Word of the Month: Purpose


  • the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists (noun)
  • have as one’s intention or objective (verb)

At The Dailey Method, we’ve been selecting a Word of the Month (WOM) since 2013! For me, this practice was a stepping stone into incorporating meditation into my work, but more importantly into my life as a whole. Allowing myself focused energy to reflect on a word each month enables me to notice how I’m feeling about different aspects and what I may currently need to shift in order to continue to grow. 

The WOM is generally chosen in advance. This means that oftentimes, as I prepare for the start of a new month, it can be the first time I reflect on what it signifies for me. When I sat down to write this blog and read the word “Purpose” on my list, I was slightly surprised that a wave of gratitude immediately ran through me.

I reflected on the gratitude as it reminded me of the love and purpose I serve in my professional life and highlighted for me WHY I wake up every day and continue to do what I do. Through the amazing times and the difficult ones, I care about helping people shine their brightest. It is always my desire to support people in discovering their greatest capacity for strength both in their bodies and in their lives. 

There are so many ways we can think of “our purpose” in life. Our PURPOSE is what we were put on this earth to contribute. Why we matter and how we can make a difference.

I feel extremely fortunate because I found my purpose early, as I am aware that many people struggle with finding their professional path. It was almost as though, my purpose found ME. 

One aspect I believe that has helped me stay focused is my belief that we will succeed at whatever we set out to do. Trust in our personal strengths and gifts plus our intentional focus to put our effort and energy towards it, is exactly what makes us successful. In fact, the more time and effort we enable ourselves to spend on a particular goal, the better we are at accomplishing it.

Purpose, though, is not just defined by our profession or one BIG thing we potentially offer to the world. For instance, we each serve many important purposes during our lives.

A huge one of mine is being a mother to my three beautiful kids. I appreciate the space to reflect on what being purposeful in my contributions to my kids’ lives actually means in my relationships with each of them. I am reminded of how impactful it is to show up for them each day so that I succeed at serving my purpose as the best mom I can be. This includes practicing good self-care so that they learn from me while receiving all the best parts of me. Remember! We all have the capacity to significantly impact people’s lives every day and it can be in the smallest of ways. 

Here are a few reflections from Master Teacher Trainer, Katina Griffin, for our Dailey Method teachers on the word, Purpose:

  • Attack everything in class today with purpose, just as you would a complex life goal. Focus with intentional, purposeful movement and use this as the vehicle to take your TDM practice to a new level. This can be as easy as focusing on your back leg alignment in a split!
  • What do you think of when you hear the word “purpose”? Purpose can simply be about why you decided to come to class today just as it can mean something more profound. Whatever it is, be purposeful in your execution as a way to maximize your power and strength inside and outside this room. 
  • Wherever you are in your life – in whatever familial role, work title, job/or lack thereof that you currently hold – trust that YOU have a purpose and a reason for being here. Your life is purposeful – You get to decide HOW. Decide in small ways every day and remember to start with: “I am significant and my life has meaning.”

I love these! Relate them to while you’re taking a class and notice how each one is also relevant to our lives outside the classroom. 

Think about your own personal purpose. Expand on it. Amplify it. What can you give? Add yours to the world and truly know you make a difference!






Word of the Month: Intention


  • a thing intended; an aim or plan.

At The Dailey Method, we recommend that you start your practice with intention. If you’re a student, you’ve heard us remind you to  check back in with your set intention during the workout and then once again as you settle into your final resting pose at the end. 

We encourage you to carry this with you throughout your day because going back to the intention you set is what helps you stay present within yourself and with those around you. There are so many intentions to choose from: move with your breath, move with grace, forgive yourself or simply to shine your light out. The options for intentions are limitless and can be altered even just slightly each day. To correlate with where you are RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

Personally, I am grateful for this process being part of my Dailey practice so I can continue to improve upon keeping an intention each day throughout everything I do since it is a built-in opportunity for me to bring myself back to the present.


  • the healing process of a wound.

The second definition of Intention made me stop hard when I first read it, but it is true! Just as everything in life is a process, the intentions we set and do our best to live by are a means to healing wounds; wounds that have been passed down to us, or that are self-inflicted. A conscious practice to move past thoughts or feelings we’re holding onto, helps us become more able to continue in a more positive direction so that we can let go, truly heal and just BE.

To move intentionally within your body allows you to fully notice how your body is feeling so that you can acknowledge it at that time. Some days we push ourselves harder than others and yet some other days, we push too hard! We do this both in class and in other areas of our life. It’s necessary to remember how important it is to permit ourselves to allow for our body’s rhythms or fatigue, to make space for our humanness, feelings, or even our need to be vulnerable.

Exercising intentionally also adds in the component of being mindful of what and how you’re moving. At The Dailey Method, we sometimes refer to this as a meditation in movement.

