Hello Gyro

Workouts Use Natural Body Patterns



photos courtesy Gyrotonic.com

“Imagine an exercise system that strengthens the body enough to be used in training world-class athletes, stretches more safely than any form of yoga and expands the core training concepts of Pilates into natural full-body movements like those used in everyday reaching and walking, along with jumping and swimming. This is the Gyrotonic system,” says Angela Crowley, a Gyrotonic master teacher, trainer and exercise spa owner in Coral Gables, Florida.

A former gymnast and dancer, Crowley took to the Gyrotonic approach after being severely injured in an automobile accident. “Traditional physical therapy only addressed certain aspects without bringing me back to normal,” she says. “Running and yoga felt intolerable. Gyrotonic exercises became a perfect bridge. I was able to rehabilitate safely while challenging myself to return to normal expectations and now, beyond.” The system of fluid movements leverages specially designed equipment that can be customized for every individual.

“The Gyrotonic system combines elements from many different modalities into three-dimensional, circular movements. A primary focus is on all the different motions of the spine and how to create rhythmic, flowing movement within the entire body,” says Stefani Schrimpf, Gyrotonic instructor and studio owner of Physiques, in Overland Park, Kansas. “The exercises strengthen, lengthen and stretch muscles, while stimulating connective tissues around the joints. They also improve balance, flexibility and coordination. This system allows you to push beyond specific limitations and to isolate and fine tune movement skills,” says Schrimpf.

While a Gyrotonic workout has similarities to yoga and Pilates, it is also unique. According to Melissa Jutras, a Pilates instructor, weightlifting coach, personal trainer and gym/studio owner of Big Blue Strength, in Lexington, Kentucky, “Hatha yoga is a series of static postures, whereas Pilates and Gyrotonic movements focus on flow, using equipment to enhance core strength, stability, control, coordination and flexibility. The difference is that Gyrotonic exercises works on three dimensions with every circular movement, like the body naturally moves. It uses weights and a pulley system, whereas Pilates is more linear and uses spring tension.”

Find an illustrative video and search classes by postal code at Gyrotonic.com.

Jutras believes the Gyrotonic system, Pilates and yoga all complement weightlifting and strength training, affording a mind-body balance. “The body then experiences lowand high-threshold exercise, low-intensity and high-intensity, weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing activity,” she says.

Crowley sees the Gyrotonic approach complementing virtually any activity. “The exercises help practitioners learn how to move more efficiently, easily, powerfully, gracefully and successfully in every facet of life.”

Gyrotonic ExerciseThe method is also offered without equipment in the form of Gyrokinesis, a flowing class done on a chair, mat and standing. This affordable option can be practiced independently at home.

“My youngest client is 7, my oldest is 94,” relates Crowley. “We have clients that have become bored by repetitive exercise and enjoy the limitless variations of movements that keep both their minds and muscles alert. We have chronic pain clients that have exhausted other medical options and are improving their ability to function more optimally and enjoying their lives again.”

Both Schrimpf and her husband, Juan Trujillo, teach the Gyrotonic method. “Our greatest reward is the feedback we get. Once people try it, they’re hooked,” she says. “It transforms how people think about movement and brings a sense of joy and accomplishment. They feel their joints becoming more supple and balanced, and find their bodies responding well to the natural movement patterns.”


Aimee Hughes, a freelance writer in Kansas City, MO, is a doctor of naturopathy and consultant for the Yandara Yoga Institute. Connect at ChezAimee@gmail.com.


This article appears in the March 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Dogs Need Detoxing Too

Steps such as altering a dog’s diet and adding key supplements will restore mental and physical energies, restore the shine in their eyes and the luster in their coat.

Maria Rodale Helps Organic Farmers Succeed

To spur consumer demand and help farmers, the Rodale Institute performs top-quality research on the benefits of eating organic foods and optimal farming methods.

An Awesome Antidote to Polarization

In these black-versus-white days of civic discord, awe opens us up to fresh views and the value of respectful, harmonious living.

Coal Phase-Out Boosts Health

Both premature deaths and hospital admissions caused by air pollution have dropped sharply since Ontario systematically closed down its coal-fired power plants.

Unique Inflamed Gut Linked to Type 1 Diabetes

Italian researchers have found gut inflammation in Type 1 diabetics linked to 10 specific genes, raising hopes for treatment.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Workshop Introduces Heart-Centered Therapy

Linda Marks, MSM, will be hosting an introductory workshop from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., July 23, on Emotional- Kinesthetic Psychotherapy.

The Ocean’s Healthy Harvest

Small-Boat Fishing is Good for the Community
Seafood is an often overlooked source of sustainable food that is as seasonal and natural as produce.

Pollinate New England Program Set to Launch

Building a network of model pollinator gardens throughout New England filled with diverse, systemic, pesticide-free native plants.

Ozone Therapy Offers Hope to Lyme Patients

An alternative health clinic, LifeWorks Wellness Center, is now routinely offering ozone therapy to Lyme disease patients as part of its treatment program.

Local Musician Releases Second Album and New England Tour Dates

Christina Holmes recently released her second album, Stand Up, a soundtrack of social injustice and change.

Learn Vinyasa Flow Yoga at Beginners Workshop

Revolution Community Yoga, in Acton, will be offering a workshop, Yoga for Beginners, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., July 19.