If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that I have been going to weekly Gyrotonic classes with Patricia at Gyrotonic LINY since November. I instantly fell in love with the gentle workout and almost immediately noticed how different my body could feel when it was properly aligned. Through Patricia’s hands-on assists and visual prompts, I’ve experienced quite a difference in my posture, the openness of my chest, and the quality of my breath (although that part is still a work in progress).
These weekly Gyrotonic classes have become part of my self-care routine and represent much needed quiet time for my mind and body. They help ground me after a busy week while preparing me for the week ahead. Working with Patricia has been educational in terms of learning about the proper alignment and positioning of my body, and transformational in seeing how my body can be toned through gentle resistance and breathwork. If you want to learn more about the workout, you can read what I wrote after my first class at Gyrotonic LINY, here.
Here are a few of the benefits of a Gyrotonic practice that I’ve noticed so far:
Improved breathing: While most people tend to breathe from their chest (myself included), Gyrotonic has helped me to recognize this and to engage my stomach more when breathing. This act activates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which can help reduce stress, anxiety, and inflammation. Gyrotonic has also allowed me to notice how intricately my breath is linked to movement, and how by lengthening my inhale and exhale I’m also able to deepen the movement of my body.
Better posture and alignment: As an avid equestrian for more than 20 years (and a figure skater prior to that), I have my fair share of alignment issues (to put it mildly). While most equestrians have good posture, which helps to control a 1500-pound horse, we tend to have more of an arch in our lower backs, which in my case, has led to a lot of lower back pain. I also have particularly tight hips and a pelvis that sort of has a mind of it’s own. And while none of these things have been specific issues for me (except for the back pain), Gyrotonic has helped me notice all of them and how much better my body can feel when it is properly in place. Through working with Patricia one-on-one, I’ve been able to get hands-on instruction that has allowed me to correct these problem areas. The best part is that I am able to take this knowledge and utilize the positioning assists she’s given me when I’m doing my other workouts, too.
More mindful moments: I’ve always struggled with quieting my mind, which as you can imagine, makes it difficult to relax and get a good night’s sleep. But Gyrotonic has actually helped me make the mind-body-breath connection, something I wrestled with in my yoga practice. In making that link, I’ve been able to fall and stay asleep (which is saying a lot), and also wake feeling more rested. Overall, I think Gyrotonic has offered me an improved headspace and has helped me to feel more connected in my mind and body.
While this is in no way an exhaustive list of all the benefits of the Gyrotonic method, I am amazed at what I’ve been able to notice about my body in a little more than a month of consistent practice. Gyrotonic is very much a lifestyle—and should you choose to dedicate yourself to mastering the practice, the possibilities are limitless.