Gyrokinesis was developed by Horvath, a Hungarian born in Romania, who was trained as a ballet dancer and eventually moved to the United States in the 1960s. He began developing his Gyrotonic system during the ’70s after an injury to his achilles tendon brought his dance career to a halt.
Gyrokinesis combines aspects of yoga, gymnastics, dance, swimming and tai-chi without following any one too closely. It has been compared to pilates; however, Horvath’s system uses three-dimensional, circular movements with specialized yoga breathing techniques that cleanse and rejuvenate the entire body.
Gyrokinesis exercises workout the body through spinal movements and joint articulation. The movements are rhythmic and fluid, designed to mimic the body’s natural movements. There are seven elements of spinal movement: bending forward, bending backward, arching left, arching right, left twist, right twist and circular motion. Unlike pilates and yoga, which focus on strengthening muscles by holding positions, Gyrokinesis incorporates fluid movements that resemble dance-like movements. Through a series of push-pull movements, connective tissues gain greater flexibility and dexterity.
An important aspect to performing Gyrokinesis exercises is self-massage and patterned breathing or what Horvath refers to as an ‘awakening of the senses.’ Gyrokinesis not only makes you stronger physically, but also provides you with the mental stamina to get through the toughest of days. Beginning Gyrokinesis classes typically include an introduction to self-massage as well as learning patterned breathing techniques with corresponding movements.