Friday, October 19, 2012

Let's Help Breast Cancer Services This Month

As you probably know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are exciting breakthroughs happening all the time that make us hopeful that there will be better treatment options available and eventually a cure for breast cancer. However, despite the progress being made, there are many women whom once diagnosed cannot afford the expensive treatments. That is why this year my mom and I have joined with To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation to help raise money for nonprofit organizations that provide services and support to people living with breast cancer. 

On Saturday, Sept. 29th we walked in a fashion show for To Celebrate Life’s main fundraising event called “Stepping out to Celebrate Life.” It was an amazing and inspirational experience to walk the runway with 35 women that are all breast cancer survivors, to hear their stories, to get to know them and to see the transformation that can occur when women learn how to project confidence and beauty.  Each year, this event raises money to help organizations that provide a variety of individualized and necessary services for people living with breast cancer.  

In addition, TDM studios across the world will be offering a special donation class and selling limited edition TDM pink grip socks and pink ribbon t-shirts, the proceeds of which will go to two great organizations, To Celebrate Life and Bright Pink.  You can find times and dates of these classes at your local TDM Studio.  Come join us for a great class and help us support important Breast Cancer services!

- Jill

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Teacher

We are so excited to profile master teacher and teacher trainer, Katina Griffin, this month. The backbone (so to speak!) of TDM is our teachers; their high level of training is what we mainly attribute our success to.  Katina is such an integral part of that success that we thought you should get to know her better!

How did you first find TDM? 

I had moved out to Marin from the small town in Maine where I grew up and was exploring the dance and fitness scene in the Bay Area. Growing up I was a competitive cheerleader and did all kinds of dance: ballet, jazz, modern, tap…you name it! I was studying pilates here in Marin, when my instructor suggested I try something called a “barre” class.  I took one class, bought a 30 day new client unlimited, loved it and never looked back!

What made you want to be a teacher?

During that initial 30 day unlimited, I got so much more in touch with my body and began to better understand movement. That enabled me to begin to carry myself differently.  I felt stronger and more comfortable in my skin.  This happened in just 3 weeks! One of my favorite parts of teaching is having clients tell me that they feel good about their bodies for the first time in their lives and knowing exactly what they mean because I feel it too.  That’s how I know that I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing-- which is also a great feeling!

Can you speak a little bit about teacher training at TDM?

The first and most important thing is a total cliché but couldn’t be more true,” You get out of it what you put into it.” The more invested you are in helping students meet their goals, the more rewarding its going to be.  This includes everything from having a precise understanding of anatomy so that you can teach a better class and give more individualized adjustments to not being afraid to let your personality shine through so you can lead a fun, energetic class.  All of life seems to be a “you get out of it what you put into it” proposition and it’s just as true here!   Our training is rigorous and includes master classes, interactive workshops, in-depth assessment of positions, mock classes and many hours of both assisting and observation.   This level of training allows teachers to go into class prepared and confident. Also, both as a teacher and a teacher trainer, I really emphasize the importance of knowing each students name. This not only facilitates a more personal connection with your students, but it helps you to learn what specific adjustments and modifications they may need, which enables you to provide a more individualized experience.   

What are you a stickler for in class?

Straight legs and people being present in their bodies!  You have to meet your body where it is at that day, and every day is different.  Some days you feel strong and some days tired; it is important to work with the body and energy level you have that day. No matter where you are on any given day you can work thoroughly and thoughtfully, and that is where the transformation happens!

Ok, the nutrition question! What is your nutritional philosophy?

I generally like to eat fresh whole foods, but for me its not so much about specific foods as it is a practice of learning to accept and love my body in all its different rhythms.

What’s a perfect day in the neighborhood?

Two local businesses that I love are Bare Escentuals and M Clothing in Corte Madera.  I always find great stuff at both even when I’m not looking! I love all the jewelry at M and the Moxie Trail Blazer Lip Gloss at Bare Escentuals.  Even better, they are both run by amazing local business women and Dailey Method devotees!  

Finally, tell me something that people would be surprised to know about you?

Well, I’m sure they would be surprised to know that I broke my back in a sledding accident, so I know first hand how hard it is to heal a major injury and am extra grateful to feel strong and healthy--also, I’m a great speller!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dog Days Of Summer

Now that we are in the final month of summer we want to share some of our Summer  2012  favorites and to hear some of yours!

Books:  We have been lucky enough to find some time to tuck into a few good ones this summer and these two are standouts. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter is a really well written novel set in Italy in 1962 and modern day Hollywood.  The backdrop is the making of Liz and Dick’s Cleopatra. It’s incredibly descriptive, beautiful and makes you feel like you are there.  LOVED!!!  Another great read is Gone Girl by Carolyn Flynn.  It’s a thriller (not our usual fare) that unfolds in such a unique way that you can’t put it down.  Can’t tell you any more but trust us on these two! 

