My GYROTONIC® Expansion Training Experience in New York
“The ultimate aim is to be at home in one’s body, to be at one with the nature of oneself, and to experience exercise as a creative and delightful experience.” – JULIU HORVATH
In a world that pushes us to our limits and holds us to them, how wonderful is it to experience something like GYROTONIC®, a method where you can relish in your potential and realize both the strengths you have and the ones you would like to have.
For so many of us “working out” has become a chore. Fitness has become this almost careless, high energy, product based and body image driven scene. One which thrives on money, a client’s weaknesses and simple goals they have in mind. It’s always a great thing to have goals, however, it’s important the the goals being set are attainable and realistic for each individual. It’s important to give yourself time and it’s important to take the time. There is a certain beauty in being patient and being in the “waiting”. With the new year here and “new you” resolutions ringing in your ears, how can we ignore the desire each of us have to “get better” at something? How can we tune out the thoughts of setting goals. Whispers in our heads say it’s time to get stronger, be healthier, be more consistent, be a better friend, better mother, better daughter, better husband, better citizen, be kinder, become smarter, go back to school, be more involved, be more intentional…etc, etc. I don’t think there will ever be a time in our lives where we don’t want something more, but something I realized just the other day was how important it is to be, where you are.
What would happen if we just stopped and reflected on all that we are? Take a look around at what we have and who we are. Remind ourselves of the things we’re good at, our strengths and the way being authentically ourselves has the power to positively impact our community, our circle of friends, and our family. The desire to change is inherently human. A desire to evolve and grow just as our bodies do is only natural. But what about the ability to be still, and be present. Look around to embrace what is now, who we are now, see what we have and where we are. The world is ever changing and growing with us. We are a part of that. We can not stop the time from passing and we can not stop the growing, but we can accept it daily and go with it as one. Not fighting and resisting it’s energy. Invite it in and welcome this new phase of life, whatever it may be.
Just recently I had the privilege of attending GYROTONIC® Level 1 Foundation Course in New York City for twelve days, where I trained with Master Trainer, Billy Macagnone. At first I was a bit nervous about doing a 12 day (aka: two week long) workshop. But, after having some time off over the Holidays and lots of positive encouragement from my BBI family, I felt ready to learn as much as I could about the GYROTONIC® Method and go all in!
GYROTONIC® is a movement expansion system that is designed to give the spine the most attention and nurturing. The spine is the place in which the energy in our body travels through most frequently and where the energy resides. If there’s build up or tension at any vertebrae, it can cause a number of issues, so it’s important to be able to sift through those areas, find openings and so those places can heal properly. The spine is considered to be the lifeline. Keeping it alive, with energy flowing freely through it will allow you not only to have better posture, but also brighten your horizons and allow your immune system to be stronger so your body is equipped to fight disease and other ailments. The movement is also meant to bring joy, laughter, and life back into movement. Going to the gym day in and day out can become monotonous. How often do we look at exercise as an opportunity to give and receive energy from the earth and others. Exercise is an opportunity for us to strengthen our muscles as well as strengthen the cells in our body and our spirit!
Throughout the course we walked through each of the 7 movement progressions and talked deeply about the method. A few things that stood out to me and changed the way I experience movement are:
1) How movement can be more powerful than words when the breath works in conjunction with the movement,
2) The ability for a person to release the past and truly be present when they are in tune with their surroundings, have reverence for nature, and knowledge of energetic forces.
During the course, Billy talked about the ways that Gyrotonic changes the body. He used the analogy of sea glass and said that our bodies are like a broken piece of glass washed away at sea. Over time the sea and the waves can soften, knead, and smoothen the sharp edges created by stress, bad habits, and time only to eventually wash the piece back to shore where it originated. It will emerge smoother and softer than it was when the piece of glass was first whisked away!
After being submerged in the method for two weeks straight with five hours of movement a day, and one day off, I already see and feel a difference in the way I move! I am so glad to have had the ability to go to New York City for two weeks and experience the whole course all at one time. Taking the time to let yourself experience something fully, immerse yourself in it, be swept away by it is something quite remarkable and very difficult to allow yourself to do these days.
I feel very grateful to have been surrounded by people in New York City that are a part of the Gyrotonic community. I was so inspired by their passion and inspired by their desire to know more! I would not have been able to fully enjoy the experience without having worked with the amazing Master Trainer, Anjali Austin, to complete the Pre-Training in December in preparation for the Foundations Level 1 Course. I am very excited to now bring more knowledge and insight to Florida as well as continue being a part of the growing community of Gyrotonic here in Jacksonville! We are so fortunate at Body Balance Institute to have two certified instructors, both of whom have been such an absolute joy to learn from and work with! I look forward to continuing this journey and learning more and more about the Gyrotonic Method.