Oh, how I love The Dailey Method. I could talk and talk and talk about how much I love The Dailey Method, and then I could still find more words for it.
By far this is the most effective yet gentle workout ever. The results are fast, especially in areas where I am naturally strong like my arms and quads. My belly is still soft and taking its sweet ole time to … get back to normal? Since I’ve always had a little potbelly I’m not sure what normal is, but I’m working hard toward an eight-pack. Regardless, my waist is slimmer than it’s ever been, and I am not bulky. I tend to “bulk up” when I work out a lot as I’m short with a huge chest and have high muscle tone, but not with the Dailey Method. I am slim and lean *and* strong. It’s simply genius.
Classes are different depending on who the instructor is: the pace, music, and amount of time in any position can vary, but the overall workout is always whole body. Through a high energy but low impact combination of isometric exercises using mostly your own body weight, the work out channels pilates, yoga and ballet barre work. You know you’ll do several sets of plank, arms, seat work, thigh work, and several variations of abdominals. Even the stretching is active and purposeful: you are creating long, lean dancer muscles! Most exercises have a base position and an advanced position if you want to add more challenge. The spirit is intense, but not competitive. The teachers will encourage you to do what works best for your body, and to “amaze yourself” by going lower and getting deeper in your contraction.
I’ve learned over the past year that this is in fact a practice. Even though I’ve been loyal and consistent, my body reacts differently each day. There are so many factors: What did I eat? How much wine did I drink? How well did I sleep? Am I stressed? Do I have cramps? You’ll be encouraged throughout the hour by your teacher between their hands-on feedback and motivating banter, some of my favorites being, “You can do anything twenty times,” and “You are turning your seat into a calorie-burning-machine” YES, please!
Beyond the workout, the women I have met though the Dailey Method are so wonderful – in particular Kerry and Susan from the Berkeley and Piedmont studios. These two women are so graceful and lovely that you’ll immediately want to sign up for all of their classes. The tone they’ve set in their studios is empowering and rewarding. Each session ends with stretching and breathing and the teacher encourages you to thank yourself for your hard work and to empty your mind and “leave it all on the carpet”. Like most workouts, you will leave feeling better, but I don’t just feel better – I feel lighter, both physically and emotionally. I credit The Dailey Method with not just getting my physical body whipped into shape, but also for helping me though a very tough and emotionally trying year. It has become my happy place; my respite.
One of the trickier parts about being a stay-at-home mom is finding time to work out, so I love that they offer on-site child care for most of their classes. This is one of the benefits of a woman-owned and mother-owned business! Bennett actually loves going to “mommy’s exercise class” because there are cool toys that we don’t have at home, but Graham is more challenging as he is still in that stage-five clinger phase. A couple weeks ago, Graham was crying pretty loudly and without missing a beat the teacher said, “Don’t worry, Candace, no one else hears it. He’s fine.” There is such a camaraderie among mothers there – sharing wipes, complimenting each other on finding the time to work out, insisting that the crying baby didn’t even faze them during class (this has happened to me on multiple occasions)!
The reality is that the classes are not inexpensive, but trust me, it is so worth it. Classes are $20 each if you do not buy a package, but there is always a good deal that will make your classes as low as $15/class. I’m on the auto-pay unlimited month for $199, as it works out to be the best value for my class frequency. There is something addicting about The Dailey Method. I worry when I know I’ll miss a class that I had planned on attending, so I bought their DVDs to do the routine at home. I recommend purchasing both so you’ll get a total of two full-length workouts, one express, and two shorter segments that are great to do together or add to the express. You’ll even get to see Kerry and Susan in the full-length routine.
Go on, try it. You’ll amaze yourself.
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