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

    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 teachers’

Guidance – Not A Personal Attack

Posted by terrepruitt on June 21, 2017

In the two Nia Intensives I have attended, one of the things we cover first is the Energy Allies or more commonly known as the Four Agreements. As I attend many classes and teach many classes I am reminded over and over again how important these ideals are.  In this post I am talking mainly in reference to #3 (Don’t take anything personally). What must happen is there needs to be an unspoken agreement that students and teachers have when they enter a class, the student agrees to not take things personally — a correction or attention given by the teacher is not personal, the student is there to learn and improve so guidance is given as needed and as time (in class and holding the pose) allows.  Perhaps  it would be a good idea to remind everyone at the beginning of a session of classes or a workshop.  A yoga instructor has to have confidence and faith that the students know they are not being picked on or singled out for any type of personal reason. The teacher is there to help them do the poses to the best of their ability. If the student feels picked on then they will not be open to adjustment and guidance. So while it is “personal” in the sense that it is to help you personally, it is not an attack on your person.

There are so many things going on in people’s lives and I understand that a student can walk in and be in a tender state, but if they are there to learn the instructor cannot be concerned with the question of “will adjusting their form hurt their feelings?”  And believe it or not, there is also the other side of the coin. Where some students feel if the instructor doesn’t correct them or give them attention the teacher is slighting them. See how this type of “taking things personal” can just completely affect the effectiveness in class?

If a person is new to yoga and has never been in a class, unless they are at risk for injury, I might not say anything. Yoga is so much about sensing your body, that I believe it is important to let the person get a sense of things. If I say to move the left foot forward about a foot and have the toes point forward, I probably won’t correct a new student right away if they move up a few inches and the toes point off to the side. I want to give them a chance to learn how their body responds. But, if we do that same move multiple times in the class, I might see if they can nudge their foot forward and turn their toes. But I try not to adjust them much in a first class situation. It just seems more appropriate to let them learn some before starting to adjust.

It is very helpful when the instructor knows the students. If a student has been coming to class for a while often times the instructor will learn what that person is capable of. And it could be that someone walks into one of my classes and sees things that they would “correct” if they were a teacher. But perhaps they don’t know that the person whose toes don’t turn out all the way just had leg surgery. Or the person barely bending over has back issues. Or it could be that a student has been adjusted before, but it is just more comfortable for them to do it they way they are doing it. There are so many reasons why an adjustment may not be done.

I just wanted to remind people that teachers do not “pick on” students. We see potential and we are there to help a student reach it. Try not to take it personal either way (if a teacher adjusts you or not).  Hopefully you are able to learn as you go and enjoy what you are getting.

Do you like it when a teacher adjusts you (either verbally or physically)?

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

Non-stealing, Got It, Right?

Posted by terrepruitt on February 19, 2016

The Eight Limbs of Yoga, two of which are yamas and niyamas, restraints and observances.  Yamas as ethical principles and niyams as spiritual practices.  The first yama being ahimsa – non-violence, the second being satay – truthfulness.  The third is asteya – non-stealing.  This one kinda lands like the non-violence one.  Seems pretty easy.  But then just like the non-violence yama, it has its in-between-the-lines and fine print.  Non-stealing can mean a lot of things.

In The Heart of Yoga T.K.V. Desikachar’s notes asteya as:

“Noncovetousness or the ability to resist a desire for that which does not belong to us.”

Oh.  A little different that just “non-stealing”.  It is going so far as to say we should not covet things that do not belong to us.  Uh, I think that adds a whole different spin to this yama.  I mean, I will go out on a limb and say most of us are not going to go out and STEAL our neighbor’s whatshehaveit, but we might WANT it.  We might even think about if we had one our self.  We might even imagine us having one and him not.  Or us all having one and using them together.  But we are coveting when we do that.  We are wanting that which is not ours.

He also notes:

“One who is trustworthy, because he does not covet what belongs to others, naturally has everyone’s confidence and everything is shared with him, however precious it might be.”

