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breathing

the Gyrokinesis Method the Gyrotonic Method

The GYROTONIC® + GYROKINESIS® Methods= Body Awareness

April 21, 2018
gyrotonic and gyrokinesis equals body awareness kindall payne lisbon portugal

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.


gyrotonic and gyrokinesis equals body awareness kindall payne lisbon portugal

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.

gyrotonic and gyrokinesis equals body awareness kindall payne lisbon portugal

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.

gyrotonic and gyrokinesis equals body awareness kindall payne lisbon portugal


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!
Dance Short Stories the Gyrotonic Method

The Importance of Breathing & the GYROTONIC® Method by Lucia Vergnano (GUEST POST)

April 29, 2017
guest post: breathing again, lucia vergnano

 Lucia Vergnano is a Dancer with Aterballetto Dance Company, a Mother, and a GYROTONIC® Trainer based in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Vergnano now contributes to an blog called Mamma, Mi Racconti (Italian for Mom, Tell Me).

In this post, Vergnano shares her thoughts on breathing, the importance of oxygen, and how the GYROTONIC® Method helped her further understand this necessity.


BREATHING AGAIN by Lucia Vergnano

[Translated by Lucia Vergnano from ‘UNA MAMMA IN GYRO‘ (A mother in Gyro) – ‘Juggling family, dance, travels and the Gyrotonic Method’]

guest post: breathing again, lucia vergnano

Each of us as a child breathes, breathes well, without any constraints or problems. Then, with time, we forget. We get stuck. The mind begins to control our breathing unconsciously. We do not think it’s so important anymore.

What are the consequences? Aches, muscle pain, joint pain, stomach ache, headache to name a few… I am not saying it all depends on how we breathe, but it is certainly influential, and knowing how to breathe well could help to prevent these problems.

For example, musicians use instruments to make music, painters use brushes and colors and dancers use the body. The body and soul of the dancer are their tools and, as every tool must be treated with care, it should be cleaned, polished and pampered.

What better ingredient to feed your body than oxygenOxygenating  your blood, muscles and mind correctly means preventing contractions. It means learning to maintain a correct posture and dealing with stressful moments (which are plentiful!) in a more conscious way. 

In addition, the diaphragm is the muscle that has the main role in breathing, in which the Gyrotonic Method truly teaches how to make the diaphragm more elastic and, at the same time, stronger in order to control it voluntarily.

The Gyrotonic Method also teaches us that a certain type of breathing must be associated with each type of movement: a gentle and deep breath when movement is wide and slow; a more rhythmic one if the movement is fast and small; and a stronger and more intense one if the movement requires greater physical strength.

Improving my breathing has greatly helped to increase my physical strength, mobility and prevent injuries. I feel that Gyrotonic is a method that can really work for anyone, regardless of age or physical fitness. It is a method that helps people to breathe consciously to oxygenate both the body and mind.

After practicing the Gyrotonic method and its breathing techniques for years, it has definitely made a difference. Just couple of hours a week and you will see a change in your life, because knowing how to take a deep breath at the right moment can change your day. 


More About Lucia Vergana

guest post: breathing again, lucia vergnano

Lucia, 33, was born in Turin but moved to Florence to follow her dream to become a ballerina. And she did. In the last 15 years Vergnano has been working as a professional dancer, first with Balletto di Roma in Rome, then with Aterballetto in Reggio Emilia.

However, while dancing in Rome, Vergnano became injured but was fortunately introduced to the Gyrotonic Method. From that moment on, she realized that she didn’t want to be without this method, so pursued to becoming an instructor.

She has been married to Hektor, who is also a dancer, for 3 years. They met in Rome in 2000 and after a difficult start they decided to try to build a life together. A little more than 2 years ago she became a Mother to Lorenzo, which is her “greatest pride and joy.”


Follow Lucia Vergnano here:

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General Fitness and Well–Being Yoga

GUEST POST: The Benefits of Yoga on Anxiety and Depression

August 19, 2016
the benefits of yoga on anxiety and depression

The Benefits of Yoga on Anxiety and Depression

A guest post by The Klinik.

The ancient disciplines of Yoga have been around for centuries and are well known for offering holistic benefits to both mind and body. But when the mind particularly is overwhelmed and struggling with clinical issues such as anxiety and depression, yoga can offer extended benefits.

Exercise benefits everybody

There is a basic school of thought, based on research, which acknowledges that most forms of exercise, including yoga, can boost mental health as exercising releases endorphins, hormones responsible for that ‘feel good’ factor generally experienced at the end of a workout.

