Gyrokinesis with Maya Ileto

By Kelly Wetherille
August 27, 2013
Health & Beauty

While I love trying new exercise and fitness styles (I get bored easily and like variety), I am sometimes wary of newish programs that haven't been proven over centuries as things like yoga and ballet have. But when my friend Maya got certified to teach Gyrokinesis a few years ago, I decided to give it a shot. Ever since then I've been attending classes almost weekly, and I feel fantastic after each one. I asked Maya to answer a few questions on why Gyrokinesis is so great for both the body and the mind.

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What sets Gyrokinesis apart from other disciplines, such as yoga or Pilates?

The Gyrokinesis methodology emphasizes spinal movements that are circular and fluid. The first part of the class takes place while seated on a low stool, and this is followed by mat work and standing exercises. Music is sometimes used.

Why did you choose to get certified in Gyrokinesis, as opposed to some other type of fitness program?

I do enjoy yoga and Pilates too, but I relate most to Gyrokinesis because of my love for dance. I did ballet from age three until my late 20s, as well as modern and jazz dance. I am currently a member of the classical Javanese dance group Sanggar Pamungkas and also train in aerial dance. The rhythmic, flowing quality of Gyrokinesis makes it feel very much like dancing, and I wanted to teach something that would not only be good for the client’s physical health, but also impart the spirit of dance, which allows both the body and mind to feel free.

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What types of students do you recommend take Gyrokinesis classes? Is it a good idea to have prior experience in other disciplines or a basic level of fitness?

Anyone can enjoy Gyrokinesis because the movements are gentle and feel intuitive. I have students of all ages and from all walks of life. Gyrokinesis was originally developed in the 70s as a way to rehabilitate dancers from injury, but it is enjoyed today around the world by all kinds of people seeking to improve their health and range of movement. You do not have to be fit or flexible to begin to enjoy its benefits.

What types of students benefit from Gyrokinesis most? Can pregnant women or people recovering from injuries participate? Is there a target age range?

Gyrokinesis is good for overall health because it gently works all the joints/muscles, stimulates the nervous system, and incorporates breathing exercises. Dancers and athletes (e.g. golfers, tennis players) in particular can benefit, due to the focus on core strength, balance and flowing/spiraling movements. As with any new fitness program, it is recommended that you consult your doctor beforehand if you are pregnant or recovering from injury. There’s no target age range. I have had a 10-year-old and a 77-year-old in my class!

For more information on Gyrokinesis, its history and benefits, take a look at the official website. To check Maya’s class times and locations or to book a trial lesson, go to her Maya Moves site.