Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach yoga, Nia, and stretch online!

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Posts Tagged ‘Yoga’

Dragonfly

Posted by terrepruitt on July 17, 2020

So, I found three more watercolors from the community center in San Jose where I used to teach gentle yoga. At least I think they are watercolors, two of them are different than the others. One is really bright and one is really dark so it could be they are not watercolors. But they are for different Friday Photos, today we have this lovely dragonfly.

Do you like dragonflies?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, Zoom meetings, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise

 

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Nia White Belt P2 – Natural Time and Movement Forms – 2020

Posted by terrepruitt on July 13, 2020

Principle 2 of the Nia White Belt has two parts. Nia White Belt Principle 2 is Natural Time and Movement Forms. As you may have seen, I am re-taking the Nia White Belt training online and so far, the information, the bones of this principle has not changed . . . and that is comforting. It is nice to know that we – from the first Nia White Belt that experienced these principles to now – are all still moving from the same point of reference. Back when I took the Nia White Belt training in December 2008 they were developing new images called triads. We were the first class to get a glimpse of them and be shown how they “worked”. Nia is still using the triads to help students learn and embody information, but as I mentioned in a previous post, we are being presented with the latest langage to be used by Nia, but so far the core of the principles have been the same. In addition to the BRAND NEW (not even been printed) Nia White Belt “Sense” Book (the training manual) we are also reading The Nia Technique Book. The Nia Technique Book has pages and pages devoted to Nia White Belt Principle 2 – Natural Time and Movement Forms.  It is a vast principle.

First of all, I want to remind you that Nia is amazing. It is a holistic model for movement and life so it has A LOT of depth. The training material they put out is ALWAYS mind blowing. And over the years they have added more and more things to the toolbox. So, I am not disclosing everything we learn, I am not sharing all of the information because it really is something one needs to experience for themselves. All of the stuff I share – ok, most of it – comes from the publicly available book The Nia Technique Book.

The first part of the principle: Natural Time. I don’t have much to add to my first post on Nia Natural Time. There is a triad for this, but, again, not sharing ALL of our training with you because that just wouldn’t be fair. The first part of P2 is about moving in your own time and using the 13:20, your 13 major joints and your 20 digits, for movement, and about what Nia calls measure which I equate to proprioception, where you know where your body is in relation to things around you and to your own body.  This is very helpful when you are dancing with a lot of people.  It is also VERY helpful nowadays when you are observing social distancing. You use movement and measure to move in your body’s way.

The second part of the principle is Movement Forms. There are three arts that each contain three different movement forms. Now, I say we may use moves from each art because when exercising and/or dancing you are probably going to do a punch or a kick and/or a shimmy or a cha-cha-cha. But I do need to be clear that we are not actually DOING any of these forms. We just use elements from each form or even more accurately we use the energy of each form.  Since we are still using The Nia Technique Book in training, I feel that my previous posts can serve as information regarding each art and its included form.

The “Arts” are Martial Arts (MA), Dance Arts (DA), and the Healing Arts (HA).  Within each art is the form from which we use energy.

T’ai chi is the slow dance
Tae Kwon Do is the dance of precision
Aikido is the dance of harmonious spherical motion

Jazz Dance is the dance of fun, showmanship, and expression
Modern Dance
is the dance of creating shapes in space
Duncan Dance is the dance of free-spirited, honest movement

Feldenkrais is the dance of conscious awareness of sensation,
the Alexander Technique is the dance of movement from the top
Yoga is the dance of conscious alignment of bones and joints

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I am sharing the hastily drawn triad regarding the movement forms because it helps with understanding the organization of them.

For our homework we spent time discovering our energy personalities in relation to the nine movement forms.  In our training we spent time dancing each movement form to see how the different energy allowed our bodies to move.  It is fun to explore and maybe learn new ways to move.

And there you have it Principle 2 of the Nia White Belt hopefully it gives you a little insight as to how we dance Nia and even how we move through life.

Might you play with dancing using one of the movement forms?  See what is your favorite form of expression?

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Another Way To Look At Zoom

Posted by terrepruitt on May 13, 2020

There are so many settings on Zoom I honestly cannot remember them all. But I love settings . . . or more accurately I love to go through and make sure I have things set the way I want them and not the way the makers of the device, platform, or application wants them. So when I get a new phone I look through everything. The issue arises when there is an update because most of the time that entails new settings. And in some cases the update changes the settings you have so time consumingly set. Most often than not there are device settings AND there are application settings so there are a lot of settings . . . but I totally digress. Sometimes when I first use a device or application I don’t know what the setting is. So I usually leave it as is. A couple of weeks ago, after I had taught a class I was wishing there was a setting that would allow me to only see the people who had their cameras on. As I was falling asleep that night I had an inkling that there might just be such a setting. And there is!