Here are intentions that one of my favorite teachers, TDM Master Teacher Trainer Katina Griffin, wrote as inspiration for our teachers for talking points this month:

  1. Be INTENTIONAL about the way you set up each exercise today. Remember that just like in life, taking a moment to pause and build the appropriate foundation will undoubtedly provide you the support necessary to be 100% successful on your journey. The same is true for your SeatWork!
  2.  When things get challenging for you in any particular place in class today – set an INTENTION to pause and revisit the fact that we are ALL on this same path and doing this exercise together. All the tools you need to be fully successful are given to you – even if it means you take a quick rest or a reset of your alignment!
  3.  As you leave here, move with deliberate INTENTION and show up at your next appointment, event, family thing, or grocery shopping excursion as the greatest version of you. You just rocked this class and brought effort, strength, perseverance, and commitment. Bring that into your life. Things are looking up!

I generally have a couple of intentions I focus on each month to support myself in my mindfulness, yet the one I am specifically focusing on right now is the word CALM and how I may use just the simplicity of that word to remind me of the small ways I can create stillness and remain present in all the chaos that life throws my way. 

What are yours? 

Intentionally sending you LOVE!



Autoimmune disease and Trauma: The Dailey Method Connection

Autoimmune disease and Trauma: The Dailey Method Connection

Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW

As I stepped into the gym for my daily workout, I looked around and saw how many people were staring at screens, listening to music, or lost in thought. I imagined many of the thoughts were focused on the end of the workout rather than a moment by moment experience of the workout. Some people looked at their clocks, maybe they were counting down the time remaining before the workout ended. Sadly, people didn’t look like they were enjoying themselves; I didn’t see people laughing while on the treadmill. I used to be one of these people. Exercise was a means to an end. It was a way I kept a lean figure, reduced stress, and maintained muscle mass. There were many days I didn’t feel like going to the gym, but I did anyways, because I was addicted to fitness. I loved how it made me feel as my brain’s happy chemicals flooded my body. 

Today, I view exercise very different than I did a decade ago. I am grateful my attitude and behaviors changed. Had I continued my intense workouts–deriving little joy from them, and straining my joints so I could feel surges of happy chemicals– I would have missed the health benefits I had yet to realize.

I discovered The Dailey Method at a time when I needed it the most. My passion for ballroom dance, and a desire to strengthen my body so I could dance with less injury, drew me to Dailey Method. But once I began, the reasons why I made a long-term commitment to Dailey Method were much bigger. Being truthful to myself, I needed to admit I could no longer sustain the high intensity, cardio blast, calorie busting workouts I was accustomed to. I had Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune inflammatory disease affecting the large and small intestine. While exercise was a big part of my healing, because it reduced stress AND inflammation in my body (the hallmark of autoimmune illnesses), my exercise approach was not in balance. I needed to care for my body and support its healing in ways that rejuvenated it from the inside out. It wasn’t until I discovered Dailey Method that I started to understand how structured workouts can be fun and productive at the same time. I also began to realize that it is possible to take care of one’s body and nurture it while accomplishing fitness goals. 

Trauma and Autoimmune disease separate me from my body

I had a long history of disregarding my body. I experienced childhood trauma that shaped my understanding of my relationship with my body. I didn’t know how to be comfortable in my body because as a child, I had to hide my feelings to keep myself safe. My childhood was dangerous and all I wanted to do was escape my body. This was compounded by chronic illness. I hated my body because it was a place of discomfort and unexplained symptoms. One way I coped with my relationship with my body was to over exercise and push my body beyond its limits; this made me feel in control. I had so many stress hormones pumping through my body from a natural response to trauma called ‘fight or flight,’ that I couldn’t manage the resulting anxiety and nervousness. Compulsive exercising helped me release and cope with an abundance of stress hormones. I thought this was a healthy way to cope. However, balance is critical in order for true healing to take place; this involves an integration of physical and emotional healing as well as incorporating one’s passion (what makes life worth living). Exercising too hard and depleting my already vulnerable immune system was not balance. A much healthier approach to cope with trauma and the stressors of chronic illness was to develop an authentic relationship with my body. This would allow me to understand my feelings, notice sensations and symptoms, and express them appropriately through mental health therapy, activities that brought me joy, and supportive relationships. Dailey Method provided one way for me cultivate this relationship with my body.

Strengthening my relationship with my body

A perfect transition for hard-core cardio fans, Dailey Method gets the heart pumping and the muscles working with varied intensities; it is empowering because there are many choices to make it one’s own. Dailey Method is typically not called a workout but instead is called a ‘practice.’ Language creates meaning, and practice suggests an experience beyond an exercise regimen. I wasn’t participating to get my workout done; I was participating in a practice that involved all parts of my body and self. This practice was my own and much like my dancing practices, it inspired growth and personal development along the way. For the first time, I accomplished my need to have a challenging physical workout BUT in a balanced, gentle, and mindful way. This was a foundation for self-care and moving through my life with body awareness. 

