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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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘yoga studio’

Yoga Studio Walls

Posted by terrepruitt on May 5, 2017

Ah, I think this is the perfect time to post this picture since I just went to a workshop at Mind Body Zone.  I really need to get back to the studio for yoga regularly.  This is a wall in the studio.  That is one thing that is kind of a misfortune in the places that I teach yoga, there is no wall space.  Well, I shouldn’t say NO wall space, I should say ENOUGH wall space.  There is not enough wall space for each student in the class to have a spot so we can use the wall.  That is a great thing about a studio that is just for yoga, the ones I have been to have a lot of wall space because using the wall can be a great tool.  The wall can be just like a prop.  It can really help in some poses.  It can definitely help you sense the poses in a different way!

Here I am sharing a photo of the wall for my latest Friday Photo.

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, Mind Body Studio in Fremont

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WHOA! Releasing Tension In Psoas

Posted by terrepruitt on May 1, 2017

So this past Sunday I took a workshop at Mind Body Zone yoga studio in Fremont that was called Core Release and Restore™.  This is the second time I have attended this workshop.  It was so fascinating to me the first time I just had to do it again.  It is very educational.  The first part of the workshop is lecture, then the second part we move.  The presenter Joanne Varni first talks about the psoas muscle.  She sets the stage for the movement part of the class.  She first explains what type of muscle it is and what it should be like in a healthy state. She talks about how it is a muscles that is primal and instinctive, how it works with our brain and nervous system.  She explains how, because of that, it is hugely affected on the levels of BMES (Body/physical, Mind/brain, Emotional, and Spirit/energetic).  She clarifies how stress (all types) affect this muscle.  Then she instructs us through movements that can help bring some relief to our psoas and iliopsoas muscles.

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, SJCityFitOne technique she shares is neurogenic tremoring.  It is one of the oddest things I have ever experienced.  First we went through some asana to specifically slightly fatigue our legs and affect the psoas.  Some of the poses could be used on their own to help release the psoas.  Then we did Supta Baddha Konasana with our heels as close to our middle as we could get them.  We stayed there for a little while.  Then we brought our knees in, toward each other, one inch at a time over a long period of time.  We would bring them in an inch and then hold it there.  Then closed them by another inch and hold it.  This caused a tremor response in the legs.  Some people can continue to do so until their feet are flat on the ground, yet the tremors are still happening.

This was my second time doing it, so it was weird, but since I was expecting it, it wasn’t as odd as the first time.  But this is what I wrote after the first time:  “It was sooooo weird.  My legs were just moving on their own with no sensation.  It was so odd.  I mean, I have had my limbs shake from being weak or fatigued while I was doing something and that has a sensation (to me), but this was just waves of tremors.  Like an earthquake.  It was so odd.  Fascinating.  Yeah!  That’s it.  REALLY fascinating!”

Joanne specializes in helping those with trauma (including PTSD) and has attended and completed her Level II certification in TRE™ (Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises) with Dr. David Bercelli. She is also certified as TSY teacher (Trauma Sensitive Yoga).

Keep in mind that this is called both Trauma Release and Tension Release.  So not everyone has trauma necessarily, but we all pretty much have tension.  Even it we don’t have stress, because of our lifestyles (in that we sit in chairs) we have tension in our psoas and iliopsoas muscles.  So while Joannes does not feel these muscles needs to be strengthened she does feel they need to be released and lengthened.

If you want to see a video example of the TRE™ (Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises), you can click here and go to Joanne’s site where she has a video.

It is so very fascinating how our bodies hold and store tension and trauma.  I would recommend this class to anyone that is interested in helping their body cope with the stresses of living in our bodies.

Have you ever heard of this technique before?  Have you experienced this technique before?

