The Dailey Method is by no means a simple class. I am still challenged in new ways in class every day. We are constantly evolving our method to keep up with the most up-to-date research in exercise science so even an advanced student of 15 years needs to learn new things on a ‘dailey’ basis! Today I want to share a few very simple tips to help improve your practice – no matter if you are brand new or an experienced student.
1. Start Ridiculously Small
The best way to make progress is with very small steps. So each week, focus on something so simple that you can’t fail. Want to get stronger? Focus on holding your plank on your toes one breath longer (remember our tips on how to stay present in class!) These small efforts add up and over time make a big difference in achieving your goals.
2. Go Back to the Basics… Literally
I have said it before but take a basics class every once in a while to re-learn how to do all the things you’ve done in the past. It’s easy to fall into patterns and if you don’t take some time every once in a while to re-learn things, you may never improve. This is why I think it is so important to always be a student!
3. Concentrate Your Focus on a Single Section of Class
We all have different goals – to be more flexible, to get stronger, etc. Instead of trying to get better at the whole class every time you take class, break it down. If you want to get more flexible, focus your energy on getting the most out of your stretches in every class you take this month. That may mean trying to go a little deeper, that may mean making sure you actually stay through the end of the final stretch or perhaps you even add in a little stretching at home.
4. Focus More on Holds, Less on Movements
We do small movements all throughout class, but the holds are what really challenge me the most – and therefore where I feel I can make small incremental progressions in my practice. However, since we aren’t moving sometimes people want to “check out” during the hold. Next time the teacher cues a hold, see it as a challenge to be your strongest self! In c-curve, let your hands go for a moment or two; in thigh work, try to go an inch lower; and in seat work, see if you can engage your seat just a little bit tighter! Let the holds become a challenge rather than a time to check out.
5. ASK QUESTIONS!
I cannot emphasize this enough. All of our teachers go through intense training to become a teacher, where we cover the theory of the method, the techniques of class and the anatomy of the body (and how our exercises work different parts of the body). So please, ask questions. Something doesn’t feel right? Let your teacher know. Not quite feeling challenged in a particular exercise? Let your teacher know. Simply wonder why we do what we do? Ask! Your teacher is there to guide you through a fun and challenging class but also to support you in better understanding how The Dailey Method works with your particular needs.
I hope these small tips help you see major improvements over time!