The Dailey Method is well known for its ability to get your muscles shaking. Although this can initially be a bit disconcerting it is simply a sign that your muscles are beginning to reach their maximum point of fatigue. This “point of fatigue” can differ from day to day and will certainly change as you grow and strengthen your Dailey Method practice. It’s good to remember that when you are at this point of fatigue it means you are reaching your edge and that is a really powerful place to be! First and foremost be proud of yourself for getting there.
The question becomes “do I continue to hold the position and ‘embrace the shaking’ or is my body telling me to take a break?” One of the most important parts of your Dailey Method practice is learning to listen to your body, use your breath to support you, and allow yourself to either take a risk and push yourself further or give yourself permission to back off when you need to. Here are some tips to help you to decide whether or not to embrace the shake or back off:
- Check your alignment. Are you able to maintain proper alignment and form while breathing through the shaking? Embrace it! If you find yourself losing control of the position or movement – take a quick break, reset and start over.
- Are you breathing? Can you consciously slow your breath to keep yourself calm and actually enjoy (yes enjoy!) the shaking? Or are you feeling stressed and uncomfortable in a “not so good” way? Try first to breath bigger and deeper. Training your body to stay calm and steady will serve you in and out of class. If calm and steady is not happening – take a break and reset.
- Good pain vs. bad pain. Muscle shaking is different than muscle cramping. If you are feeling pain in your muscles or joints take a break. Gently stretch a cramping muscle, hydrate and ask your teacher for assistance if you need it.
What you do outside of the studio affects your practice in the studio. You may notice that some days you are shaking more than others during class. Keep a mental track record of your sleep, eating and caffeine intake habits to figure out why this is so. Adequate sleep and hydration are really important factors in how strong you will feel when you work out. The Dailey Method exercises vary enough from day to day that many students literally “Do It Dailey”. However, if you find yourself shaking a bit more often on that 4th or 5th day it may be a sign that your muscles would appreciate a day of rest.
If I don’t shake does it mean I’m not working hard enough? No way!!! We are all unique and our nervous systems are wired differently. There are many signals that let us know that we are working hard and creating change in our bodies – shaking is just one of the many.
Don’t be afraid of the shake… Embrace it!
— Jill & Kerry