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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Posts Tagged ‘Zumba classes’

Rockin’ The Block Or More Accurately My Nia Classes

Posted by terrepruitt on June 17, 2014

I teach Nia for the City of San Jose and the YMCA.  I have been teaching Gentle Yoga too, but that is different.  The Gentle Yoga classes are usually smaller both the actually room we are in and the number of people.  And with yoga we don’t need the music loud so often times my iPhone in the middle of the yoga mats serves us just fine.  But with Nia we need the music loud.  Not “Zumba-loud” because I still need to be heard over the music, but loud enough that I can hear my music cues and people can get a sense of the music.  With most of my classes the number of students is more than yoga and the venue is larger.  I actually have taught at some places where the audio system did not work so I tried using my phone and it did not have enough volume.  With Nia people follow my lead, but they also move their body in their own way so it helps them dance when there is music to dance too.  So since I teach in all different places and the audio system is not always the same I have a variety of speakers.  I had been looking at one for a couple of years, but never wanted to invest the money.  But one day my hubby and I were at Costco and we saw a device I had been looking at.  He wanted to get it.  I hemmed and hawed, but we came home with a Block Rocker.

I had almost bought one before but with every model they came out with something different so I was trying to decide which one to purchase.  Then they came out with a Bluetooth enabled version.  I wanted to know that I could still use an Aux cable because Bluetooth can be spotty.  I had not been able to determine that from my shopping online at first.  And then I forgot about it until I saw it in Costco.  We pulled it off the shelf and checked it out.  Read the box to make sure it would play music both ways — via Bluetooth or a cable.  And my hubby put it in the cart.  All the way around the store I kept thinking, “Yes.  No.  Yes.  No.”  and on and on.

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 YogaWe came home with it.  We plugged it in and hooked it up to our devices.  It was pretty cool.  Both my husband and I have used it around the house.  It does GREAT house sound.  Our house is an acoustical “weird-mare”, but it works great.  Both of us have used it out in the yard.  But none of that is in a big room with people in it.  And I am not complaining that the rooms I have been teaching in have sound systems.  That is GREAT.  I am very fortunate.  I have not had the opportunity to use my big speaker.

My Group Ex Nia Class with the City of San Jose on Tuesdays and Thursdays is normally held in the dance studio.  But this summer there is Summer Camp in there for the kids one week every month.  So at the beginning of the year my supervisor moved us from the dance studio to the Multipurpose room.  I didn’t know if this room had an audio system.  I have been telling my class for months that we were going to be in the MPR for a few classes this summer.  Then for the past two weeks I have been reminding them of the actual dates.  I would have been very upset with myself if I had shown up and not be prepared.  Here I have been preparing them for months and then I didn’t have music.  I am soooooooooo glad I thought about my Block Rocker.  This is EXACTLY what it is for.

I even remembered to charge it the night before.  Ya see it is a Bluetooth device and it has a rechargeable battery so it can be used totally cordless.  Squeeeee!

So I used it today and it worked GREAT.  I am super happy.  I love it when things work out.  I am so glad that Costco had it and it was such a good deal.  As I said, I had been shopping for them for a couple of years and was happy this one was priced lowest of them all.  Even though it was the newest model.

Here is some information copied from the ION website:

•Streams music wirelessly from any Bluetooth music-playing device or phone
•Works with iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android devices, and more
•Input for a microphone (came with a microphone), instruments and other audio sources
•High-quality microphone included
•Built-in digital AM/FM radio and retractable antenna
•USB port for charging iPad, iPhone, or other devices
•Built-in battery provides up to 50 hours of use
•Bluetooth range of up to 50 feet
•High-output powered 2-way speaker
•1/8-inch auxiliary input for amplifying other audio devices
•Recessed wheels and telescoping handle for portability
•Rugged design to withstand heavy use
•Projects high-fidelity sound up to 150 feet away
•Built-in cradle for your smartphone, iPad, or other device

It does not have an equalizer so it will not be “perfect” sound.  It is what it is.  It is great . . . in my opinon . . . for exercise classes.  Oooo, I am so excited.  You know me, I like to share when I am excited about things.  When I learn of something that helps make MY life easier I like to share.  I like to let you know so perhaps it can help one of you.

Can you see yourself owning one?  Do you think you could use one?  Do you like to have people over for outside grilling and/or BBQing?

