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The Dailey Method Review #Goals

This week marks the end of my 30 day challenge with The Dailey Method. Last week marks the first week that I could keep my leg straight in an elevated hamstring stretch.

Coincidence?

I don’t think so. More than improving my flexibility however, I want to share how the Dailey Method changed my emotional and mental state. At the beginning of the Back to You 30 Day Challenge, I posted this – an initial review about how I felt going into this challenge, and asked myself a few questions that I wanted to answer at the end (we’ll get to those in a minute, promise!).

At the beginning of the challenge, the Dailey Method gives you a little goal card to keep track of how many classes you committed to taking. (My goal was 12 classes in 30 days, broken down to 3 a week which fit in with my regular workout schedule, and is recommended by the owner, Sarah Thompson, to see the best results). On the goal card, The Dailey Method also sets three individual goals broken down by Mind, Body, Soul. Filling this out in a hurry before my first class, I wrote down what first popped into my head:

MIND: Quiet the mind – perspective

BODY: Alternate workout and complement to running

SOUL: Perspective, self-love

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Clearly, perspective was top of mind. And this is true – this challenge came at a time where I’ve been seriously rethinking a lot of things; where I live, what I do, how I do it and what I stand for. Completely unexpectedly, my regular workouts at the barre were just as good for the soul as they were for the body. I believe the best way to explain is by answering the questions I had posed myself at the beginning of the challenge, so here they are:

1 – do my muscles feel stronger?

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photo c/o TDM, taken by Laura Kelly Photography

Yes. In a very subtle but satisfying way. Incorporating different types of workouts in my routine is something I know works for me, so the combination of Yoga, Pilates and Orthopedic exercises at the Dailey Method is not only efficient, but extremely effective in making my muscles feel stronger.

2 – has my flexibility improved?

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photo c/o TDM, taken by Laura Kelly Photography

YES. Very recently, my post run stretches have been deeper – I have never been so surprised at my body than in the moment where I realized this. One of the best parts of this style of workout, in my opinion, is that stretches are incorporated into the class – they’re not an afterthought at the end of the session, and stretching is never sacrificed for time or having to leave class early. It’s a beautiful formula.

3 – has my posture improved?

Yes – it’s a very quiet difference but I’ve noticed myself slouching less often. The focus on full-body exercises and alignment come into play, and I feel it.

4 – has it rekindled my love for a studio-type workout?

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Yes – and this could be for several reasons because there are so many good things about this studio. The light filled venue is peaceful and beautifully styled, there is always someone cheerful to welcome you (this makes a big difference at 7AM in the morning). The instructors are each in their own unique way amazing champions for your best fitness and the best workout companions – they are like the little voice in your head that cheers you on – and a refreshing alternative to the drill-sergeant or overly enthusiastic (you know what I mean). They also offer a 15 minute private for new students to ensure correct technique. Finally, in each class – no matter which one you’re in – it is made abundantly clear that you work at your own pace, in a way that feels good for you. The welcoming and cheerful environment is unlike any other gym/studio atmosphere.

5 – is it a good complement to running?

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photo c/o TDM, taken by Laura Kelly Photography

Yes – as mentioned above, cross-training makes me a better runner (I know this isn’t true for everyone), but what is truly golden about the Dailey Method  – for all runners especially, is the seat work and the low-impact exercises. Any long-time runner knows that a strong glute-med is key to avoiding knee pain, and OMG, all glute muscles get attention in these classes. Although there are 6 different types of classes offered, each takes on a head-to toe approach to toning and strengthening all muscles. The other key element are the classes’ low-impact nature – the innovative methods used are just as intense as they are gentle. A logic-defying combination if there ever was one.

6 – does it inject positivity in my day? week? lifestyle?

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photo c/o TDM

Yes – and therein lies my ultimate appreciation and gratitude for this experience and for The Dailey Method Ottawa. It’s much harder to put into words as our mental state doesn’t have the standard components of muscle, bone, fibre and tissue to use as a gauge of success.

But something’s changed. The way I make decisions, the way I react to setbacks, and my open appreciation for the small, simple things in life. I really noticed a transformation when I spontaneously wrote down all my goals one morning. (In all likelihood, I was probably procrastinating from a deadline, but instead of turning to Pinterest, that happened). This might not seem like such a defining moment if I were someone who normally sets goals. But contrary to what some might think, I have never goal-planned, always preferring ambiguous results to the potential of having to label something a failure. (Even when I decided to run a marathon it felt like more of a whim than an actual goal. Was I happy with my time? Absolutely – but I’m sure it would have been better, if not simply more satisfying, had I been more deliberate in my training and set a concrete goal.)

Whether you’re looking for tangible or intangible change, I would highly encourage a visit to the Dailey Method. The owners Sarah and Jamie have clearly put a lot of effort into building this beautiful business, and I love how they are introducing this new, fun, innovative workout to the fitness world, but also to the city of Ottawa. Find out more about their classes here, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Insta.

Thanks for reading, XO

 

 

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