GYROTONIC® Applications for Equestrians with Michelle Spinner

This course is for the Certified GYROTONIC® instructor who wishes to work more effectively with an equestrian clientele. Over three intensive days, GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® exercises will be practiced that help horse-riders perform better when mounted – exercises that can ultimately improve the way riders communicate with their horses and help keep their bodies healthy for riding.

To learn more, we sat down with Michelle to answer some of our questions:

K: What inspired you to create the GYROTONIC® Applications for Equestrians Course?

M: My horse riding clients encouraged me to create a GYROTONIC® program for equestrians because they experienced such big improvements in their riding after they started working with me. And, it was a wonderful opportunity to combine two of my passions – GYROTONIC® exercise and horse riding.

K: How has the information in this course enhanced your clients riding performance?

M: My clients feel better and so do their horses. They are centered and better balanced in the saddle. They are easy on their horses’ mouths. They are able to flow with the motion of their horses at every gait. Transitions become more seamless. They can sit the trot smoothly and easily. Those clients who ride hunter/jumpers find that they can maintain a much more secure and resilient two-point position.

All Certified GYROTONIC® instructors are welcome. A familiarity with horse-riding is a plus, but it is not a requirement to attend the course.

Sept 25-27 10-6pm

Cost: $350 + $185 studio fee

sign up!

August exercise of the month: Side Plank

This month’s exercise will keep you on edge-with modifications for advanced planking! Check out the video and how-to below for side plank:

Set Up:
Side lying
Legs straight
Elbow bent weight resting on forearm
Free arm reaching forward
Inhale: Contract abdominals
Exhale: Press forearm into floor and lift hips
Inhale: Raise arm towards ceiling
Exhale: Lower arm and return hips to the floor
  • Perform arm circles with free arm
  • Abduct top leg

FAMI Spotlight: Q&A with Dr. Joy Reidenberg

201104-omag-the-insider-949x534Dr. Joy Reidenberg is a Professor of Anatomy & Functional Morphology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as well as a FAMI Workshop faculty member. She is known for her work as a comparative anatomist on Inside Nature’s Giants, a documentary series where she dissects large animals, as well as on Sex in the Wild, a new series which reveals the natural mating, birth and rearing behaviors of various animals. Here, she reflects on her experience teaching FAMI & shares some advice for future FAMI participants; check out what she has to say!

kinectED: What do you enjoy most about teaching FAMI?
Dr. Joy Reidenberg: Teaching FAMI is one of my favorite teaching activities I do all year, and this is largely because I really enjoy interacting with the FAMi students.  They are only here for such a short time (compared to our medical and graduate students), and so are extremely enthusiastic about incorporating as much knowledge as possible in the shortest time span.  This suits me just fine!  I’m a fast-paced New Yorker, and am up to the task of feeding them the info just as fast as they can absorb it!

As anatomy students, what sets FAMI attendees apart from medical school students?
 I especially enjoy the higher caliber of the FAMI students.  They are already somewhat knowledgeable about the body’s musculoskeletal system due to their professional experiences, and are hungry for more detailed information about the anatomy. This makes them unique as students.  Unlike our typical medical and graduate students, who are true novices, FAMi students are already partial experts!  That means their questions are more challenging … and I LOVE a challenge!


Joy on Sex in the Wild

What do you think makes the FAMI experience unique?
The FAMI experience is unlike any other courses available in the movement and para-health world because it is taught at a medical school.  This means the FAMI students have access to the professors and clinicians who are world-renown experts on the subjects. The medical school setting enables FAMI students to physically touch, hold, explore, and learn from real human cadaveric material as well as real bone specimens in the laboratory, and exposure to imaging studies (x-rays, CT, MR, etc.) of normal, injured, and diseased real patients.  Class size is limited to ensure each student receives adequate personalized attention and has all of their questions fully answered.

What have your learned from the FAMI attendees?
Every time I teach FAMI students, I learn something new too!  FAMI students come to this course with a very wide range of previous coursework, experiences, and backgrounds.  The most rewarding interaction for me is when a student informs me of additional applications of the knowledge I just gave them.  They have had interactions with a wide range of clients, and often bring insights regarding mobility abilities or disabilities, symptoms, or treatments that clearly demonstrate some of the principles of the anatomy we are teaching. I really enjoy learning about those overlaps!