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

Beets Have Better Overall Nutrition Than Dirt

Posted by terrepruitt on September 22, 2012

Since I am still busy with my Nia classes and I have my Zumba teaching debut coming up, it really helps to have produce delivered.  I know Nia and Zumba instructors that can learn a routine in an afternoon and teach it that night.  I am not one of those teachers.  It takes me a long time, so something that saves me a trip to the store is awesome.  But then I do spend a little time trying to figure out what to do with the new-to-me produce.  I also like to look up the nutrition.  One thing I didn’t remember when I received my beets is that the beet greens can be eaten.  I forgot about my own post Borscht Is Beets and I just chopped them off and threw them away.  Now I know.  I do have faith that beets have more nutrition than dirt, but I don’t actually know the nutrition value of dirt, so I really am just going off of faith.

As a reminder beets have anti-inflammatory affects along with antioxidant properties.  According to World’s Healthiest Food website here are some numbers on a cup of raw beet:

1.00 cup rawDance 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
136.00 grams
58.48 calories
folate 148.24 mcg
manganese 0.45 mg
fiber 3.81 g
potassium 442.00 mg
vitamin C 6.66 mg
tryptophan 0.03 g
magnesium 31.28 mg
iron 1.09 mg
phosphorus 54.40 mg
copper 0.10 mg

The website states that the phytonutrients in beets are called betalains and the longer the beets are cooked, the less there are in the root.  They “recommend that you keep beet steaming times to 15 minutes or less, and roasting times under an hour.”  So some of the nutritional value is higher the less they are cooked.  I had mentioned something similar in my Borscht post.

The paper that comes with the produce I have delivered states that the beets were gold beets.  Being unfamiliar with beets I say, “Ok.”, but they were not yellow.  They were deep red/purple — as you can see.  And I KNOW, I have seen yellow beets before.  I had a co-worker who loved beets and she would eat them in all the colors.  Maybe the yellow ones aren’t called gold beets and these really were gold beets?  I don’t know.  The red and yellow pigment in beets lose their “super powers” the more the beets are cooked.

Since I have had my first foray into cooking beets and making something with beets I think I can do it again.  I know I just made a salad, but it wasn’t terrible.  I think I need to move onto something my husband just loves.  In fact when I asked him if he liked beets he said yes and he reminded me that he loves borscht.  I forgot he loved borscht and I forgot I posted about it.  So I think I will actually purchase some beets and give it a try.

This is exactly one of the reasons I chose to have a produce box delivered.  I never would have bought beets — obviously since back in January 2011 I talked about them and STILL haven’t done it.  So now it is one of the things I can add to our list of vegetables for us to eat.  I have the tendency to buy the same vegetables over and over even though I know variety is good.  I just don’t buy it if I don’t know what to do with it.  But when it lands on my doorstep, I feel as if I have to find something to do with it.  I am so excited to be expanding my produce horizons.  I also love that so many people have ideas on what to do with these new-to-me items.

Do any of you like Borscht?  Do you have a recipe for it?  

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Faking It Is Easy

Posted by terrepruitt on August 28, 2012

My husband and I used to dance.  We danced “Country Western”, we did the two step, the cha-cha, the waltz, and the west coast swing.  We liked to dance.  I sometimes would fake it though.  Yeah, I would.  We would go to a lesson and they would show us a move.  We would practice it during the lesson then usually there was a dance party after.  We would join the party.  My husband would always DO THE MOVE WE JUST LEARNED.  I would say, “Ack!  You’re doing the move we just learned!”  And he would look at me with a look that said to me, “Of course, Silly Woman, that is why we are here.  To learn stuff and then actually DO IT.”  But for me the time spent in the lesson was never enough to actually learn it.  Even though the leader’s part is much more difficult than the follower’s, I still couldn’t get it in one lesson.  So a lot of the times I would fake it.  And by fake it I mean, that if you were to look at my feet and KNOW where there were supposed to be, you would know my feet were not correct.  I could move in a way that if you were just casually looking you would think I was doing it right.  I would always make sure I was facing the right direction so you wouldn’t really know my feet were not doing the move correctly unless you knew the move yourself!  Since most people don’t stare at your feet the entire time I often got away with it.  I was good at faking it.  Faking it was easy in the fast songs.

Eventually I would learn the move correctly, but there were some moves that took me a long time to get.  Then somewhere along the way we decided to compete.  I mean, competing really is the only way to know if you are really improving and to spend all that money on lessons and not improve can be a silly thing.  So we decided to compete.  Do you know what that meant?  No more faking it.  I mean the whole point of competition is to have someone look at you and judge — among other things — your feet.  So I had to stop faking it.

