Word of the Month: Connect

WOM Connect

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.  Herman Melville

One of the things that I appreciate the most about The Dailey Method is that it’s an environment that invites and nurtures connection in a number of different ways. We all desire and crave connection. Connecting with our students and our communities is something that we value and is at the core of our training. Here are different ways we train our teachers and staff to connect, and can help you to focus on connecting with others and yourself this month.

  1. Connect with someone through eye contact. With a store clerk, the local barista and definitely with people that are important in your life. This is my absolute favorite way to connect with people. It lets them know I’m present with them, I see them, and that I am truly listening to what they’re saying. It’s even better if a smile accompanies it!
  2. Connect to what it takes you to get to class in light of your busy life. Notice the steps you took to be here 1, 2, 3, 4  or 5 times a week. Thank and appreciate yourself for taking those steps.
  3. Connect to one to two steps you can take in class to deepen your practice versus doing an exercise the same way you’ve always done it. Try holding the depth in thigh work a little longer than you normally would, resetting plank by going onto your knees to find deeper engagement, or self adjusting in back dancing with your hands on your hips to sense the squareness of your pelvis and achieve better alignment.
  4. Connect to your breath. Only by leaning into challenge or adversity do we ever see it through. Breathe and lean in so that you can meet physical challenges in class today in a new way. Let it help you find length and depth of engagement or push you through a difficult section of class. Take this breath and connection with you into the remainder of your day.
  5. Connect internally with your mind and your body. At The Dailey Method we work on cuing micro adjustments so you can achieve better alignment and get deeper into a position. This focus can also translate to a much needed meditative focus on your body and breath. Connection to oneself requires that we carve out the space to be present with ourselves and get out of our head. It can feel overwhelming, I know, but it’s as important in creating a more balanced and peaceful life. Just think how your might be affected by this small shift!
  6. Commit to connect with or to say hi to someone in the studio today, before or after class. It could be a person you’ve seen in passing, have always thought was interesting, or that you just happen to be standing next to. We spend so much of life with our heads down and on our to-do list and while you may not know this person, it’s possible you could be missing opportunities to meet amazing people you were meant to become connected to in this lifetime. The more we can connect with our communities the more potential support we can both give and receive in our lives.

 

With eye contact and a smile!  Jill

 

Fit Tip: Discover deeper alignment in Reverse Plank by using your breath.

TDM Master teacher trainer Maggie Calegari in Reverse Plank

 

Reverse plank is a very challenging position, especially when done correctly, and it’s one of my favorite challenges to add into a class. Reverse plank works your entire body and emphasizes chest opening with the added benefits of gaining powerful back body strength.

Here’s your set-up:

  • Sit with your legs straight in front of you, internally rotate your thigh bones in your pelvis and press your big toes together.
  • Place your hands directly behind your hips with your fingers pointing straight towards your seat (if your chest is tight you can fan your fingers out slightly as Maggie is doing above).
  • Bend your elbows backwards, tip your pelvis under, and lift your hips as high as you can.
  • Focus on finding one straight line from your toes to your head, lengthen the sides of your neck maintaining a neutral cervical curvature.
  • Use the strength of your back body to keep pressing chest, hips and legs upward.
  • If you need a modification bend your knees at a 90 degree angle and press your hips up from there. Aim for a straight line from knees to crown of head.

Once you get yourself aligned in position, use your breath to help you deepen the pose and discover the ability you have to align even deeper and additionally stay in the position a little longer. Find your new edge. Breathe to aid in helping you stay more aligned while finding new levels of challenge each time you resume this position. 

  • As you inhale reach your toes (or knees if modifying) and head as far away from each other as possible and feel the sides of your ribs lengthen.
  • On the exhale root down into your hands, broaden your collarbones (roll your chest open) and press your hips as high as possible. Repeat with the emphasis on your breath. Aim to hold for one minute.

Remember – breath is a powerful tool that allows you to work through difficulty and can help you discover then push past self imposed limitations. You are stronger than you think!

Word of the Month: Discover

WOM: Discover

Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. Cicely Tyson

I love this picture of Master Teacher Trainer, Katina Griffin. It shows the power and capabilities we have to discover our own personal edge. There is so much thought and integration working throughout her entire body to hold this challenging position in phenomenal alignment. She’s focused and consistently discovering how she can align or engage deeper to reach her best potential – today.

Self discovery and experiencing new things are true passions of my own and I’m excited for our June word of the month: Discover. There’s so much in life to discover, to see and do and feel. I love to travel, be introduced to new cultures, experiences, sights, and to meet new people. I also love to play with movement. It allows me a chance to learn something new or experience something familiar in a very different way. So much of what we do at The Dailey Method is to help you discover what is inside of you. Our workout provides you opportunities in every class you take to uncover your best potential.  It calls on you to discover new challenges in a way that helps push you past your edge and onto greater achievements.

