Word of the Month: Shine

Be true to your heart… put your whole heart and soul into it, and then whatever you do, it will shine through. Jamie Brewer

We chose the word of the month SHINE to correlate with our challenge and have named our annual challenge with two words that I believe sum up what we strive to do for you in every interaction you have at our Studios or with our Online service. Our goal is always to help you Align physically, mentally and emotionally so that you are able to take that alignment out into your life and literally SHINE!

I feel like I do a pretty good job of self care on a day to day basis but I also appreciate our specific studio challenges since they build in the structure for me to set aside time where I am dedicated and focused on my overall well-being with the support of so many around me. It helps me recommit my focus on all aspects of my health. I commit to taking the amount and diversity of classes that I intend for myself each week, but often times get canceled or pushed aside due to other things I allow to take priority.  I listen more deeply to what my body needs, make more intentional food choices, and get more sleep! I appreciate that the challenge focuses on different aspects of health and allows me the space to pay more attention to these important daily practices. I put them in the front of my mind for 21 days- with intention that it will continue with an onward momentum after the challenge has ended.

Taking time for ourselves, to nurture our minds and bodies, and to reflect inwards on what we need is the most important step to allow ourselves to truly shine. Let us all help each other become beacons of light, to believe in ourselves and to trust our own unique contributions. Doing so, gives others permission and incentive to follow because shining light from within is an expression of our heart. Accept the beautiful light that is within you and shine it out to others.

The Align and Shine challenge starts tomorrow! Have you signed up yet? If not click here to register for FREE and commit to 21 days of Aligning and Shining with our entire Dailey Method Community – Do it FOR YOU!!

One lucky winner will secure a spot at our Dailey Method Wellness retreat in Calistoga, California! Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to Shine from the classroom straight up to Indian Springs for some well deserved self-care, relaxation, and of course Dailey Method classes!

I’m sending you all love and light!

Jill

 

Word of the Month: Envision

Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be.  Joy Page

As I get back into somewhat of a rhythm every Fall, I like to envision the energy and intention I hope to bring to this new season. Kid routines, work commitments, balancing time both for my family and myself can all be stressful, but if I set my sight on what it is I want for the outcome, I usually find a way to make it happen.

Envisioning my own process in a positive way, no matter how chaotic, definitely helps me to grow in ways I never thought were possible. It’s easy to let the little things get to you or for the small stresses in a day to add up to a very big deal. However, taking a moment to just breathe, hug a friend or my kids, laugh at something mundanely ridiculous, always allows me the space to believe I can conquer any adversity that I come up upon. I first have to accept WHAT IS and then envision that at the end of the day, it’s all going to work out fine. And generally I’m surprised and things actually come together just GREAT! I had a good reminder a couple weeks ago. I was very overwhelmed and my son Julius looked at me and said “it’s all going to be okay Mom”. I said “how do you know that?”. He said “because it always does end up being okay in the end- right?” Wisdom of a 13 year old! He’s right!

While reflecting on September’s Word of the Month, “Envision” ask yourself what it is YOU need to achieve your best start to this Fall. Who do you want to show up as in your life and how do you want to be there for the people most important to you?

When you find yourself spinning in your own attempt to secure a steady and smooth rhythm, look at your glass as 80% full. Accept yourself and your efforts and believe that where you are, and that each choice you make in the moment, is exactly right. Stop to envision a different outcome if the path you are on needs to be adjusted. In the same way, you need to make small adjustments in class on your form – the same is true in your daily life.

And lastly, notice if you need additional support in making that shift by using the help of those who love you.

After all, if you believe it – it will happen. Envision the best possible scenarios during September.

The strength to live this way is inside us all. We just have to believe.

Love,

Jill

Fit Tip- 5 Minutes to Fitness

We think of August as a relaxing and fun time where we can still play and are able to enjoy the end of our summer. Right?

That is definitely not how I’m feeling at the moment! My kids are about to head back to school and rather than feeling as though a break is near, I’m finding it difficult to shift back into a schedule. Believe me, I love my kids, my time with them, AND my summer, but I always forget how difficult the transition back to the school year can be. I won’t be SO vulnerable that I let you know all of the things I’ve let slip recently, but let’s just say I’m feeling very human.

So in honor of our word of the month PLAY – and due to the fact that inspiration often comes out of chaos, I have been “playing” with an exercise series that is incredibly quick and efficient for those times you lack the mental focus and time to fit in a class.

This series takes a little over 5 minutes and focuses on seat work, yet has the intensity and efficiency of continual muscular engagement paramount for optimal results gained from our Dailey Method fundamental principles. I incorporate functional range of motion for multiple joints, tempo varieties to target core stability and balance and also muscular strength/endurance for multiple muscle groups. All at the same time!

With a strong focus, first on balance, these exercises require stabilization and support of your small muscle groups, especially your primary pelvic stabilizer – Gluteus Medius. Gluteus Medius is called into action when you have to move slowly between two points of foundation to one point. Then, tapping into your new found stability, you’ll start working with a quicker tempo to increase your heart rate and target deeper into the gluteal muscles, core stabilizers and muscles of your shoulders and arms. The final set is less range of motion of the stabilizing side, and will burn out your seat while additionally getting your heart rate up. Intrigued?

Deep Lunge to knee lift:

Start in a crescent lunge with your right leg forward and left back. Using your arms for contralateral support reach left one forward and right arm back. Find squareness of your pelvis by drawing front thigh bone back and back hip point forward. Very slowly (counts of 4) stand on front leg and lift back knee towards chest, moving arms in opposition. Move back to starting position in 4 counts. – 8 times

Pick up tempo- lift in two counts and lower in two counts. – 8 times

Bend your arms at 90 degrees (to protect your shoulders) and pick up tempo – lift on one count and lower on one count. 16 times

Stay in a deep lunge with arms stabilized by side (to strengthen rotator cuff) and do knee pulls 32 times. Repeat other side.

