Why I became a GYROTONIC® trainer
I was introduced to the GYROTONIC® method by a colleague of mine from the Dutch National Ballet as I was trying to overcome a problem in my hip. With the regular practice of the GYROTONIC® exercises I gained strength and the pain in my hip went away. Because in this system the movements are so fluid and multi-dimensional, with an organic flow and rhythm just as dancing, I enjoyed the practices enormously and realized that this goes beyond just exercising. The GYROTONIC® training helped me to connect with my body in a more subtle way, enabling myself to developed a more profound and refined inner awareness of my body and movement.
I feel in love with the method and in 2001, after training intensively with former professional dancer and GYROTONIC® trainer Maren Timm in Amsterdam, I decided to take the teachers training course lead by Hilary Cartwright a well known Gyrotonic master trainer from New York. I apprenticed at the White Cloud Studio Amsterdam, subsequently becoming certified in Germany after a course with Juliu Horvath at the European headquarters in Bad Krozingen, Germany.
Dance was in my life since early childhood, my mother, Suely Palha was teaching classical ballet and as she is also a pianist I grew up listening to her playing for the ballet classes of the professional dancers in Rio de Janeiro. My father, Emanuel Walter Palha is a doctor cardiologist and general practitioner and also a great admirer of the arts.
From the age of five as I began to take ballet classes my aim was to become a professional dancer. When I turned fifteen I won a prize at the prestigious International Ballet Competition “Prix de Lausanne” in Switzerland and received a scholarship to study at the Academie de Danse Classique Princess Grace in Monaco and then I moved to The Royal Ballet School in London. After my graduation in London I received an invitation from the director of the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam to join the company where I danced for ten years.
The path of a professional ballet dancer is extremely intense, mentally and physically demanding, time consuming, but it is a life choice that is rooted in a passion therefore it is not a sacrifice. In my case it also happened that I had to deal with severe injuries caused by an accident and in consequence of that three heavy surgeries resulting in a long rehabilitation process. In order to recover it was needed plenty of patience, tranquility, trust in my body and continuous focused work. The outcome was very positive, my leg healed completely and I could dance again in the same level as before the accident but feeling stronger and empowered by that process that wasn’t always easy but it taught me valuable things.
Years later when I decided to stop my career as a ballet dancer I moved temporarily to Buenos Aires to accomplish my desire to learn the Argentinian Tango which became another passion in my life.
I learnt to maintain a disciplined routine of practices in order to keep my body strong, flexible and free from pain also because of a congenital condition I have on my lower back. The Gyrotonic exercises have been a great support, not only to maintain my body in a good condition but also for my general well-being.
Today, it is common medical knowledge that every cell in the body is naturally programed for health, so in order to allow my body to heal or to simply stay well I should consciously support that natural process. The experiences with my injuries enabled me to observe myself, my body, the healing process and to realize about great power we all have to cure ourselves and the crucial role our state of mind has to guide the recovery process. Mind and body are an unity that are constantly interacting and influencing one another. I don’t say this because I believe this or that nor because I read it in a book, I say this because that is what I have experienced myself.
The human body is the most fascinating and sophisticated mechanism and we are all capable of exploring and experiencing those given possibilities.
I’m grateful to have discovered the GYROTONIC® method and to be able to share with my clients the benefits of it and the joy of moving.
Investing in our health and well being is not a luxury but a necessity.
More information, photos and videos about my background on www.christianepalha.com
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