Principles of Dailey Method transfer to LIFE

Each exercise draws attention to the inside of the body and how all parts of the body work together to support each other. Through noticing one’s foot foundation, there is an invitation to appreciate how our bodies bring us confidence and ground us to ourselves and the world around us. Dailey Method emphasizes alignment but not only in the sense of our physical bodies standing straight. The focus on alignment expands to a holistic philosophy: Only once our bodies are aligned and our authentic selves participate in this collaboration with our bodies, are we able to be aligned in our greater purpose and day to day intentions. Our bodies are always communicating with us; sometimes the messages are subtle and we ignore them. But, Dailey Method awakens an awareness of the language of the body and this makes us more mindful of what it needs to heal and feel good. 

Mind-body approaches enhance healing

For those of us with trauma, autoimmune disease, and chronic illness, it is easy to develop a detached relationship from one’s body. Movement is very important for healing. Our bodies express themselves through movement and this is an essential component in healing from trauma. Illness is never one dimensional. Healing is always enhanced with approaches that show how the body works for us and in coordination with each part of the body and our environment. Dailey Method honors these connections and because of my practice, I am making connections with myself that are furthering my healing.

Finding meaning in exercise

Today, I no longer view exercise as a means to an end. It is a process where I can be in the moment and enjoy the lessons my body teaches me about life. As I continue to develop my Dailey Method practice, it supports the other practices in my life. I feel confident and empowered as a woman. I know myself better than anyone else knows me. Because of this, I like my body, not only for its physical strength, but for the limitless potential it has to heal and enhance my life experiences. I feel subtle changes in my body as it learns to move with ease, but I know the changes that have taken place in the rest of my life because of it. 


Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker, author, and founder of www.lightyoursparkle.life. She specializes in chronic illness, trauma, and integrative models for healing. Inspired by her own struggles with autoimmune illnesses and trauma, she educates about empowerment and how to build individualized healing plans.

Word of the Month: SHINE!


SHINEto give forth or glow with light; shed or cast light.

to be bright with reflected light; glisten; sparkle.

noun – radiance or brightness caused by emitted or reflected light.


SHINE bright with us! 

At The Dailey Method we SHINE for three weeks every Fall!  

While the word SHINE has several meanings or implications, for me, there is one in particular that I work hard to instill within The Dailey Method. At TDM our mission is to empower others to be their best selves, to live their best lives and to shine from the inside – out. It’s a core value that we believe in and I personally do my best to show up lit up from the inside, everyday. It’s something I hope to inspire or call out in everyone I meet, as well. I feel it the most and thrive when given the opportunity to support positive body image and self confidence in people everywhere. No doubt this is one of the things people need most to shine their brightest.  

I know I feel my own personal best when I “burn bright” from the inside. It makes me reflect on the idea that how we decide to show up in the world, in each and every moment, is as much for ourselves as it is for those with whom we run into, connect with or love. Shining from within feels amazing, but it takes focus, work and intention to accomplish.

Have you ever been sad and forced yourself to smile? I know that when I practice this simple action, I immediately feel a little better. I make an effort to truly see and smile at people as I’m moving throughout my life. I don’t always succeed, but I work hard and set my intention on showing up in this way. After all, who doesn’t want to receive a smile? They’re not always receptive 😂 but once I make a connection I see that I’ve literally, even if in a super small way, lit someone up. 

Create a moment in your day where you make intentional eye contact and do so with a smile. Notice the reactions and decide to spread kindness remembering that it is fuel for everyone around you!

At TDM, the emphasis we place on the alignment of the bones and spine translates to feeling better, standing taller and off-setting aging (increasing longevity) in addition to helping to stave off disease. No better segway into our Align and SHINE challenge that provides you a platform of 21 days to consciously commit to yourself and to focus on you. This is an intentional time for you to make yourself a number one priority. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time! All you commit to is the decision to schedule movement, meals and time for yourself. You can do this in a Studio or in your own home. Do it ANYWHERE! Click to find out more.

One of my favorite hashtags is #burnbrightdailey It’s a slogan we’ve used amongst our corporate and student communities for years. Looking back at it, I love how much it expresses not only who we are at TDM and what our culture is but also how have and continue to evolve.

