Methodology

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GYROKINESIS® is a unique system of yoga that lets the body get back to natural movement patterns through circular, spherical and spiraling movements. The method strengthens the muscular and nervous systems, working the entire body through seven natural elements of spinal movement and the full range of joint articulation. All exercises are performed without equipment, using only a mat and small stools.

Classes typically begin seated. Self-massage assists in bringing the body to life and centering one’s attention. Next, guided sequences are practiced with gentle repetitive motion, encouraging the spine to move in all directions. Wavelike impulses originating in the pelvis move upward from the base of the spine to stimulate the internal organs. The muscles respond by expanding and contracting as a natural response to the rhythmical movements, and excess tension is released from the body. 

Once the body is relaxed and open, focus shifts to strengthening the abdomen and back, followed by standing and balancing exercises to improve stability. Fluidity is key. Postures are not held for long periods of time. Instead, postures are smoothly and harmoniously connected through the use of breath, making exercises appear and feel more like dance or chi gong than traditional yoga.
 
Corresponding breathing patterns in every movement stimulate the nervous system, open the energy pathways and oxygenate the blood. The method invigorates and re-educates the body to move with fluidity, relaxation and power. As students advance, movements become increasingly challenging to strength and stamina, combinations longer requiring additional endurance, and the class as a whole is intensely more stimulating by specific use of the breath.
 
GYROKINESIS® incorporates key principles from yoga, dance, gymnastics and tai-chi,  and chi gong and is the foundation of the GYROTONIC® System. Juliu Horvath (founder and creator of the system) developed GYROKINESIS® through his personal search and experimentation with various methods of yoga and physical conditioning. His intention was to alleviate chronic pain from injuries that he sustained through dance, sports and gymnastics. By healing his body, Juliu has been able to teach others to do the same. He has spent many years creating and developing methodology that has been used worldwide by dancers, athletes and lay-people for fitness training, sport specific exercise, and injury rehabilitation at hospitals and treatment centers around the globe.  The work continues to grow and change the lives of many, because it works. We are fortunate that Juliu is alive today, and continues to guide us to deeper and more thorough  understanding  by sharing his immense knowledge. He has kindly         and patiently imparted his vision and genius in a way that helps us to feel harmony within ourselves, and (hopefully) teaches us how to share this with others.
PILATES 
This popular training program named after its creator, Joseph Pilates has been a key influence in the concept of mind/body intelligence and integrated movement protocols. Pilates created 
a straight forward system which challenged the conventional ideas of exercise at the time and pioneered the concept of controlling the physical body and its movements with the mind.  Ahead of his time, he emphasized the connection of the mind with the body, instructing students to think about the actions and results before completing an exercise. Today we call this visualization. Limitations on repetitions were part of the protocols to ensure that students applied themselves in a focused manner. Specific use of breath was incorporated and opened the door to the inclusion of yoga philosophy into western traditions of athletic movement, calisthenics and weight lifting. The system has survived for over eighty years.

This approach to exercise was highly influenced by dancers who needed lithe, lean and agile bodies. George Balanchine, encouraged many of his dancers to work in this system as a supplement to their ballet training because the rigorous demands of his choreography requiring ultimate in speed and coordination.                                  

THE EXERCISES are simple muscle isolations combined with yoga postures, performed against variable resistance of adjustable springs. Emphasis is placed on strengthening the abdominals and spinal muscles in a two dimensional movement range. Primary concepts include using the mind to control physical actions, “articulating the spine” (forward/backward & simple twists), coordination, and muscle control. “Moving from the center” was originally defined as using a contracted abdomen/pelvic tilt to create a compact torso as arms and legs move freely. Attention is placed on connecting movements in short combinations where flexibility exercises are integrated with strength training to create agility rather than building muscle size. Breath exercises facilitate keeping control in the abdomen with emphasis is on creating ease in motion. 

THE EQUIPMENT allows beginning practitioners to work in neutral and supported positions where they do not have to fight gravity or need spacial awareness to learn the exercises & gain strength. Because the beginning work demands limited physical prowess, injuries are rarely a deterrent and progress comes quickly. As a student progresses, more self support is required in seated then standing positions requiring balance, increased strength, flexibility & connectivity. Ultimately, all movements should be performed on the matt without assistance of any equipment. Exercises increase in difficulty as skill levels improve.  

Pilates is great for anyone who wishes to gain muscle tone, basic strength, coordination, flexibility and body awareness. It is a wonderful foundation for any sport or activity and is useful in preparation for advanced athletic endeavors. Pilates has influenced almost all aspects of exercise prescription and participation, and has gained in popularity due to the accessibility  and adaptability of the protocols. Many doctors prescribe the system to their patients for addressing back problems, bad posture and for post surgical strengthening, and its particularly helpful in building bone for those suffering from osteopenia and osteoporosis. Thanks to the tenacity and commitment of early proponents, combined with increased education and use, Pilates has become a mainstay of exercise, and has been embraced by the medical community as a powerful tool in rehabilitation.

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All copy, art, photos, design and website copyright 2012 or earlier by Ann Barbour & ann barbour/studios

GYROTONIC®, GYROTONIC®  & Logo GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM and  GYROKINESIS® are registered trademarks of

Gyrotonic Sales Corp and are used with their permission.

GYROTONIC® is a totally new exercise system which approaches movement training from a holistic point of view. It trains the body to respond with natural fluid motions and to attain balanced coordination between the neuromuscular, skeletal and respiratory systems. Articulation of the spine in all directions promotes healthy neuromuscular impulses which flow out to the limbs, and act as an internal massage for the organs. Motions are circular or spiraling in nature, fluid and never abrupt - even when performed at a quick pace.

The specially designed equipment was built around the human body  allowing complete freedom of movement. Weights are easily adjusted to create more or less challenge as needed in each exercise - supporting the body where it is weak, providing resistance to strengthen, or gentle guidance for lengthening. Integrated breath patterns serve to invigorate, intensify, expand and even contract the body. A workout leaves the body relaxed, yet not depleted, invigorated yet wrung out. The system works on many levels, ultimately giving the participant a sense of strength with additional benefits of euphoria and ease. Many people comment that they feel better when they finish than when they begin a session - even after a long hard day.

GYROTONIC® is adaptable to all ages & experience levels. Children benefit tremendously from the exercises at a time when their glandular development, physical dexterity, coordination and physical awareness are at vital stages of growth. Individuals at fitness levels from novice to elite enjoy the system for general fitness and sport specific training.  Gyrotonic® is ideal for Senior athletes who need to maintain fitness without compressing, compacting or pounding motions. For individuals who are injured or need special assistance, protocols can be simplified, and exercises prescribed which will support the body’s weaknesses while building strength, or changing bad posture and old habits. Increasingly, doctors and physical therapists are becoming aware of the benefits of Gyrotonic® by trying the system for themselves, and recommending it for their patients. 

GYROTONIC® is the ultimate challenge for athletes, providing a greater degree of endurance, versatility and gracefulness for all performed competitive skills. the equipment is extremely versatile and easy to adjust, allowing one to shift between exercises and link them into patterns / sequences. Real sports simulation can be produced without limitation to speed or versatility. Time can be spent efficiently in the workout rather than hopping on and off various pieces of equipment. The work can be adapted for skills practice specific to a wide variety of sports, which include golf, swimming, gymnastics, martial arts, dance, baseball and tennis. Even celebrities and professional athlete’s such as Shaquille O’Neil are catching on!

Not only that, but it’s ENJOYABLE!! Everyone feels like they can MOVE, and lets face it, 
movement is life!!!