You’ve gotta start your sweat somewhere.
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Weightlifting is important to me and my overall health. It allows me to continue to keep my body in great shape and perform basic functional movements. There was a point in time where I was lifting weights to get bigger, stronger, and faster for the football field, but now that’s shifted. I lift weights to maintain the physique that I have been building for the past eleven years. Lifting really heavy doesn’t appeal to me anymore, but lifting with the correct form and posture is what matters. It helps to prevent injuries, and you can get a lot more out of a rep with the correct form than just trying to move the weight fast.
When I first started training, recovery wasn’t thought to be as important. It was seen as a sign of weakness if you were getting ice or in the hot tub, doing yoga, cryotherapy, or getting a massage. Nobody was really talking about the science of recovery, but now that stories and information is coming out, it makes all the sense in the world. Your body is a vehicle, and every now and then, vehicles need to go into the shop or get washed or detailed and even get a diagnostic check. Our bodies can’t continue to perform at a high level without recovery, and that’s why I started taking my own more seriously. Pretty close to the same level as I did my training sessions. The body needs time to rejuvenate and adjustments in certain areas that a weight room can’t give you, so it’s essential to invest in recovery options for yourself. Your body will thank you for it now and later.
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!