Here’s a few ways for you to “Discover” this month:

  1. Discover how your breath patterns can change the way an exercise feels. I tend to think generally the best technique is to inhale as you lengthen (move away from your center line) and exhale as you shorten (draw towards center line or the more exertive portion of the movement). But try it the other way and see if it changes the way you can engage. Or play with lengthening out your breath to see how that feels.
  2. Take different types of classes offered at your Studio or online this month. If you stick to Dailey Basics, try a Dailey Barre class. If you’re a Dailey Cyclist try a Dailey Interval class. If Dailey Interval or Dailey Fusion are generally you’re choice, try a Dailey Basics or Dailey Gentle instead. You may surprise yourself with what you discover which will inevitably help you gain even more out of the format you prefer.
  3. Challenge yourself to do something you’ve never done. This can be as simple as going to a movie by yourself or as big a challenge as skydiving!
  4. Stop and smell the flowers. (such old advice, I know!!)
  5. Discover a new body part to focus on today in a position where you tend to think of the exercise as only one-dimensional. An example: In Narrow V thigh work – work on engaging your gluteals and hamstrings more as you squeeze your heels together. This will allow you to feel how the back body and inner thighs can work as hard as  your quadriceps during thigh work. Especially on the upward part of the movement.
  6. Transform your Dailey Method practice by discovering  new ways to shape “your edge”. And “edge” doesn’t always refer to intensity. Today, maybe you opt to take a couple more resets versus pushing through a difficult part of class. Try it! You could discover a segue to inviting more allowance for recovery time in every class you take therefore opening the door to a 4-5 day a week TDM practice versus only 1-2.  

There are so many things out there to enjoy and discover.

Have fun exploring!!

Jill

 

 

 

Fit Tip: Postural support through scapular strength

Great posture is something everyone would like to achieve. But it’s difficult for many because they haven’t been properly taught how. We’re generally instructed to:

  1. strengthen our back muscles
  2. work on core strength; primarily abdominal exercises
  3. stand up straight
  4. draw shoulder blades together and down your back

All of these (except possibly #4 if done too aggressively) are beneficial. But one thing that isn’t always emphasized is how integral the muscles that support our scapulae (shoulder blades) and rib cage are for our posture. Having these muscles both strong and flexible can tremendously help support proper alignment, spinal support and shoulder health.

The scapula, is the flat hand shaped bone that sits on top of the rib cage. It creates the shoulder joint where it meets with the head of the humerus-the bone of the upper arm. The scapula is an incredibly mobile bone that can move in six different directions. It’s nestled in sheaths of muscles that act alone or work together to create these movements.

In several different sections of my classes I like to teach a variation that is a functional movement of the scapula to draw attention to this part of your posture and help my students stand tall more effortlessly. Recognition is the first step to deeper strengthening and support of our muscle groups. The primary focus should be to keep your shoulder blades flat on your ribcage and move your shoulder blades around in circles on your ribcage. Try not to use your arms or the muscles of your neck to do the work.

  • stand in neutral spine
  • jawline drawn back
  • ribs back to confirm thoracic curvature
  • keep your shoulder blades wide and flat on your back
  • arm bones held in goal post position
  • slowly rotate your shoulder blades around in a circle 8 -12 times up/back/and around. You can do this with or without weights depending on your strength. Your arms will move but only because you’re moving your scapulae.

Now click to see it in action 

WOM: Action

Word of the Month: Action

A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement. Bo Bennett

 

This week I’m integrating back into my business after the annual Dailey Method Owners Summit; which is possibly my favorite weekend of the year. I love to see and be in the same room with the amazing people who have chosen to be part of this community. Who have the passion and drive for all things Dailey. We learn, laugh, toast and workout together for 4 incredibly full days. As a result, we each return to our businesses feeling inspired, rejuvenated and excited for all that’s to come. Ready to continue to act in and on our businesses.

This year, so many amazing partners participated! Each of their contributions are paramount to our ability to inspire our TDM communities through action. It’s a constant evolution behind the scenes in the same way you watch incremental changes to our class content. Without these two elements working together, none of us would be able to continue to grow. 

When people think about The Dailey Method, the word “action” is prominent. It’s exercise, it’s based on our bodies in movement. But what I challenge you to think about this month is the intention behind the action. We all know, or have heard multiple times that “actions speak louder than words”. One of my consistent goals is to be the example I want to set. People learn from what we do so much more than what we say. If you have children this is probably already very clear to you. It’s much more effectual to demonstrate the behavior we desire, act on it, instead of just saying it. It’s similar when I lead a team of students, owners and teachers worldwide to be their best for the TDM company. I know I need to do my best to practice what I preach. I know that everyday it’s about the small actions I take that make the largest impact.

The TDM class is a consistent work in progress. Speaking of actions, I’m grateful and excited to continually innovate and expand the Method. I can’t give it away, but I’m certain you’ll be as thrilled as I am to see the exciting things we have to offer you over the next few months. Your workout, body, mind and overall experience at TDM will always continue to evolve and expand. 

I believe the act of postural awareness and alignment we teach in our classes is an amazing way for you to demonstrate and act how you want to be portrayed. It’s real. When you have better posture and feel better in your body, you demonstrate that through confidence and ease. And we can guide, lead, be an example so much more when we are physically comfortable.

And to end – one of my very favorite actions is the act of smiling. I know when I do that I make other people smile, other people feel better than they might have a moment before. I hope you take this month to think about how you act and how you can use that to impact.

Jill

 

 

 

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