Psoas Release

Psoas Release

Hey everyone, it’s Dawn!

And today I want to talk about the Psoas and what you can do to release and balance it. The Psoas is essentially a hip flexor and a postural stabilizer.  Often clients will come in with a sense of tightness through their hips and hamstrings.  And I will usually do some exercises to release their hip flexors and psoas before we get moving to see if it improves how they feel in their bodies. relieves the tightness they are feeling.  “Tight” hip flexors and/or psoas can come from too much sitting, driving or activities that come from loading into a flexed position in your hips and spine.  And the psoas muscle is also affected by too much stress which can put you into a chronic sympathetic state in your nervous system (fight of flight mode).

Check out the video below for a simple exercise you can use to release your hip flexors and Psoas. (These exercises are subject to our website Terms and Conditions)


 So one of the really simple exercises that you can do to help open up that area, create some muscular relief and also help to deepen your breathing, is to lie down on your back and use a little yoga block under your pelvis to elevate it slightly. And you are going to let your pelvis release into the block and then extend one leg and let that create a little opening through the front of the hip.  You will fee a stretch through the front of your hip when you do this.  

Then just bring your awareness to your breathing and take a couple deep breaths with that one leg extended to deepen this experience. And then just bring one leg back up and then you’ll extend the other leg and take a couple of deep breaths. And you could do this multiple times, whatever you feel like you need. And I’d also suggest when you come back up, really try to kind of push the heel into the ground a little bit and engage with the back of your leg a little more to come back up. After you are done alternating legs, you can take the block out and just come back to just some simple breathing on your back. And just notice if you feel any difference in how you feel in your hips and back. 

And I would just check in and standing as well and just see if you feel more upright and more open through the front of your hips.  So this is just a great exercise to do at the end of the day to reset and come back to your breathing  if you’ve been spending your day sitting at a desk, in the car, dealing with just the stresses of day to day and you want to bring your body into a state of rest and relaxation and release.


All the best,



5 Steps To Become A Gyrotonic Instructor In One Year

5 Steps To Become A Gyrotonic Instructor In One Year

Are you a health and wellness coach, movement practitioner or therapist who is looking for a new approach to holistic movement with your clients?

Gyrotonic training attracts people from all walks of life. I have had dancers who want to share their love of movement, elementary school teachers, professionals in other careers that want to make a career change and instructors from other modalities like Pilates, yoga, physical therapy and massage therapy that want to expand their skill range and people who just want to go through the training for their own personal development or to have equipment in their home and to work with family and friends!

If you LOVE movement, and enjoy helping others to understand how their bodies move and how to move to their fullest capacity, feel good in their bodies and in their lives, then becoming a Gyrotonic Instructor may be a great fit for you.  In this blog post, I am going to give you the simple 5 step process to become a Gyrotonic Instructor and tell you how you can get started.

To get started, before you even enter the teacher training process, you will need to have a minimum of ten sessions with a certified instructor to familiarize yourself with the introductory material and to prepare your body for the training. This will also give you the opportunity to get a good feel for the system and make sure that it is right for you!

So, what is so unique about the Gyrotonic Method?

The GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® is made up of two methods, the GYROTONIC® Method and the GYROKINESIS® Method. This blog post will focus on the Level 1 Gyrotonic Method Training. The Gyrotonic Method is a holistic system of movement that can meet a variety of health and wellness goals to help you move without pain, develop flexible strength with minimal impact to your body and cross-train for specific sports like Golf, Tennis or Dance.

Exercises are based in three -dimensional movements that help you to align and strengthen your core and move your body as a whole with fluid, flexible strength. Movements integrate breathing principles, mobilize and decompress the spine and joints and work all the major muscle groups synergistically for a full body workout.

The Gyrotonic Method is an apparatus-based method that utilize a unique pulley tower system that offers supportive resistance to the body in all ranges of motion. The level one teacher training process is taught on the pulley tower system. Other specialized equipment like the Jumping Stretching Board, Leg Extension Unit and the Ladder, offer a variety of exercises for developing strength, flexibility, balance and coordination through fluid movement and are available as advanced training courses for Gyrotonic Level 1 Certified Instructors.

