Master Trainer Jackson Kellogg discusses the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Education Programs
By Cina Canada
The GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® is comprised of two distinct movement methods: The GYROTONIC® Method and the GYROKINESIS® Method. Each of these methods attract people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds to not only personally practice in the system, but also to pursue the educational programs in order to teach the methods.
Because we are seeing an increase in world-wide teacher trainings, I decided to check in with Master Trainer Jackson Kellogg to find out his perspective on this trend, who the education is for, about the curriculum, and how the programs are structured. Jackson has studied extensively under Juliu Horvath, Creator and Founder of the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®. He has been practicing and teaching this work for many years and is a master trainer in both methods, conducting various educational courses and teacher trainings, internationally, on an annual basis.
Cina: I appreciate you taking the time for this, Jackson. Let’s start off with why you think we are beginning to see more interest in Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis teacher trainings.
Jackson: Many people are getting excited about their own personal experience with practicing the Gyrotonic work that they want to become teachers so that they can share the experience with family and friends, or people that they have yet to meet, as a contribution.
Also, many people are interested in this practice because it enhances their quality of life, and often the quality of whatever profession they are practicing. We see movement practitioners from all different kinds of health and wellness fields wanting to get involved in the Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis education.
Cina: Explain how the education system is structured and what would be involved for someone interested in pursuing this process.
Jackson: Well, it is a very clear path. The Gyrotonic Expansion System involves two distinct methods, the Gyrotonic Method which is practiced on customized equipment, specifically five unique pieces of equipment, and the Gyrokinesis Method which is practiced on chairs, standing, and on mats on the floor. You can pursue becoming an instructor in either, or both of these movement methods.
The educational process for becoming a Level 1 instructor in either method begins with finding a trainer and starting a personal practice. After having a personal practice, you can then consider the teacher training programs. These involve taking the four courses that are required to teach: the Pre-training Course, a Foundation Course, a Review Course, and the Final Certificate Course. That process takes approximately one year, depending upon one’s individual commitments and availability of instructors.
Cina: Will you give me some details on each step of that process?
Jackson: Sure. The first step to becoming a Gyrotonic instructor is becoming a Gyrotonic student. You must spend at least a half of a year, or more, really practicing with an instructor all of the basic exercises before doing the pre-training course. The material is vast, and the training hours are intense, so it’s necessary to have prior experience before going into the educational program.
The Pre-Training courses for both the Gyrotonic Method and Gyrokinesis Method is a full six day immersion. You will experience roughly 80% or more of the foundation material. This is an experience for you to get really familiar with the vocabulary, but also to have an opportunity to train for five to six hours per day which, unless you are a high performance athlete and/or dancer, is not such a common thing to do. There are many people who now teach these methods who had never done something like that.
Once you have complete the pre-training, you can then take the Foundation Course. This is where you are able to fully experience all of the material, go over various teaching practices, techniques, hands on, how to modify exercises for any physical condition, and more. This material can be modified to accommodate anyone from the super elite athlete to someone just looking for general well being, all the way to the persona addressing various health conditions. This course period allows you to explore some of those options.
Once you successfully completes you Foundation Course, you can then begin your apprenticeship period. This is a time to practice and explore, for a minimum of six months, what it’s like to be a Gyrotonic or Gyrokinesis instructor.
After practice teaching, you will be eligible to take the Apprenticeship Review Course, where you get to come back and rejoin with a teacher trainer, and other students, to discuss what you have discovered. There are all kinds of questions that come up, all kinds of situations they you will encounter, and there is a need to continue to develop and to refine your understanding of all of the foundation material, and your ability to communicate that material. Together with your colleagues, you can develop more deeply your practice of the movement and your skills in communicating and guiding that movement. This is also a good time to explore more modification options. After the Apprenticeship Review Course, you go back into “the field,” complete your required apprenticeship teaching hours, and prepare for the Final Certificate Course.
After the completion of the Foundation Course, the apprenticeship teaching period and the Apprenticeship Review Course, your are then qualified to take the Level 1 Final Certificate Course with a specialized, certifying master trainer. These trainers have undergone a specific educational program in order to teach this part of the educational material. This course generally comes approximately one year after the Foundation Course and is the final piece to becoming a Level 1 Gyrotonic or Gyrokinesis instructor. In this course, you will explore deeper aspects of the foundation material as well as demonstrate the competency that you have developed to teach. Also, this course is often made up of a very international group of people, sometimes with many countries represented, so students get to experience how all different kinds of people from around the world are moving with this system.
