Category: Fit Tip
April Word of the Month : Spine

“The spine is the tree of life. Respect it.”

-Martha Graham

I know, kind of an odd Word of the Month. Generally we encourage you to set an intention around the word and focus on what you can learn from it. This WOM, we are able to take it literally and focus on its actual structure. Our spine is the very center of us. It is our axis and thus deserves our attention. To concentrate on your spine is the basis of The Dailey Method. It’s our first alignment principle and the root of every exercise we teach. Align.   

There are three components involved in taking the best care of your spine:

  1. Space: with ease, breathe as much space as possible from head to toe, head to tailbone – based on your position. This creates an ease in your structure. Creating space also helps encourage disc health. It helps the bones to be able to settle into the joints most optimally.
  2. Find your neutral: We work in neutral spine in 75% of class. This is the healthiest position in our bodies. We should move through life primarily in this position. It’s still important to work the body in other positions because we need mobility and the ability to move multi-dimensionally. But if we focus on strengthening our bodies in their most functional position, it will translate to many facets of our lives.
  3. Support: This is the act of keeping the space, keeping the alignment and hugging in and engaging muscular support for that optimal structure. It’s an inside out, supportive and easeful balance. Ease and effort.

Give yourself the gift in April of listening to the positions of your spine. Pay attention to whether you are capable of creating a little more space, a little better alignment and then, and only then, layer on the muscular energy that we all love so much at The Dailey Method. Your spine will thank you.

 

“You are only as old as your spine.”

-Joseph Pilates (my first inspiration to truly delve into training bodies.)

 

Love,

Jill

 

Chest Openers for an Open Heart

14705090_337920389876145_1556688395101536256_n(1)With the word of the month being Passion; and, knowing that generally passion is an expression of the heart, I felt like it would be a great time to focus on heart openers, or chest stretches.

 

At the Dailey Method, we know from experience and research how important it is to find balance in our bodies. In general, from our daily postures our back muscles tend to be weak and our chest muscles tight. This combination can negatively affect our posture, our back health and the confidence we project. In a Dailey Method class we make sure to give you a good balance of back work and chest stretches. However, doing a few additional on your own can make all the difference. Especially if you like to use your phone or computer a lot!

 

 

Single arm wall stretch:

Stand with your side to a wall and put your hand flat on the wall, fingers spread wide. Turn your focus towards the center of the room to increase the stretch. You can place your hand at shoulder height or a few inches above or below shoulder height to lengthen different fibers of the pectoralis muscles.

JMD_2924-Edit

 

 

 

Spine extension with chest opening:

Double benefit of working the extensors of your entire spine to create back body strength and chest flexibility. If you can’t keep your palms together it’s okay to just clasp your fingers. Try to reverse your grip ½ of the time and keep your focus on the ground to maintain length in your cervical spine.

JMD_2928

 

 

Kate Winslet stretch:

No wonder she had such great posture! This is my all-time favorite. You can use a counter if you’re not fortunate enough to have your own barre. Maintain your hands wider than hips, roll your chest open and lean your heart forward.

JMD_2903

 

 

Try to incorporate these simple, effective stretches into your self-care on a regular basis. Notice how you will feel more open with a little consistency.
Now you have even more reason to lead with your heart!

-Jill

Quick (and healthy) Weeknight Dinners

TDM1

When life gets crazy and chaotic it is a challenge to pull together a quick and healthy meal. We asked some of our Dailey Method owners and staff to share their go-to weeknight dinners. Here are a few ideas to add to this week’s menu.

Mexican Style Baked Sweet Potatoes from Jessica Long, owner The Dailey Method Barre Studio, Santa Rosa, CA.

We love to make Mexican-style baked sweet potatoes. Simply bake a sweet potato, slice in half and top with chopped red bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, jalapeño, olives, guacamole, cumin, chili powder, salt & pepper. Delicious! (Our Marketing Director, Emily, was drooling over this recipe when Jessica shared it and made it for dinner last night. Pictured below with sautéed spinach and chopped cilantro).

IMG_5533

Whole30 Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Veggies from Tim Torres, co-owner The Dailey Method Barre + Cycle Studio, Washington DC

What you need:

2 lb pork tenderloin
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Combine the basil, rosemary, and oregano and pulse in a spice grinder until a powder forms. Add the garlic powder and salt to the spice mixture. Preheat oven to 450 F. In a large skillet, heat 1-2 Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Spread the Dijon mustard over all sides of the pork tenderloin. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over all sides and rub the mixture into the pork tenderloin. Sear the tenderloin for 3 minutes per side (12 minutes total). Once seared, place the tenderloin in a baking dish and bake until cooked through (about 15-20 minutes).
Paprika and Cumin Roasted Vegetables
3 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
2 cups turnips, cubed
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 red onion, sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray in a single layer. Roast for 25-30 minutes, shaking a few times during cooking, until vegetables are tender and cooked through.

Quick Mexican Pozole from Michelle Moezzi, Senior Graphic Designer for The Dailey Method

I do this veggie but you can add chicken. Any stock choice (veggie, chicken, etc), add hominy or garbanzo beans, onion, zucchini, green beans, corn. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook until veggies are tender. Add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (or just the sauce!) to give heat and smokey flavor. Serve hot and garnish with cubed avocado, squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro.

Weeknight Frittata from Tarra Sachedina, co-owner The Dailey Method Barre Studio, Phoenix, AZ

After a busy day a frittata is a go-to for our house. You can throw in any veggies you have laying around (wilting greens…you bet!) super good if you brown up some sweet potatoes for the bottom, add in your eggs, cheese, veggies, whatever … and bake until done. So satisfying plus there’s usually leftovers!