And because I believe that the more we affirm ourselves the easier it is to shine, I want to share a couple of my favorite “thoughts of the day”:

  • Close your eyes and visit your greatest achievement to date. Allow your pride and gratitude to SHINE outwardly to assist you in life. You are AMAZING!!
  • Remember that there is a brilliance unique only to you and therefore is a special light only you get to share with our world. Shine bright today. The brighter you shine the more you can light up those around you.
  • You are enough. Exactly where you are and exactly who you are- right now.


Have fun and “Burn Your Brightest” all month long! 



While at a women’s conference earlier this month, we were asked to participate in an exercise called STAND UP FOR YOUR SISTER.  We were all given a sheet of paper with different challenges we might have encountered or experiences we have had and asked to check the boxes off for the ones that applied to us. After completing the exercise, we folded them up and passed them around the room of 7800 people until no one knew who had completed their form.  THEN, they read the questions out loud, and you were asked to stand up for anything you checked off the list.

There were lots of hard things on the list, and more things that applied to a vast majority of the room than I would have liked.  The one that broke my heart was I HATE MY BODY.

I swear, 90% of the room stood up.

I HATE MY BODY.  Note: It didn’t say, “I wish I could change something about my body.” it said, “I HATE MY BODY.”

First, it made me sad……sad that so many women could HATE the body in which they live every second of every day for their entire life.  THEN, it made me mad….DAMMIT media with your airbrushing and the 90’s waif epidemic where so many of the women in my circle were impacted by the idea that somehow not having ribs showing or (gasp) touching thighs somehow tells the world (and apparently ourselves) that we aren’t quite as deserving or strong as a woman thinner than we.   AND FINALLY, it made me excited. That’s right. Excited. Not because there are so many of us running around HATING ourselves….that part still makes me tear up…but because we can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Yep.  We can do something about it, and it doesn’t involve a diet, an exercise plan (although I’ve got a recommendation for a kickin’ barre and cycle studio if you need one), or plastic surgeon.  We can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT just lying down. We can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT while driving in our car, sitting on our couch, or folding laundry. We can CHANGE OUR THINKING regarding our bodies.

Your body EVERY DAY…does amazing things.

YOUR BODY gets you out of bed, into the bathroom, and gives you the mobility to get through your day.

YOUR BODY lets you SEE and HEAR conversations with your loved ones and enjoy things you love and care about like music, a grandchild’s soccer game, or interesting lunch conversation with a dear friend.

YOUR BODY is the vessel where you open your arms and give and receive LOVE from your kids, your spouse, your friends.

YOUR BODY moves you from one place to another where you can LIVE!

Has your body…

Held the hand of a sick or scared friend?
Made a human being?
Danced in celebration of victory?
Felt the wind in your face as you rode to the top of a Ferris wheel and your stomach dropped?
Walked you down an aisle towards matrimony?
Crossed a finish line you never thought you’d cross?

Yes?  That’s YOUR BODY.  It deserves your LOVE.  HATING it is abuse.

What happens to an abused child, an abused animal?  It shrinks. It gets frightened and doesn’t feel safe to be who they are.

Did you know that there are studies that show if you speak kindly to a plant, it grows faster and thrives more than a plant that is spoken to negatively?  A FICUS stunts when you ignore it or mistreat it. What do you think is going to happen to YOU when you HATE your body?

So, what now?  Fine! Christina, I get it, you’re right! Thank you. But now, I just feel bad about hating my body, but I still hate my body. What can we DO? I am an action girl. I also realize that change doesn’t come without time and a lot of hard work. Work in self-talk can be the hardest work that we do. So, I have an idea. This week – when you wake up.  BEFORE you get out of bed, I want you to speak love into your body.  THANK YOUR BODY for THREE THINGS that it is going to do for you this day.  THREE THINGS that you are grateful for (for me, writing it down helps – but do what works for you.) THEN, when you go to bed, I want you to THANK YOUR BODY for what it DID FOR YOU TODAY.

Did you catch that flight JUST IN TIME because your body hustled, albeit super ungracefully while knocking a tall guy’s coffee out of his hand in concourse B, and got you to the gate right before the flight attendant closed the door?  Say, “I’m thankful for my legs and their ability to jog in business casual apparel.” Did your body sweat and get sunburned while you weeded your garden to make it beautiful for a BBQ your hosting tomorrow for friends?  “I’m thankful for my ability to move onto the ground and create beauty.” Did your body provide a soft shoulder for a co-worker to cry on while you learned of her recent marital trouble? “I’m thankful for my body and my ability to physically support someone when they need me.”

YOU ARE LIVING INSIDE YOUR BODY. …and you deserve to love that space.

I’d love to hear how this goes for you – and if you have ideas to share that can help us cultivate feelings of appreciation for these amazing tools that let us LIVE, I’m all ears.

Christina Vance is The Dailey Method Studio Owner in Colleyville Texas, mother of three, and passionate about empowering people everywhere to be their best selves.