I recently began taking Gyro-kinesis classes to increase the flexibility of my spine and release my aging joints to move more freely in all of their natural directions. Based on fluid movement from one posture to the next, each with a corresponding breath, Gyro-kinesis feels like dancing. After every lesson my body feels alive: as if stimulated and yet relaxed in every cell, muscle and organ.
Developed by Juliu Horvath in 1970, Gyro-kinesis is performed while sitting on a stool. Recognizing the importance of “awakening your senses”, each lesson begins with a 45-minute scrubbing of your whole body with a dry, slightly abrasive towel! By the time you have rubbed your face, neck, arms, feet and legs you definitely feel more alert and invigorated making your skin softer and your mind and body more alive.
The scrubbing ritual serves to remind me that we wear our skin on the outside of our body AND it is actually our largest organ. An adult carries 8 pounds of skin, which if laid out flat would cover 22 square feet! Do we do enough to take care of it?
Not just a waterproof shield against UV radiation, your skin is responsible for protecting your internal muscles, ligaments, organs and bones from infection as well as eliminating a quarter of the toxins in your body. Made up of many layers it functions to insulate and regulate body temperature, and without it we would simply evaporate. Additionally your skin is an enormous sensor, packed with nerves that connect you to the outside world. It grows your hair, and when exposed to sunlight it produces very important Vitamin D.
Vitamin D’s major function is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorous for healthy mineralization, growth and remodeling of your bones and to prevent osteoporosis. Recent research suggests that vitamin D it is also necessary for normal blood pressure, a strong immune system and healthy neuromuscular function.
While found in some foods like fish, eggs and cod liver oil, our main source of Vitamin D is still the skin. Unfortunately, with increased concern for sun damage and greater use of sun screen, we are beginning to see a global increase in Vitamin D deficiency.
At lighterliving we recommend that you take at least 1000mg of Vitamin D a day and recently discovered a luxurious cream that delivers the vitamin through your skin.
You know that your skin cells are constantly regenerating. Made in the deepest layers they slowly migrate to the surface where they die and are sloughed off. Like Juliu, my mother used to make us dry brush our whole body, at least once a week, to exfoliate the outer layers of dead cells and encourage lymphatic drainage. If you do it weekly you will quickly see and feel a difference in the tone and tightness of your muscles and the softness of your skin. Increased blood flow to the outer layer of your body also improves nerve function and your immune system.
Using your favorite natural bristle brush, gently brush your entire dry and naked body before you shower. With long sweeping strokes, always in the direction of your heart, use light pressure in areas where your skin is thin and more pressure on places like the soles of your feet your legs and elbows.
Your skin may appear slightly red but it will tingle with a refreshed sense of aliveness. Finish with a warm shower, apply one pump of Vitamin D cream and massage the rest of your body with pure plant oil. My personal preference is anti-oxidizing grape seed, cold pressed sesame, or fast absorbing and nutritious sweet almond.
On days when I don’t use my dry brush I love to exfoliate and moisturize all at the same time, in the shower, with a gentle and pure sugar polish. The “just enough” abrasion of the fine sugar feels amazing while it gently removes the tops layers of flaky skin that seems to be more prolific as I age.
After years of using salt scrubs I am delighted to say that I have found sugar to be superior and it doesn’t smart on those occasional inadvertent cuts! It leaves my skin glowingly soft and hydrated and saves the time it takes not having to moisturize with a body lotion. Pamper yourself a little this Spring and let me know how beautiful it makes you feel.