Kindred Kinespirits

Gyrotonics and Gyrokinesis: Join the Movement!
Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to experience an innovative and unique exercise modality called Gyrotonics at Kinespirit: Gyrotonic and Pilates Studio in the heart of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. My personal experience with gyrotonics was fantastic. Chantal Deeble, the owner of Kinespirit: Gyrotonic and Pilates Studio, has artfully created an aesthetically pleasing studio that has a spa-esque feel to it, crisp, clean, and beautiful. Kitty Sailer, one of the instructors at the studio, spent a significant amount of time explaining the history and methodology of gyrotonics to me, and she patiently answered my many questions (ex. “What is the difference between pilates and gyrotonics?” Answer: Pilates is more two dimensional vs. gyrotonics is more three dimensional and functional.) Following my enlightening conversation with Kitty, I took Aubrey Kupstas’s beginner class. For someone who likes to consider herself in relatively decent shape, thank God, I found the class surprisingly challenging. (Note to self: running half marathons does not translate into or automatically equal coordinated multi-planar movement with proper breathing patterns!) Fortunately, Aubrey provided excellent verbal cues to keep me on track, and she patiently corrected me once or twice (or more) when my repetitive three dimensional patterns weren’t as smooth or fluid as they were supposed to be. After the class, I actually felt more aligned, more mobile, and more erect in standing.

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 ( 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