GYROTONIC(R) Training for Strength and Healing
excerpt from iVillage.cayour fitness expert – Jane Clapp
I love trying out new fitness activities partly because I believe in the blending of expertise and methods to create the most evolved approach to strengthening and healing the human body. So when a dear client and friend suggested I go for a private session with her Gyrotonic instructor, Joanna McGuigan, I said yes please!
Gyrotonic training is three-dimensional exercise taught on unique weight and pulley based equipment. Founded by Juliu Horvath, in the principles of yoga, dance, tai chi, and swimming, Gyrotonic training is a series of circular and fluid exercises that works the entire body through muscular, skeletal, and cardiovascular stimulation. Watch someone doing Gyrotonic and they look a little like they’re doing ballet—reaching, spiraling, bending and twisting in fluid motions—with a piece of exercise equipment as their partner.
“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,” says Horvath.
Gyrotonic has attracted an impressive list of celebrities and athletes, from pro golfers Tiger Woods and Mark Wilson to Madonna, Liv Tyler and Julianne Moore.
Joanna McGuigan turned out to be one of the most genuine, knowledgeable and passionate fitness professionals and healers I’ve met. We spent over an hour together using the Gyrotonic Pulley Tower. I loved the combination of strength and fascial stretching I felt in every movement. What I loved the most was the fact that my body was taken in all planes of movement getting me out of the linear movement patterns we are so accustomed to.
Afterwards, I asked Joanna some questions about her passion for Gyrotonic and was quite moved by how and why she found it.
What made you choose Gyrotonic method as your area of expertise and practice? I had been practicing and teaching Pilates for over 14 years, but wanted a more dynamic form of exercise and therapy when recovering from abdominal surgery at the end of 2009. I first experienced Gyrotonic in 2002, and participated in classes in various cities across the United States and Canada. When my mother fractured two cervical vertebrae in the spring of 2010, I decided to certify in the method, confident it would help her improve mobility, despite the fact that she was facing total paralysis. Inspired by her recovery, the amazing changes in my own body and the improved mobility of my clients, I decided to leave a full-time career as a television programmer after 20 years to pursue my passion.
Who do you think Gyrotonic is the best suited for? Anyone can do Gyrotonic. It can be a relaxing therapeutic session or a challenging aerobic workout depending on the goals of the client. It can be sport-specific, with detailed applications and injury prevention for golfers, tennis players, elite athletes, and dancers or just a class for general fitness. Children can learn how to build a strong, upright body early in life, seniors can improve range of motion without impact or strain on the joints, and professionals can resolve lower back pain and neck discomfort associated with long hours seated at a desk in front of a computer.
What kind of results have you seen with clients who regularly practice Gyrotonic with you? Many clients experience results within the first hour-long session, often leaving the studio feeling taller and more relaxed. In fact, over the past few months several regular clients have reported increases in height, noted during annual medical examinations. Simple things like getting out of bed in the morning without feeling stiff, playing 18 holes of golf or full contact hockey without taking aspirin, and being able to play with and pick up children without pain are very realistic goals.
About Joanna McGuigan Joanna is a certified Gyrotonic and Gyrotonic Apprentice, as well as a Physical Mind Institute Certified Pilates Instructor, with over 11 years of teaching experience. Having also spent many of those years simultaneously working in Canadian Broadcasting, she truly understands the pressures and expectations that many encounter in the corporate world. Joanna is consistently seeking to find new ways of creating dynamic courses to inspire, rejuvenate, and re-ignite the passion within each individual she guides. Joanna is available for private, semi-private and group sessions at Studio 4 Pilates & Gyrotonic Training Studio, Adelaide Club Toronto. Original ArticlePosted on: 08/18/2012, by : Jacqui