Achieving balance is difficult. I think this is especially true as we get older, both literally and figuratively, since we eventually come to understand that there is no such thing as finding a perfect balance – in anything! We begin to understand that finding true fulfillment in our lives is all about understanding when we have tipped the scale a little too far in one direction or another. Balance happens as we are each able to shift our attention towards the things that matter the most in any given moment or situation so that we aren’t attempting to live life in its extremes.
The Dailey Method has evolved over 22 years through observation and by watching what happens in our classrooms. Each time we add a new “guideline” into our class formats it’s generally born from something that either myself, the owners or the master teacher trainers have determined would help support our students to be more successful or to set them up for a more efficient or safe experience in our classes.
With this in mind, in regards to literally “finding balance”, 4 years ago I started regularly taking yoga classes and realized that I was struggling with being able to balance in single leg poses. My thought was, “how could that be”? I knew I was strong, aligned, and connected to my body. I acknowledged that with everything in life, we get better with practice, so I started incorporating more balance challenges in my studio with my students. I am a firm believer that we all need to hone this skill to support us as we age, since as we all know, balancing becomes more challenging as we get older. It, for sure, became a larger focus for me in our class evolution because my hope was and is to place more focus on the importance of practicing balances to help offset our propensity for injury later in life and to support us in staying vibrant and strong throughout life. We historically had a balance component incorporated into each class yet our goal was to integrate more positions and to lengthen the time we held them, which ultimately made everyone that came through our doors stronger, more stable and ready to bring balance out into their daily lives. This example demonstrates the kind of evolution that we are committed to continually pass on to you as it aligns with our mission to ensure that our workout 100% translates outside of our studio walls and into the worlds that you live in.
Here are some tips for physical balance in your daily practices or life in general:
- Foundation through all four corners of your standing foot and lift the arch
- Engage your inner thighs and hug in the lateral side of your standing hip
- Keep the base of your standing seat lifted and the leg fully engaged; front, side and back
- Maintain your plumb line of ears over shoulders, over ribs, hips and heels
- Keep your focus on a stable point in front of you
- When in doubt use a stable surface – or even better a stable friend! 👆
Another way we look at balance at the Dailey Method is our approach to making sure that every time you take a class you work your spine in all of its directions, give equal focus to front and back body work, and target every muscle in your body. Strength and flexibility in tandem created the most balanced experience inside of your body.
A key way that we guarantee our classes stay incredibly balanced is because of our choreography calendar. Not only does it offer consistency across all TDM markets, where each and every teacher of the Dailey Method adheres to the same framework each day, it also makes every class you take different. This helps keep your mind and body continually engaged, yet also in a place where there is continual familiarity.
- The calendar is amended each month and is the teacher’s skeleton of class to ensure balance for each class they teach. Including thigh work, seat work, our props and our different abdominal exercises.
- This structure ensures that our students (many who come multiple days in a row) will be exposed to all of our exercises over a short duration of time and will never do the same class two days in a row or even two weeks.
- Our calendar supports the offering of variety for our community and balances out the body therefore promoting an experience where students want to come back for a new focus the very next day.
The analogy of balancing within your own body can and needs to be translated into your daily life. Summer is a time when our schedules occasionally get out of whack. There are vacations, holidays, kids at home and a myriad of other circumstances or distractions that amazing weather and lighter work schedules cause.
Maintaining balance during times where things feel off kilter is a true challenge but is also an amazing grounding practice. Maybe you are unable to get into the studio as frequently as possible yet even amongst that disruption and reality there are options!
- Take a virtual class through your studio or an online class for any hour that fits your schedule.
- Sign up for one of our 3-7 day challenges that make you accountable for doing 15 to 20 minutes each day to keep your mind, body and soul engaged.
- Be gentle with yourself and know that you can’t do it all! Allow yourself the space to be human, to take some time off and to indulge occasionally in the things that make you happy.
Here’s to a long, healthy, balanced life!