We can also be stealing other things.  If we are focusing our attention on wanting what is not ours we are “stealing” attention from what we do have.  Possibly from people and things that are deserving of our attention.

One of my teachers mentioned jealous as a cause for stealing.  Dominating someone’s time if we are jealous of attention they are giving to someone else.  She also compares greed to stealing because we are taking more than we need.  So sometimes asteya has a hint of non-hoarding, since some consider taking more than one needs a form of stealing.  It is being taken away from someone else that might need it and then kept and not used.  Some of this might be the more difficult stuff to work on.

But if we work on it we might feel more at peace.  I know that when I am not spending my time thinking about what I don’t have I have more time to enjoy what I do have.  And, as I said, that time is not “stolen” from what is present.

As I said when I started posting about the eight limbs and especially the yamas and the niyamas, they can get pretty deep.  They can be explored and examined at great length.  I am just barely introducing them.  Hopefully giving you something to think about.  I know they have me thinking.

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

Special Offer – Free Is Always Special!

Posted by terrepruitt on January 29, 2016

FREE YOGA THE WEEKEND OF FEB. 27 and 28, 2016

 

Mind Body Zone in Fremont is having a weekend of FREE yoga classes. The schedule is as follows (note only the classes listed below are free):

 

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3:30-4:30       Vinyasa Yoga

4:45-5:45       Yin Yoga

 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

10:30-11:30    Hatha Yoga

11:40-12:40    Gentle Yoga

2:15-3:15        Intro to Yoga

3:25-4:25        Restorative

Since it is free, it might fill up fast, so be sure to reserve your spot at the online sign-up website for the studio.  You can use the date field or calendar tool to get to the correct dates, then sign up for whatever classes you want to attend.  (Note: ONLY the classes that are indicated as “FREE” are free.  There are other classes that are being taught that weekend that are not free, so if you are wanting to take the FREE classes, please be sure to sign up accordingly.)  🙂

Bring your own yoga mat or rent one from the studio.  Bring water or purchase a bottle from the studio.  If you are planning on taking more than one class you might want to bring a snack.  It is up to you.

Keep in mind these classes are kinda like a Nia Jam, each class will be taught by three or four teachers per class.  And they are new Graduates of Yoga Teacher Training.

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, SJCityFit

Sign up now, so you can join the fun!

 

Mind Body Zone: 3335 Seldon Ct, Fremont, CA 94539
(a couple of blocks down from Fry’s right off of 680)

I hope to see you there!

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

Zorro Technique

Posted by terrepruitt on October 29, 2015

Back in 2010, I posted a bit about X-Ray Anatomy, principle #10 of the Nia White Belt.  It is what Nia Teachers, Yoga Teachers, Personal Trainers, and people in the profession of helping people move do to see how a body is moving.  We all do it, but Nia calls it X-Ray Anatomy.  We look at the posture of the body or the placement of the clothes to see the alignment of the bones or to see the movement of the muscle.  If we look at someone’s waist band and one side is higher than the other we can then look closer to see, if they were in a hurry when they pulled on their pants, hiking one side higher, or if their hips are actually askew.  We can look at shoulders, checking to see if one is tilted down.  We might check to see if a muscle is really tight causing an imbalance.  We look, then we go about guiding the person to adjustment, guiding them into ease.  Now . . . that is what we do for our students and/or clients.  But we wouldn’t do that to someone we just see on the street.  Even if we take a pad of paper to the park or to the mall or use our DVDs to practice with “Zorro”.

In the Nia White Belt Intensive I took, one of the tools that the co-founder of Nia, Carlos Aya-Rosas, gave us was “Zorro”.  Where you look at someone and with just a few strokes of the pen/pencil you draw their structure.  It is supposed to be quick, not a lot of details, just the things you are x-raying.  Just key bones or things (like a belt, pant legs, collars, etc.) to allow you to see posture and/or alignment.

