Friday, January 31, 2014

Warm up with one of These Healthy Soups!

While California has been unusually (really ridiculously!) warm this winter, I know most of our other studio locations have been extremely cold. Here are some of my favorite soup recipes to help you stay warm (and keep you healthy) this winter.

1. Split Pea Soup - I tend to not always follow recipes. This one I made up the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I had my turkey broth and wanted something warm and healthy. It’s easy and delicious! I served it with a slice of artisan bread and a dino kale salad and it was big hit with everyone (including the kids). Also, like most soups, it’s even better the next day!

Serves 6-8
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 quarts turkey, chicken or vegetable stock
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large carrots, diced
5 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. green split peas
1/3 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup chopped ham pieces (I bought a organic chunk at the grocery store)
Salt to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add onion and cook until transparent. Add carrots, celery and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Add ham and peas and mix well.
2. Transfer to a large stock pan and cook on low heat for 2 hours or more.

This soup includes sweet potatoes, turmeric and cayenne pepper, in addition to a ton of other veggies. It is packed with health benefits and is definitely not your average soup.

This is a favorite from The Conscious Cleanse. It’s incredibly simple yet tasty and packed with lots of beta carotene!

This soup is a great combo because it is packed with dark leafy greens from the kale but the black eyes peas will be sure to give you the protein you need to make this a meal.

5. Farro Soup
This is a soup pulled from Super Natural Every Day, a cookbook from a local San Francisco blogger, and it is absolutely amazing.

Enjoy and stay warm (or pretend you need to)!

-- Jill

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Meet our Master Teacher Trainers

As we kick off our first continuing education intensive of the year, we wanted to introduce you to our Master Teacher Trainers!

This team of experienced educators and Dailey devotees ensures that all of our teachers all across the world come to the studio with the knowledge and education necessary to teach a balanced, aligned, fun and safe class! You can read more about our continuing education program here.

Jill Dailey McIntosh
Jill Dailey McIntosh, Founder of The Dailey Method, has been in the health and fitness industry for 23 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado.

In her early career, Jill co-owned a personal training and Pilates studio and maintained her certifications with the Pilates Guild, The Physical Mind Institute and the American College of Sports Medicine. She also studied with several Lotte Berk instructors prior to opening her first Dailey Method studio in 2000 in San Francisco. Her passion for the body and the intricate way in which it moves is what inspires her every day to continue to evolve the Method. Her true love in the business is in teaching classes and teaching teachers. 

She continues her own education on a regular basis, recently completing a 100 hour yoga immersion under Maritza. Jill also benefits from her knowledge and inspiration gained from the incredible talent she has around her - the Master Teacher Trainers and studio owners. She truly believes that the more you learn, the better you can teach and that through this care for alignment and optimal health, The Dailey Method can help so many people in so many different facets of their lives.

Outside of the Dailey Method Jill has three children, 6, 9 and 12 and loves spending time with them and her husband/business partner Doug. She’s also an avid reader (mostly fiction) and loves to cook.

Kerry Corcoran
Kerry Corcoran is the co-owner of The Dailey Method Berkeley and The Dailey Method Lamorinda and has been teaching anatomy to Dailey Method teachers and owners around the world since 2009.

Kerry’s love of health and caring for others started from a young age. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and completed a Masters of Science in Nurisng degree at the University of San Francisco. Kerry is a certified Clinical Nurse Specialist in Critical Care & Trauma, as well as a Certified Neuroscience Nurse. 

Kerry’s passion for health is equally matched by her love of dance. When Kerry discovered The Dailey Method in 2003 she found a way to combine her two passions in a way she’d never dreamed possible. As a critical care nurse for more than a decade, she was instantly attracted to The Dailey Method's focus on proper alignment and core strengthening. The immediate physical results of the Method had her hooked after her first class. Under the instruction of Jill Dailey McIntosh, Kerry became a certified teacher in 2005. Her role with The Dailey Method grew as she helped develop an anatomy teacher training program specifically designed for Dailey Method teachers. For Kerry there is no greater joy than empowering her fellow teachers and owners by teaching them how fun anatomy can actually be!

Life outside The Dailey Method revolves around her two children (9 and 10 year old boys) and her husband, Rich. She blogs at Anatomy 4 Fitness and You Just Might Like It. A word of warning – You Just Might Like It has recently been taken over by her 10-year old son!

Katina Griffin
In 1994, Katina Griffin suffered a compression fracture in her spine that left her in a prosthesis for 3 months, resulting in her withdrawal from her Bachelor of the Arts program for Dance. This changed Katina's career path trajectory in a major way and was a sad transition but she attributes most of the core strength, true inner and outer healing and overall postural awareness she has today to yoga and to her gem of a find, The Dailey Method.

Katina’s world and body completely transformed when she discovered The Dailey Method in 2002. With a background of over 25 years in dance, Katina brings her deep love of movement to every class. Her passion and enthusiasm for The Dailey Method is evident in her teaching style and she firmly believes in the affects it has on rehabilitating students from injuries due to her firsthand experience.

She holds the position of Manager at our Downtown San Francisco studio location and is one of our Master Teacher Trainers who works closely with her mentor/founder, Jill Dailey McIntosh, to groom the next crop of dynamic Dailey Method studio owners and teachers across the United States, Canada, Mexico City and France.

