Dominika Gaines, GYROTONIC® Master Trainer, recently came to town to teach an Apprenticeship Review for four blossoming teachers. She graciously agreed to stay at my condo, sleeping in my tiny windowless guest room. Over the week as she shared my home and my studio, I was reminded of the bonds that Gyrotonic creates among so many of us.
Minneapolis weather put on a fine show for Dominika, acting a finer host than I could ever be. The leaves began to color at the very edges at the beginning of the week, then washing over some entire trees by the end. During her week in Minneapolis, Dominika was able to slow down, watching weddings in the park, people in love, kissing on benches. One evening after teaching, we hurried over to Guthrie Theatre's Endless Bridge to witness dusk falling over the Mill District and the Mississippi River. She reminded me of the beauty of this city, right in my own backyard.
Gyrotonic brought Dominika and I together nearly 10 years ago, when she was my Foundation trainer. Over 12 days, she taught me how to touch with clarity and warmth. "Gentle, Susan! Touch people like you're touching your children." She taught me to honor not only my strength but my tenderness, too. Though she is much farther down the Gyrotonic path than I, embodying a wisdom of movement that is hard to match, we are now colleagues, business women and fellow studio owners.
But just as important, we are women of this age and time, trying to balance our passions and our practical natures. In the mornings, we drank coffee, standing in our pajamas around the kitchen island talking about life in our 50s -- the best and worst of it -- the earthly and the sacred; skin and sleep, love and sex. The thread through it all is Gyrotonic, the method of movement that has made us travelers and hosts alike, bringing us to studios and sometimes homes all over the world, and bringing so many together in friendship.
It was raining when Dominika arrived back home in Phoenix today. Change is afoot. Fall is here and in the desert, too, though it's presence is far subtler. With friendship as our anchor, welcome to Fall. Welcome to Gyrotonic, the most graceful embodiment of change I can imagine.