Individuals often ask me, “which is better Pilates or GYROTONIC® ?” or “how are Pilates and GYROTONIC® different from each other?”
Rather than define Pilates and GYROTONIC® by their differences, I thought it would be fun to examine some of my favorite similarities.
Both Pilates and GYROTONIC® are fun, safe ways to explore movement. I like to celebrate fun!
- USE OF APPARATUS OR EQUIPMENT
Pilates uses apparatus (the term preferred by Joseph Pilates) and GYROTONIC® uses equipment. The inventiveness of the Pilates apparatus and GYROTONIC® equipment allows my body to escape some of gravity’s constraints which brings me back to #1 FUN. I once read that an astronaut gains height in space. Here is a link to an article on the topic. Well, it turns out that I do not have to become an astronaut; the practice of Pilates or GYROTONIC® helps me maintain space in my joints and leaves me feeling more supple. The equipment and apparatus provide support, traction, resistance, glide and more which allow my spine and extremities to achieve movement that is not possible to experience with the earth’s gravitational forces. Hmmm, kind of like going to the moon!!
- THIS MOVEMENT IS GOOD FOR BODY AND BRAIN!!!
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. Our brains are truly AMAZING. Pilates and GYROTONIC® and the eyes of a skilled trainer can help us reorganize our brain and achieve more balance and wellbeing. Pilates and GYROTONIC® are effective rehabilitative and wellness tools because we use so many skills to execute movements. We listen and watch, we visualize, we feel the trainer guide us physically, we respond to the movement of apparatus or equipment and this results in the reorganization of our bodies and BRAINS!
- A TRAINER IS A BIG PLUS…
Pilates and GYROTONIC® are usually taught and learned in a one-on-one or small group setting. This kind of learning/teaching allows for individual attention and creates the opportunity for that neuroplastic reorganization to occur. I love attending large group classes and often learn by watching the teacher and other students. In a group class setting, I feel inspired by those in class with me, yet when I have a challenge there is no opportunity to stop the entire class and focus on my specific issue. That is not the case when I am working one-on-one with a trainer; in this instance I can address issues specific to my body, make long lasting changes and take that new knowledge with me into every aspect of my life.
- RHYTHM AND BREATH…
The rhythm of the breath is an important element in both Pilates and GYROTONIC®. When I practice and teach, I like to examine the breath in coordination with movement and at rest. The breath tells me about my emotions, level of concentration, effort, and health. When I bring attention to my breath and practice specific breathing exercises valuable information is revealed. I can feel my body’s other rhythms. I become aware of my unique and varying heart rate, digestive system, differences from right and left sides, patterns of thought… For me, the practice of Pilates and GYROTONIC® lead to an ever-evolving awareness and exploration that guide me through life’s changes like a continuing unfolding, refolding again and again.