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Gyrotonics
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By Nawaz Modi Singhania  

On The Fitness Scene

Last month's article on Gyrokinesis (that is the mat version of Gyrotonics), has already set the tone for this one.

If your body is craving for the next big thing in fitness, and your mind and soul are in search of more, here's the next big wave— Gyrotonics (pronounced jy-ro-ton-ics), the most happening workout currently on the market.

Introducing Gyrotonics!

The system is gaining huge popularity worldwide as a totally new concept in exercise. Focusing on physical alignment & deep muscle control, Gyrotonics has the participant becoming fitter & healthier both in body & mind.

About 50 sets of exercises, with approximately 130 variations get one to bend, twist, stretch, spiral & turn muscles & the skeletal system with minimal effort, in a fluid, almost surreal manner.

According to the founder's methods, this is the way the body was constructed to move. Like Pilates, Gyrotonics emphasizes the placement and alignment of the body, and is about the quality of the movement, & not the quantity. The Gyrotonics system is often combined with the Pilates Method, but may be used independently.

Developing better breathing habits, the method clears toxins and revitalizes all the major systems in the body.

Gyrotonics emphasizes breath management, controlled resistance, & the development of strength & flexibility.

Benefits Of The System

It targets “core training”, the latest buzzword in workout lingo, which means the whole mid-section of the body, comprised of the abs & the lower back.

This three-dimensional system of exercise guarantees an increased range of motion, aerobic stimulation, neuromuscular rejuvenation, improved balance & better coordination.

The system even works wonders in rehab. Bone strength and density are increased, countering osteoporosis. Faulty ingrained posture is corrected, eradicating movements leading to pain and fatigue.

The Gyrotonic technique also works on energy level stimulation and strengthening the meridian flows of the body which helps to develop a powerful strength from within and an improved sense of well being.

The system is used widely for therapeutic purposes as well as for general body conditioning or as part of a dance/sport specific training programme. Tension in the body is diminished & released. Specific breathing patterns timed correctly with each exercise help us to detoxify.

The system helps mobilize the spine and increase flexibility of the joints. Spatial awareness is improved. P rofound core body strength is quickly & easily developed.

Bone structures and ligaments are strengthened by working internally. It also promotes cardiovascular stimulation by raising the heart rate and keeping it there for a sustained period of time.

Equipment Utilized

Equipment the system uses include the Gyrotonics Tower / Handle machines, while using hand & foot operated wheel bases, wheels, levers & pulleys to create resistance.

To some, the equipment may look like the millennium version of a torture chamber, but actually in comparison to many other forms of exercise, it's a non-aggressive, relatively placid, but extremely effective form of exercise.

The hand crafted equipment allows total freedom of movement. It can be adjusted to suit any body weight, height, frame and level of strength. The even and constant resistance in the handle unit and pulleys completely eliminates any jarring or tension at the ends of the movements, unlike many other conventional exercise machines.

In Preparation

Start off with Gyrokinesis, which is virtually the floor-version of Gyrotonics. This is important as it helps the participant practice the moves, & understand the principles of the system, before attempting using the equipment, by providing a rehearsal effect, as it were.

Types Of Movements Engaged

Encouraging a complete range of circular motion, all major muscle groups are worked interdependently with corresponding breathing patterns. Adopting a

wide range of spherical movement which articulate and mobilize the joints, the system strengthens the body's core musculature.

Gyrotonics encourages a lot of movement in the spine, which is so fantastic. After all, there's nothing like a strong, mobile torso when carrying bags, lifting kids or simply getting out of a car! Particular attention is paid to increasing spinal flexibility, releasing tension in the upper body and improving co-ordination through movement.

Gyrotonics works major muscle groups in a very non-impact fashion, without bouncing or jumping. It demands sweeping, fluid, circular movements that promote strength and flexibility.

Who Should Participate

People of all ages, fitness levels, & from all walks of life, stand to gain from this method. Participants are encouraged to work entirely at their own level of fitness & at a comfortable pace.

Being a non-impact form of exercise, senior citizens too find great value from the methodology. A whole array of health problems can be controlled, & in many cases, reversed.

Origin

Developed by Juliu Horvath, a lead dancer in the world renowned Rumanian state Opera, in the late 1980's, this revolutionary system is based on moves from a variety of exercise forms such as yoga, ballet, swimming, dance, tai chi & gymnastics. Horvath has combined years of experience as a dancer and gymnast with his in depth knowledge of yoga and Chinese medicine.

Juliu, was sports-loving as a child & engaged in a variety of physical activities.  At age 19 he became interested in classical dance and by the time he turned twenty he was dancing in principle roles with the Romanian State Opera & later, the Houston Ballet.

While with the Houston Ballet, Juliu ruptured his Achilles Tendon and the injury brought his dancing career to a sudden, free-falling, dead halt.   

Determined to self-rehabilitate himself & move back into mainstream, in 1977 Juliu moved to the Virgin Islands where he started an intensive study and practice of yoga.  There he discovered the inner workings of the body and developed a system that he called "Yoga for Dancers", which is a deeper and more advanced level that is now called Gyrokinesis, the predecessor of Gyrotonics.

The Devil Lies In The Detail.

And here's how to get it right!

Gyrotonics is best done thrice a week. Initially it's fine to start with sessions of about 20 minutes, but as your body adapts to this, gradually work it up to an hour.

Always warm up & cool down adequately in order to ensure safety & maximum efficiency, & workout under supervision.

Wear comfortable exercise gear, which does not restrict your movements. Stick to cottons, while avoiding synthetic fabrics. Gyrotonics is done bare-foot, so no need to worry about foot wear.

So what are you waiting for? Get into gear, & get out there!

For a large variety of Workshop Classes, Pilates & Gyrotonics Hub Training & Gym Sessions, contact the writer’s Fitness Centre, Body Art, on 022 2380- 5929/ 2380- 2602.

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