more of Pilates than to Yoga.  We inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth, often times sounding.  I have not participated in a Yoga class that does chanting or is vocal so that is why I am reminded more of Pilates than Yoga.

Many of Nia’s teachers are also Yoga instructors or they attend Yoga classes.  I sometimes attend a Yoga class in San Jose.  The two forms of movement are a great compliment to each other.

***V3 of The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Nia and Tai Chi

Posted by terrepruitt on September 26, 2009

A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts.  

From the martial arts, we use moves from T’ai chi.  Actually it is not just “moves” from Tai Chi but also some of the “ideals” from Tai Chi.  Nia calls Tai Chi “The Slow Dance”.*  Tai Chi allows for the elements of grace, ease, precision, power, and lightness to be accessed and brought in to our dance that is our workout. 

So while we do not do the sequences of postures that form a Tai Chi routine or exercise we might have some of the Tai Chi moves incorporated into a routine.  And/or we might take a portion of the routine and execute it “Tai Chi like”, moving slow and graceful.  Being mindful of our movements and moving from the feet with relaxed joints establishing that fluid Tai Chi like flow.  We might also incorporate circular movements and shift our weight to assist in balance, all the while sensing the gentle flow of chi. 

Some things we do in class to assist us in moving “Tai Chi like” is leading with our heels when we step, using our eyes to allow for our head to be included in our movement, keeping our joints open and soft, focusing on moving from our energy center, using our breath to generate power and support for movement, and moving systemically.** 

Hopefully this post will serve to address some of the inquires about the aspect of Tai Chi in Nia. This will give you an idea of how Tai Chi is brought into Nia. 

I love to watch the people in the parks of San Jose doing Tai Chi.  I actually see them all over the Bay Area.  In Nia we don’t “DO” Tai Chi, we glean from it and allow what we’ve gleaned to mix with aspects of Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, Duncan Dance, Yoga, the Alexander Technique and the teachings from Feldenkrais.  It is all combined to be Nia.

 
*Both the Nia Technique Book and The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual state this.  Both books are by Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas.

**V3 of The Nia Technique – White Belt Manual

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Yoga Is Very Nia-Like

Posted by terrepruitt on September 12, 2009

I have only taken two yoga classes.  One was this evening and throughout the entire class, while the teacher was instructing I kept thinking, “Oh that is so Nia.  Oh this is so Nia. . . . . .Oh THAT is so Nia.”  Even though earlier in the class I realized that maybe Nia was “so Yoga”.

Yoga was first.  It has been around for thousands of years.  For some it is rooted in religion, where as Nia has been around for 25 years and is rooted in the body.  I just couldn’t help thinking that this yoga class was so like a Nia class, except much slower.  Slower, in the sense that in this class the movement wass not to the music, but to the breath.  There was no rhythmic quality to the movement, just the flow of your breath.  Every once in awhile I would hear the music and to start sway to it and realize that I was supposed to be holding a pose so I would stop my body from moving but my spirit continued to boogey away.

This yoga class is about joy in yoga, allowing for another comparison, comparing to the first principle of the Nia White Belt which is the Joy of Movement.  The Joy of movement is actually found as a sensation and not a feeling.  In Nia it is something that is sensed in the body and not felts as an emotion.

The teacher started the class with the suggestion that you set an intention.  I actually wiggled with happiness at this because in every Nia class we set a focus and an intent (in cycle one).

This yoga class made me realize why so many people that practice yoga also practice Nia because there are many things in common.  In yoga there are poses that open areas of the body, in Nia we have movements and poses that open the body and get the joints juicy.  Yoga has muscle strengtheners and ligaments and tendon lengtheners and so does Nia.  But with yoga it is a pose and in Nia it is primarily movements linked together in a more cardio-dance fashion.  In the cool down we do poses or stretches and sometimes there are yoga poses.  It just amazed me how similar they were.  With the request of awareness that the teacher was giving during the ending meditation, something that we request during the entire Nia workout, I was extremely delighted to realize that yoga and Nia aren’t competing practices, but companion practices.  They are so similar that you can apply a lot of the principles to both.  You can have a non-impact booty shaking cardio and strength workout (Nia) that you balance with the complete stretching and strength workout (yoga).

I truly was amazed at how Nia has taken so much of what is “yoga” and created a practice that can be such a great companion.  With so many similarities it really allows for an expansion of exercise and workout possibilities for so many people who do yoga in San Jose and in the Bay Area.

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Nine Basic Movements Forms Of Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on March 31, 2009

Niais about joyful movement.  Move with joy.  Move for joy.  Move to joy.

A Nia workout includes elements from three disciplines from three different arts:

From the martial arts, we use moves from T’ai chi, Tae Kwon Do, and Aikido.
From the dance arts we embrace styles from Jazz Dance, Modern Dance, and Duncan Dance
And from the healing arts we are mindful of teachings from Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, and Yoga.

At times we might move slow focusing on movements centered around the body’s inner core, as in T’ai chi.  We might kick or punch as one might do in Tae kwon do, and these movements might flow into a spiral motion that is associated with Aikido.  We could decide to play the showman and do the entire routine with a jazzy flair or just add movements of creating shapes, dropping and then recovering the body’s own weight as a modern dancer might do.  There is always a chance we could give in to our inner child and run free and honest with the playfulness of a Duncan dancer.  While we’re doing one these things we are keeping in mind the teaching of Moshe Feldenkrais and being conscious of sensations.  We could stretch to the top with utmost concentration one might contribute to the Alexander Technique, then move onto a dance of bone alignment increasing awareness, relaxation, and balance the could be thought of as Yoga.*

So in one workout you can experience all those things.  Strength is balanced with grace.  Fun is balanced with seriousness.  Body is balanced with mind.

The music is varied and is intended to promote the movement of the routine.  There is no doubt something for everyone.

*based on information from The Nia Technique by Debbie Rosas & Carlos Rosas

Posted in Movement Forms of Nia, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »