Charlotte Mei’s Gyrotonic Experience
August 5, 2021
After six months of Pilates sessions at Breathe Pilates, I finally felt ready to try the Gyrotonic classes which I knew very little about, as I had only observed it by peering through the glass doors! All I could think of was how graceful everyone looked. Thicha always shared about how mobilising and relaxing the exercise is, so I decided to give it a go!
If I were to sum it up in one word, it would be: fluid. I would say it feels like a cross between t’ai chi and swimming, where the movements are dynamic and continuous. It really does allow the body to loosen up, and simply flow.
Pilates vs Gryotonic
The exercise is done on what is called a Pulley Tower Combination Unit, which relies on a pulley system with weights attached, while Pilates uses springs for resistance. Another difference between the two exercises was that Pilates relies on a focused area for control, while Gyrotonics requires control over a larger range of motion.
My Personal Experience
I am rather hypermobile (in other words, I very easily stretch further than the normal human body allows), so the work for me was more about controlling my hyperextension. However, I can imagine that for most people, this would feel like a wonderful stretch and tensional release. That said, it is more than just a stretch, as the movements are controlled and are done in continuous cycles. There is also some coordination required, which I really like as it gets my brain working at the same time – hello neuroplasticity! Some moves may seem complicated at first sight, but they’re easy to get a hang of after 2-3 repetitions. For those suffering from injuries, I can imagine this being a great rehabilitative exercise too; but of course, always check with your healthcare professional before embarking on a new type of exercise!
There is a cardiovascular component to the session once all students have grasped the movements, and this was my favourite part as it got me working up a sweat! The beauty of Gyrotonics, like Pilates, is that you can adjust the weights on the pulley, so you can certainly choose to increase or decrease the resistance based on your needs.
All in all, it is a class I will certainly return to, as I really enjoy the movements and Thicha sure knows how to keep it fun and dynamic!
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