What is the best way to remove these nails to free this ceiling electrical box : HomeImprovement

This is an electrical box on the ceiling which I need to remove for remodeling work. First I am quite confused as to why the joist is so far away from the ceiling, which makes me wonder if it is not a joist but simply a floater piece of wood attached to joists on either side to allow the installation of the electrical box.

In any case, what is the best way to remove the two nails as shown in the picture?

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