Chelsea Dinsmore
Chelsea Dinsmore received a Bachelor of Science degree from University of California, Santa Barbara. She always had an interest in health, fitness and nutrition so out of college she found her first job as a nutritional counselor. From there she realized she wanted to reach a larger audience with messages of health and wellness so joined the healthcare group at the public relations firm, Weber Shandwick, where she worked for over 2 years placing stories with major media outlets.

In 2008, Chelsea made a shift. She was deciding between an acceptance to UCLA’s Public Health program or getting her yoga certification. While the choice seemed obvious to many, she decided to take a chance and left her corporate job to attend the White Lotus Yoga Teacher Training. During that time she also got her personal training certification with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. In 2009, shortly after she began teaching yoga and personal training, she found The Dailey Method and immediately began the training program. Over the years, she found herself more and more connected to The Dailey Method, its students and the principles around which the Method was developed. Today, she works full time for The Dailey Method as a teacher, studio and online media manager, and Master Teacher Trainer.

Outside of The Dailey Method, Chelsea runs a website dedicated to health and wellness called Food-Life Balance. She loves adventure, travel, hosting dinner parties and spending time with people who make the world brighter. 

Ryan Jerzak
Ryan Jerzak is an accomplished teacher with a comprehensive knowledge of anatomy and movement from his 15+ years of training and experience as a professional dancer and aerialist. He began his professional career as a Kid of The Kingdom at Walt Disney World where he performed the castle shows for 2 years. He sailed with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line for 9 years performing onboard as Dance and Aerial Captain and was selected to debut Broadway’s Chicago, The Musical. Royal Caribbean brought him aboard their training and development team as a Rehearsal Choreographer where he taught, directed and installed the production shows. Along his journey he fell in love with the artistry of aerial performance and joined the world reknowned company, C5 “create with no limits”, as Executive Assistant, Aerial Trainer and Performing Artist.

While in New York on his off season he was introduced to Lotte Berk at Exhale Spa and instantly joined the teacher training program and began teaching for Exhale Spa in 2005. Desiring to cultivate his mind/body connection even further he started studying yoga and embarked on a journey of self-discovery. His time on the mat changed his life off the mat and he discovered that his passion for the stage had shifted into a passion for teaching. Ryan completed his 200hr Power Yoga Teacher Training at Corepower Yoga in the summer of 2011. That same year, he also joined The Dailey Method and is now Director of Training for the Chicago studios.

In 2013, he completed his Master Teacher Training with founder and mentor Jill Dailey. Ryan has since retired from performing and turned his attention to complete mind-body well being. He is excited to embark on his new path with The Dailey Method and fully believes that if we align the four pillars of our life: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual, that we can dance with the divine and live towards our greatest potential.

Here’s to “always being a student”!

-- Jill

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fit Tip: Why We Plank

A plank is the powerhouse of all core exercises. In a plank you are using almost every one of the 650+ muscles in your body to support your own body weight. It is a great way to warm up your body and access all of your deep core muscles. A plank is also a fantastic exercise for you to begin noticing how subtle shifts and adjustments in your alignment help you to hold your body weight longer and give you better access to your core. It takes a lot of mindfulness to plank correctly but it's worth the mental and physical effort because the alignment here translates directly to the internal and external support you need for standing upright and moving throughout your life properly.  

The first two things you should focus on in your plank are your points of foundation - your hands and feet.

Your hands should be shoulder distance apart (middle of wrist lined up with the outside of your shoulder, front of the wrist lined up with the front of your shoulder) and your fingers spread wide to create a greater surface area of support. Your pointer finger should be pointed straight in front of you. The more energy in your hands, the better scapular and cervical stability you'll have. Claw the floor with your fingers and make sure the thumb and forefinger mounds are firmly in contact with the ground. Learning this proper alignment of the hands can actually offset wrist injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome.  

Your feet should be hip distance apart with the balls of your feet on the floor, maintaining equal energy in your pinky toe and big toe mound. Your heels should be stacked over the balls of your feet and your outer ankles hugging in towards the centerline. This "hugging in" should translate all the way up through your inner thighs into pelvic floor engagement to give you core support from the inside out.

Once you've found foundation, your front body support comes from lifting your pelvic floor up, pulling your abdominals in and up and pressing your thigh bones towards the ceiling. Then layer on back body support by lifting through the center of your hamstrings into the base of your seat and pressing the back of your head towards the ceiling to find length and ease in your neck. Last but not least, let your heart open to the floor in front of you to find width across your chest.

Holding a plank can be a practice in mindfulness if you just move from one alignment principle to the next and back again or focus on finding softness and length on your inhalation and engagement on your exhalation.

If I’ve only got a few minutes to workout, I hold plank for as long as I can, move into downward dog holding there for at least 5 breaths, then come back down for another plank hold (or add in some push-ups). I continue this for as much time as I can squeeze in. It works your legs, core, back and shoulders; and the downward dog gives you the stretching component to balance it all out.

Happy planking!!!

-- Jill

P.S. A big thanks to Kerry Corcoran, our anatomy expert, for assisting me in writing our new monthly fit tips.