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Fit Minute - Gyrotonic

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It was first called 'Yoga for dancers.' Gyrotonic is an exercise that's circular and balletic and is mainly for physical rehab.

It's graceful, fluid and, most of all, freeing.

"I knew it was going to be really good for my body," Peggy Spallek said.

That's why Spallek started doing Gyrotonic at Port City Pilates in Wilmington.

"I just knew that I always was carrying a lot of tension,'" Spallek said.

But, Spallek said now that shoulder tension is gone.

"I actually just after the first couple of classes went for a message with a woman I've worked with for years and she said, 'Oh my gosh, what have you been doing,'" Spallek said.

Gyrotonic is an exercise you do on a pulley system that combines elements from Yoga, dance, swimming and Tai Chi.

"Arching, curling, spiraling the arms, opening up the shoulder joint," said Emily Hudson, a Gyrotonic instructor.

"You're doing movements that most of us don't do on a daily basis."

Juliu Horvath created those movements. He was a professional dancer who hurt himself then found a way to heal himself with the exercise.

"Gyrotonic is about mobilizing," Hudson said.

"And, because of the use of the machines, it helps to assist and correct the right movements," Spallek said.

Instructors said that opens up the joints, creates a supple spine, strengthens the muscles and increases flexibility.

"Just an overall sense of well-being. That would probably be the one that people feel first off," Hudson said.

That's true for Spallek even after only a few classes.

"I intend to continue it because it's nice when you're in your '60s to find you can improve," Spallek said.

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