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So What On Earth Is GYROTONIC®?

So what on earth is GYROTONIC®– The Art Of Exercising and Beyond® and why is it attracting celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal, Tiger Woods and Madonna? If you want to seriously challenge your mind and body connection in a unique and sophisticated way, then this is the workout for you.

GYROTONIC exercises offer complete freedom of movement and effectively produce spinal mobility and articulation of the joints while building optimal strength and flexibility. Think of spiraling like a spinning top, creating space between your bones while you simultaneously stretch and strengthen muscles. That’s what you can expect from practicing GYROTONIC exercises – they also serve as a great way to get that dancer’s long, lean body and beautiful posture.

Juliu Horvath is the creator and founder of GYROTONIC exercises, which are now offered in more than 61 countries worldwide. After an injury ended Horvath’s professional dance career, he started practicing yoga. During this time of study, he developed an exercise method in New York City that he named “Yoga for Dancers,” which is a deeper, more advanced level of what is now called “GYROKINESIS.” In the 1980s, Horvath’s creative energy led him to develop the GYROTONIC equipment line, the first of which was the Pulley Tower®. There are about 200 exercises that can be performed on the Pulley Tower. The system is adjustable and can meet the needs of people with varying body types and levels of strength. The even and constant resistance in the handle unit of the Pulley Tower – through the triple reduction in the pulleys – eliminates the jarring that takes place at the beginning and end of exercises performed on conventional exercise equipment.

The circular and articulating movements that characterize the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM help to increase the functional capacityof the spine, contributing to a spherical and three-dimensional awareness that results in increased equilibrium and overall well-being. For pro-athletes, it enhances performance without compromising the body’s need to adapt to a new movement form. The movements are what the body actually craves.

When I was first introduced to the GYROTONIC method, I was intrigued by the movements. They exude a calm yet impressive strength, almost organicin nature. The education impressed me enough to pursue a certification course for teacher training. The training itself educates not only in proper cueing and demonstration but also shows teachers how to provide hands-on assistance to help clients achieve optimal spinal mobility and body awareness. The training was the most intensive course I have taken and I can say that this exercise form is light years ahead of most.

My personal challenge while learning GYROTONIC exercises was finding my body’s natural rhythm. Leading a busy lifestyle, I wasn’t sure what that natural rhythm was anymore. With all of the years of dance and classical piano training, I never would have guessed it could be so difficult to coordinate my body with my breath, simultaneous movements and concentration. I think the reason for this is something that we all suffer from: moving too fast and expecting our bodies to do more than they need to in hopes of making them faster and stronger. The problem is that we never get a chance to listen to our body’s natural rhythm.

In a quest to do too many things in too little time, we overload our external forces without listening to our internal forces. Practicing the GYROTONIC method teaches you to listen to your body so that you can allow it to freely move, releasing unnecessary tension and creating energy instead of depleting it. Your mind has no time to wander during a session. You cannot make your daily to-do lists or allow yourself to think about something else. Your mind must be engaged with your body 100 percent of the time. Only then will you find a rhythm that will make your movement appear effortless, graceful and purposeful. I have always believed that movement that is pleasing to the eye and that creates good energy is something worth teaching. It’s rewarding for both the student and the teacher.

Although GYROTONIC exercises benefit athletes, they can be practicedby anyone because they are highly rehabilitative. GYROTONIC can be performed on its own or as a complement to other training modalities.

We at ABsolute Pilates are excited that certified GYROTONIC Master Trainer Alissa Getz has joined our team. Getz has been teaching movement for 15 years to clients from all walks of life. Her approach is hands-on and she evokes a passion and precision that is at once inspiring, informed and unique, much like the GYROTONIC method itself.

Monica Hoekstra

Society Magazine – August 2012

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