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By Nawaz Modi Singhania  

On The Fitness Scene

Any idea what's new & happening on the fitness scene? Haven't you heard?- Gyrokinesis & Gyrotonics!

Gyrokinesis is a floor designed programme, while Gyrotonics is equipment- based.

Introducing Gyrokinesis!

Gyrokinesis is the core of the Juliu Horvath System, developed in the 1970's, and is fast-gaining popularity of more recent times. It was initially structured & created out of Horvath's own personal struggle with chronic pain, injury & disability.

Gyrokinesis is a “feel-good” system, which is centered around the same principles as Gyrotonics.

The system incorporates many key principles from yoga, dance, tai-chi, swimming & gymnastics.

Benefits Of The System

The primary goal of the system is to teach the body to move with fluidity, relaxation & power. Long, lean, slim, but strong bodies are the product of this exercise method. Head to toe, the entire body & its musculoskeletal system are zeroed into.

The core, consisting of the mid & lower back, & abdominals is strengthened & lengthened. Over-tense muscles are released & stretched. Increased range of motion & developing coordination are other benefits.

People of all ages and all walks of life stand to benefit from this system.

In Preparation

It needs nothing more than a stool & mat to be performed, so one may even perform the exercises in the comfort of one's home, or anywhere else one chooses.

Participants should wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing. Cottons are always the preferred choice of fabric. Exercises are to be performed bare-foot.

Types Of Movements Engaged

Exercises may be performed in the sitting, standing or lying down position.

A series of gentle, rhythmic & systematic motions release, stimulate & invigorate the body. Through repetitive, flowing movements, the entire body is released of stiffness, blood circulation is improved, & the internal organs & nervous system are stimulated & further activated.

In all movements, the key focus remains on the spine so that the entire linked, functional chain of muscles of the extremities are activated.

Syncing breathing patterns with the exercises stimulate the nervous system correctly, while opening up energy pathways, and helping the body to release toxic waste products which will be flushed away by the circulatory system.

Movements are not held for long periods of time, & so unnecessary tenseness is prevented. Instead, the moves are strung together by a smooth, flowing connectivity, while harmoniously using the breath. Exercises therefore seem more like dance than traditional exercises. Dynamism & fluidity are at the heart of Gyrokinesis.

Who Should Participate

People of all ages & fitness levels stand to gain from this method. Participants are encouraged to work entirely at their own pace.

Being a non-impact exercise, senior citizens too find great value from the methodology. A variety of health problems can be controlled, & in many cases, reversed. The system is used extensively in rehabilitation centers, dance studios, sports training and fitness facilities all over the world. The exercises are gainfully employed at the workplace for relaxation in the case of those who run one-sided postural hazards.

Some History

Juliu Horvath, a Hungarian, was born and raised in Romania .  He however considers himself to be a "universal being". 

His father, Juliu Sr. who has passed on, was a tailor and his mother, aged 94, is a housewife.

Juliu, being one of three children, participated as a young man in swimming, gymnastics and rowing as well as other sports.  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. Juliu was noticed by someone in the New York City Opera and was hired.  He began

dancing for their tour company with international stars. Later, he danced as a guest artist at Radio City Music Hall in New York for some time and then got a job as principal dancer with the Houston Ballet.  While with the Houston Ballet, Juliu ruptured his Achilles Tendon and the injury brought his dancing career to a sudden, screeching halt.  After the injury Juliu started indulging himself in more yoga practice.

In 1977 Juliu moved to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands where he built a simple dwelling in the mountains and continued an intensive study and practice of yoga.  During this diligent study of yoga 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.
Juliu returned to New York in the 1980's and began teaching his method at "Steps on Broadway" and in Central Park .  When he developed a large enough following he opened up his first studio.

Starting From “A”

Gyrokinesis sessions begin with self-massaging, tapping, & utilizing pressure points & techniques from head to toe, accompanied by correct breathing patterns in order to awaken the body.

The basic & initial level of Gyrokinesis is the Essentials of Body Kinetics, & is the soul of the methodology.

The method works the spine through seven basic realms of motion- forward, backward, right, left, twist to the right, twist to the left, & circular. Arching, bending, twisting & curling the spine into circular, spiral movements are key to the system.

Approaching “Z”

Having mastered the method, one is then ready for the next phase, Gyrotonics, which utilizes Gyrotonics equipment.

Watch this space next month for the low-down on this new system. Till then!

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.