Gyrotonics, a method created by Juliu Horvath, is also known as “Yoga for Dancers”. Horvath was born in Romania in 1942, and his athletic experiences include swimming, gymnastics, and ballet dancing with the Romanian State Opera. After encountering political challenges which included spending six months at a refugee camp in Italy, Horvath was granted asylum in the United States of America and spent time dancing with the New York City Opera and the Houston Ballet. Horvath sustained an Achilles tendon tear and herniated disc which terminated his career as a dancer, and he created the Gyrotonic Expansion System as a rehabilitation technique for his injuries over the course of six years while living in St. Thomas. Since then, he has refined the system and invented specialized equipment. The Gyrotonic system includes both gyrotonic exercise methods and gyrokineses. The goal of both methods is to improve the functional capacity and movement ability of the entire body, and they are founded upon principles similar to yoga, swimming, dance, gymnastics, and tai chi. The system focuses on coordinating breathing with continuous flowing movements. The four primary principles of the Gyrotonic Expansion System include intention, stabilization through contrast (aka finding balance between lengthening/reaching outward and tensing/pulling inward), decompression of the joints, and coordination of movement with breath. The many benefits of gyrotonics includes improved circulation, improved joint mobility, cardiovascular system enhancement, spinal mobilization, and improved proprioception, balance, and coordination. To experience the benefits of gyrotonics for yourself, I encourage you to explore the Kinespirit website at your leisure (http://kinespirit.com/) and to register for a class that fits your schedule. I look forward to hearing feedback about your experience!
“The octopus, the monkey and the cat are my basic models because they can move in any direction at any given time with strength and control because they have no restrictions. The human body has restrictions, but I can model the body ─ within the framework of its restrictions ─ to move in a similar way, to be free”- Juliu Horvath