women’s health and fitness
women’s health and fitness – january 2012 – gyrokinesis
Relieve stress, create long lean muscles and open up tight spaces with this unique form of mind-body exercise
Former ballet dancer Juliu Horvath, whose story is both unique and inspiring, developed the method. Born and raised in Romania, Horvath became, by age 20, an accomplished ballet dancer. In 1970, he defected to the Us where he sought and obtained political asylum. He was quickly able to find work in New York but his career came to a sudden halt in the ’70s due to injury. Horvath retreated to the Virgin Islands to dedicate himself to the study and practice of Yoga and to finding a method that would help all types of people, regardless of age and fitness level, to gain strength, flexibility and coordination. Gyrokinesis was thus born.
In Greek “gyro” means rotating, while “kinesis” means movement. So one could say that Gyrokinesis is the practise of “rotational movement.” The method incorporates many principles from Yoga (Kundalini Yoga mainly), but also comprises several elements from swimming and dancing, to create a very fluid and effective workout that requires using the body’s core. Put simply, Gyrokinesis works the spine in all directions to explore its full range of motion: forward, backward, left and right sides, left and right twists and circular. Many of the positions are similar to yoga but unlike the ancient discipline, Gyrokineses moves from one movement to another more rapidly and smoothly, giving it a dance-like feeling, while providing a low impact cardiovascular activity. Benefits include promoting spine and joint articulation and mobilisation, blood circulation, muscle strength and length, stamina, flexibility and coordination, body awareness, energy and detoxification.
A typical session begins with self-massage and easy breathing patterns to connect mind and body. Once the body is warm the instructor moves through a series of exercises – on the mat and on a low stool – that focus on the spine and pelvis. For example, sitting on the stool, you are asked to arch your body forward and curl it back up (it’s the principle of counterbalancing opposing forces). You also perform movements that incorporate bending, twisting and spiralling to create space in the joints. The same principles (of moving in all directions) are then applied to the rest of the body. In Gyrokinesis, as in any discipling that connects mind with body, the various breathing patterns help to accomplish the movement and to transition into the next while oxygenating and energizing the body. After a session, people are usually left feeling open, balanced and relaxed, yet full of energy.
The added bonus is that Gyrokinesis is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness, whether you’re a dancer looking to perfect your pirouette or a recently injured individual looking for safe rehabilitation exercises. Gyrokinesis (and Gyrotonic, which is based on the same principles but performed on a tower) can also prove helpful if you suffer from chronic back and knee pain, osteoporosis, arthritis and scoliosis.
Where to Practice
The Hundred Pilates Studio
Dubai Healthcare City
Al Tazi Building #64
Block B, Suite 3020