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Gyrotonic Expansion System was developed as a dream that a machine could help a dancer achieve turn or piroutte.
In this article we will explain what Gyrotonic Expansion System, we will look into its history, but most of all we will try to represent the Benefits of Gyrotonic Expansion System. 

What is Gyrotonic Expansion System and its History

Gyrotonic Expansion System was developed by a principal dancer in the world renowned Romanian State Opera around 1977, when he moved to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. There he built a humble dwelling in the mountains and continued an intensive study and practice of yoga, which he called 'yoga for dancers'.
What exaclty does Gyrotonic Expansion System mean? For start, gyrotonic comes from the word "gyro", which means spiral or circle and from the word "tonic" that means to tone or invigorate.
Gyrotonic Expansion System is an  equipment is made from wood, aluminium and handcrafted components. There are two parts of the machine:
  • 7-ft. pulley tower with leather straps for hands and feet
  • movable bench with two rotating disks attached to its edge
Both parts work together in synch to stretch, strengthen and increase range of motion. 
The system is based on and combines Kundalini yoga, ballet, swimming, dance, tai chi and gymnastics: it represents fluid system of exercises, where either in sitting or lying position, hands and feet are used through the wheelbases and suspended pulleys to create resistance. In other words, by using weights, cams and pulleys, circular movements are possible in limitless directions allowing rehabilitating clients to stimulate injured areas. It is possible to maintain and expand postural integrity, and continue to progress in patterns that are unaffected by injury. More than 50 sets of exercises with over 130 variation can be performed on Gyrotonic Expansion System: it is possible to stretch, bend, twist and turn muscles with minimal effort. Most of exercises are circular and three-dimensional: exercises that increase motion, balance and coordination and exercises that improve cardiovascular and aerobic stimulation and neuromuscular rejuvenation can be performed. System works for anyone who wants to gain strength, flexibility and coordination.
This is relatively new system that uses Gyrokinetics as the basis to exercise the musculature while mobilizing and articulating the joints: there is no pressure on the joints, although ligaments and joints are strengthening. Pattern motions are very natural and completely turbulence free,  which results is a balanced support system for the skeleton and also the spine, which enables less injuries. Exercises can also be performed with either rhythm or melodic expression, and each exercise must be synchronized with a corresponding breathing pattern.
Gyrotonic Expansion System is popular in Europe and used in 150 exercise dance centers In United States. 
When Juliu Horvath returned to New York in the 1980's and began teaching his "method" at "Steps on Broadway" and in Central Park, and then he opened studio, called White Cloud Studio. In 1991 Gyrotonic Expansion System was awarded a medal at the 7th International Invention Convention in Pittsburgh.

Benefits of Gyrotonic Expansion System

Gyrotonic Expansion System incorporates Kundalini yoga, ballet, swimming, dance, tai chi and gymnastics. The technique is used for sport-specific, therapeutic and general human body conditioning.
Its main benefits:
  • stretches and strengthens musculature
  • improves posture
  • releases the tension in the body
  • increases flexibility and strength
  • increases range of motion
  • develops body strength
  • develops body alignment awareness
  • develops coordination
  • develops the musculature
  • enhances balance and stability
  • articulates the spine
  • puts no stress on joints
  • creates balanced support system for the skeleton
  • improves circulation
  • reconditions the nervous system
  • by developing breath-movement coordination revitalizes flow of energy
  • prevents injuries
  • rehabilitates

However, there are also downsizes. Main is the price. Its a killer workout, but it might be too costly and complex for widespread use: it namely typically requires six to ten one-on-one lessons, that costs over $50, and comparing to pilates sessions which are half the price, it is expensive. Besides, if you get hooked and you want to use the machine at home, it will set you back at least $2,500. If you want to practice in a studio, there are not many teachers: for example only 150 dance studios in United States is familiar with the machine.
There is another drawback: it can be very frustrating- remember the rubbing of your stomach while patting your head? Like that, only harder... Unless you're a very good co-ordinator you'll need time to learn the circular moves. Of course the machine requires a degree of commitment and full concentration, which leads to conclusion this workout is not very particularly sociable. If you prefer the support of exercising in a group, I am afraid Gyrotonic system is not for you.         
It may be hard at the beginning, and it may not be very sociable, but hey- you can get some coffee or juice with your friends afterwards!
Do not forget all the positive things about it!