I had never heard of this until, on a whim, I signed up for a class called First Time Movers in Gyrotonics at Living Room SoHo through ClassPass. I picked it because it was a convenient time, and it claimed to help lengthen and strengthen, and was good for those who move in other modalities. I figured it might be a nice compliment to all the cycling I’ve been doing lately.
The studio itself was lovely, mostly white and soft with vases of fresh flowers and complimentary chocolate truffles on the coffee table. The teacher was equally warm and graceful, walking us through the basics of the Gyrotonic Method. She adjusted dials, strapped our feet to the contraption of pulleys and weights, and had us move our spines into various C curves in all directions. It felt nice, but I’m not sure what the point was. Granted she had a lot of technical and breath work to talk us through, but she never once explained what the real purpose of each movement was. She did say at one point that we were working our hamstrings or our arms, but I wasn’t sure if I was or not. I’m assuming at a regular rather than intro class, I might get a workout that’s similar to Pilates on the Reformer.
In fact the two methods, Gyrotonics and Pilates were both founded by men who were in search of ways to work the body through either illness or injury. Both, (Gyrotonics more so), feel dance-inspired with fluid movements and particular attention to alignment and posture. For more on the similarities and differences of the two methods, click here. Personally, I’m more partial to Pilates. I took many classes both mat and Reformer when I lived in Argentina, and the Reformer is much less complicated than the Gyrotonics equipment seemed. I also didn’t like that so much of the Gyrotonics class was done in a seated position on the bench. For instance, we started with curving our spines back and forth in the same way you do with Cat and Cow in Yoga, but we were sitting on our bottoms, which I think we all do enough of these days.
It was a beautiful studio though with cubbies and coatracks just outside the door, one bathroom (that had a shower, but I don’t think it’s really ever used), complimentary water and snacks, and a cozy couch to rest on. And just because of those yummy truffles, I may go back to try it out one more time.