Movies:  We loved “The Way” which was written and directed by Emilio Estevez. Came across this beautiful film by accident and have been recommending it all summer!  Another one we liked is a documentary called “Picture Me,” which is a not so glamorous look at the working conditions inside the modeling industry, made by model Sara Ziff and her boyfriend, director Ole Schell.

Skincare:  At TDM, we are always on the lookout for great skincare products without all the nasties.  Sunscreen is a particularly difficult category because of the ever-changing information on what is safe and effective, but we are loving our Devita sunscreen this summer.  It has a combo of titanium and (non-micronized) zinc in a refreshingly clean base with lots of good botanicals.  The best part is that it feels great on our skin and provides solid protection.  We are also interested in a line called Acure Organics.  This is one of the cleanest lines we have come across and the chocolate mint lip balm is the bomb. Seriously. We love it.   

Okay, now tell us your favorites of the summer- or whenever (please!)

- Jill 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

First Follower

You have probably already seen this video but if you haven’t, watch it right now!

Well, I would like to introduce you to my first follower! Susan Willrich who was the very first person to believe in TDM enough to want to have a studio of her own - the one who made me feel like I wasn’t out there dancing alone!

- Jill

How did you first learn about TDM?

My friend Tracey told me that I HAD to come try this class.  She knows me pretty well and was sure that I would like it! She was right and soon I was finding my way out to Jill’s class in Marin 3 x a week—I just knew that others would love it as much as I did and that I needed to bring it to Oakland and Berkeley, which I co-own with my amazing partner Kerry Corcoran.

What was it about the class that drew you in?

I have a dance, gymnastics and yoga background so I really liked that TDM contained the elements of so many other disciplines that I love and rolled them into one class—and then the great music sucked me in. After a few weeks I began noticing changes in my body that made me feel great. Nothing gave me the dramatic results that I quickly and efficiently gained at TDM. I found it very empowering, and I was hooked!

What’s the vibe at your studios?

We have always wanted to maintain a welcoming, supportive environment for everyone, and I think the fact that we have such a diverse clientele means we have been successful.  We work really hard at making sure our classes are fun and challenging while at the same time focusing on safety and alignment.

How has owning a Dailey Method impacted your life?

I know it sounds a little cliché, but I really do feel like I’m “livin’ the dream.” This is the perfect job for me.  I am making a living doing what I love, have really been able to find a good life/work balance and am both fulfilled and grateful. It’s so rewarding to watch clients transform themselves from the inside out. Almost every day a client will approach me with her (or his!) unique story of how TDM has brought their strength & self-confidence to a whole new level. It’s so gratifying to find those positive and authentic connections. Of course everything isn’t always perfect, but I’ve learned how to “lean into” the challenges of running a business. It has helped me to embrace growth and change, which has ultimately been good for both me and my business.

What is a perfect day in the neighborhood?

It begins with an unhurried breakfast with my family. I teach 2 classes, take 1 class. Lunch with a friend near one of the studios; we have the best restaurants in the neighborhoods near both studios! I go to Olivetto’s and Dopo whenever I can. They both make me feel like I’m on vacation in Europe.  I also love Summer Kitchen in Berkeley, which has a great Nantucket vibe (and a Dailey Method salad!)

Of course my perfect day includes and little bit of shopping, so after lunch we head over to McMullen in on Piedmont Avenue where I never fail to find something great even if I don’t need it—dangerous! Also, on a perfect day I have plenty of time to get my nails done at my favorite spot, Polish and pick up a great bottle of wine at Vintage Wines where they have an eclectic selection and give great advice--I always end up trying something new! I love to cook, so I might have to stop off at Market Hall to prep for dinner for my family & friends. They have it all: the highest quality organic produce, Hopiku Fish shop, Marin Sun Farms Butcher, fresh flowers. It’s heaven.

Summer is here, any great book recommendations?

Yes, I loved Anna Quindlen’s memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake.  Aside from having a great title it is a poignant, funny and ultimately uplifting memoir on career, marriage, motherhood and friendships.   I find it so inspirational that she’s found life in her fifties to be the best time of her life. She feels like she’s finally arrived at her most authentic self. I hope to be able to embrace “maturing” in such a thoughtful and positive way.

I’m sure you are asked all the time for nutritional advice, what is your food philosophy?

I generally make a variety of fresh, colorful organic fruits, vegetables and whole grains the cornerstone of my diet. I love to enjoy a great meal with friends and it’s pretty easy around here to find local food that is healthful as well as delicious.  However, there are times when I eat things that are less that ideal! When I do, I don’t worry too much about it and just make sure that my next choice is a healthier one.  Doing the Dailey Method has also helped me to take better care of my whole body and that includes wanting to fuel my body with real, unprocessed food that is high in nutritional value and keeps me energized.

