GYROTONIC® comes from the word "gyro" meaning spiral or circle and "tonic" meaning to tone or invigorate. The method was created by the ballet dancer Juliu Horvath. It incorporates the main movement principles from yoga, T'ai Chi, dance, swimming and gymnastics. Originally known as 'Yoga for Dancers', Gyrotonic exercises can be compared to swimming. . . smooth, graceful continuous movement. This graceful system trains the body as a whole; stretching, relaxing the nerves, strengthen the spine, muscles and fascia. Gyrotonic training is practiced with specially designed devices. Among them the Pulley Tower is the best known. GYROKINESIS® training is the stool-and-mat version. Gyrotonic exercises are based on the following principles:
"Intention is the driving force that moves the body." The vision guides the movement in the desired direction.
Stabilisation through contrast
Instead of creating stabilization by holding your body in a 'fixed' position, Gyrotonic exercises encourage the mover to balance between lengtening out and pulling in towards the body's core. There is a continuous wave-like pulsation of reaching out and reeling in from the center of the body.
Decompression of the joints
Joints that are overly compressed cannot move freely. Decompression of the joints is promoted by stabilization through contrast. We move 'around' the joints, in a 'scooping', circular manner. This creates greater space in the joint and adds to efficient and smooth quality of movement.
Coordination of movement and breath
Each movement has a corresponding breathing pattern. Generally you breathe in during the stretching or opening phase of the movement, and exhale during the contraction, or close. Advanced practicioners use breathing patterns similar to pranayama exercises of yoga.