Expand your method of working out, dive into new waters & experience an authentic & healthy way of movement.
What if a workout existed that unified body, mind, and spirit? One which strengthened and toned the body while simultaneously increasing balance, range of motion, and energy. Or a type of movement which grounds, centers, and positively influences the nervous system. A method that feels fluid, rhythmic, and incorporates the entire body, versus one that’s jarring, impactful, and targets only one area at a time. The GYROTONIC® Method embodies all these beneficial qualities and the studio is local, 24941 Dana Point Harbor Drive C-120, at WAV (Wellness and Vitality Center).
Dynamic duo, Scott and Alicia Parrish, have been avid proponents of the Gyrotonic Method for many years. Scott is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Structural Integrator (Rolfer), practicing as a certified trainer of the method since 2011. Alicia, a former professional ballet dancer, has been a certified teacher of GYROTONIC since 2004.
“The Gyrotonic Method is a three-dimensional system operating both internally and externally,” says Parrish. “It is an intelligent form of movement and exercise that teaches us how to engage and equally as important, how to let go.”
The world renowned Romanian dancer, Juliu Horvath, is the founding father of The GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®. After an injury in the 1970’s, Horvath intently began studying movement and meditation in his personal yoga practice. The insights he gleaned during this time evolved into his own unique exercise method. His ideas became concrete reality when Horvath invented the equipment currently in use at Parrish’s studio.
Walking into WAV, the vibe is peaceful and welcoming. A banner on the wall proclaims, TAKE TIME TO DO WHAT MAKES YOUR SOUL HAPPY.
The acronym WAV is an apropos play on words for the Parrish’s studio. The equipment they use here mimics being submerged in water and swimming. As with swimming, the intention is to align your breathing with the movement of your body. To go along with rather than push against. To become part of the ebb and the flow. Alicia speaks of engaging the whole body; to start within at the core or “seed center” and then gathering, narrowing, and giving forth with the breath as you move. The energy flows inward and then out, becoming a cyclical continuity reminiscent of a spiral. Nature is filled with spirals, but hardly any straight lines. As is the circle of life, a limitless journey from here to there then the cycle repeats. The Gyrotonic Method breathes life into this ideology.
“The idea is to pay attention to the vitality in the breath, how it feels and how it works in conjunction with the movement,” says Parrish “To fill yourself up rather than deplete yourself as well as learning how to generate energy and replenish yourself.”
In a studio of a mere 450 square feet awaits an opportunity to revolutionize the concept of working out. There are four pulley towers (one of which is an exact replica of a Horvath original), a leg extension unit, and a jump stretch board which uses discs and a propeller to adapt to different exercises. The Parrish’s are eagerly anticipating the arrival of a GYROTONER® scheduled for delivery in January 2019.
The Gyrotonic Method focuses heavily on rotation, elongation, and expansion. The intention being that the body will operate as one fluid entity. Seated at the pulley tower, which adjusts for height, Alicia gently touches my lower back and reminds me “engage your core, creating space, stability and support, then gather your breath inward and up, and elongate your spine. As you arch forward, open your chest, exhale and reach with a yawning sensation through your fingertips. Yes, yes. Now, as you wave forward and spread arms wide you transition by undulating your spine back from an arch into a curl.”
They explain how the arch is an extension moment and the curl is a flexion one, giving space in between each vertebra. I do it again. This time, rather than think of my breath as separate from my body I use them both as tools working in concert with one another. The pulleys offer both resistance and support, and the stretching movement feels fluid, natural, and almost hypnotic.
Both Parrish’s work with all different levels of clients, but Scott’s specialty is the physical therapy aspect of the machine based practice. The Gyrotonic Method is advantageous for accomplished athletes in training to seniors wanting to maintain their balance, coordination, and agility.
“Our system allows peoples joints to move in a stabilized manner which assists in general mobility for any activity,” says Parrish. “But we also work with high-level athletes doing it for better command of their bodies in their chosen sport. It helps them to work at their maximum potential without incurring injury.”
A number of sports are utilizing the Gyrotonic Method and reaping amazing results. Sports that emphasis rotation, flexibility, and deft movement patterns such as surfing, golf, and tennis have become regular clientele at the studio. The pulley towers are excellent tools to perfect the stance and swing in both golf and tennis. The jump stretch board is a surfers dream for bottom turns and laybacks.
For new clients, a free 15-minute consult is available, as well as a few different options with packages. Both private sessions and/or small classes are also offered. The Gyrotonic Method helps to remind the body to move exactly how it’s meant to move, with fluidity, versatility and symmetry.