What have you found to be the most gratifying aspect of owning a Dailey Method?

I love the supportive community we have created of strong, interesting and accomplished women. I have seen people transform themselves and develop the confidence to do things they didn’t think they could and then take that confidence out of the studio and into the world.  That’s the best—it’s really a beautiful thing to see and be a part of!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Continuing Education

I have always been fascinated with human anatomy. In college I had an incredibly engaging Anatomy and Physiology professor who really inspired me. At that point I knew that I wanted to major in Kinesiology and find a career in which I could use this information to help people feel more comfortable with and in their bodies. Throughout my professional career I have continued to expand my knowledge because understanding anatomy and alignment are integral to all aspects of fitness.

This year, Kerry Corcoran co-owner of the Berkeley studio went with me to a five day workshop in Arizona. Kerry is a registered nurse with her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing.  She worked as a critical nurse for over a decade, and, like me, has a love of learning and a passion for using her anatomical knowledge to help her clients.  Kerry is the anatomy trainer for all our studios, so attending this workshop together was the perfect way for us to immerse ourselves in anatomy and therapeutic alignment and enjoy the process of integrating ideas together.

This workshop was taught by Martin Kirk and was called Anatomy/ Therapy training. I feel it’s important to learn similar content from a variety of teachers/experts because hearing something in a different way or from someone trained in a different discipline gives you a larger toolbox of cues, and sometimes a new perspective, which enables you to be more creative in helping your clients. This is especially important when teaching a class like the Dailey Method that has clients working at many different levels. Continuing education helps me to gain a deeper understanding of aspects of anatomy and movement that I am already familiar with and to acquire new knowledge. I am always so excited to share this information with my owners so that they can further educate their teachers.  This way everyone learns along with me and we maintain consistency across every studio.  In TDM, tiny micro adjustments can make a tremendous difference and the more educated we are the more we can help each other and our clients.

I learned so much in this workshop that I can use to improve my practice and teaching. For example, The Dailey Method teaches active stretching- engaging your muscles to support your joints during stretching.  The reasoning behind this is that if your muscles are engaged the corresponding tendons and ligaments are working to stabilize your skeleton.  It was so great to hear Martin explain this same concept in the context of yoga.  By maintaining muscular energy while stretching you truly lengthen the fibers of the muscle without affecting the stability of the connective tissue.  This focus creates balance between strength and flexibility.  We learned some incredible new cues and different ways to get clients focusing on alignment and stabilization during their stretch segments.  This is just one great example of how learning the same subject matter from different people coming from different disciplines can be both validating and inspiring!

I also gained a deeper understanding of scapula stability.  This area is so integral to optimal spinal curvature and the health of the rotator cuff.  The shoulder area can be a fragile system and with focus on the correct muscles to align the scapula we can offset a lot of potential imbalances and help heal past injuries.  Constant focus on engaging the scapular stabilizers can also make a huge difference in both spinal health and improved posture. 

The more knowledge I gain, the more I realize how complex the human body and movement are and the more excited I get about perfecting the Method. One of our core values at The Dailey Method is “always be a student” and continuing education always makes me feel refreshed and reignited. 

- Jill

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Do It Dailey In Paris

Paris Travelogue—Spring 2012!

I am just back from a whirlwind trip to Paris!  It was so much fun teaching master classes and workshops at my sister Kelly’s beautiful brick Dailey Method studio in the tree-lined 16th arrondissement. I really enjoyed meeting all of her wonderful instructors and seeing their passion for the Method and their love of learning.

I took my daughter Nico (10) along; it was her first visit overseas.  My mom was there too - so lots of Dailey women roaming the city!  We did as much exploring as possible in our free time.  I particularly love the flower markets all over the City.  The way the arrangements are placed in makeshift vases is such a great idea for presenting flowers when you don’t have a vase on hand.  I’m inspired to try it myself!

Of course looking at the fashion around Paris is always fun --saw a lot of oversized coats and blazers (yes, think 80’s) and majorly ripped jeans! The Marais is a funky neighborhood with lots of energy; it’s fantastic place to stay, shop and eat. One of my favorite shops is Zadig & Voltaire 44 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois 75003 Paris.  They have great clothes and accessories.

We had a truly memorable meal at Ja Ja also in the Marais. I highly recommend it! 

One of the things I really appreciated about Paris was actually sitting (and not in the car!) while drinking my coffee.  I need to do more of that.  It’s a great opportunity to sit down with a friend and linger a little.  Not to mention that it skews the actual to virtual human interaction ratio in the favor of the actual, which I prefer!  That brings me to my next observation, or question really.  Why isn’t everyone on their devices in public the way they are here?  It was refreshing! 

Ah, Paris in the spring…I hope to make it a habit!

- Jill