Joy on Inside Nature’s Giants

What advice would you give the new FAMI attendee that wants to prepare for FAMI prior to attending?
1) Come to FAMI with a great attitude!  2) Don’t be sleepy – try to get a good night’s sleep each night so you will be ready to absorb new material when you arrive each day.  3) You don’t need to study the material before we present the material – that would be counter productive. It’s better to come prepared to abandon pre-conceived notions, and let us fill you up with new information. You’ll be so excited by the topics we present, and the unique ways we have of presenting them, that you’ll be learning without even knowing it!  

Learn more about FAMI (& FAMI – Level Two for FAMI alum!) & register here!

Instructor Spotlight: Meet Whitney

Meet Whitney!

Originally from Nashville, TN, Whitney is a classically trained ballet dancer who received her BA in dance from Point Park University. The capacity of Pilates to help anyone, no matter their ability or ailment is what led her to become an instructor. Through a study of anatomy, biomechanics, and touch therapy, Whitney received her Pilates mat and full equipment certification from the Kane School of Core Integration. Whitney loves using Pilates to create a unique movement experience for each individual client to help them meet their fitness goals.

schedule a session with Whitney today!

Mondays 9am-2pm

Tuesdays 7am-3pm

Thursdays 3pm-8pm

Fridays 4pm-8pm

July exercise of the month: Theraband on-the-go part 2

Last month our video featured exercises with the convenient theraband- an excellent prop for a workout on-the-go! Follow this next video for more, and sign up for our July Masterclass, Vertical Pilates with Ashley!

Exercise 1: Bicep Curl w/ Thera-band

Set up:
Standing in lunge position
Thera-band double wrapped  around front foot
Hold thera-band in both hands
Pelvis and spine in neutral


Inhale: Contract abdominals and stabilize scapula
Exhale: Extend humerus
Inhale: Flex bicep

Exhale: Return to starting position
10 repetitions


Reverse Grip- Palms facing away from torso toward floor

Exercise 2: Tricep extension w/ Thera-band

Set up:
Standing in lunge position
Thera-band double wrapped  around front foot
Hold thera-band in both hands
Pelvis and spine in neutral


Inhale: Contract abdominals/ extend humerus and flex elbows
Exhale: Extend elbow
Inhale: Return to starting position

10 repetitions


Rotate palms so they are facing the mat


kinectED: Pilates Programming for the MS Client

505MS is a disease that is often misdiagnosed and can manifest in many different ways, confusing to the client as well as the instructor. In mentee participant Meghann Koppele’s Pilates Programming for the MS Client the pathology, symptoms & contraindications of MS will be demystified and thoroughly investigated. Modified exercises on the mat, reformer, cadillac & chair will be introduced as well as myofascial release techniques to increase proprioception. Workshop participants will also have the opportunity to:

-Understand the effects that MS has on the body in order to have the confidence to work with a client that has MS.

-Learn a basic gait assessment and how to apply that information in sessions.

-Develop hands-on skills to assist clients in completing the exercises with proper form.

-Learn how to incorporate the Kane School ball and foam roller for releases as well as exercises.

-Learn modifications for advanced clients and clients with limited mobility, including wheel-chair bound clients.

Friday, 7/18: 1-6pm / CECs: Kane School = 5 hrs / Cost: $150 – sign up now!

Instructor Spotlight: Meet Oron

Meet Oron!

Oron Fiksel PT, DPT, CFMT moved from Tel Aviv to New York in 2008 and completed his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Long Island University. During his second year as a student, he had taken multiple continuing education courses through the institute of Physical Art. Following his graduation in 2012, Oron moved to Milwaukee and completed the Orthopedic residency in Functional Manual Therapy/IPA and passed the CFMT with honors. In addition, Oron holds a degree from Wingate College for Sport (Israel) in Physical Education with a strong emphasis on treatment in children with postural dysfunctions.

Prior to moving to New York, Oron had worked as a personal trainer, strength and conditioner and spinning instructor. Oron believes in treating the body as an integrated system with an holistic approach in order to facilitate and improve function.


Schedule a session with Oron, and learn more about Fishbein Physical Therapy here.