Class Review: Studio Kinétique (Paris)
Gyrotonics and Pilates at Studio Kinétique in Paris (2nd Arrondissement)
Studio Kinetique is conceived as a multidisciplinary space. The different techniques are combined to meet your desires, needs and desires for well-being, health and physical fitness. In an intimate atmosphere, in the heart of Paris, Studio Kinetic offers personalized Pilates classes, GYROTONIC®, GYROKINESIS®, as well as massages, consultations of naturopathy, manual medicine, Etna Care, Anma Ampuku and Shiatsu.
Overall Experience - 9/10
Wow! This place is incredible. I took 3 private sessions while traveling in Paris last week and am so glad I found this little Parisian gem. My sessions included 2 private gyrotonic classes with Moraima and Nail, and 1 private pilates session with Sophie, a former dancer and Californian. I was blown away by their knowledge of the body and how to best leverage dynamic methods that play into my body’s strengths and improve my imbalances. The space was simple, clean, bright and modern. I felt incredibly welcomed, challenged and truly transformed after each session. I highly recommend this studio for privates, pair or group sessions (3+ people/session is the most economical). This studio is especially great for those looking to deepen their knowledge of their own body and connect with it at an even deeper level. The gyrotonic/gyrokinesis method was designed as yoga for dancers, and whether or not you’re a dancer, following these technical sessions you’ll feel longer and taller, reversing “tech-neck” and other imbalances caused from poor modern habits like sitting for long periods of time, looking down at your phone, and not stretching daily, etc.
Body - 10/10
Holy croissant, this was super challenging for me in the best kind of way. I am fairly used to a physical challenge but this took my difficulty tolerance to a whole new crazy intense level. At times during the gyrotonic sessions I felt as though I was on an elongating machine, imagine that scene from Braveheart in which William Wallace is attached to a stretch machine (side note: what a fantastic film). For many years in gymnastics, my shoulders endured an intense amount of force on each event (vault, uneven bars, floor and beam) and the instructors at Studio Kinetique were well aware of this fact after asking me for a brief background of my physical history and what brought me to their studio. No other instructor to date has dedicated so much time and detailed attention to stretching and releasing my shoulders. This was the somewhat painful part, as I have simply not spent a straight hour focused on the positioning of my shoulder blades. Imagine a deep-tissue massage on the tiniest muscle fibres inside and around your shoulders. In the fundamental arch/curl movement for example, both Moraima and Nail zoomed in on my tendency to shrug my shoulders and pop my rib cage out in order to generate force. They quickly resolved this by manually twisting my shoulder blades down and drawing attention to my ribs throughout each movement. Even during pilates, Sophie offered to place an ankle weight on my lower ribs to train myself to become more aware whenever that weight moved, and it’s a great technique for when I’m practicing reformer pilates alone and don’t have someone to correct me. Overall, I was truly wowed by each of the instructor’s attention to detail and how different my body felt after each session. My posture was transformed during the week as was my appreciation for the gyrotonic method in general. It is incredibly challenging and definitely something I need to incorporate into my weekly routine to ensure my shoulders stay mobile and my spine strong and straight.
Mind - 10/10
My mind was equally as challenged as my body throughout these sessions, and the mind/body connection was imperative. For instance in my gyrotonic sessions, even in the fundamental arch/curl movement, I had to remember to stand up straight, push my knees and inner thighs out, drop my shoulders down, compress my ribcage back and down, extend my arms out fully without leaning forward, relax my head and neck, and lead with my chest to arch. And this was only half of the movement! This also doesn’t even include the focus on my breath. It was a lot to focus on and without complete concentration allowing your mind and body to truly become one, you’d miss the heart of the matter and true benefit of the movement. It was an amazing feeling when the movements became fluid and my body/mind stopped resisting and just melted into the moves. It took nearly the whole session to get there, but wow, what an incredibly and unique feeling once achieved.
Instructor(s) - 10/10
Nail, Moraima and Sophie were truly exceptional. Their knowledge of the intricacies of the body and of my body in particular, just in knowing my background as a gymnast, was amazing. I heard some of the most wonderful analogies during my training at Studio Kinetique, including “Imagine your body’s a hot-air balloon and your ribcage is the ropes holding the basket and the balloon together. Now cut the ropes and feel your torso float upward away from your descending pelvis. Not straining, but elongating, effortlessly and peacefully floating apart.” And “Create a fluid movement forward and back like a jellyfish pulsating in the water. Allow your body to become your heartbeat.” Truly poetic. Each of the instructors admired my strength and even called me a “beautiful mover”, in which they instantly had my heart and body’s trust. I have berated my body on and off for so years for being “too strong”, “too bulky”, “too masculine” and all those cruel things we sporadically say to the ourselves, but to hear their admiration for my hard work and dedication to developing my body was refreshing. Not only did my mind and body receive a fabulous workout, but so did my heart in opening to find new appreciation for my own strength and gratitude for my ability to continue to move and grow in even deeper ways. These instructors were truly outstanding and transformational in my own journey to become an even more connected, curious and devoted instructor and student of the mind-body connection. Wow, just wow!
Accessibility - 8/10
Studio Kinetique is not on the MINDBODY app but they are incredibly responsive via email and phone. I booked everything a month before arriving in Paris and although I speak decent French, they all speak eloquent english in all communications and in-person. The studio itself is in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris and easy to find. Upon arriving you just press the small grey button below the keypad to unlock the door and walk upstairs to the 3rd [American] floor or 2nd [French] floor level. The door was marked with a small Studio Kinetique sign but it was not totally obvious how you get in, as it generally looks like a Parisian apartment building and there was zero movement in the hallways during each of the three days I was there. If you just knock, one of the instructors will let you in. The only troubling fact was that the hallway lights went out as I was walking up the stairs and weren’t on a couple times when I left the studio. Without any natural light coming in, the hallways were very dark. My iPhone flashlight did the trick, but it was a slight inconvenience particularly on the first day when I didn’t know exactly where to go. Otherwise, it was seamless. The studio was perfect with 3 gyrotonic machines and 1 traditional pilates reformer/tower machine. There is a small walk-in closet/dressing room which feels homey and welcoming. The restroom was of typical European style and petite size, but the studio itself was perfect.