However, as reported in The Telegraph, research has shown that the levels of GABA, an amino acid which supports brain and central nervous system function, also increases in individuals who practice yoga. With low levels of GABA acknowledged as contributing towards low mood and anxiety, these increased levels of GABA following practice of yoga additionally promote well-being and calm, as well as reducing depression and anxiety.

Calming stress response

In the modern world, the intrinsic ‘fight or flight’ stress responses which kept our hunting and gathering ancestors alive are still very much present. These genetic responses are susceptible to many triggers in the modern world, such as physical and mental stress of the workplace and pressure in other areas of life, such as responsibility, finance and lifestyle. Essentially, the practice of yoga stimulates opposing responses to that ‘fight or flight’ reaction, triggering instead the parasympathetic nervous system to a ‘rest and digest’ response, which literally calms the stress responses and brings balance in the face of pressure.

the benefits of yoga on anxiety and depression

But as well as the hormonal relief to stress responses, the ancient meditative, relaxation and breathing techniques which are a fundamental part of yoga practice align with modern Cognitive Behaviour Training (CBT) and stress-management techniques, regularly offered as contemporary treatment for anxiety and depression. By learning the appropriate relaxation techniques as part of a yoga class or private tuition, individuals have a wider range of methods to use when stressful situations arise. These holistic benefits of yoga also make it the ideal exercise to prepare for or wind down from the day, in a way which is protective of well-being and can even be preventative against problems.

And breathe…

Breathing control, one of the basic techniques of yoga, can help to reduce stress in difficult situations and offer relief during episodes of anxiety attacks. Mastery of breathing techniques, even at an early stage of participating in yoga, is frequently advocated as helping to relieve stress and anxiety. The breathing techniques used throughout the disciplines of yoga include many cyclical breathing patterns, including slow, focused breathing which calms symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Other yoga breathing techniques include controlled rapid breathing for stimulation, which can also benefit depression by lifting mood, whilst focused breathing can also significantly benefit pain relief, lifting mood and increasing feelings of wellness as pain reduces to manageable levels.

Stress versus spirit

The breathing and relaxation techniques which underpin yoga practice also offer an opportunity to explore and develop a spiritual outlet. Focusing the mind elsewhere can reduce a sense of overwhelm which is often attendant with anxiety and depression, instead offering an alternative way to shift the focus from negative and overwhelming thoughts.

the benefits of yoga on anxiety and depression

Body and mind

The physical benefits of yoga also play a part in reducing depression and anxiety. Many individuals carry stress and anxiety as tension in the body, which can cause pain and contribute to long-term health conditions. The regular practice of yoga can help to reduce tension hot-spots in the body and relieve the effects of the additional stress this puts on the mind and body.

Additionally, yoga has recognised benefits of offering significant relief to many ailments such as respiratory complaints, digestive difficulties, circulatory problems and Arthritis. The benefits of yoga as a natural form of pain relief to physical ailments can also reduce anxiety and relieve some of the stress and depression related to living with a chronic health complaint.

In this way, yoga may also help to reduce anxiety and depression related to health conditions by improving body awareness. Practising yoga reduces mental and physical stress, reducing strain on the body and improving understanding of how the body works and responds, techniques which, once learned, individuals can use to control responses and calm anxieties.

Although holding a yoga pose may appear to just involve the body, there is both a physical and mental response to each yoga pose (Asansa). To carry out the asansa, correct breathing and relaxation techniques are required throughout, all of which require concentration and a physical response from the brain which sees a reduction in nerve chemicals, such as the stress hormone adrenaline, and relaxes the body’s other stress responses such as heart rate and blood pressure. As each pose targets a different system in the body, all systems respond with a stress reduction.

As such, regular yoga practice can also benefit heart rate and blood pressure, both of which relate closely to those ‘fight or flight’ responses and usually increase significantly during stressful situations. Regulating these with those ‘rest and digest’ triggers can help the body to respond to stress more effectively and help to minimise the impact of anxiety on the body.

the benefits of yoga on anxiety and depression

The group factor

Finally, it’s also suggested that taking part in an exercise class such as Yoga can also be beneficial to mental health and in warding off depression. As reported by the BBC, following studies at Oxford University, exercising in a group can lead to an enhanced level of endorphin release, those ‘happiness’ hormones which can boost well-being.

Being part of a yoga group also challenges depression by offering a sense of community and belonging, particularly when participating as a group in a therapeutic exercise such as one of the many disciplines of yoga. Those disciplines such as Hatha, Anusara and Restorative Yoga, which use techniques for relaxation and meditation, are particularly beneficial for those looking for support with anxiety and depression.


Content provided by The Klinik.

Stock photos provided by The Klinik, Pixabay & Pexels.

Selected links researched added by The Klinik & The Movement Blog.


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