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

Yoga Etiquette – A List We Created

Posted by terrepruitt on March 29, 2017

When I participated in yoga training one of the things we did before we started with the training was to come up with what we thought was a list of “Yoga Etiquette.”  This was a great idea because everyone piped up with what they thought was proper etiquette for a yoga class.  And then, of course, we were to use the list and apply it to our yoga training and the classes we were to be participating in throughout the training.  Most studios will post a list of yoga etiquette on their website or in the studio.  It is helpful to know the different ideas of etiquette for each studio.  Some studios lock the doors so that the class, once it has begun, is not interrupted.  Since not all studios lock the door it is really good to know so you know that if you are 10 minutes late (or whatever their stated time is) you will not be allowed to enter.  That is just an example.  Here is the list that me and my fellow trainees came up with:

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I would say that most of these are fairly common rules of etiquette, but I will also say that even though they are common they are not commonly practiced.

Some of these might have you questioning the reason, or perhaps wanting more of an explanation.  If so, ask away.  One I will address because I often hear people ask what “appropriate clothing” is and why that matters.  I mean, many people feel that people should be allowed to wear what they want.  Especially now-a-days where clothing and what people wear is such a topic for debate.  But this is a pretty important one especially for teachers.  While someone might feel absolutely comfortable with a low cut top or bottom, when they bend over and all that the other participants in the class can see is either breasts or butt, it is somewhat off-putting and distracting.  Even if the wearer is comfortable exposing his or her chest or bum, yoga class is really not the place to let it all hang out.  Also really tight fitting clothing is not appropriate if it keeps you from moving.  I would say jeans whether loose or tight are not appropriate yoga wear.  The clothing should allow you to move and be comfortable, yet fit properly.  I also think for many yoga classes, layers are a good thing.  When the class first starts it might seem chilly, but then the body warms up.  At the end, shavasana, it could be the time to cover up again.  While the yoga studios that I have seen have not dictated what people wear, the do usually provide guidelines.

Do you agree with all of these rules?  Do you have any to add?  Do you have any you would like to see followed?

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Flow Yoga? Vinyasa Yoga? Vinyasa Flow Yoga?

Posted by terrepruitt on July 18, 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, SJCityFitYoga has been around for thousands of years.  There are so many translations of the documents that talk about yoga that there doesn’t seem to be a definitive way to do things.  The poses all seem to have different names, and when you hear a name you’ve heard before it can be done entirely different from what you were taught.  Pronunciation is all over the board.  There just doesn’t seem to be any way to know what you are getting . . . exactly.

I have been taking a few different classes to check things out.  And this is what I have come across.  There is “Flow Yoga”.  That is where the class is done in a flowing manner.  The participants move from pose to pose using the breath.  There might be poses where we stop and stay in it for a few breaths, but basically we are flowing from pose to pose.  Then there is the Vinyasa style.  Now Vinyasa is a flowing class.  It might not be called “Vinyasa Flow”, but that is usually what it is.  With a Vinyasa class participants flow from pose to pose and they are done on the breath.  There might be some stopping and holding, then flow to the next pose . . . but there is also “a Vinyasa”.  You can look it up and you’ll see vinyasa is defined as “arranging something in a special way.”  That can be applied to the class as already mentioned, but it can also be applied to a small sequence of poses.

In a Vinayasa class, in addition to flowing from one pose to the next, you “take a” or you “do a” vinyasa which is a specific set of poses.  It is generally the same, but it might be modified for the level of the class, but “a vinyasa” is typically plank pose, to knees-chest-chin or chaturanga dandasana, to cobra pose or upward facing dog pose, to downward facing dog pose.  The less intense vinyasa would be the one with the knees-chest-chin and cobra pose, whereas the more intense version would include the chaturanga dandasana and upward facing dog pose.  You could also do a combination and do knees-chest-chin with the upward facing dog or the chaturanga dandasana with the cobra pose.

What you also might experience in a class is something that really can’t be defined.  At some venues where they do yoga . . . like at an actual yoga studio . . . they might have classes that are separated into levels.  So a level one flow class will be different, probably less intense than a level two or three.  But at some places every class is expect to be an “all level” class . . . and that is where you will probably experience something that can’t be defined.

