It’s probably safe to assume you’ve never heard of the Gyrotonic workout. When I first encountered the word I half assumed it was some treatment for geriatrics, but oh how wrong I was! As I’ve come to know the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® I’ve become obsessed, almost religiously so. I’m not a dancer, but the Gyrotonic workout has liberated the dancer within me. It’s allowed me to reach further and breath deeper both through and with my body.
The Gyrotonic system is a holistic approach to movement which works for anyone wishing to gain strength, flexibility and coordination. It uses a series of organic physical, rhythmic movements that happen with your breath. It’s a mixture of dance, tai chi, yoga, and gymnastics and the fluidity of the movement feels like you are in water. I like to say that it is based on the movements your body naturally wants to make when it is yawning and stretching.
I discovered Gyrotonic back in 2000 when I was working with actress Wendie Malick. I thought she had amazing arms: toned, lean, and feminine. She said it was because of the Gyrotonic system. So, despite the name I was intrigued. I went to San Fran to work shortly after and thought I’d see if I could find it there. I found a studio with many long time Master Trainers and my relationship with Gyrotonic blossomed into a love affair. I had found a form of physical activity that my whole self responded well to. It combined mind, body, and spirit. The full system gave my body a place to interpret and integrate what my heart and mind believed. I remember my teacher telling me that there was a way to “keep my heart open and yet not give myself away,” and we worked on movement that taught me how to do just that. Sounds weird, right? I get it, but this workout was my first step in discovering the wisdom of my body, and all the never-ending things it has to teach me.
We each have our own natural rhythm. Traditional methods of exercise tend to have a rigidity that forces us to conform our bodies to a specific ideal figure and movement. I do all of those exercises too, but the Gyrotonic system allows us to access and open our bodies from where we are now. Starting with the spine, all movements spiral from our centers, building a natural, fluid strength and energy from the inside out. Using the breath in conjunction with movement, we can more effectively draw in oxygen and energy while breathing out congestion and blockages. Gyrotonic is an embracing rather than imposing method of exercise and I love it!!!!! Its been so liberating to let my body move in this way. Once we become adults its rare that we move joyfully and freely in ways that honor our spirit. Gyrotonic might not be for you, but I hope you find some form of movement that your body loves (and when you do, tell me about it!!).
Some Gyrotonic Resources: