Gyrotonics Dropout

In Exercise can't be this fun! on October 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Well I placed another notch in my Groupon addiction and purchased 3 one on one sessions for Gyrotonics. I had no clue what Gyrtonics was when I purchased the Groupon. All I knew was three things:

  • It was one block from my house.
  • I could not resist the economics. $17 a session for one hour of one-on-one training.
  • My friend swore by it. Although it may have been secret revenge after I conducted a bait-n-switch move with a Barre class. (She though she was walking into a relaxing yoga class.)

Gyrotonics was developed by Juliu Horvath after a herniated disc and torn Achilles ended his dancing career.  He ran off to the Virgin Islands and developed a system of movement initially called Yoga for Dancers. Something about the whole thing sounds very fun and whimsical. Run off to a remote island, spend days moving, dancing and doing yoga under the tropical sun and emerge with an idea that takes hold in the exercise world. Add a few pina coladas and it sounds like a dream! I went to my favorite place YouTube to see what I could find.

The Gyrontonic Expansion System looks something like a zen Bowflex home system.  There is a bench, pullies and weights in addition to some rotational discs all in a slightly inviting wooden machine. The movements are much more fluid than your standard exercise class. It looked like a fantastic way to stretch and build strenght. I was also drawn to the rythmic flowing movements. I have a secret desire to be graceful like a ballerina and so I picked up the phone and made my first appointment.

I arrived to this flowing artistic dance of yoga and pilates. The instructor was an “apprentice” instructor and not yet certified. I was her guinea pig. Athough I was certaintly not her first student, she seemed lost in thought, uncertainty and a few text messages. We stumbled through it a little awkwardly. I did my best to listen and to go with the “flow”. But alas, I am no dancer. Nights watching Fame, stretching and dancing in my parents living room, begging to be enrolled in dance class never yeilded one dance class. And yet even though my mother would take disco classes at night, my dreams were dashed with an endless stream of “nos”. I am awkward with no rythm and a serious lack of balance. My overly long arms on this short body look like shoots of bamboo then a willow blowing in the wind.

I tried dance in college. I enrolled in a modern dance class thinking “modern” meant some sort of hip hop that would land me as an extra on In Living Color. My gross lack of intellect in the arts meant I was taking some class I had no connection with either the movements or the music. A semester of grunts, missteps and frowns from the instructor landed me a generous “C” in the class. I was sacrificing a G.P.A so I moved on to swimming and running. I am a linear athlete, I move forward. I cut throught the right and left planes with my arms and legs. I run! But I digress….

It was not quite “me” and the wicked migrane that followed officially made me a Gyrotonics dropout 😦 

Where: Check your local Pilates or Yoga studios for Gyrontoics and Gyronkenisis (mat based).

Why: Despite my lack of love for this exercise it claimes to be excellent for individuals recovering from injury or illness.

Who: All ability levels but note that it may take a few sessions to get the hang of it. It is more controlled and precise than yoga.

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