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

    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 exercise’

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? 

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Nia is teaching Me

Posted by terrepruitt on July 12, 2011

Nia is a cardio dance workout. We turn on music and we dance. We have Nia routines that we do to certain music or we can put the patterns to different music.  We are not limited to these two choices this is just an example.  We dance to music, we have fun, we don’t even realize we are exercising.  To me, it is “like” Zumba in that way.  But Nia is a practice. Nia has different levels and each level has principles.  If you choose to experience the different levels you can, but even if not the principles of Nia can be applied to the workout and to life. To me, Nia is like Yoga because of the fact that some of the “stuff” you do in a workout can be applied to life. Since the ideas and principles of Nia can be applied to life they are not necessarily “new”, most of it is not made up by the creators of Nia. Some of it you might recognize and have heard elsewhere. It is the way it is applied and put together. I have stated this before . . . that things are not new, so you aren’t imaging that.  I do like to repeat it because a lot of people have not heard of Nia so they might think it is something new and “way out there”, but it is not, it is based on science and things you know.  Some of the things I am learning are things that I have to continue to “practice”.  🙂

Here are a few of the things, in no particular order:

–It is ok not to be perfect. That is not really the way we state it when we talk about it, but I have started many posts with what we really say and maybe one day I will post one, but I am not ready to deal with the spam and odd comments I might receive from our actually verbiage of this same idea.  But basically we don’t have to do things perfectly. Which is really great because there really is no such thing.

The Four Engery Allies are always something I am having to practice. (Speak with impeccability / Don’t assume anything / Don’t take anything personally / Always do your best)

–Even silence is music. We actually practice listening for the silences in our music. A lot can happen in a silence, it could be a birthing place for something spectacular. Or it could just be a place of rest and calm. Either way it is sometimes something to look forward to.

–Natural Time is a gift. Moving and living in ones own natural time and not having to do everything by the clock that society runs on, is not always possible. There are some things you just have to do, so when there is an opportunity to move and live in natural time I take advantage of it and I consider it a treasured gift.

–Live in the moment. I am always doing one thing and thinking another. We live in a society of multi-tasking. It is celebrated and even rewarded, but it is not joyful nor rewarding. Sometimes I forget why I walked into a room because I started walking there to do something and then after the first two steps my brain has already jumped to the next task. So I arrive in the room thinking, “What am I doing here? I know what I want to do when I am done with why I came in here, but I don’t know why I am here.” So this is something I am always having to practice.

All of these things are things we learn in our Nia workout.  We don’t have to dance perfect, we have our energy allies when we dance, silence can be part of our movement, we move in our own natural time, and we move in the moment and dance to the music.  All of these things work in and off the dance floor.  So Nia teaches me a lot and it continues to teach me.

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