Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 3. Notions on the Arch and Curl

Hello Giration Nation,
Yes i know there is an article by this name in "Alternative Medicine", great article.

I thought it would be nice to put down here some descriptors for Ocean Breath which came up as I was teaching some intermediate Gyrotonic clients today. Please feel free to add your own.


Humidity Level:
Moist. Enough to fog a mirror.

From the back of the throat as opposed to the front of the mouth. Of course the lungs precede this, but I am talking about the mouth cavity in particular.

It's a crescendo just like the name connotes. Like an ocean wave, it seeps out of the back of the mouth slowly with the suspended and held opposition at the top of the Arch, then intensifies into a squeeze at the end of the curl, creating a crescendo of both volume and intensity.

I notice that people who have a tendency to whip their heads downward and go very low in the Arch and Curl tend to do the same sudden release in their breath during the transition from Arch to Curl. By just asking my client to become aware of the sound they were making, it helped them to correct their head so that it could have more delay into the final curl position.

Here is a question for you:
Have you ever had a client who was so cifotic (hunched forward) and so tight in the Hamstrings that they couldn't sit up straight to begin with and had trouble doing Arch and Curl?
What did you do?
The Gyrotonic method has guidelines, but I know we cannot fit every single client into this and that's why they are called guidelines.
I'd like to hear from you.
Signing off,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Stepping on Feet and Shoes

Hello Everyone,
I was so glad to see email replies already last night as well as two official followers! Whoohoo! Thanks you two, you know who you are! Sweeties. I feared that I would be like Julie in "Julie and Julia" where she was the only one blogging on her blog spot for an embarrassing amount of time. But no, there is support for our community out there.
So here is a "blunder of the day" (let's not make this one official because it would become depressing very fast):
During class, I stepped on my 90 year old client's foot. Those darn Italian sandals which literally hold all the toes minus the big toe are so beautiful, but I have to think too much while shifting from place to place. Oh all right! Even when I walk! I know many of us Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis instructors work barefoot. We tend to dress more like dancers when barefoot, with a bohemian artistry even. After years of working barefoot, I have converted years ago to wearing shoes. I love shoes btw, but that would be another blog. Let's get back on board; (I love tangents too)
Working in a Pilates enviroment, I see a lot of tennis shoes, and though i wear them especially in the winter,it seems a little out of place. Sporty. Some of you are saying, "Yeah!" Some of you are saying, "What's wrong with tennis shoes?" Nothing. Just something to blog about.
We have some amazing dressers at Balance Studio, where I work. People who wear the latest Lululemon, Lucy, Prana etc., but I think one of the most important factors in a teaching shirt is a little extra length so my tummy is not exposed when I lift my arms to demonstrate. My boyfriend disagrees, but tough. Some of you have beautiful tummies which i don't mind seeing, but that's how it goes over here in my house. Juliu in fact always wears those nicely cut longer shirts.
Have you ever noticed how some women constantly roll their pant legs down while doing the Hamstring Series? How annoying. I almost want to say, "I have elastic bands if you want.", but its the hair they are worrying about, and calling attention to that which they are trying to hide might embarrass them more.

btw, these are totally unofficial tips which come from me, so give them the weight you prefer.
When working with the elderly (don't step on their feet!) one may experience signs of dimentia or forgetfullness in the client and a person may repeat to you the same story over and over again. I have an experience where my client talks about when she was a young lady working in her father's sheet metal shop. She has told this story to me countless times over the years, and I act like I've never heard it before. The body has physical memories and almost every time my client takes a Gyrotonic class, bless her heart, she has the same exact memory. How beautiful though that the muscle memory brings her back to another physical experience. Revealing to a person that he or she has already told you the story can create some confusion and embarrassment, and going with her story allows my client to travel into that part of the brain which she hardly uses. My client comes with a family member and that person says that my client only brings the "shop days" up during Gyrotonic classes. Love that!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The First Posting!

Hello to all you Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Instructors!

I have started this blog to create a casual and friendly support space to those in the Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis exercise teacher community. I am a Gyrotonic Master Trainer living and working in the DC metro area. Ive been teaching for 21 years sometimes in studios and now mostly on my own and want to share my stories with you and likewise hear and learn from you out there! On this cyber platform I look forward to sharing ideas about our studios or private practices, brainstorming together, commiserating over our teaching struggles and especially sharing some laughs together.
I will blog as often as possible but am depending on you too to keep the cycle moving. I have created "The Blunder of the Week" as a way to keep in touch with you but also as a way for us to stay humble. As teachers we experience blunders,whether its while we are teaching or because of something in our admin system, and if we translate these to symbols of our humanity, we may be able to share them and help others to better themselves while we do the same and make another teacher smile too!
When there is nothing too "blunderous" to report on my end, I will go back into my "blundersome" past and scrummage something up for you whether it be from my own teaching life or someone else's anonymously! Here is my blunder which happened today...nothing too exciting.

I had a trio at 930 this morning and two of the three people are out of town. When this happens, our studio is supposed to call the single person remaining to give this person the chance to reschedule or take a private. Btw, How many of you have this kind of policy? But the client scheduled through me, and I forgot to tell the front desk so they never called her. Oops, I think that is what's called a blunder. So what did I do? What I usually do, I offered her a free class next time she comes in. Perfect is boring but...ahim.
Ok, your turn.
Friends, when posting a blunder, please post it as a separate blog, if you remember. Why? So I can find them easily in the future if I don't have time to read every single blog and find them within. Future blog award winners will be announced!
No worries if you forget, we're casj. Spell check does not like that word either? We don't have that sound in the English language and yet it is that Portughese sound which is made when saying the short form of the word "casual". Spelling suggestions?
Now for...
Here we can all share an embarrassing teaching gaff or client moment.
Here's mine, and I know it is one that many of you weathered instructors have already experienced, but it may help a new instructor dodge this wave of embarrassment.
It was summer and a new male client came to my then home studio(get where I'm going?) Now mind you, I had studio etiquette (how stuffy) rules posted on my site but the client obviously did not read or think about what was in store in his expansive Gyrotonic class! Yes, you guessed it. He came in shorts with that good for nothing netting in them (I mean, what does that stuff catch when you're swimming!?) and the family jewels were suddenly part of the Hamstring Series. When I asked him to wear close fitting shorts under his loose ones for the next time, he even asked me why, and I was so embarrassed that all that I could muster was, "Just because." I figured he would ask his wife or figure it out, but from then on he always came to class appropriately dressed.

I will post these from time to time. Today, I keep it light.
What do you do when your clients are chatting too much? Ask them to return their concentration to their breathing pattern, which they are obviously not doing! ;)Works like a charm.