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Photo courtesy of The Dailey Method.

Taking the thirty-day fitness challenge with The Dailey Method

By Brandon Telford on July 11, 2016

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Sometime before the beginning of June, I received an email from The Dailey Method welcoming me, and nine other bloggers, to the 30-day blogger challenge. Over the course of a month, we would embark on a journey towards better health, better fitness, and it would be totally fun!

Blogger challenge group photo by Sarah Thompson.

Blogger challenge group photo by Sarah Thompson.

Sounds awesome, right? It gets better.

At an introductory session, I met Sarah and Jamie, who run The Dailey Method in Ottawa. I learned about the four styles of classes hosted at the studio: one low intensity class (Dailey Gentle), two mixed level classes (Dailey Barre and Dailey Basics), and one high intensity class (Dailey Interval). We also spoke of our goals, and learned what the Dailey Method stood for:

“The primary reason I wanted to open a business was the create a community,” Sarah shared, “A happy place for our students to come, feel comfortable and accepted, while receiving a high quality, safe workout.”

I’ll admit, at this point I still hadn’t yet realized what a barre fitness class entailed, and so when I signed up for my first class (Dailey Intensity), I just assumed it would be a faster-paced yoga session. Something like that. I’ll bring a bottle of water just in case. Besides, I go to the gym, I run – how challenging could it be?

Photo courtesy of The Dailey Method.

Photo courtesy of The Dailey Method.

This is the part where I tell you about the classes at The Dailey Method.

The Dailey Interval is a four-part fitness class, which covers exercise across four major areas of the body, and spans approximately 45 minutes. It wasn’t exactly yoga. There was a lot more cardio and movement. I referred to it as a ‘body bootcamp’ in my mind. Somewhere near the beginning of class, I found myself sweating when Sarah, the instructor, encouraged us that “you’re almost done the warm up.” Oh my god.

Honestly, that class kicked my butt. I don’t remember having such a great full-body workout in quite some time and so I went again the following week! (Note: It’s advised to attend barre classes at a 2:1 ratio for low-mixed against high intensity. But I’m a sucker for punishment.)

At The Dailey Method, it’s very obvious that the instructors love what they’re doing and also very obvious they want to challenge and encourage you to be the best you can be during your sessions. So don’t worry – if you get lost, or find your body tied into knots – they will help guide your posture and positioning, so you are always on track.

Photo courtesy of The Dailey Method.

Photo courtesy of The Dailey Method.

While I never had the opportunity to attend a gentle class, I found that the Dailey Barre and Dailey Basics classes were an excellent chance to focus on body-holding and positioning exercises. While still challenging, I learned quickly just how flexible I was (or wasn’t). Yet over the course of the month, I actually found myself becoming more-and-more accustomed to these unfamiliar ways in which I was bending and stretching my body. I became more comfortable with the motions, more in tune with what what body was capable of, and honestly, pretty proud of my accomplishments.

There are so many standout features that I could share about my 30-day experience with The Dailey Method – from the amazing and talented instructors, to the bright and colourful studio, to the fun sticky-socks everybody wore. But I think most notable is the awesome sense of community you get by being a part of something so vitalizing. The happy faces become familiar, the instructors (even the ones I hadn’t had classes with yet) knew me by name, and both created such a welcoming and friendly vibe, which I find so conducive to a positive environment to workout in.

I began this journey by telling everyone that I was doing a “yoga challenge”, but over the course of the past 30 days, I realize just how wrong I was. I learned the limits of my flexibility (the splits will come in time, maybe), challenged myself with goals, and became a part of a fun community of like-minded folks who seek challenges and love fitness like I do.

The Dailey Method is located in the Glebe at the Fifth Avenue Court, and they are always seeking energetic people to join their classes. See their website for membership promotions and upcoming community events, or find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

When you challenge yourself, the results will surprise you.

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