In order to allow “all levels” to participate the instructor will modify and change what she can in order to make certain that everyone can participate.  This, to me, is where a lot of the changes in yoga has come from.  So the need to alter it so it is accessible to the general public in combination with the fact that the translations are so varied has resulted in no definitive way of things being done or described.

So, my conclusion and definitions say:  Vinyasa yoga is flow yoga, but flow yoga is not vinyasa flow.  In Vinyasa yoga you do vinyasas.

The BEST way to know what you are getting is to talk to the instructor and/or take a class.  It helps to see for yourself.  You can always tell the teacher that you are taking the class to see if it a fit for you, then do the best you can.  If you like the class return to take it again.  If you don’t like it, you can always let the instructor know it was not what you were looking for.

When attending a class for the first time it is good to keep in mind that you might get a little different than you expected, but hopefully you will be able to enjoy the class for what it is.

What kind of yoga classes do you like?

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

Talking Body, On The Mat

Posted by terrepruitt on September 17, 2015

Do you practice yoga?  Do you have a yoga mat?  Do you have to reposition (either facing the front of the class or the side) yourself on your yoga mat in order to do certain poses?  Do you ever have a portion of your body not on the mat while doing some poses?  I have been thinking about a round yoga mat.  Have you seen them?  An average rectangular yoga mat is 6 feet long and 2 feet wide.  You can find longer ones and a little bit wider ones, but I don’t think the wider ones would accommodate some poses as well as a ROUND one.  The first ones I had seen were Mandala’s and they are six feet in diameter.  Six feet of circular mat.  Not having to turn your body in order for the majority of your body to be on the mat.  Not having to turn your mat so you are facing the correct direction in order to see the instructor.  Not having to have some part of you off the mat.  For me – I’m not tall – all poses could be done without me having to touch the ground on a round mat.  I am intrigued by this circular yoga mat.

If you only do yoga in a yoga studio then the cleanliness of the floor might never be an issue.  There is always going to be feet and sweat, but usually yoga studios have rules about shoes on the floor so that helps keep it a little more clean than some venues that use the floor for everything from daily meals to cycling.

I am not certain that the round mats would fit in a small room with a lot of yoga students.  But if everyone was using round mats it could work, since the mats are six feet in diameter and that alone would be enough room for most people.  So instead of having the normal space between the mats they could all just barely touch and that would be enough room for people to move freely through poses.  So, in other words the space that is normally between mats would just be covered with a mat, but people would have somewhat, the same space.  In theory.  Right?  Am I thinking correctly?  Wouldn’t work in really crowded classes.

Well, I just Googled it again (I started this post a while ago) and I found some that are 4 feet in diameter.  I don’t think that would be big enough.  It is actually labeled as an “Aerobics Mat” but the website says they can be used for yoga.  But I am taller than 4 feet so to me a 4 foot circular mat would be worse than a regular rectangular mat that is 6 feet long.  Oooo!  Perhaps they are getting more popular because when I originally typed up this post all I could find were 6 feet in diameter mats that were about $65.00, now I am finding smaller ones, 5 feet in diameter, on Amazon, that are $40.00.  (Or there are a few on Amazon, there is one for $25.00, but you can see how it is not long enough.)  But again is a round mat that is less than 6 feet better than a 6 foot rectangular mat?

Oh, I found a six foot one on sale for $49.95, but you have to buy at least two.

In looking at the reviews on Amazon in regards to the 5 foot one, it will not really work in a crowded yoga class, just as I thought (and you probably did, too!).  With everyone else having a rectangular mat it doesn’t work for there to be one round one.  But in some classes that are not crowded it would work.  It would be nice to have one for outside because that is another place you might not want to be off the mat.

A round mat would be great for Nia, too, since we often move more than the space of a regular yoga or exercise mat!

I am intrigued.  Any one have one?  What do you think?  Where did you get it?