Want to see this in action? Check out my instagram handle

We’ve got this! Embrace transition. Figure out what you NEED to get done. Give yourself the space to do it. And then let go of needing to do it ALL! Self love and Self love and self care is enough.

Even if and especially in small doses!

Word of the Month: Play

Yes, I’m late with this blog because I’m taking our August Word of the Month – Play- very seriously. I’m enjoying three different trips in three weeks, with work interspersed (cannot completely escape that!), but I’m definitely prioritizing Play!

I believe that summer is a time to relax and to be with our friends and families. It’s a time to travel and take time for ourselves. This is what I am embracing this month.

I’m currently on a trip in Toronto with my youngest son, Damian, who is 10 years old. Watching him – I witness that playing is something kids embrace SO easily and SO well. When you hang out with a 10 year old it’s clear that playing is a priority! We’ve taken tours, appreciated views, baseball games and ice cream together and yes- dropping the devices to stay present with where we are has been a welcomed and successful challenge. Makes ME feel like a kid again. This attitude and action of integrating PLAY in my day to day – could very well be the magical anti-aging technique. Next week I’m going to Lake Tahoe with all three of my kids. The Play will be priority but probably a bit more of a challenge with dropping the devices! But I’m up for it. I’ll post on instagram the horrified faces when they realize the threat of an entire 48 hours without devices is a real. Ha!

At the Dailey Method, we believe in balancing the mind, body and soul, fitness and fun, work and relaxation. And I’m firmly aligned with that belief (thank goodness!). We design our classes to incorporate balance between these factors and I’m thrilled that now, we are designing retreats to allow you to immerse yourself in this life practice. Don’t we all want to have childlike energy – forever?

When I can’t find the time or haven’t planned an extended vacation – or even when I need a day or two to simply escape – I head North to my favorite retreat spot at Indian Springs in Calistoga. And this is where we are holding our Fall retreat. I’m so excited!

I’d like to personally invite each of you to join me at this amazing place November 7- 9th, 2018.  We will definitely “Play” but with practical purpose! We’ve designed this Dailey Method Wellness Retreat to help you deeply relax, enjoy great food and experience fitness within a community of like-minded people. It’s also a great means to help you deepen your practice inside our studio and your life when you return to your regular routine.

You’ll experience multiple Dailey Method classes from myself and two other of our amazing Master Teacher trainers, healing hot springs, healthful meals and much, much more! There’s hiking, spa treatments, bikes, wine tasting and other adventures available for you to take advantage of outside of the curriculum we’ve created for you. And the best part – which I know doesn’t happen very often – is that we will take care of everything for you. Our goal is for you to relax, be present and Play.

Will you join me? I hope so!!

 

Fit Tip- Find Deeper Connection in Flat Back Floor

 

 

Flat back floor (FBF) is potentially my favorite abdominal exercise! Over the 18 years that The Dailey Method has been practicing this exercise it has continued to be refined, possibly more than any of the others, due to its complexities and its benefits. Yes, we’ve geeked out on it a bit-but with that attention to detail we have acquired tons of knowledge and have developed cuing to go along side it. The end result is helping you find your ideal position to work most effectively. When executed mindfully, FBF works to strengthen the smaller and deeper muscles that stabilize your entire core. This gives you a corset of core support from the inside out, front, side and back. There is a common misconception that your abdominals are your core- but your back and sides are also part of your core. Targeting these muscles is just as important as engaging the abdominals to achieve strength and stability for your spine and pelvis. FBF also directly targets your transverse abdominus, which is the deepest layer of our abdominal muscles. This layer is the most difficult abdominal muscle to connect with, especially if not in your ideal alignment. This layer is most accessible when you’re in a true neutral spine and pelvis. When people think “flat back” they generally think of removing the spinal curves and flattening their back to the floor. But that’s not where you can achieve the greatest benefit. We teach it with a neutral spine and pelvis while trying to maintain what’s called axial elongation. Axial elongation is the proper alignment of the head, spine and pelvis, with as much length as possible, so it provides optimum spacing between the joints during movement. When you are in alignment you have a better capacity to engage your muscles properly. Alignment of your spine is the key to getting your best benefit out of every exercise at The Dailey Method and in life. The cuing focus for this exercise is the back body integration into the ground. By energetically connecting your entire back body to the floor you have greater ability to fire up all of your trunk stabilizers.

Set up:

  • Lay on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rock your pelvis back and forth to find and then settle your pelvis and spine into neutral.
  • Inhale length to your spine and try to reach sitz bones and the crown of your head as far away from each other as possible. This is what is defined above as axial elongation. You’re actively creating more space between each of your vertebrae while still maintaining optimal alignment.
  • Press the energy of your back to the ground without changing the position. Feel your sacrum root down, your rib cage and shoulder blades press down, and the sides of your waist connecting into the floor. Your low back will likely still be slightly off of the floor but you are energizing the musculature of your entire back to the floor. By activating the muscles of the back body you create a corset of support. You’ll notice that the action of pressing down with the back body will naturally create a deeper engagement of the abdominal muscles. 
  • While maintaining stability, lift your legs up and straighten them out over your hips (if you have tight hamstrings keep the legs slightly bent.
  • In counts of 2-4, lower one leg towards the floor as far as you can without losing alignment or engagement, and then alternate.

The simple action of maintaining focused energy of the musculature down towards the floor will have a positive strengthening impact. Taking the weight of the legs moving further away from your center line to challenge the engagement can progress with time as you get stronger and more aware of what muscles you are engaging.

Have fun!

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