Mind-Body Exercise

GYROTONIC® Archway Long Beach Huntington Beach

Hanging inside the GYROTONIC® Archway unit

Mind-Body Exercise forms describe process-oriented systems of exercise that address the body as a whole system of movement patterns.  Where most exercise systems have a narrower focus on fixing pain symptoms in one region, or on sculpting the body to appear according to fashionable dictates, the whole person is targeted through mind-body exercise systems.  In mind-body exercise systems, you exist on several planes:  the mind, the spirit, and the body.

Pilates Long Beach and Huntington Beach

Winding down at the end of a Pilates group reformer class

The most well-known mind-body exercise forms are yoga, tai chi ch’uan, chi gong, and Pilates.  Shuriu Lo mainly teaches Pilates and GYROTONIC® exercises.  Shuriu gives sessions in a more passive version of mind-body work, nuad or Thai yoga massage, that involves pressure, stretching, and yoga.  Shuriu also incorporates elements of foot fitness, stretching, and dance conditioning into private sessions, semi-private sessions, group classes, and special workshops.  (For more information about any of these systems, please follow the links above under the “Services” tab.)

Thai Yoga Massage

Shuriu palming the upper shoulder during a Thai yoga massage (nuad) session

In a process-oriented exercise system, participants experience the full benefits of the exercise system over time with repeated practice and deeper understanding.  The more you do this exercise system, the more you get out of it; the effects are cumulative, and not just on your body, but on your whole being.

foot fitness class

Self-massage portion of a group foot fitness class

Why is that?

As you become aware of how your body is positioned and is moving, you can then asks your mind to improve your alignment and muscle contractions.  This happens over time with repeated practice.  By teaching your mind to guide your body in each movement pattern, the results become stronger and more precise.

Pilates for ballet and dance

Ballerina Yumi Nakatani, Pilates practitioner and Thai yoga massage client

The first time you are asked in a GYROTONIC® session to reach through the fifth line of your body (the central core of your body) in contrasting directions, the idea would probably be puzzling.  But as Shuriu guides your body and cues it so that you begin to experience what a fifth line feels like in your body, then you begin to reproduce that dynamic stability in your own body.

GYROTONIC® Archway Long Beach

Challenging the deep abdominals on the GYROTONIC® Archway unit

It is like growing a plant from a seed.  First, you prepare the soil and you research which plant is more likely to thrive in your climate and terrain.  Then, you acquire and plant the seed.  Over cycles of watering, fertilizing, and weeding around the plant, it begins to thrive over time, producing something of great beauty, nourishment, or even usefulness (as in plants whose spreading roots keep shallow inclines from collapsing).

group Pilates mat class long beach

Shuriu teaching the stability portion of a group Pilates mat class (Yumi in the background)

Why mind-body exercise?

Mind-body exercise systems improve your neuromuscular habits, making your movements more efficient.  When practiced correctly, mind-body exercise systems decrease your chances of developing chronic pain conditions due to musculoskeletal imbalances.  In some extreme cases, mind-body exercises have helped devout practitioners avoid surgery, manage chronic pain, and overcome major injuries.  But with the average practitioner, mind-body exercises produce an overall sense of well-being since these system address the mind, the body, and the spirit:  the whole being.

GYROTONIC® Archway Long Beach, CA

Spiraling on the GYROTONIC® Archway

While mind-body exercise was designed for everyone’s body they were not necessarily designed for everyone’s personality.  If you enjoy concentrating on an activity that makes you forget about everything else except the activity then you are the best candidate for mind-body exercise.  The average mind-body exercise practitioner enjoys the gentler tone of these exercise systems and classes (depending on the instructor’s approach), particularly in Shuriu’s classes.  Even for people who prefer extreme sports or team sports to mind-body exercise, mind-body exercise systems will still improve their athletic performance — streamlining their body mechanics, making their alignment more kinesiologically-sound (that means the bones will be positioned for optimal execution of each movement), and improving their reflexes.


Circling on the GYROTONIC® Bench Pulley Tower

What is a mind-body exercise session like?

Classes or sessions begin with gentle, slower rhythms and progress to more challenging exercises.  Her approach is consistent, systematic and thorough with subtle variations between classes and sessions in each system.  Where some instructors may become bored with starting off each session from scratch and may give clients an advanced exercise to start, Shuriu begins each session with a warm-up for the spine and core.  Shuriu emphasizes preparing the body for more and more vigorous challenging exercises by giving versions that are easy to master at the beginning of the session.  This has the added effect of deepening the experience and leaving the participant with a sense of accomplishment.

Shuriu teaching reverse plank during a Pilates group mat class

How can I sign up?

Shuriu teaches group classes (3 or more students), private sessions (1 student), semi-private sessions (2 students), and workshops.  With any equipment-based classes such as Pilates group reformer classes or GYROTONIC® group pulley tower classes, all students must have a minimum of 10 private sessions before beginning the class.  (Group classes must have a rhythm and a flow that are not possible with someone new to the system.)   Please look at the tab on the navigation bar above to link to the group class schedule and policies.

Shuriu releasing a muscle during a Thai yoga massage session

Thai yoga massage sessions are booked in increments of 1-hour or full sessions.  During a 1-hour session, only a “problem area” can be addressed.  For a thorough session that covers the body more fully, sessions usually last between 90 minutes to 2-1/2 hours, depending on the state of the person’s neuromuscular tension.

Shuriu working out on the GYROTONIC® Bench Pulley Tower

You can contact Shuriu Lo to sign up through email at seedcenter@mac.com or by calling (562) 243-9105.  No texting please.  A 24-hour cancelation policy is enforced (canceling with less than 24 hours notice results in a cancelation charge).  Shuriu returns calls and email as quickly as possible.  Please remember that there is no receptionist, so if she is in a session, she will not be able to respond until a break in her schedule.

Broadening the shoulder girdle with strength and abdominal support on the GYROTONIC® Jumping Stretching Board. Photo: Michael Burr

















GYROTONIC®, GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®, GYROTONER®, and GYROKINESIS® are registered trademarks of Gyrotonic Sales Corp. and are used with their permission.