Cina: O.k., so a person has gone through the Level 1 training and is mostly likely already teaching. Is that it? Is this a sort of “terminal” education?
Jackson. No, not at all. This is just the beginning of the education that is available. After becoming a Level 1 qualified instructor, then the whole world of the Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis education opportunities are opened up to you. Now is when you get to see the full spectrum of possibilities that are available within this education system.
Cina: Give a little preview into those options.
Jackson: We have specialized equipment courses, Level 2 courses, and a whole array of specialized application courses. The specialized courses are ones that master trainers have compiled, in conjunction with Juliu, three day courses that have specific focus in specific areas of study. Specialized courses include topics such as working with elite athletes in various sports, therapeutic concepts such as working with clients who have osteoporosis, or scoliosis, all the way to courses that focus on breathing and rhythm in movement. There are nearly thirty of these courses to chose from.
There is also the specialized equipment programs. These are very progressive programs and bring a whole different level of opportunity for a student to train in. These programs allow you to explore the most basics of the material, all the way to the much more complex and difficult material. This material can be taught in ways that are absolutely accessible to anyone, from the most basic and modified, to the most challenging for the most athletic person. Also, many physical therapists around the world have begun to use the Gyrotonic work for a variety of therapeutic applications, especially the specialized equipment, because of the adjustability of the machines. This work can give people with all different kinds of health issues access to movement that might otherwise be unavailable to them.
The equipment is designed for the body to have a satisfying experiences with movement – movement that when finished, people feel like they’ve had a fulfilling experience. This is the same with the Gyrokinesis programs, which are designed in such a way that one exercise prepares for the next exercise and so on, until the mover has had a myriad of enjoyable sensations.
Cina: One thing I have learned is that this system affords a legitimate opportunity for a career path. Can you talk a bit about this, along with how this educational material may simply add to ones already established career in any movement or therapeutic modality?
Jackson: Yes, a whole new potential career path is opened up to those who are interested in that. And yes, this is also very useful work that can enhance any existing career in movement. Especially, we are seeing people in the healing modalities, along with many therapists from different fields, using this work to contribute to their practices, or even completely transitioning their careers into a Gyrotonic or Gyrokinesis based occupation. The opportunities for this education to start, or add to, a career are plenty.
Cina: With that in mind, who is the ideal person to consider this level of training?
Jackson: The teacher training program is really for students of the Gyrotonic Method and/or Gyrokinesis Method who want to take their experience to the next level. This is also for someone who wants to enjoy movement. One of the fundamental driving forces of working with the Gyrotonic Expansion System is that exercising should not be work, or a chore, or a thing you have to do to “get out of the way” to be healthy. It should be enjoyable with ongoing new experiences.
People from very diverse backgrounds and ages, from all walks of life, who may come from occupations such as physical therapy, athletics, other movement practitioners and instructors, all the way to those who may have virtually no other movement background prior to finding this system. That was the case with me! It is for anyone, really, who wants to expand their awareness of how to manage their own health, how to develop a self-care system for themselves, and how to develop their own understanding of how their body functions. You don’t even have to be interested in pursuing this as a career. We have some students who are in the teacher trainings merely for the purpose of deepening their own practice, and to be eligible to take the continuing education courses.
When it comes to movement practitioners and teachers, the Gyrotonic Expansion System allows a wide variety of options to advance their own capabilities, develop deeper understandings of how movement can flow through all aspects of their lives, and enhance their own movement teaching and quality of life.
Cina: Well, I’m guessing after reading this, there are some folks out there wondering how to find a studio so they can get started as a student. How can one go about this?
Jackson. You can find find Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis studios in over 70 countries around the world. To find one close to your specific location, you use the Studio Finder on the main Gyrotonic website: https://www.gyrotonic.com/studios/.
Cina: Jackson, it’s been great to hear your take on this education system since you’ve been deeply involved with it as a practitioner, and also as one who teaches all aspects of the work. Thank you!
Cina Canada is a GYROTONIC® Trainer and Media Coordinator for GYROTONIC® International Headquarters.