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injury

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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Dance General Fitness and Well–Being Tips

A Journey Back to Dance #6: Dealing with Old and New Injuries

July 31, 2016
journey back to dance #6: old and new injuries

(Above: Teaching a GYROKINESIS® class via Video Chat to help dancer, Valeria Caboi, recover from an old hip injury.)

Often times dancers have to deal with either old and/or new injuries, especially when returning to training and performance.

Even when we train, retrain, and cross train to prevent and reduce injury old or even new injuries could flare up when the body is doing something . New injuries can be caused by overexertion, fatigue, or accidents like falling or tripping. So how should a dancer cope when getting back to dance, movement, and performance?

 Here’s some basic advice that every dancer should know and implement.

journey back to dance #6: old and new injuries

An example of Kinesis-Taping given by an Osteopath to ensure proper healing and support.

1) Deal with the injury.

  • Rest, ice, compress, and elevate (RICE) the injury area if needed. In addition, the UK’s NHS website notes ‘Protection’ as the first protocol (PRICE), which means to protect the injuries area from further harm.
  • Whether it’s a new or recurrent injury, book an appointment with an Osteopath, Physiotherapist, or with a  Doctor to ensure nothing is torn or fractured and to determine whether it is an acute or chronic injury.

2) Listen to your body.

  • Avoid ‘pushing through’ and continue resting and any recommended treatment, especially if the injured area is still sensitive.
  • Know your limits. Consider taking only the first half of a class to protect the injured area and to ensure the injured area has healed properly.
  • Don’t be ashamed to let teachers know. Although we aim to avoid injuries when at all possible, dealing with an injury properly is just as important.

3) Slowly get back in the game.

  • Focus on proper alignment, beginning and finishing movements correctly, and using true range of motion (i.e. turnout).
  • Know what areas to strengthen and stretch and continue recommended exercises given by therapist or doctor if necessary.
  • Stay aware of what may have initially caused the injury to help prevent and reduce re-injury.

journey back to dance #6: old and new injuries


Want to try something new to ease any pain or discomfort within your dancing?
Check out my GYROTONIC® Case Study Recruitment for discount sessions.

Healing Sources

Lazy Dancer Tips by Alessia Lugoboni

Technique Class Participation Options for Injured Dancers

RNOH NHS: Centre for Dance Medicine (UK)

Osteopathy & Massage Clinic (UK)

Harkness Centre for Dance Medicine (US)

Perspectives on Dance Injury

General Fitness and Well–Being the Gyrotonic Method

10 Reasons to Cross-Train with the Gyrotonic Method

May 26, 2015

Here are 10 reasons why you should cross-train with the GYROTONIC® Method.

Excellent for those wanting to expand and improve their existing workout routines.

Firstly, do any of the following (or anything similar)?

Pilates

Yoga

Cycling

Running

Walking

Gym training/Weight lifting

Tennis

Golf

Swimming

Rowing

Baseball

Football/Soccer

GYROKINESIS®

Dance

Perhaps consider cross-training with Gyrotonic to boost your existing routine.

Secondly, what does this ‘cross-training’ mean?

Cross-training is a combination of exercises from other disciplines. It can also be defined as a form of specific or non-specific training or both, which is beneficial for general conditioning and reducing injury risk.

For example, to enhance endurance during your running routine you would need to include cycling rather than stick to a ‘run-only’ routine.

Why else is cross-training important?

By only doing one activity, you are essentially working the muscles that are only used for that particular activity. For example, you may run or cycle almost everyday, which is an excellent workout, but then only to find something like yoga extremely challenging and vice versa.

Not being able to physically interchange between exercises can increase injury risk.  This also means changing the impact, for instance alternating running with swimming. Thus alternating workout regimes will benefit you in the long run (pun intended).

Studies have found in participants with Osteoarthritis in the knee who cross-trained with aerobic, strength and stretching exercises were able to walk and bend the knee more efficiently. This also improved their back and hamstring flexibility and the strength in the quadriceps.

In another perspective, studies have also shown that specific and non-specific cross-training can improve performance quality in endurance athletes. This because these athletes also need anaerobicabilities and strength, which has to do with optimal muscular production and density.

Lastly, why cross-train with the Gyrotonic Method?

  1. Gyrotonic offers a non-impact, circular and three-dimensional workout
    (a perfect match for any other form of exercise)
  2. Uses a mixture of movement styles and principles
    (think swimming, yoga, and tai chi)
  3. Enhances initiation and control of movement 
  4. Relates to the spirals of our anatomical make up
  5. Emphasizes proper core engagement
  6. Focuses on the alignment of the body as a whole
    (which enhances awareness)
  7. Excellent for jointand spinal health
  8. Increases flexibilityand strength
    (which enhances range of movement)
  9. Reduces risk of injuryand pain
  10. Beneficial for rehabilitationand pre/postnatal

Don’t wait until you’re injured and your Physiotherapist prescribes another mode of exercise. Do yourself a favor and build more with your exercise routine sooner than later (pretty please). You can start by seeking Gyrotonic discounts and specials from around the world.

While it’s pricey to keep in your routine, remember you can still benefit even if it’s once every other week. It can provide as a ‘check-in’ with your progression. You will really feel the difference. Maybe consider exchanging your weekly/monthly nail or hair appointment with a private or duet Gyrotonic session instead (wink).

Now, get to steppin’.

xo