Most work absences in Cyprus are due to bone, joint and muscle problems involving the back or lower back (29.2%), the hips or lower extremities (15.2%), the neck, shoulders or upper extremities (14.6%)*. Yoga and Pilates are just a few of the wellness disciplines that can help, but one other method is quietly enjoying ever-growing popularity: the Gyrotonic Expansion System.
Even Tiger Woods, Madonna and Jennifer Aniston are fans, so to find out more for our #AskTheExpert interview of the month, we sit down with Christiana Aristotelous, one of the two certified Gyrotonic trainers in Cyprus.
Christiana, hi! What exactly is Gyrotonic?
It is a truly unique exercise and rehabilitation programme with circular motion movements that come from dance, yoga, gymnastics, t’ai chi and even swimming. The body trains on a very versatile, specially designed wooden frame with rotational discs and weighted pulleys. Sounds more complicated than it is, though!
How does it work?
It works by stretching and strengthening the body at the same time. The back goes through arch and curl movements, and specific exercises have circular and spiralling movement patterns that are combined with emphasis on breathing. As a result, energy pathways open up and the nervous system is stimulated.
Is it suitable for mums?
This method is literally for everyone, no matter the age, physical condition or overall fitness. The trainer is there to explain and demonstrate every sequence, taking into consideration any pain points a person may have and accommodating their needs accordingly. The sessions are individual and highly personalised. Don’t worry if you have not seen the inside of a gym in years!
Does it classify as fitness training?
It is so much more than simple fitness training since it addresses the entire person and not just a group of muscles. The signature movements increase joint mobility and range of motion, while correcting posture and improving bone density. The Gyrotonic method works with the body’s own strength and so it is an extremely gentle type of training, designed to balance neuro-muscular coordination.
Can it be used for pain management?
Yes, because it is also a rehabilitation programme. The Gyrotonic method is used successfully in many types of lower back or cervical spine pain, including repetitive strain injuries, sciatica, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
What other benefits does it have?
The fluid movements from continuous arching, curling, spiralling and breathing helps detoxify the body and get rid of excess lymph fluids and waste stagnating in our systems. The holistic approach leads to a healthier, more supple spine, stronger core muscles, improved agility and athletic performance, and a deep internal strength.
Can it help mentally too?
Totally! The proper breathing oxygenates the brain, leading to improved focus and a feeling of completed relaxation after the session. The Gyrotonic method has confidence boosting effects too, thanks to the improvement in proper posture that is achieved though the exercises.
Does it make you sweat and lose weight?
Everyone is different, some will break out in a sweat, others won’t at all. The overall focus of these sessions is on connecting the mind to the body and to become more motion aware. The lengthening and strengthening exercises lead to an overall power boost, which in turn help the body feel long term benefits and results from other activities too.
How soon can results be achieved?
This depends on the person’s body, everyone is different. Some people feel taller, more relaxed and connected to their bodies after the first session already, but in general it will take 2-3 Gyrotonic method workouts to feel the movements in the abdominal muscles, achieve the benefits and improve poor posture habits.
How many sessions are needed per week?
The recommendation is 1-2 sessions per week, as that consistency will help the mind and body connect better and become more familiarised with the movements. The Gyrotonic method should be seen as a long term part of a person’s wellness training routine, and can be used in conjunction with other fitness programmes.
Where are these Gyrotonic method sessions available in Cyprus?
It takes approximately a year to become a certified Gyrotonic trainer, and there are just two of us currently offering these sessions on the island. My studio is located in Limassol, and I am always happy to explain the equipment to anyone interested to find out more. As an exclusive offer for Mums in Cyprus members, it is my pleasure to provide one free introductory training session to any parent wishing to try the Gyrotonic method!
Christiana is a registered member of the Gyrotonic Trainers team and has completed the Teacher Training Program according to the industry standards applicable for Cyprus. Prior to moving to her new studio in order to offer the Gyrotonic Expansion System, Christiana spent 15 years in her previous gym in the center of Limassol, where she provided private and group fitness and TRX equipment training.
Phone 99 570 393