I am learning a lot as I sub for different exercise classes.  I recently subbed a class and I was reminded of the faking it.  It is easy to fake it in some classes.  Let’s say Zumba for example, I’ve posted before about how Zumba is all agility (I have since learned otherwise, but I will reflect on that in a post at a later time).  Zumba is the fast start and stop.  Move stop the move and move the other direction, move stop, move stop.  The full range of motion is usually not achieved, you are moving to another move before you really get to finish the first one.  Start, stop, start, stop, start stop.  It is easy to fake.  The fast dances were always easy for me to fake. The good thing about faking it is you are still moving and that is good in a sense.  Even if you are not doing the move correctly you are moving and burning calories and often it is so fast the casually observer or someone standing next to you is not going to notice.  I think this is one of the things that people like about Zumba . . . you are moving and dancing even when you are faking it.

It is the slow dances that are difficult.  With Nia it is not as easy to fake.  With Zumba a move could be hopping from one leg to the other.  With Nia we might actually balance on one leg.  No speed to it, just lifting one leg off the ground and standing on one leg.  Strength and stability.  No faking.  I always invite participants to use a chair, a wall, the barre, or even their other foot, but either way you cannot FAKE standing on one leg.  Sadly, I think for some, not being able to fake it keeps them from joining in the joy of Nia.  The judgment from themselves is so great that they can’t let go and just do what they can because what they can do is not blurred by the start and the stop.  What they can’t do is not blurred by speed.  And they don’t give themselves the chance to learn how to do the moves.  They don’t allow themselves the time to get the muscles in a condition where they can move slow and controlled.  Faking it is easy, it is actually doing a move slow, controlled, and correctly where the difficulty comes in.

When I take a Zumba class I know I fake it often because I don’t know the move so I concentrate on being at the right place and/or facing the right direction at the right time.  Eventually I get the moves . . . well, most of the time.

I know this is my opinion, I don’t really KNOW, but it is coming from a place of judgment based on some things I have seen and heard.  You know I am always trying to figure out the differences between Zumba and Nia and why people like them.  And recently this was a thought because of something I heard and observed . . . the speed, the faking, the judgment.

Do you fake until you make it in your exercise class? 

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

Another Zumba and Nia Comparison

Posted by terrepruitt on June 30, 2012

I teach Nia.  I have been teaching Nia for three and a half years.  Not as many people who I talk to have heard of Nia as have heard of Zumba so I am constantly being asked the difference between Nia and Zumba. Since I am often asked I am often thinking about them and comparing them. First, they are actually the same in that music is played and participants dance to it.  Second, in both the instructor leads the participants through the various dance moves.  Third, participants of both claim they are both fun. One difference is Nia is an experience in five sensations, Zumba seems to concentrate on one.

The experience is such a big part of Nia we actually call them the five sensations of Nia.  I have posted about them before (FAMSS).  They are the sensation of flexibility, of agility, of mobility, of strength, and of stability.  In a Nia class your body will move in a way that allows you to sense the energy moving out and away.  You will bend and stretch to play with flexibility, either retaining what you have or improving upon it.  There are moves in the routines that require the start and the stop.  The movement that is agility could be done with our feet, our arms, our hands, our bodies, our heads or a combination of body parts but we sense the start and the stop.  With every routine there is a lot of mobility, some routines have more than others, but all of them that I have experienced have a lot.  With mobility it is just the same as agility in that it could be a body part that is moving or our whole body.  Whatever the case there is a lot of movement from each joint that helps create a healthy joint by allowing the fluid to move to it and within it.  Then we also play with strength.  We might squeeze our muscles sensing the energy moving in as if the bones are being hugged by the muscles.  We might do squats or sit-ups, punches and/or kicks, but there is time where we play with strength.  I say Nia is very big on balance because we do many moves that requires us to be stable.  Many of our moves are balancing on one leg, could be a kick, could be a stance, but it requires stability.  Moving from one move to the next often requires us to call upon our stability.  In a Nia routine we experience all of these sensations.  I’ve reached the conclusion that Zumba is primarily agility.

In Zumba the moves are always fast.  So it is a constant state of start and stop.  The only sensation I sense while doing Zumba is agility.  Fast start, fast stop . . . .  even when there is a stretch where your muscles are yearning for a second to move to their fullest length, it is a fast stretch that does not allow for the muscle to be fully stretched.  Doing a full hour of agility is not a bad thing at all.  It can be fun and it can produce a lot of sweat.  And many of us are programmed to think that sweat equals a good workout.  I think that if you are adding Zumba to a stretching program that has some balance practice in it that is great.