When I teach a live class I want to see the people I am teaching. Teaching live and recording a video are two different things. Both have their purposes and both are great teaching tools, but when I teach live, I want to see my students. I like to be able to teach off of what I am seeing. In yoga for instance there can be many things that one may need to be reminded of while resting in a pose, but I don’t like to go through the entire list, I would rather look at the students and guide them with the cues they need. In a live Nia class I can see if we need to/want to stay in a move longer and not move on or if they need more or different verbal cues to help them get the move. I like to interact with my students. I do miss not being able to hear them, but with so many different venues (living rooms, garages, decks, patios, bedrooms, offices, you get the picture) they get muted so everyone can hear instruction and music. Now with that being said, I know there are just as many reasons why the camera is not turned on as there are people. So I completely understand when people don’t turn on the camera.

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BUT . . . . . .when there are 25 people in a class and 5 have on their cameras and 20 don’t, it makes it difficult to see the 5. The rectangles are so small. And when teaching a class I have the camera and monitor far away so it is difficult to see. After class two weeks ago, I was wondering if there was a way to “turn off” the people that are just black rectangles. And there is! Yay. If you click the “Hide non-video participants” box the only people you will see are the ones that are transmitting a live video that way you can concentrate on the students you can see AND I could actually see them because their rectangles are large enough. YAY.  This setting is found in settings, under video and you can get to it by clicking on the ^ next to “Start video” in the left-hand corner of your user screen.

At first when I did this I was worried that if someone who is showing up in the 25th spot turned on the camera I wouldn’t be able to see them because the transmitting ones “pushed” that spot off my screen (silly me) but when I thought about it I realized it doesn’t work that way. If someone in the 25th spot turns on their camera they become one of the video participants (and so there rectangle moves from the 25th spot) and I can see them.

So . . . just another setting on Zoom that might be helpful. I realize that we are all using Zoom differently so we are all needing different settings, but the more we share the more we can really deliver quality online classes to our students.

Do you keep ALL your students on your screen? Do you like to see your students?

Posted in Online Classes, Zoom | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Come On Baby Light My Candle

Posted by terrepruitt on February 5, 2020

I may have mentioned on my blog in a past post that I love candles. I love to buy candles. I love to receive candles as gifts. I love to burn candles. I prefer candles that are scented with essential oils. I also lean toward soy candles but I don’t necessarily restrict myself to them. There was a time when my husband didn’t like candles, they pose a certain risk and he didn’t think it was worth it. So I tried to make sure that the candles we had were in jars or were tea lights that could be placed in a holder that was jar like so at least the flames was somewhat contained. But now he is lighting candles even when I am not home. So it was really cool when I received this lighter for Christmas. We have a few like this, but they always seem to be out of fuel. And then we don’t think about it until we go to use it. So the butane doesn’t make it on our shopping list – ever, it seems like. So this one I received was an exciting change.

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 Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaThis lighter does not use butane, it is a USB lighter. Yeah, you plug it in and it charges.  I received it as a Christmas gift after Christmas so it hasn’t really needed charging, but after we used it a few days I charged it anyway. The site claims it takes 1-1.5 hours to charge and that a full charge is good for up to 300 lights. Wow! It is easy to use once you get the hang of it. I find that putting the wick in between the prongs is not the way it works, so as soon as I got the hang of it, I can light a candle now without clicking it five times. So, with 300 hundred lights per charge I see it lasting a LONG time before it needs to be charged again. I think it is so cool.

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 Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaI probably have six butane lighters in the house that need a refill. This one is awesome. And it is super awesome because my friend that gave it to me knows I love blue and she got me a blue one! They come in at least 13 different colors.

The site says it is “gas appliance safe” so even if you don’t light candles, if you have gas appliances to light it might be something you would be interested in.

It makes a noise that one of my cats DOES NOT LIKE.  She runs away.  The other day I lit a candle using a match and she didn’t even look up, but if she sees me pick up the lighter she runs.  Which is fine by me, I would rather my pets be afraid of things that can hurt them then to be curious and get injured.  But I try not to use it when she is around, I don’t like to scare her.

Aside from it scaring my cat, it is super cool.

So, what do you think? Do you think it is nearly as cool as I think it is? Do you use lighters?

 

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Lion’s Strength

Posted by terrepruitt on January 17, 2020

Sometimes you need the strength of a lion.

Here is another Willow Glen Watercolor for today’s 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, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin Yoga, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga

And there is this.

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Paired

Posted by terrepruitt on December 11, 2019

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 Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaAs you may know I have been listening to books lately. The annoyance of having to be in the car for 50 minutes because of traffic when it actually only takes 20 to get there is lessened when there is a story that is captivating. I have an older car. I love my car.  At first I was just using my phone to listen . . . as I said my car is older so it doesn’t have Bluetooth. And my phone works sometimes . . . I mean, it is sufficient sometimes, but some readers use low tones or whispers for some of the voices and they can get drowned out by road noise. And some roads are really noisy and drown out the reading even when they are speaking in their regular voice. So my phone didn’t work for some books.  I started just having a speaker in my car, but either the aux cables were cutting out or the Bluetooth was. The place that we buy accessories from had a sale not too long ago so I decided to buy a transmitter.

Once having reached that decision I actually looked elsewhere online and found the one I was looking at cheaper elsewhere so I was happy. And while it is not great because of the light rail and other frequency interfering things around here, it is ok. Most of the time it is fine. It great when I am on the freeway. It is just mainly at stop lights and by my house – where the light rail is – where sometimes I have to turn it off because the interference is just too much.

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 Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaBut the best thing about it to me is “Paired!” I LOVE that. That is the best thing. I didn’t really forget my phone that often, but I often would get in my car and wonder, “Did I grab my phone?” And I did often think I put it in my purse but then when I reached to get it I cound’t find it. Sometimes I would even KNOW – for certain – that I put it in my purse and when I tried to get it I couldn’t find it so I would begin to doubt it. In fact the other day I put my phone in my purse and pulled out of the garage and stopped to shut the garage and couldn’t find my phone, but the device just finished saying “Paired!” and that is when I realized how fabulous that it. It confirmed my phone was in my purse. Greatest thing ever.

Because I use my phone for my Nia music it is important that I have it. I also use it for music when I teach yoga, but yoga does not rely on it. If it weren’t for my music it really wouldn’t be that big of a deal when I forgot my phone, but it is a bummer to get to class and not have it.

I assume the thing works with the actual phone, as in for phone calls, but I don’t have the need to talk on the phone while I am driving at this point. I just use it to listen to Audible and to make sure I have my phone.

Does your car have Bluetooth? Do you have a device for Bluetooth?

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Excited For Corpse Pose

Posted by terrepruitt on December 9, 2019

I recently taught a class where it was requested that I split the class. The facilitator wanted me to teach half of it as Nia and half as yoga. As we were getting up off of our mats at the end of class, one student said, “What happen? Why did you cut it short? Normally it is longer?” A couple of us stopped and asked, “What?” She repeated her questions and to us it sounded as if she was saying that we usually went until 1:10 because a few of us answered her with, “No, we always end at 1:00.” She clarified that she was saying that shavasana is usually ten minutes and she was asking why I cut it short. I was so happy. With the split class I thought that they would want a shorter shavasana so they could do more active yoga. I was so surprised.

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This class enjoys their shavasana. The class I teach is in the middle of their work day and so they come to get some yoga in and they love to end with shavasana. I am a real stickler when it comes to shavasana in the yoga classes I teach. I believe that for some people it is the only time of day when they might get a little rest. If I start shavasana and you, as a student, stay, then, in my classes you are agreeing to stay until the end and resolve to be still. You are agreeing to give yourself that time to relax and to rest. You are agreeing to keep the space that we created and not break it by leaving before the class is done. It could be the only time where someone isn’t making demands on you _ whether it is normally your job, your kids, your (other) family, or just life in general that is requiring your attention – shavasana is the one time for you. It is a sacred time.

I was so excited to hear that these students enjoyed shavasana. They were disappointed that it was not as long as it usually is.

After the class the facilitator and I were discussing the class and I mentioned that some people were disappointed because shavasana was cut short and she shared that the employees had told her that they really enjoy shavasana. I am so happy about that.

I often hear that shavasana is one of the most difficult poses. It seems that society has proclaimed that people always have to be busy, they have to be DOING, so it makes sense that shavasana is such a challenge. Some people have so much pain and discomfort in their bodies that is it difficult for them to lie on their back* and be still for some time. And some of us have that busy “monkey mind” so it is hard to quiet it. Often times when the mind can’t be quieted the body can’t either. If neither one can be still it makes shavasana very difficult. So it can really be a pose that needs practice. So I was excited to hear that some students actually look forward to the time we allow for it.

