Everything you need to know about Gyrotonic

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    Yoga? Yawn. Pilates? Psh. The latest fitness trend combines the best of both and counts Madonna, Liv Tyler and Julianne Moore as fans. Welcome to the wonderful world of Gyrotonic….

    So what is Gyrotonics?

    Originally conceived by Juliu Horvath for dancers, gyrotonic incorporates the foundations of yoga, dance, gymnastics, swimming and t’ai chi to strengthen your whole body.

    Using a series of flowing, circular movements, gyrotonics strengthens muscles and builds stamina. Sweeping, arcing motions are combined with breathing patterns to help you focus on bodily coordination and metal relaxation.

    It probably all sounds a bit familiar. Gyrotonic was originally called ‘yoga for dancers’ for a reason – the two disciplines bear an uncanny resemblance. Like yoga, gyrotonics focuses on increasingly natural spinal flexibility, strengthening and stretching muscles and deepening breathing. What makes it a little bit different, however, is that it emphasises spiralling and twisting, to give it a far more 3D format.

    What does it do?

    Gyrotonics has loads of benefits, starting with how it improves your posture. One of the reasons it’s great for dancers is that it strengthens supportive muscles to give you a more upright and elegant posture. It also frees up the spine, giving dancers increased suppleness to bend into those exceptional moves.

    It also boosts energy levels, as the circular motions and breathing patterns relax stiff joints and tight muscles. These circular motions also aid coordination as you learn how to make your major muscle groups function interdependently. What’s more, practise makes perfect, so the more gyrotonics you do, the better this muscle recruitment will become.

    How do I do it?

    To give it a go, you’ll need access to a specially designed Gyrotonic Expansion System (or GXS for short) – a wooden contraption with rotational discs and weighted pulleys which lets you strengthen your muscles through circular movements.

    Find a class at gyrotonic.com – the digital home of all things gyrotonic – which lets you search for nearby studios to your home.

    Because of the size of the machines, classes are usually one-to-one meaning that they tend to be pricey. Expect to pay around £45 for a session.  

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