My personal practice with Gyrotonic has evolved as a Movement Therapist to working primarily with clients who are transitioning from Physical Therapy and need specific exercise modifications to help them create a new approach to movement. I bring my expertise and experience from working in a physical therapy clinic and as a movement therapist and somatic coach for 15 years to help my students empower their clients to use the Gyrotonic Method to connect to their bodies and find their home in movement.  As a Master Trainer, I teach the first three courses in the Gyrotonic Teacher Training Process.


The Gyrotonic Level 1 Teacher Training Process

The Gyrotonic Teacher training process is a combination of four courses that usually take from 9-12 months to complete. All courses must be completed with certified Gyrotonic Pre-Trainers or Master Trainers. You make take each course with a different instructor or all courses with one instructor.

Introductory Sessions

As I mentioned earlier, the first step in the Teacher Training process is to have ten introductory sessions with a certified Gyrotonic Instructor to familiarize yourself with the work and prepare your body for the training. The training is intensive and demanding and you will want to be familiar with the movement before you begin.


The Gyrotonic Pre-Training

The first course in the Gyrotonic Teacher Training program. In the Gyrotonic Pre-Training you will learn the fundamental exercises of the Gyrotonic Level One Foundation Course with a focus on individual execution of the movements and understanding of the principles. At the end of the pre-training you will be able to put together a full Gyrotonic workout to lead your self- practice routines. The Gyrotonic Pre-training is a 6 day/30-hour course that can be broken up into two, three-day segments. The pre-training is taught by Dawn Strom or another certified Pre-Trainer.  After you complete the pre-training you will have three months to enroll in and begin the next course, the Level 1 Foundation Training.


Level 1 Foundation Training

In the Gyrotonic Level 1 Foundation Course you will learn how to teach fundamental exercises of the Gyrotonic Level One Foundation Course. This course will focus on deepening your understanding and communication of Gyrotonic principles as well as introducing teaching tools and cueing. Upon completion of your Gyrotonic Foundation Course you will be able to teach an introductory session to a new client. You will then enter your Apprenticeship period where you will practice progressing clients through the level one material as well as continue to develop you own integration of the material through self- practice. The Foundation Course is taught by a Master Trainer and is a 12 day/60-hour course that can be broken up into three four-day weekend segments. After you complete and pass the Foundation course, you can continue into your apprentice period.


Apprentice Review

After you complete your Foundation Training you will have a 6-12-month apprenticeship period where you will teach a total of 60 sessions, 30 of which must be completed before your apprentice review course.

Once you have completed 30 sessions you will sign up for a 6-day/ 30 hour Apprentice Review Course with Dawn Strom or another licensed Master Trainer. During this time, you will review material and learn any material that was not covered in the foundation training. You will have time to ask questions about your teaching practice. After finishing your apprentice review, you will complete the remaining 30 hours of teaching and then you will go on to your final certification offered at a variety of locations in the USA and in Europe.



After you have passed your apprentice review and completed your hours, you may sign up for your Certification offered through Gyrotonic Headquarter at a variety of locations in the US and Europe. This is a three day course. And upon completion of the course you will be a licensed Gyrotonic Trainer.


Cost of Training

The cost of the Gyrotonic Teacher Training process is divided into a combination of course fees and studio fees.

  • The course fees are determined through Gyrotonic Headquarters and are the same regardless of which Master Trainer you work
  • The Studio where you take your course will also have a fee that will cover the costs of using the studio space and may also apply for travel costs of the Master Trainer teaching the course. Studio fees will vary based on
  • You should check with the individual studio hosting the course for a complete list of fees. For a complete list of general course fees click HERE.


Continuing Education

Once you are a Licensed Gyrotonic Trainer, you will need to complete continuing education requirements every two years and pay a licensing fee to renew your license. For more information on continuing education requirements, click here.


How To Get Started

So now that you know a little more about The Gyrotonic Teacher Training Process, you may be wondering whether it is a good fit for you? If you are interested in joining one of my level 1 foundation trainings, click HERE to schedule a discovery session. I would love to talk with you in person and help give you the information that you need to make the best decision for your career.

To see a list of our current scheduled courses, click HERE . Please let me know if you have any questions!

I hope to see you in one of my courses!

All the best,


GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Specialized Master Trainer

How Meditation Can Help You To Connect To Your Body And Change Your Brain

How Meditation Can Help You To Connect To Your Body And Change Your Brain

Hey everyone,

This is Dawn Strom and in this month’s blog, I am exploring the connections between meditation and the somatic movement techniques I teach in my Somatic Movement Therapy work.

