Monica has been training at Symmetry in Motion since late 2017 and has gone from rehabbing old injuries to creating new athletic strength in her body. In addition to twice a week in the studio, we meet once a month at her property to use neurologic drills while she is riding: the ultimate in practicing the skills she needs when she needs them.
What is the reason you wanted to try the Gyrotonic Method and how did you find out about it?
Starting in 2013, I had been struggling with my body while doing my trail running (calf kept cramping on the left leg) and while riding my horses, I kept feeling like my right leg was shorter than my left and my balance was off which was making my back sore and my shoulders sore. I kept plodding along, uncertain where the problems were coming from.
In 2016, I bought Malbec in January as a ready to go 50 mile endurance horse.
I took him through our first ride together in February, we finished strong, but I was exhausted which shouldn’t have been the case. We did a couple more rides that year and each one was worse in terms of his anxiety and metabolics. Over the next two years I did what I knew to restart him and then took him to LA to ride with some friends a few times over the next few months and on our last ride, we’d only gone out on a 20 mile loop and I was all battered up and he was in metabolic stress. I called my vet out and while sharing my body issues along with treating Malbec, he suggested I go to his wife who is a sports masseuse who had solved some nagging knee issues he had. I went to see her and in working on me, she recommended I see Dr. Perry, an Osteopath. After working with Dr. Perry for a couple of sessions, she suggested I start Pilates or Gyrotonic to help me unwind my body/muscles and work on developing my core to help my riding. After some debate, I decided to try Gryotonic. I really had no idea what it was, but was game to give it a try. I had done a tiny bit of Pilates in LA and figured if Gyrotonic didn’t work out, then I could try Pilates again, but was drawn to Gyro. In working with Tamar and Dr. Perry, from the first meeting they explained whatever I did to help my body in my 50’s would improve the quality of my life in my 60’s and so on. If I didn’t take care of myself with regular massage, osteopathic work, and other forms of movement, things would only get worse. It was a message that stuck with me. All my life my body has been fit, strong, healthy, and able to do all I asked of it. I really didn’t have to work at it. Now, I needed to and I wanted to get back what I had lost and I certainly didn’t want to get worse. It was the message I needed to give myself the discipline to prioritize my health that I had taken for granted for so long.
What do you like most about Gyrotonic?
Whew, it is hard to pick. Certainly, it feels good. Getting movement in my spine was a real eye-opener, I hadn’t realized how compressed I was and that I could change that with the help of Gyro. I love the grace and openness that working with the towers and cables give me. I’m a Tasmanian devil type of person, just barrel in, get things done and barrel out. Gyro has helped me mute the Tasmanian and offered a taste of dance and gymnastic for a flowing type of approach, it is helping me move with lightness instead of stomping around, and lightness has just as much strength if not more and this new approach is much better on my body and my energy levels have gone way up over the past year and a half or so that I have been doing Gyro.
What is your favorite Gyrotonic movement?
I think the various leg movements, like dolphin, and frog, but I always feel so good with any arch and curl movements.
How has Gyrotonic changed your everyday life?
I find myself thinking about what I am doing with my body during the day. When I feel tight, I think about what my shoulders are doing, are my ribs in? How can I move to take away tension I am feeling, coming back to my transverse and centering. It is a hum in the background that I can tune into when I am not feeling right and I find myself feeling stronger and more energetic each day.