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

Church Yoga

Posted by terrepruitt on June 4, 2015

There are so many different types of yoga, it is out of my range to know them all or to even have HEARD of them all.  There are “ancient” types of yoga and types that have been around for a very long time, then there are new ones.  There are some that have popped up rather recently.  I believe many ancient types of yoga have been morphed into different types of yoga.  Then once you become aware of a type of yoga it can still be different from studio to studio and teacher to teacher.  I recently became aware of a type of yoga I had never heard of.  I read the description and I thought, “Ok, I’ll give it a try.”  Because I have to teach throughout the week, I have to be attentive to my energy levels.  I have no qualms about attending a class and, if it is more than I want to do at that time, not doing it at the level that is being instructed.  So if it was more strenuous than I wanted I was planning on just doing it gently.  But the description sounded like exactly what I wanted.  So, I went to this class I had never heard of and I am not sure if the class was a little different because it was a holiday or what, but there was a lot of talking.  It was Kriya Yoga.

Kriya Yoga – Low/Moderate

Kriya Yoga highlights the relationship between the breath and the mind.
Breath influences mind and vice versa. Breath control is self-control.
Techniques include preparing the body with stretching and bending
exercises, practicing meditation, and incorporating breath

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, PiYoThe description of Kriya Yoga that I read on Wiki, had me thinking that it was the type of yoga where participants would be experiencing two of the eight limbs of yoga; asana and pranayama.  But, the class focus or subject seemed more to throw us into experiencing about six of the limbs.  It was memorial day, and I had stopped looking at Facebook before class because I wanted to go to yoga and have a relaxing time of breathing, stretching, and bending.  I was avoiding all the war stories until after class, but I felt jolted by the homily.  It was like yoga and church rolled into one.

When I got home I discovered there are some descriptions online that describe Kriya yoga as the “spiritual yoga”.  That could explain why I felt as if I was in church.

The class is normally an hour, but this class was an hour and a half, so I don’t know if the extra time was used for talking or if the talking is part of the class.  I have not been in regular attendance in classes where talking and thinking about deep subjects are involved.  It was very interesting.  It was not the type of yoga I had been hoping for, I think it was a bit different than the description. I am not sure I will have the opportunity to get back to it because of scheduling conflicts and the location.  But we will see.  As I said, I think the regular class might be different, but I don’t know.  I wouldn’t mind going back to see.  The next time I will be a bit more prepared and not have the idea in my head that I will just be able to relax and focus on the poses.

I am planning on trying more types of yoga!

Have you ever heard of Kriya yoga?  What types of yoga have you heard of?

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

Toe Less Socks For Your Pleasure

Posted by terrepruitt on June 29, 2013

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, ZumbaNia was designed to be done in bare feet.  I believe that yoga is also supposed to be practiced in bare feet.  But there are many reasons as to why people want to have something on their feet.  Many reasons why people don’t like “naked feet“.  Some people don’t like to be barefoot in public places (and with that there could be many reasons).  Some people need support of shoes for their comfort and health.  Some people like to have traction built into their footwear.  Since Nia is designed to be done in bare feet we do not spin on our feet we lift them up so having a little bit of traction does not interfere with our movement, whereas in a Zumba class where you are often twisting on your feet you do not want traction.  What someone has come up with for yoga are toe less socks with traction on the bottom.  I had a friend give me some as a gift.  She was so sweet and said, “I know you do Nia barefoot, but I thought you might like these.”

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, ZumbaWhile I love to do Nia barefoot there are some floors where the toe less socks come in handy.  Some floors that I dance on or have danced on have a texture to them that is not very comfortable on the feet.  Some floors are really dirty (without access to a dry mop or broom) and so the layer of fabric between the foot and the floor helps to keep the grit from digging into my feet and being uncomfortable. The fact that the toes are exposed give me a bit of a barefoot sensation.  Allowing the toes to come in contact with the floor and keeping those nerves activated.  The energy flowing from the earth and to the earth via the exposed toes.

