How Brittany Yohay Aligns The Dailey Method With Cross-Training
In 2005, Brittany Yohay tweaked her piriformis in an acro-yoga class and wound up with sciatica. "I couldn’t walk for over a week and decided to see a chiropractor who specialized in athletes and injuries—specifically dancers and yogis," she says. Yohay's chiropractor told her she needed to strengthen her piriformis, and recommended The Dailey Method, a combination ballet barre work, yoga, and Pilates.
"I took one class and immediately felt better," she recalls.
After a week of classes, Yohay was pain-free...and hooked on The Dailey Method. In 2006, she started teaching there, and she purchased her first studio, in the Castro (1853 Market Street) in 2011. In June, Yohay added The Dailey Method Downtown (121 Spear Street) to her fitness empire. "Our classes give you an efficient, full body workout from the inside out by first ensuring proper alignment and then laying on small range of motion movements with high repetitions. We are obsessed with alignment and ensuring you’re properly set up before you engage any muscle or move," she explains. "At 40, I have never felt stronger, more balanced or happier. And I must say, I do owe it all to The Dailey Method."
Curious about how Yohay's balances owning two studios, teaching, and her own cross-training? Read on to learn her secrets.
Rockyt: How do you prepare for the classes you teach?
Brittany: When preparing for my classes, the first ingredient is balance in my choreography: all muscle groups in the body, (medial and lateral, deep and superficial, fast and slow twitch), as well as balance of humor, intensity, and challenge. The next essential ingredient is music. All The Dailey Method classes are taught to the tempo of the music. It’s not just background noise; it sets the tone for the class. I am kind of an audiophile so my playlist always must be on point. The final touch is a theme, be it a muscle group or joint complex I am obsessed with that week or month, or a sentiment, quote, or feeling I am trying to cultivate more of in my life and want to help others find. I constantly explore out of my teaching comfort zone to deepen my knowledge behind the movements I teach, understanding the "why" behind every movement and how to make them more efficient and effective.
Rockyt: How do you cross train?
Brittany: I spend a lot of time teaching indoors, so for me cross-training is mixing it up and getting outside. I hike, walk, bike, and run as often as I do yoga, Dailey Barre, Dailey Interval, Dailey Fusion and Spin. Before we had our daughter, my husband I loved to go out dancing once a week, maybe twice—salsa and hip-hop—and I hope to bring this one back in my regimen sooner than later.
Rockyt: What are your favorite studios for cross-training?
Brittany: I try to do something different every day of the week. I have an amazing teacher, Megan Spencer King, at The Green Yogi, where I take an awesome yoga class once a week. We love to trail run our dogs at The Strawberry Canyon trail in Berkeley, (a 7-mile loop that is all uphill for the first 3.5), take Dailey Cycle once a week, and hike as often as we can—usually a short one-hour hike that is all uphill for efficiency and cardiovascular health.
Rockyt: Are you training toward a particular fitness goal right now?
Brittany: Balance, diversity, challenge, efficiency and consistency. As the owner of two studios and a mom, my fitness goal is to make time for myself, keep moving, and listen to my body. Every day our bodies are different and I truly honor that, so "pushing myself" one week might be running a little past that 7-mile trail run or taking two classes back to back; other times it might be taking a restorative yoga class or a relaxing walk instead. I have learned to start each day by tuning in with myself. Developing a dialogue with my own body, taking a moment to listen, and making sure that my workouts are out of self love, not punishment. I have learned that "balance" is honoring where you are in the moment. Once time allows again, someday I would like to go back to my days of Muay Thai boxing and hip hop.
Rockyt: Do you take rest days?
Brittany: Rest is essential when you restore and recharge and also when your muscle repairs. I am a huge proponent of rest days for your body and mind. We take Sundays completely off and spend as much of the day as possible outside with our daughter and two dogs. That might mean we work in the garden, take our dogs to the beach, take a day trip, host or go to a friend’s barbecue. Sundays are our days to recoup, slow down and relax.
Rockyt: What's the best thing about teaching at Dailey Method?
Brittany: The supportive, warm community of teachers and clients, and watching my clients leave every class feeling more educated, powerful, and confident is what gets me excited to teach everyday.