Over the last few weeks I’ve taught two GYROKINESIS® Workshops and attended a GYROTONIC® course with Master Trainer Rita Rehna. There are some incredible benefits to delving into these methods more deeply; largely body awareness.
Here are 5 benefits in which I’ve seen within my clients and experienced personally coupled with supported outside sources.
1) Enhanced Body Awareness
Developing body awareness is quite important for understanding movement as it’s also key to healing the body. Within the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® methods, students are guided through movement sequences that carefully focuses on how to stimulate the body’s physiology in a calm state.
Psychology Today states that slow and deliberate movement practices “increases the parasympathetic relaxation response […] which promotes reduced stress and inflammation and stimulates healing.” Without this, we aren’t able to connect to our bodies properly to promote awareness.
2) Deepened Breathing
The importance of breathing properly within movement can often be forgotten or under practiced. However, the respiratory system plays a major role in body awareness, so without proper use of the breath we reduce our full movement potential.
In the Science of Breathing, Novotny and Kravitz, mentions that, “the practice of proper breathing techniques is aimed at eliminating misused accessory chest muscles, with more emphasis on diaphragmatic breathing.” This helps us to engage the body as a whole, increase oxygen intake, and appropriately stimulate of the neuromuscular system.
3) Understanding Core Connection
When we engage the body, we are able to strengthen the body as whole without unnecessary tension. Unnecessary tension often includes forward head posture, upward shoulders, an overworked lower back, and/or tight hamstrings for example.
“Think of your core the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body,” Harvard Health Publishing relays, “[…][Therefore] your core stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction.” This is exactly the goal of the GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® methods, to create stabilization through contrast for optimal movement.
4) Tapping Into True Wellbeing
Sometimes physical habits and/or emotional habits tend to hold us back from being our optimal selves. Wellbeing should involve enhancing both the body and the mind simultaneously. I’ve often experience clarity and breakthrough within these movement methods because of the way the external and internal body has to work in harmony.
Human Kinetics wonderfully clarifies that, “the pursuit of health, personal growth, and improved quality of life relies on living a balanced life. To achieve balance, we need to care for our mind, body, and spirit […] If any of these three areas is consistently lacking or forgotten about, we will not be at our optimal level of health.”
5) Finding Efficient Movement
Efficient movement not only happens alongside body awareness but when we allow ourselves to enhance our learning and coordination skills. We want to “find effortless effort”, as Master Trainer Rita Rehna would reiterate when we started to work too hard in the course. We must invest enough time and practice to understand our own body.
Movement Therapist and Author, Todd Hargrove, mentions that, “neuroscience reveals that the quality of attention as [we] practice will affect how productive the practice will be […] try to make the movement as smooth and easy and effortless as possible […] this will almost always require slowing the movement down and reducing the force of the movement from time to time.” This is how efficient movement begins.
After every class or workshop the level of energy, satisfaction, and body awareness in the room becomes heightened – every time. The Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis methods have been specifically configured for the benefits as mentioned above. Its emphasis on somatics, physiology, and anatomical importance to movement goes a long way.
Although only a snippet in what I’ve seen in my clients and have experienced, it goes without saying that there’s always more to explore!