What's Gyrotonic?

“What on earth is that?”

That’s the usual response I get when mentioning I’m in a Gyrotonic class.

Now, Gyro isn’t too difficult to explain, but it definitely is not as popular as yoga or pilates.

Gyrotonic all started when a professional dancer named Juliu Horvath was injured during his dance career. After injuring his achilles tendon and herniating a vertabral disc, he moved to the island of St. Thomas and spent six years perfecting what is now known as Gyro.

He created Gyro off many principles of nature, yoga and movement among other things and created Gyro while working to heal himself. Gyrokinesis is a mat and floor based practice while Gyrotonic uses specialty equipment. The four main principles of Gyrotonic are intention, stabilization through contrast, decompression of the joints and coordination of movement and breath. 

The purpose of this system is to allow your body to move through the muscles and joints using circular movements and breathe to strengthen the body. There is nothing set in Gyro, so you aren’t working towards a specific pose, but what feels good for your body. Taking Gyro not only is relaxing, but makes you more aware of what the body needs, be it rest, sleep or focus on a particular area. Practicing Gyrokinesis may also cause your dreams to become more vivid, I know mine have. It can be practiced by a variety of people regardless of age, shape or size.

Some of the benefits associated with practicing the method include; vivid dreams, increased mobility of joints, mobilization of the spine, improved coordination and cardiovascular stimulation.

Both Gyrokinesis and Gyrotonic are taught as two hour P.E. credit classes here at App through the dance department. 

An interview with Juliu Horvath, along with some visuals of Gyrotonic can be seen here.