Today, we live in a very ‘instant gratification’ society. I see this continually with my children; they don’t want to do something because “they don’t know how” or “they’re not good at it.” Well, how do you get good at something? You practice!
In the first years of my Dailey Method teaching, I was given feedback a lot that I didn’t smile enough. I do take my class seriously but too serious isn’t necessarily fun and fun is key to sticking with things – we have to ultimately learn to enjoy it! I truly had to PRACTICE smiling. It took years for me to hone this to the point where I’m not just trying to smile, it’s something I’m doing. Authentically integrated and learned. And, not only does that make my classes more fun for my students it also makes me have more fun in the process, and I didn’t think my job could get more fun! Honestly – smile big and just try not to be a little happier!!!
When you first come into a Dailey Method class it’s HARD! But what I appreciate so much about this Method is that as you continue your practice it just gets harder. Not in an external exertion way (oh my thighs are so sore!) but through deeper body and alignment understanding which creates the internal connection you need for better mind-body awareness. This continues to help you get stronger and healthier from the inside out. Through foundation, alignment, engagement and mental focus everyone can continue to grow in their practice each time they go to any class, independent of what their current fitness level, personal goals or intentions are. It takes presence in order to truly practice and integrate something new. We help to give you that presence each time you take a class.
I also think it’s important to know that everything we want to practice and get better at in our lives doesn’t have to be hard, feel challenging or overwhelming. An example is “I want to eat better.” You don’t always have to do a cleanse or drastically eliminate certain foods which oftentimes doesn’t lead to success because it’s too restrictive. Balance the ease of your practices with the ones that take effort. It can be as simple as committing to adding more vegetables into your diet. One way I do this is to make an effort to eat vegetables at every meal. Try your eggs in the morning over last night’s leftover salad or vegetables instead of with toast. Pick two new vegetables at the grocery store to branch out with your cooking. Get the side salad instead of the fries or potatoes. Little things can oftentimes make a difference and can slowly become a habit and a preference. Practicing is about doing things that make us feel better, live better and be more confident.
Any change we dedicate to needs space to integrate. At the end of every class we give you the final Dailey Dedication meditation after final stretch – this “space” is as important as your core work! Final resting pose is when your body learns, integrates and absorbs all the benefits of your practice. Final resting pose is also an opportunity to practice stillness (quieting the body and mind) and mindfulness – noticing what elements of your practice were most impactful, and choosing to carry that with you into your day. Keep practicing outside the studio! Something as simple as being more self-aware and present/attentive in each moment can be a powerful life practice.
In order to bring that great sense of calm I feel at the end of class into my day I’ve been practicing closing my eyes and being completely still and quiet in my car as I wait to pick up my kids from school. It might be one minute some days and five minutes on others, but staying quiet and not looking at my phone or thinking about all the things I need to do has been helping me to receive them from a more grounded place and set a tone of presence for our afternoon that is very much needed — it really makes a difference!
Practice makes perfect? No way! Perfect doesn’t exist, and if it did it would be completely boring. Dedicate to finding optimal happiness, life balance and self care!
— Jill and Kerry