I am also a believer that there are a lot of things that compliment Nia too.  I actually think that if you like Nia and Zumba and you are able to do both that is a nice combination.  You get two different types of cardio.  One that is a workout in the sensation of agility and one that can move you through more use of the entire body to get that heart pumping.

I really believe that whatever gets you moving is GREAT.  I think that you have to like what you do in order to make it a constant in your life.  So Zumba, Nia, Jazzercise, U-Jam, yoga, kickboxing, bootcamp, weight training, whatever works for you is great.  Do what you will do!  That is the key!

It is that I am always asked about the difference between Zumba and Nia that I am always thinking about it and this was my latest thought after I did a Zumba class.  I think I posted before about how I am left wanting to extend and finish my moves in Zumba and it dawned on me that it is the sensation of agility that is predominant in Zumba.  Some Zumba classes I have attended do take a song to stretch at the end, but not all of them.  So I guess it depends on the instructor.  Nia instructors are encouraged to infuse their classes and the routines with their personalities, so I am sure that every Nia class has a few differences too.

Both Nia and Zumba are great cardio workouts.  It just depends on what you want to do during your workout and what you want to get out of it.  Do what you will do!

So, what is it that you do? 

Posted in Nia, Zumba | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

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 »

Nia Isn’t . . .

Posted by terrepruitt on May 20, 2010

Part of the purpose of my blog is to share what Nia is and to invite people to take one of my classes. I have learned that when teaching people it is sometimes helpful to share what something ISN’T to help them understand what it is.

Nia isn’t a class where you won’t sweat.

Nia isn’t a class where the teacher shouts at you to motivate you.

Nia isn’t a class where you just think about moving.

Nia isn’t Jazzercise.

Nia isn’t sitting around.

Nia isn’t about pain.

Nia isn’t hard jumping.

Nia isn’t Tai Chi.

Nia isn’t Tae Kwon Do.

Nia isn’t Aikido.

Nia isn’t a mindless workout.

Nia isn’t Zumba.

Nia isn’t taught to Nia teachers in a day.

Nia isn’t new to the fitness world.

Nia isn’t Jazz Dance.

Nia isn’t Modern Dance.

Nia isn’t judgmental.

Nia isn’t a strict combination of linear movements.

Nia isn’t a class where you are told EXACTLY how to move your own body.

Nia isn’t Yoga.

Nia isn’t stiff.

Nia isn’t rough.

Nia isn’t (necessarily) just a workout.

Nia isn’t JUST Free Dance.

The BEST way to learn about what Nia isn’t and what Nia is, is to go to a class and see for yourself.  Nia class finderWant to find a class near you?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Bay Area National Dance Week 2010

Posted by terrepruitt on April 20, 2010

Some of the reasons behind Bay Area National Dance Week is the hope that the Bay Area will celebrate all the different forms of dance; to have the Bay Area be a place where people who love dance can learn, enjoy, and participate in all types of dance; to show that the Bay Area understands that dance is a part of an area’s identity and pride; to let the Bay Area demonstrate that dance is more than just fun and exercise, it is a large part of humanity, a part that helps define us.

The dance community in the San Francisco Bay Area, being one of the country’s largest, is offering hundreds of free classes and events.

There are going to be free Argentine tango classes, jazz dance classes, hip hop classes, hula classes, fire dance classes, Samba classes, modern dance classes, aerial classes, belly dance classes, Zumba classes, ballet classes, yoga classes, Nia classes, and more!  There will also be performances and many other events.

The studio where I teach in San Jose will be celebrating Bay Area National Dance Week 2010.  Several instructors are welcoming students to attend for Free, from April 25 – May 1.***

Sunday, April 25:
    Three separate classes are free

Monday, April 26:
Six separate classes are free* including Nia

Tuesday, April 27:
One class

Wednesday, April 28:
    Three separate classes are free* including Nia

Thursday, April 29:
  Four separate classes are free*

Friday, April 30:
  One free class

Saturday, May 1:
  Two separate classes are free

*some classes are free to new students only, please see my site for more information, or contact me if you have any questions.

I hope you can make it to one of the free classes being offered.  Plan your week.  Get your workout on!  Get your dance on!

***(04/21/10) Some classes have actually been added and the end date at the studio now matches the National Dance Week, Sunday, May 2, please see my site for the added classes.  Thank you.

2013: (My site no longer contains information regarding the 2010 Bay Area National Dance Week, but you can see my site for Nia Class Schedule).

Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »