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/PiYo/Pilates’

Nose And Nose, Nose And Mouth

Posted by terrepruitt on July 16, 2013

A post or two ago I wrote about how breathing is good.  I mentioned that it is very common to hold your breathe while exercising and/or concentrating.  I shared that I was reminded of that recently by my husband (and Remo Williams). I briefly shared a few situations in which people might breath differently.  Of course, I had to mention Nia Sounding.  In my post What IS PiYo?, I mentioned yoga breathing and Pilates breathing.  Generally they are a bit different.

Simply put yoga breathing is done through the nose.  Both the inhale and the exhale.  Depending on what type of yoga you are doing, you may move as you inhale and exhale in a flow.  It is almost as if the breath can work as your metronome.  Or the flow is done where on certain moves you just inhale or exhale, timing your breath to your moves instead of your moves to your breath.  You can just breath normally and move through the poses as you want with no regard to the pace of your breath, but you still move with your breath.  As with most exercising the exhale is on the effort whether you are doing poses in a flow or at your own pace unrelated to your breathing pace.  While breath and breathing is related to movement in yoga, it does not always set the pace. In addition to the breath entering and exiting through the nose the breath affects the belly.  On the inhale it is the belly that expands.  On the exhale the belly compresses.  This is called diaphragmatic breathing.

To put Pilates breathing simply, it is done through both the nose and the mouth.  Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.  And even though ALL breathing utilizes the diaphragm Pilates breathing expands the thoracic/chest area.  When I was first learning Pilates I was taught it was called “Back breathing”.  This name helped me to concentrate on the change in shape of my upper body and not pull the breath down into my belly.  As with yoga, breathing is a large part of Pilates and breath relates to movement, but the area of the body with which the breathing is done is different.

Both yoga and Pilates breathing are done fully and completely.  So whether the air is flowing into the lower part of lungs and you are allowing your belly to expand or whether the air is going into all of the “corners” and your chest is expanding it is a full breath.  I like to practice allowing all the air that my lungs can hold to enter, to the point where I know there is no more space, then exhaling completely, until I know there is no more air left in my lungs.  This expelling completely is done with either type of breathing practice.

So in general that is the difference between yoga breathing and Pilates breathing.  As you practice either yoga or Pilates there are many details that you will learn and experience but that is it in a nutshell.

As I said, I like to practice full and complete breathing.  In addition I like to practice BOTH types of breathing.  I think they each have different benefits.  I think it is very important — no matter which type of breathing you are doing — to make the breaths FULL and COMPLETE  – as much in as you can as much out as you can.

If you were to report on your breathing you are doing right now, which type would you say it more closely resembles?

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What IS PiYo?

Posted by terrepruitt on July 9, 2013

I am very shocked and somewhat embarrassed that I have had this blog for over four years and I have never written a post explaining PiYo™.  PiYo is a combination of Pilates (Pi) and Yoga (Yo), brought to us by Chalene Johnson.  Chalene is the creator of Turbo Jam®, Turbo Kick®, TurboFire®, Hip Hop Hustle®, and ChaLEAN Extreme®.  These programs are put out by either Beachbody or her company, Powder Blue Productions.  With PiYo the idea is to combine the two mind/body practices in order to appeal to a large audience.  Pilates and yoga are somewhat similar to begin with, both have a component of connecting the mind and the body in conscious movement.  Both have ideals on breathing and breath.  Both are a way to improve flexibility, stability, strength, and balance.  Depending on which type of yoga practice there could be agility and mobility involved as in Pilates.  Now this might sound familiar if you know about Nia.  In Nia we have the five sensations flexibility, agility, mobility, strength, and stability (FAMSS) which we play with in our dance.  In PiYo the same sensations can be experienced.  The manual states:  “PiYo is considered a ‘Western’ approach to the practices of mind/body fitness.”

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, PiYoI believe that many people think yoga has been “Westernized”.  Since there are so many types of yoga there might not always be a spirituality in the yoga class or chanting, meditating, or even the Sanskrit terminology.  That is true with a PiYo class.  It is more about the physical with an awareness.

PiYo combines yoga breathing and Pilates breathing.  In general a yoga pose is done with yoga breathing and a Pilates exercise is done with Pilates breathing.  Of course, students are encouraged to breath in a way that is comfortable to them and that works with their individual body, the aforementioned is just a general guide.

The PiYo class follows the tried and true module of a typical exercise class.  There is a section for warming up, a section for general strength and balance, a section with more of a focus specific area of the body (say a core, upper body, or lower body), then a cool down and relaxation section.  While yoga poses could meet all the requirement of each section and Pilates exercises could also, it is often the case that each section will have a majority of one or the other.  Although, you might be like me and think that there is such a huge cross over it is difficult with some moves to claim it is only a yoga move or only a Pilates move.  While I am certain the move did originate from one or the other practice specifically it seems as though currently there is a huge cross over.  That is one reason why I think Pilates and yoga marry ups so well.  They can be considered very similar.

So throughout the class there will be yoga poses and Pilates exercises.  It is up to the instructor and the make-up of the class as to whether the yoga poses will be held for a measured amount of time or done in a flow.  No matter which is chosen it will be a sequences of poses.  Whereas the Pilates exercises are done in repetition.  Generally sequences of repetitions.

A PiYo class is allowed the freedom of design.  As mentioned there is a class format, but then the way it is carried out is dependent on the instructor and students.  The consistence of a PiYo class is that it is for the body and the mind using both yoga poses and Pilates moves.

Do you practice yoga?  Do you practice Pilates?

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

Standing Still

Posted by terrepruitt on February 23, 2013

Just as there are specific moves in Nia (Nia’s 52 Moves), there are different asanas or poses in yoga.  There is an asana (pose) in yoga that is standing still, but it is called Mountain Pose.  In Sanskrit, what I think of as the language of yoga, it is Tadasana.  While this pose is a still pose and the body is standing erect, it is an active pose.  The body is not just upright and relaxed, there are muscles engaged and energy moving.  It is more than likely that there is no straining involved and one might look relaxed and even feel relaxed yet there is more than just standing there happening.  Mountain Pose is an active pose often used as a transitional pose.  Yet can stand on its own, no pun intended.

In Tadasana toes touch and feet are parallel.  Of course, as with many things, there are many variations, and people have their own way of doing them.  In this post in the pose our toes touch, feet are parallel forming a stable base.  For some the heels might need to be fanned out a bit or feet may need to be separate.  The goal is to have a stable base so adjust the feet as necessary in order to ensure stability.  One way to assist with stability is to relax your feet allowing the toes to spread.  Imagine your feet becoming wide and open.  The feet do not grip the earth, they spread out.  Weight is evenly distributed.  Take time to sense all points of the feet.

The ankle joints remain open.  The shins and calves are rooted into the floor.  The knees are not locked, yet they sense stability because the quadriceps are reaching up lifting the knee caps.  The thighs are turned ever-so-slightly in.  The buttocks are lifted yet there is no arching in the lower back.  The belly (abdominals) are engaged.  The spine is long.

With the crown of your head reach for the sky, lengthening the entire back.  Keep the chin parallel to the earth and your head in alignment with your chest, hips, knees, and feet.  Shoulders are gently pulled back with shoulder blades down, the chest does not stick out, yet the sternum is presented up allowing the collar bones to open wide.  Arms are along the side of the body, not hanging, not touching the body, not rigid, but active.  Hands are active with fingers gently fanned open.

Energy is moving up allowing for the lengthening of the entire body, yet there is a sense of being rooted and stable.  As I mentioned this pose is often used as a transition.  You might see it performed in between standing poses.  It is perfect to reset the body in order to correctly move into another position.  It can also be used as a resting pose.  Even though it is an active pose, it still can be a rest for the body.

As you can tell, if you got up to try it, this is not a passive pose.  There is a lot of muscle engagement, so maybe you can see why this pose could be practiced on it’s own and not just used as a transition.  It is not just standing still, it is a strong, stable pose, like a mountain.

So if you didn’t already do it, are you ready?  Get up and try it!

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Hello, It’s Me!

Posted by terrepruitt on March 4, 2009

Ok, so here again I can blame my husband.   I am here blogging and it is all his fault.  He has been telling me for a while that I should write a blog.  I keep thinking, “What for?  What do I have to say?  Who would listen to me?”  Then I start talking about something and my husband looks at me and says, “See?  You could blog about that.”

But I still keep thinking “Who would read it?  What do I write about?  When do I write?  I’m not an ‘expert’!  Blogs are are for experts to talk. ”  But then I find myself reading blogs and getting interested and going back for more.  Some of the most interesting ones aren’t written by “experts”.  They are just normal everyday people sharing information, talking out loud.  I figure I can do that.

My name is Terre Pruitt.  I am a Certified Nia White Belt and a Licensed Nia Teacher.  I am also a certified Personal Trainer with the National Council on Strength and Fitness, and a Certified PiYo Instructor.  I am interested in getting people to move their bodies and keeping them moving to ensure their present good quality of life or make it even better.  I also have some strong opinions on other things related to that.

So . . . .I intend to keep my blogs somewhat in the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like.  Although, since it is my blog, I get to make the rules as to the clarity of that realm.  In other words, I might stray from that area a bit, from time to time.  Also, since I have already blamed my husband for unleashing me on the world, and therefore somewhat introduced him, he might be chiming in from time to time.   Say . . . one day when I run out of something to say, like that will ever happen.

Until next time, My Lovelies . . . . .

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