Gyrotonic trainer and world class athlete Melanie Rinaldi

The interview series: Gyrotonic trainer & athlete Melanie Rinaldi

To train athletes you need to think like and athlete

An interview with GYROTONIC® trainer Melanie Rinaldi

When any fitness professional begins training a new client we need to find out their current condition, fitness history and their goals. For most of us our clients’ goals are fairly simple: I want to lose some weight; I want to improve my golf game; I want to get rid of this nagging back pain. But when you’re training Olympic level or professional athletes, the expectations from the client are higher and more specific.

Trainer Melanie Rinaldi is a former diver on the Canadian national team and an NCAA competitive diver. She comes from a background of high performance athletics so she understands the mindset of these types of athletes. And that shows in her intake process. I sat down with Melanie at her Miami studio and talked story.

If you’re in Miami or headed toward it, get in touch with Melanie and her great studio Rinaldi Performance.

You can also follow Rinaldi Performance through Facebook and Instagram.


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Gyrotonic Master Trainer and physical therapist Justine Bernard

Get to know Gyrotonic Master Trainer & physical therapist Justine Bernard

An interview with GYROTONIC® Master Trainer Justine Bernard

Now that I’m traveling to lead the Wingmaster Course, I’m getting the opportunity to meet more trainers and Master Trainers who I’ve known only through social media. This gives me a chance to change my interviews from Skype based to in person. First up on that list, GYROTONIC® Master Trainer and Phyiscal Therapist Justine Bernard.

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The interview series: Gyrotonic trainer Patty Nutchanart

Introducing Patty Nutchanart, GYROTONIC® trainer in Thailand

Patty Nutchanart training at her studioIn my use of Instagram I regularly search for new posts from GYROTONIC® trainers or clients, basically anything tagged #gyrotonic. One day I saw this excellent photo from a studio in Thailand. There are only 2 Gyrotonic studios in all of Thailand so I decided to reach out to studio owner Patty Nutchanart,

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In GYROKINESIS, be water

Quick tip: When moving in Gyrokinesis class, be water, my friend

Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

Flowing water created the Horseshoe CanyonWater and it’s fluidity are queues we use frequently in GYROKINESIS®. While we want to, and will, increase the strength of our muscles and remove tightness and musculotendinous adhesions through taking Gyrokinesis classes, we want to do it without struggle, almost without effort, through the flow of the motion.

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The Yogi Complete Breath as taught by Yogi Ramacharaka

Deep Breathing Exercises – the Yogi Complete Breath

Advancing your Deep Breathing Exercises

202008 lungNow that you’ve strengthened your diaphragmatic breathing, it’s time for the Yoga Complete Breath. (You have been practicing diaphragmatic breathing, right???) The belly breathing exercise is the beginning. Now we’ll add in the rest of the lung capacity.



If your lungs have been compromised through injury or illness, please consult your physician before beginning any focused breath work.

The three parts of a complete breath

There are three parts of a Yoga Complete Breath. Unless you specifically develop all three aspects in the correct order, you are most likely over-emphasizing one of the aspects to the detriment of optimal breathing mechanics.

First is low breathing, which was covered in diaphragmatic breathing.

The second aspect is middle breathing. This involves widening and slightly lifting the rib cage to fill the middle of the lungs. This part of the breathing cycle uses the internal intercostal muscles, the ones between the ribs.

The third portion is high breathing. The ribs, collarbones and shoulder blades are raised. This involves the use of neck and shoulder muscles: the SCM (sternocleidomastoid), the scalenes and the upper trapezius.

Any of the three of these phases of this deep breathing exercise can be used independently for inhalation but there are drawbacks to using any of these by themselves. Of the three, low breathing is the best, with the only drawback being that the lungs are not completely filled. Middle breathing is limited in that the intercostal muscles cannot create enough space to completely fill the lungs.

Of the three portions, high breathing has the most drawbacks. Like the others, it is incomplete. However it has the additional negative that the primary muscles used for this portion of the breath are usually too tight in people anyway, especially in our current, computer oriented culture. Those three muscles being too tight is a primary cause of forward head posture. That in turn can lead to nerve entrapment through the neck bones and the scalenes themselves, can lead to tension headaches from shortened and tight sub-occipital muscles and a rounded upper back which will make deep breathing exercises even more difficult. Oh, and bad posture doesn’t look so good!

Enough talk! It’s time to breathe.

The complete breath is a 3 part inhalation, using the full musculature of the breathing apparatus, in the correct, natural order. It combines all three methods of breathing (high, medium and low) in the right order to use the full capacity of the lungs.

  • Inhale through the nose, filling the lower portion of your lungs by engaging the diaphragm. The belly will extend as you begin the inhale.
  • The second motion is the widening of the rib cage to fill the middle lungs. This widening is in all directions.
  • The final motion of the inhale is a light raising of the shoulders and collar bones in order to fill the upper lobe.
  • During the 3rd part of the inhale, the abdomen will draw in slightly to support the lifting of the rib cage and gently forces a little more air into the uppermost reaches of the lungs.
  • Retain the breath for a few seconds.
  • The exhale moves in the same direction. Keeping the chest in it’s elevated position, draw in the abdomen, then narrow the rib cage, and finally lower the chest and shoulders.

While the instruction for the complete breath appear to be 3 distinct motions the breath is intended to happen in a smooth, seamless manner. At first, breaking it down into three parts and then putting them together can help teach the breathing musculature their individual parts. But then you want to smoothly integrate the three parts.

Now it’s time to finish it. Part 3: The 3 part exhalation

Practice, practice, practice. And when you have this down you can move on to the more weird, interesting and esoteric deep breathing exercises.

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Diaphragmatic breathing, the root of all healthy breathing

Diaphragmatic Breathing is the root of all proper breathing.

Diaphragmatic breathing is the root of all healthy breathing.

Without it, all your activities, the whole of your life, is built upon a shallow and weak foundation. That sounds like a pretty bold statement and it is… and it’s also true. Diaphragmatic breathing is the engine of your inhale and a strong inhale is going to properly feed your body.

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