I am looking forward to this week and being able to give them the time they look forward to each week.

*Shavasana is done in corpse pose or IS corpse pose . . . which is lying on your back . . . I instruct students on how to do the pose, but always encourage those that have pain or who are uncomfortable to get into a comfortable position so that they can be still and enjoy the benefits of stillness of the body and the mind.

What about you?  Do you enjoy shavasana?

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Blue-Eyed Watercolor

Posted by terrepruitt on November 15, 2019

Here is another watercolor from the walls of the Willow Glen Community Center where I teach yoga.  I have a couple more that I would like to post.  I have not seen any new ones appear on the walls.  I keep an eye out though.  Isn’t this lovely?

Blue-eyed orange cat for today’s Friday Photo.

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Six, Five, Three . . . Let’s Just Keep On Going!

Posted by terrepruitt on July 22, 2019

Last Thursday while I was teaching the Thursday evening yoga class I realized that I had been teaching at the Willow Glen Community for six years. Then I looked at my How Long Have You Been Teaching Here? post and realized it was six years to the day! I started teaching gentle yoga at that community center on July 18 in 2013. It was supposed to be a temporary gig.

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 Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCDI am happy to say that they kept asking me back.  Hopefully we can keep the class going for many more years to come. It has grown in attendance, which is nice. It started out with maybe five people and now we are cutting off the sign up at 22 (I think). Usually, not all the people that sign up show up at the same time so we end up with 12 to 15 people.

I’ll also have been teaching Nia on Thursdays for six years this year, but in September. The original time we started back in 2013 was 8:45. I understand the necessity for classes starting on the quarter hour, but sometimes that is not as standard as on the hour or half hour so we were able to change it to a 9:00 am start time in 2015.

Then we even changed locations in January of 2019. The program under which Nia was offered with the City of San Jose was cancelled. The feedback I received from the participants was that they wanted a class that they could drop into – which was not going to be allowed under the new program. So I found a new place to have Nia on Thursdays. We were so lucky that it happens to be right down the street from the community center AND it is on the same day AND it is at the same time. I am so happy that I was able to keep it so close to the same as to make it very convenient for the students. So, as I said, come September 2019, I will have been teaching Nia on Thursday for six years!

In February it had been five years that I have been teaching gentle yoga at the Cypress Community Center. At the time I was teaching Nia before the yoga class so I wasn’t able to step into the original class time when they called to ask me to teach it, but the students that had been signed up for that session agreed to move the class to 10:30. So the class has been at 10:30 on Tuesdays since February 2014.

Our stretch class has been going on for three years. This one is the one that have changed the most. First of all before I started teaching the class it was held at noon. But when I took over we moved it to 10:15 (that weird start time) because I was teaching Nia from 9:00 to 10:00 and when I took over teaching stretch we had to relocate from one room to the next so we needed time to do that. Plus it is always nice to have at least 10 minutes in between classes so that students can exit and enter and those wanting to take both classes can take care of any needs they might have (the instructor too!). Stretch was at the community center, but again, when the city changed programs the students wanted to have class passes and drop-ins so we moved stretch to the same place we moved Nia. Not enough people attended the stretch class though, so the studio could not support it.

So, we moved stretch to the park. The park is great. It is a very nice park. It suits our needs just in fine. There is a huge tree under which we can put our mats. Most of the time the students start off with their mats in the sun and after about 15 minutes they move into the shade. But even though we have great weather in California, we will not be able to stay outside through the winter so we are moving back to the community center. If you want to join us for stretch at the community center, please register. Here is a link to my site that will have the links to register. I don’t want to put the links here as they will die eventually and I rather not have dead links on my blog. (I try not to.)

When we moved stretch to the park we adjusted the start time so that we would have time to get from the studio to the park. It starts at 10:30. When it moves to the community center it will start at 10:30 because I will still need the time to get from the studio to the community center. It actually only takes about 5 minutes to get to either place from the studio, but I can’t guarantee that I can leave right after class. Sometimes I have to talk to students and/or attend to other things so it is safest to start class when I can guarantee for the most part that I can be there.

Well, this post just start out because I was excited that I had been teaching gentle yoga at the Willow Glen Community center for six years to the day and wanted to share . . . the other info just seemed a logical follow.

Do you take any group exercise classes?

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Little Duckling

Posted by terrepruitt on July 5, 2019

Oh, I have a couple more pictures of some watercolors that hang in the community center where I teach yoga. This is cute little duckling. Sweet little guy for today’s Friday Photo.

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