What is the Gyrotonic Method? Q&A with Lisa Roche of Nagare Studio

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Today we talk to Lisa Roche, Certified GYROTONIC® Instructor, and owner of Nagare Private Studio in Haddonfield, New Jersey, to help us answer the question: What is the Gyrotonic Method?

lisa roche nagare studio

While normally we here at Best Walking Shoe Reviews focus on footwear, we do realize that overall body health, particularly our body’s own flexibility and dexterity, should not be inhibited, in order to enjoy footwear of any kind.

Many problems can arise with the human body that can cause us to experience pain and limits our movement.  This is less than ideal.

These types of recurring issues lead us, the owners of this blog, to embark on a  lifelong endeavour to investigate various holistic methods which serve to stimulate and simultaneously benefit our bodies.

Our understanding was the Gyrotonic was such a system, but we wanted to know more about it.  So, we reached out to Lisa, who is a full time practitioner and advocate of this system, and who kindly took the time to explain some things to us.

We hope you enjoy our little Q&A!

Q: Can you tell me what lead you into the world of Gyrotonic?

I started my Gyrotonic journey as a student, 11 years ago.  I had had a long history of back pain and was doing Pilates when I suffered a back spasm that was debilitating. 

My instructor offered to introduce Gyrotonic as a way to alleviate the pain.  All she did was put me in traction and run me through a couple of exercises – about a half hour and I was out of pain and back to full activity. 

What used to take weeks to recover from, was gone in a half hour.  I was amazed and never went back to Pilates. 

8 years ago I began my teacher training.  I studied in NYC and finished my certification in Munstertal, Germany.  I am a Certified Instructor, Owner and Director of Nagare – a Private Gyrotonic Studio in Haddonfield, NJ.


My entire life was spent swimming competitively.  I logged a lot of hours between the ages of 6 and 30 in the water. 

Gyrotonic felt very much like swimming to me, with the added bonus of not jumping into a cold pool! 

I was naturally drawn to the fluidity of movement, the meditation of repetition and the healing benefits to the body as a whole.

Q: For anyone who doesn’t know, what is Gyrotonic, in your estimation?

The GYROTONIC® Method is a movement method comprised of specifically choreographed exercises that treat the human body as a whole. 

They increase range of motion, stimulate the nervous system, strengthen and help people find efficiency and fluidity in their movement for every aspect of their lives. 

There is specialized equipment that is used to support the body in every move, thereby freeing any tension which would inhibit a smooth transition from one movement to the next.

The GYROTONIC® Method addresses the body, mind and spirit.  With each exercise being circular in nature and the transitions being as fluid as possible, doing an entire series is extremely meditative and relaxing. 

It is a workout that consists of exercising, strengthening, stretching, increasing blood flow and healing all while relaxing and massaging every inch of tissue and muscle, including your organs. 

Q: What are some of the main benefits of Gyrotonic?

Some of the main benefits include movement without restriction or pain, increased flexibility, stability, circulation and strength. 

Ease of movement allows ease in the body – less stress throughout your body translates to less stress in your mind. 

Because it becomes meditative, the entire nervous system is given the chance to calm which then distributes throughout the entire body.

Q: Are there certain types of people that Gyrotonic would especially help?  For instance, certain professions like dancers, who might frequently use it, or people who are extremely inflexible and could very much benefit from practicing these methods.

Literally all body types benefit from The Gyrotonic® Method. 

Some examples of people who practice are professional athletes : football players, golfers, tennis players, swimmers, rowers, runners; entertainers: dancers, singers; amateur athletes; general population: anyone who is looking for flexibility and/or strength can use Gyrotonic as their only exercise routine; anyone who’s regular exercise routine consists of the same exercises each time, Gyrotonic balances those movements with the circular exercises; anyone with an injury looking to heal faster post-surgery or injuries that don’t require surgery can heal naturally, giving their body the movement necessary to allow blood flow to the injury; anyone needing help with balance issues or dizziness.

lisa roche gyrotonic

Q: What types of problems or issues with the human body can Gyrotonic assist with?

Most clients come in with pain of some sort in their body, the most common being lower back pain. 

Other issues I’ve had the opportunity to work with are: stroke, Parkinson’s, shoulder rotation, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, knee replacement, knee pain, hip replacement, hip pain, shoulder tension, neck tension and pain and dizziness.

Q: Is Gyrotonic good for scoliosis?

Yes!  I’ve worked with clients with scoliosis.  Because the movements are designed to work towards opening the spine and creating space between the vertebrae, all the muscles are trained to support a spine that is in a new stage of alignment.  This not only aids in pain management, it assist in decreasing the degree of curvature. 

Q: What equipment do you need in order to perform Gyrotonic?  I’ve heard about the Gyrotonic Tower, for example.  What is that?

The Gyrotonic® Method utilizes specialized equipment. 

The Gyrotonic Tower is the most commonly used system that incorporates pulleys, weights, handles and a bench to support a body in movement. 

It’s important to note that what normally would challenge you in a gym, is used in a totally different way with these exercises. 

The tension in the handles or the weights on the other ends of the pulleys are meant to support the human body to allow for it to move more freely than it would if it were subject to gravity.

Other pieces of equipment include the Jumping Stretch Board, the Gyrotoner, the Archway and the Leg Extension Unit.  Again, all of these work to support the body to move in unique 360º movements.

gyrotonic tower

Q: How much does this equipment cost, roughly, and where does one purchase it?

All equipment can only be purchased by Certified Instructors.  Each one of us must be fully certified on the specific piece of equipment in order to purchase it. 

For example, because I am a Certified Instructor, I am able to purchase the tower; but in order to purchase an archway, I need certification on that piece of equipment.

Q: Can you explain the difference between Gyrotonic and Pilates?

I would say the biggest difference between Gyrotonic and Pilates is that Gyrotonic is circular in nature.  We are always looking for 3 dimensional movement as opposed to Pilates which is more 2 dimensional and linear.

The Gyrotonic Method is comprised of spiralling and undulating movements that build strength from the spine outward to the entire body.

We work to build internal strength that supports supple movement that allows the body to stretch and open. 

Pilates trains to find control and alignment, whereas Gyrotonic is looking for release within a comfortable range of motion. 

Thanks Lisa!

Don’t forget to visit: https://www.gyrotonic.com/

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