Here are my “Zorros” from my White Belt in 2008.  We had split up into two groups and we faced each other.  Each group had a turn at making shapes and posturing and then “Zorroing”.

 

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

 

 

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 TechniqueWhen I wrote my post back in 2010, I had said in a comment I was going to go out and do some X-Ray Anatomy Zorroing, but I hadn’t.  When I came across the comment again, I decided to do it.  Here is the result of me doing Zorro on a random video of people walking and of one of the Nia Routine DVDs.

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

This type of practice can help us see things quickly that might need adjustment while we are dancing.  Then we can cue some guidance to help people move in a safe way.  As an example, an easy thing to see is thigh bones, while we cannot actually SEE the thigh bone, if we look at the toe and it is pointed off in one direction we can conclude that the thigh bone is rotated . . . depending on what we are doing, that might not be the safest thing for the knee and hip.  So we can keep an eye on toes and practice X-Ray Anatomy.

I have confidence in thinking that you get the idea of this.  You can see how you can quickly look at someone and have an idea of the placement of the bones.  You can glance at someones clothes and use them to determine their alignment.  Is the clothing method 100% accurate?  No, people’s clothes might be sitting off for a number of reasons, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, perhaps someone just pulled their pants on crocked, but this is an idea.  But using the clothes is a quick way to perhaps get an idea of what the body is doing.  Sometimes a closer inspection or more attention is needed, but for just practicing clothes are great to help with Zorroing.

Can you see how “Zorroing” can help with X-Ray Anatomy?  So might you us your X-Ray Anatomy the next time you are out?

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

Never Cease

Posted by terrepruitt on May 27, 2014

I teach Nia which is a cardio dance available to any age.  At both the low end of the age spectrum and the high end of the age spectrum, if you can safely move about the floor and follow basic movements you can do Nia.  So there are young and old Nia dancers.  I teach at facilities that have age restrictions, but that is only the facilities, not Nia.  Then I also teach gentle yoga to older adults.  The classes are held at the “Senior Centers” so while some of the classes are open to those 18 years and older the population in class tends to be older.  As I am sure many of you that teach at a facility with older people will attest, it is amazing to work with these people.  They come week after week and keep trying.  In my class I have a wide variety of experience levels.  They come back every week and do the poses to the best of their ability.  I am inspired by their drive to keep doing.

I check in with them to confirm that they are seeing and feeling some benefit to the class.  With many I can see it, but I want to confirm that they recognize it.  Recently one of my students was sharing some things he learned and he said, “I learned that I need to learn how to relax.”  I laughed and agreed.  It is not easy to do for some.  It is not always second nature to breathe and “rest” into a pose.  The corpse pose at the end of the class is one of those poses.  In fact one class asked if we “had to” do it.  I said yes.  To me that is part of yoga.  That is part of my class.  I believe that quieting the mind and relaxing for 5 to 10 minutes after a class is necessary.  For many it is a Challenging Easy Pose, it is difficult to be still.  Just now as I am typing I remember this person not being able to be still at all when we first started doing yoga.  Now there is stillness.  I believe every one can benefit from this moment of restfulness.  I love that even those who think it is unnecessary, keep trying.

A bit ago we did a pose that several students said is “hard”.  I agreed with them.  It is hard . . . that is why we are doing it.  We are doing a very modified version, but it is one of those poses that works many if not all the muscles in your body, so yes, it is “hard”.  And we do it so that they can benefit from it.  In working on so many muscles it is a balance pose, that requires flexibility and strength.  One of those awesome poses that does so much . . . so we do it.  And what spurred me to write this post is that while they were saying it was hard they were not saying, “It’s hard, I don’t want to do it.”  They were just saying, “Wow, this is hard.”  And then they moved into position to do it again.  Love it.  Love those inspiring active people in my classes!

I just wanted to share with you that I have some amazing inspirations in my life.

What about you?  Do you know any older adults that cause you to think, “I wanna be like that when I am their age”?  Some of those people that just keep trying?  They might not be doing it in a clearly recognizable way but they are still trying?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »