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The intentions we set in our daily lives are often methods for healing wounds, whether they’re self-inflicted or have been passed down to us by others. Developing a conscious practice to get rid of negative thoughts or feelings we’re holding onto can help us move in a more positive direction toward letting go, healing, and being present.
Moving intentionally within our bodies allows us to fully notice how they feel so we can acknowledge and target the right areas. Some days we struggle to work hard enough while others, we push ourselves too hard! We do this both in class and in other areas of our life. It's important to remember to understand our bodies’ rhythms or fatigue while making space for our humanness, feelings, or need to be vulnerable.
Here are a few simple guidelines for following intentions during your workout:
Remember that just like in life, taking a moment to pause and build the appropriate foundation will undoubtedly support you to be 100% successful on your journey. At The Dailey Method, we refer to this kind of mindful exercise as a “meditation in movement” and begin our practice with intentions. During the warmup, instructors encourage students to set an intention for their workout, even if it’s just a focus on breath, and then revisit it during their final resting pose. Often, we associate these goals with our Word of the Month, a specific theme to help guide our practice each month. But there are so many intentions to choose from—moving with your breath, moving with grace, forgiving yourself, shining your light out, the options are limitless, and you can alter them each day depending on where you are right here and right now.
“Personally, I am so grateful for this process being part of my Dailey practice,” says Jill Dailey, founder of The Dailey Method. “It is a built-in opportunity for me to stay in the present, and when I wander (because of course I do!) a tool to guide my presence back to the here and now.”
When the workout gets challenging or you feel like giving up at any point during class, set an intention to pause and remember the fact that we are all on this same path, doing this exercise together. You have all the tools you need to be successful—even if it means taking a quick rest or resetting your alignment! Don’t compare yourself to others; just focus on yourself and your goals for the workout. Remember why you’re there.
As you leave class, move with deliberation and show up at your next appointment, event, family gathering, or grocery shopping excursion as the greatest version of you. You just rocked your class and brought effort, strength, perseverance, and commitment. Acknowledge that and bring it with you. Don't forget about the intentions you set during class; figure out how you can apply them to other areas of your life!
Make moving with intention part of your next workout by taking a class at The Dailey Method near you today!
By now, we all know the benefits of virtual and online fitness classes, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about some of the struggles. To adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, studios and instructors all over the world had to get crafty, many with little-to-no experience with live streaming or recording workouts at home (so, if you haven’t, make sure you send your instructors a quick thank you—because they deserve it). Now that we’ve realized virtual fitness is here to stay—and we’ve all had lots of practice—the virtual experience is getting a whole lot better.
Here’s what your favorite studios and instructors are doing to improve their virtual fitness classes right now:
Everything seems harder than it must be right now...which is why jumping through hoops to get into a class should be the last thing on your mind. As with most things, the simpler, the better (unless we’re talking about the actual workout). Studios are working on creating a one-button experience to join a class. You sign up, get an email, press ‘join,’ and you’re in. And if something happens with your WiFi and you end up getting kicked out, no worries. One button click and you’re back in, without even missing a circuit.
If there's one thing more annoying than not having easy access to classes, it’s bad quality and connection. We’ve all found ourselves in online classes where you literally can’t follow along due to poor connectivity causing instructors to freeze every five seconds. Or if it’s an on-demand class that doesn’t buffer, you’re stuck looking at a spinning wheel as your heart rate decreases at the worst possible time. Not fun.
Now, studios and instructors are doing their absolute best to make sure they have top-notch WiFi and streaming services so we can work out without delays. Better cameras, lighting, and space setups are just a few of the investments instructors and studios are making to make virtual workouts as close to the in-studio experience as possible.
For most, working out with music is a must. But figuring out how to balance tunes with the instructor’s voice can be a challenge. In the studio, they have state-of-the-art speakers blasting playlists throughout class, and oftentimes they have headset mics—all adjusted to the perfect volume so you can sweat to the beat, without missing a beat.
But at home, it’s a little more difficult. Now that instructors have had some time to work on it, they’re figuring it out. Some instructors suggest playlists for you, others have mastered the perfect music to voice volume ratio, and some have invested in some high-quality mic setups for their home studios. In yoga instructor, Dani Schenone’s words, “Instructors are Jedi masters at the music-to-voice volume ratio at this point. When necessary, external microphones offer an amazingly clear experience. I record my classes and listen back, noticing any audio issues I need to address the next time around.” We’re getting there together, and again, thank your instructors. This isn’t easy.
With instructors improving their own spaces for filming workouts, we need to be doing the same as attendees. An instructor’s key to creating a good virtual experience is making it all replicable—creating a space and using equipment that’s realistic for anyone to mimic at home. If they're using weights, they should let you know ahead of time, and maybe even give some household items you can use as alternatives.
Instructors are people too, and they know this. They’re coming up with tons of creative ways to make the experience easier for you, whether it’s propping up their cameras so you can see their entire setup and body, notifying you of equipment needs early in the booking process, or teaching classes that can realistically fit in most spaces.
Have you seen the videos of teachers trying to keep their kindergarteners engaged over Zoom? Fitness classes are not much different. Signing up for group fitness classes means more motivation and encouragement, so we can’t skip out on the hard moves and cut our workouts short when we’re feeling tired. Instructors, though, have an interesting challenge—keeping that spirit up through a computer or phone screen. And right now (as always), they’re stepping up in several ways:
• They’re always on time, beginning and ending class right when they say they will.
• They talk through all the moves, so you don’t constantly have to be looking at the screen, and demo them at least twice in case you missed the first one.
• They shout out words of encouragement and call people out by name, just as they would at an in-studio class.
• They give tips and pointers for perfecting your form, even if they can’t always see you.
• They have a positive attitude throughout the class and are consistent with their delivery, so we always know what to expect.
• They’re our superstars, and we love them for it.
Shifting from IRL to virtual fitness has not come without its own set of complications, but let’s not forget about the struggles of the people on the other side of that screen. Our instructors are working hard out here to make these classes better because they genuinely care about our health, well-being, and sense of community.
Virtual classes are here to stay, and they’re just going to keep getting better and better. Thank you, instructors.