The Gyrotonic® Method consists of two forms of activity ranging from simple floor exercises to sophisticated equipment. The practice was invented by Juliu Horvath, a former ballet dancer and competitive swimmer and gymnast who recognized the importance of developing inner strength to support muscular and skeletal health for life long flexibility and movement.
Gyrokenesis® is a series of seated and floor mat movements that incorporate the principles of yoga, Qi Gong, and tai chi. The emphasis is on continuous movements combined with special breathing patterns that flow seamlessly together stimulating the nervous system, opening the energy pathways of the body (Qi), and oxygenating the blood. There is a focus on spinal movement with arches and curls that expand the vertebra, increasing fluidity. According to certified practitioner, Natalie Taylor of Lotus Flow Movement in Palm Desert, the goal is to align your joints and internal systems to work synergistically to their greatest extension and flexibility.
The second part of the method is the Gyrotonic® equipment, a weight and pulley system that provides both assistance and resistance to promote fluidity and elongation of muscles and joints. The equipment gently pushes you to go beyond your capacity, helping to increase bodily movement. Results noted include improved balance, range of motion, flexibility and overall fitness.
“Unlike the traditional gym equipment which often focuses on increasing bulk muscle, Gyrotonic® promotes lean muscles and the release of joint stiffness,” says Taylor. “It works from the inside out; from your nervous system, bones and deep muscles to your external layers.”
Phil Steinberg of Indian Wells says the Gyrotonic® equipment kept him from back surgery. “When I started with Natalie ten years ago, I had had three MRIs and doctors told me I needed back surgery.” At the time, he was getting cortisone shots, taking medications, and often crawling in pain. “I chose this option instead, and it worked.”
He adds that his closest friend who is ten years younger chose back surgery. “I said ‘are you crazy? Get into Pilates or Gyro.’” He didn’t and has now had two back surgeries. “When we exchanged MRIs, he told me that my issues were actually worse than his.”
Steinberg, who is in his 80s, has also seen his golf score improve. “As they get older, most golfers attempt to shoot under their age. Now I am upset if I don’t shoot under my age.” It is apparent that the elongating effects of the practice have helped Steinberg maintain his 6’2” frame. “I walk almost every morning, but the Gyrotonics® provide stretching which enhances the twisting and turning required for golf.”
“The equipment is all about fluidity – almost like dance,” adds Taylor, a former professional ballerina. “It is wonderful to see clients discover movements they never thought they would perform again.”
Gyrotonic® Method is offered at Lotus Flow Movement in Palm Desert. (760) 568.3569.