For yoga these are great because the textured bottom of the sock allows for traction if sliding is an issue for you.  The texture also assists in keeping you from spinning on the foot when doing Nia.  Ha!  I just realized it might help stop that altogether.  It is possible to spin, twist, slide on your bare feet although you might end up with blisters.  But with the traction on the bottom of the sock it stops you in your tracks.  You are unable to spin, twist, or slide.

Maybe the yoga socks could act as “training wheels” for some.  If at first exercising barefoot seems odd, maybe the socks can help ease you into it.  Perhaps the socks could also assist in training people not to spin, twist, or slide, so when they do decide to go barefoot for their Nia workout they will already have the know-how of lifting the feet.

Whatever the person’s reason for not going barefoot, toe less yoga socks might be a great solution.  I do want to say, just so you know, when in my Nia classes as long as the facility allows shoes (some yoga/dance studios do not allow shoes), everyone is encouraged to be comfortable so when wearing shoes allow people to be comfortable then they are invited to do so.

Do you ever exercise barefoot?

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Naked Feet

Posted by terrepruitt on June 1, 2010

One of my blogger friends (and actually I am lucky enough to know this blogger in person) posted about being barefoot.  In her post she mentioned the barefoot philosophy.  I had never heard of it.  She said it is about “living light, being aware and present, being non-conformist, non-consumerist and, well, naked.”

She used a quote that said being naked in public is scary.  When I read that my whole body got tingly.  In a flash I had an epiphany.  We do Nia barefoot.  What is Nia?  It is a workout that was designed to be done barefoot.  But a lot of people don’t like to participate in exercise without shoes on.  I believe that there are a lot of reasons for that and some of them might be because it is different, and a part of you is exposed, and it is like being naked (this is also part of the previously mentioned quote-but it is more in relation to blogging, whereas I am actually talking about feet).

Some people actually never go barefoot because they hate it that much.  Some people have ideas about being barefoot, for example my dad, he thinks you are not dressed unless you have your shoes on.  Me, I am always surprised when people come to my house and the first thing they say to me is, “Do you want me to take off my shoes?”  I didn’t realize until recently that they probably say that because even if I am having a party and I am dressed up, I don’t usually have shoes on in my home.  To me shoes are for going outside.  They are out-of-the-house-wear.  I usually have socks on to keep my feet warm, but not shoes.  Shoes are constricting.  But my attitude towards shoes has restricted me from being sensitive to those that might actually feel naked without shoes.

As I said, Nia was designed to be done in bare feet.  The feet are part of our base.  The base needs to be strong.  One way to ensure a strong, stable base is to exercise it.  A great way to exercise feet is to allow them to do the work of walking, running, balancing, wiggling, flexing, stretching, and generally moving without the assistance of shoes.  Moving in ways that they cannot while they are confined in a shoe.  Also some shoes actually compensate for feet weaknesses.  All of this is not to say that people cannot do Nia in shoes.  In my classes, if the facility allows shoes (some yoga studios do not allow shoes), people are encouraged to be comfortable above all so if shoes allow people to be comfortable then they are invited to keep their shoes on.

My friend’s post just reminded me that it could be a really deep seated feeling of “uncomfortableness” that might require some people to keep their shoes on.  Nia is about moving the body as it was designed to be moved, that alone sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable because we are taught the exact opposite our entire lives.  We are also taught, for the most part, that shoes are required to exercise.  So moving in different ways and doing it without shoes, might not be easy for people new to Nia.  Ah-ha!  I get it now!  It is not just about a floor being dirty.

Well, I will continue to mop the floor when I get to the studio early enough, but I will also think of bare feet in a larger sense.  Because in Nia being barefoot is about exercising the feet, but it also is about being aware, being present, being open, and being free and some people need to work up to that.  Nia is a journey that allows us to work on more than just having naked feet.

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