Burger Bar with Grassfed Beef from Carly Goidosik, owner The Dailey Method Barre Studio, Birmingham, MI

I love this family-friendly option because it allows each person to customize their meal with little work. I made mine clean while my hubby & 3-year-old son made theirs… not so clean. Everyone is happy. It’s also a lot of fun for the kids since they get to create their own meal. You could easily do the same thing with turkey or even veggie burgers. It also pairs well with kombucha beer. Some of my favorite clean toppings: sauerkraut, guacamole, balsamic glazed portabella mushrooms, and Primal Kitchen chipotle mayo. If I have the time I like to make eggplant or sweet potato sliders in lieu of the bun. If I’m running short on time I throw over a bed of lettuce.

IMG_0420

 

Getting in The Zone and Back on Track

0740

My A game. I know what it feels like and when I am bringing it, but just like a game it’s a combination of plays that get me there. It is so easy to fall off track and out of the zone over the holidays, this week I thought I’d share some of the tips I find most helpful in getting back on track in order to bring my A game year-round…

Focus – It literally means to find your center of attention. When I am busy, I always try to focus on what is most important to me in the moment. If I am spending time with my family, that is exactly where my focus should be. In class, I focus on getting the most possible out of the hour I have given myself by drawing my attention inward (especially during Savasana.) To nourish my body through the season’s activities, I focus on what will give me the most energy and keeps me feeling my best.

Forget All-or-Nothing – Imagine if the world’s top athletes said “Well, I didn’t do my best so I will just start again next year.” Not a chance. So why do we find ourselves with the all-or-nothing mentality this time of year? If I have a day where I’m not eating the way I intend, instead of saying to myself that I will start again Monday or in 2017, I always remind myself that NOW is the moment to do better, eat better and feel better. Didn’t make it to class today? Do not throw in the towel, luckily you have a whole schedule of classes to choose from tomorrow. (Or you can even stream a 30-minute Dailey Method class when you get home!) It’s okay to derail now and then, just be kind and allow yourself to get back on track.

Find Balance in Your Schedule – Like probably everyone else, I tend to overcommit during the holidays. With all the holiday parties, family events, kids’ activities, I am constantly running from one thing to the next. It’s okay to be selective in where you commit your time. Last week I gave you Tips on How to Stay in Shape When You Have No Time. If this includes prioritizing your schedule so that you are putting ME time or family time aside, it’s okay and can actually make you more effective. Remember – quality over quantity! Saying no isn’t always a bad thing.

Feed Your Mind With Positivity – Getting and staying in the zone is so much easier when you support yourself and your abilities. When I reinforce the things I’m doing well, I’m giving myself fuel for more good things to come. This includes not beating yourself up for things you wish you had done differently. Instead, use these as opportunities to grow, and move on. Replace your “I should” with “I will”.

Fun! – Your A game shines when you have fun. Be sure to enjoy what you are doing. When I want to adjust my eating habits, I don’t deprive, I explore! Try a healthy new soup recipe, stay in for date night for an interactive cooking session with someone you love, or take a trip to a new farmer’s market to see what you can find. In class, find Joy (our WOM) in your workout. You would be amazed at how much letting the fun in can keep you present and motivated and actually help you deepen your practice.

So be kind to yourself this season, keep consistent and allow room for small bumps along the way. It will help you to keep feeling amazing in 2017. In fact, maybe that’s why they call it your A game…

Bring it!

-Jill

#TDMFitTip: How to Stay in Shape When You Have No Time

tdm6

Time. The one thing we all find ourselves continuously wishing we had more of. Whether balancing a career, leading a household, pursuing further education or all of the above, it is more of an art than a science to manage your time and still have some left over for ME.

This summer, I wrote about Ways to Help You Align & Shine at your desk, keeping you strong when stuck at a computer for long hours. But for the times when you need a full workout and feel too busy, what can you do?

First, make sure you treat your workout as an appointment…an appointment with yourself. When I look at my week and make sure I have my own time to take class scheduled, it makes me feel better about managing the other appointments around me. It also is a reminder that I’m putting myself first (something we all have a hard time doing.)

daileycycle_096

This month we’re doing a 35 day challenge at my studios.  Challenging ourselves to take 20 classes in 35 days. This is making me even more motivated to get my classes schedules (gold stars go a long way!). But it’s not always easy, especially during the holidays.

I understand!

If you’re not able to make it into the studio, find ways to thread activities into your daily life. Last year, I gave you some tips on how to stay fit in your kitchen during the holidays (full Blog post here.) Find new and creative ways to find your neutral spine and plank on the go. And don’t forget to tag pictures of you #livingadaileylife and of what makes you thrive and #burnbrightdailey !

Still feel most motivated by class? Take Dailey, Whenever, Wherever! Since we began bringing you perfectly-timed workouts of all varieties, the feedback from all of you has been overwhelming. Having a way to get your workout in, 24 hours a day, makes it easy to stay in shape wherever you are. And we add in a new and different class almost every month! Traveling for work, at home with a new baby, or on vacation? – we are so happy to be able to offer you classes taught by our best!

Time goes quickly, it flies on past. We need to make sure we align ourselves to be able to squeeze the most out of it, truly be present and enjoy. And stay healthy and happy all along the way.

So despite the commotion of the holidays (and life in general), make time for yourself this season and bring in the New Year in complete alignment.

Breathe.You have time.

-Jill

 

Photo by: In Her Image Photography 

Top