Meditation is a tool that has long been used to quiet the mind and connect to the spirit. It is a practice of turning your attention to a single point of reference, such as focusing on the breath, on bodily sensations, or on a word or phrase known as a mantra. The goal is to focus on the present moment and to use this presence to cultivate peace of mind and well being.

In recent years, the practice of meditation has been applied to research in health and wellness, specifically for treating depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. In connection with the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, John Kabat -Zinn created a mindfulness-based stress reduction program that has been used as a protocol in much of the research that is done on meditation.

Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. She used the MBSR Program in her study, and what she found surprised her — that meditation can literally change your brain

Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain via Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain and creates the effects of empathy, emotional regulation and a decrease in stress.

I have been utilizing meditation techniques in my movement private practice for years as a way to approach the mind body connection. I had the opportunity to take a course in graduate school on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program of Dr. Kabat -Zinn and was struck by the similarities between the visualization exercises that were used to help ground me in my body and the somatic visualizations that I used with clients in my movement therapy and Gyrotonic Training practice on a regular basis.

The two practices that I saw as similar were the body scan technique to connect to sensing and feeling your body and the awareness of the breathing.  They are both used in my Movement Therapy and Gyrotonic Practice as a way to get out of your head and drop into your body, to develop a practice of sensing and feeling your body and regulating your breathing to balance your body.

I have created a short video to highlight the similar exercises I learned in my mediation class and the ones I teach in my movement therapy practice.


The first technique is doing a simple body scan.

To get started, get into in a comfortable position, either seated on a stool or lying on the floor on your back with your knees bent. You want to be comfortable, so choose whatever feels best for you. Go ahead and get into your chosen position and close your eyes. Bring your perception inwards and just take a couple of deep breaths. Next, I want you to bring your perception down into your body and think about bringing your inner eye all the way down to your feet. You’re going to do a little internal tracing of how your body feels starting from your feet and coming all the way up your spine, up to your head and down through your arms.

Start with your feet. Feel your feet on the floor and notice what they feel like. Notice how you’re holding your feet to the floor, how you’re touching the floor with your feet and if you have even weight in both feet. And then go ahead and trace your legs with your inner eye, noticing how your legs are balanced from side to side. Then come up into your hips and your pelvis and then all the way up your spine and all the way up through the top of your head. Notice how your spine is aligning, whether you feel like you are sitting upright or you’re a little collapsed. Just notice how your body is aligning and then bring your awareness all the way down and out through your arms. Notice how your arms are hanging at your body and how they feel side to side.

Make a note of any information you want from that scan. Then, start from your feet again. Grounding down into your feet, do the tracing process a little bit more quickly this time. You can repeat this exercise a couple of times. Notice if your body shifts and adjusts based on your new awareness. You can also use this in your meditation practice to connect into your body and get situated with how you’re sitting and feeling in your body before you begin.


The second technique is the simple awareness of your breathing. It starts the same way.  Find a good place to sit comfortably in an upright position or lay on your back. This time bring your awareness to the feeling of your breath, and how you’re breathing. Notice how your lungs are expanding and contracting, and notice where you feel your breathing.

Do you feel like all of the movement of your breathing is up in your shoulders and chest? Can you really expand your rib cage as you inhale and let it gently condense as you exhale? Notice if your abdominal area is able to really release and inflate a little bit on the inhale and just gently come back in on the exhale.
Notice how you’re breathing. Then, place your hands on your abdominal area, and take a few nice deep breaths there just to bring awareness to the area, allowing it to inflate and deflate. Move your hands up to your sternum and take a couple deep breaths and let that area really fully inhale and exhale, and try one more time. Lastly, let your arms hang at your sides and take a few nice deep breaths, all the way up from your belly, allowing your whole chest to inflate and the whole body to deflate as well.

That is the second element of a simple somatic awareness practice. Developing your somatic practice also provides a foundation to go deeper into using mediation to work with your thoughts and emotions. We will talk about that in another video.

I hope you all enjoyed this video and blog. Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions.
Have a great day.
Take care,


Embodied Biz Planning for Coaches Expecting Their First Baby

Embodied Biz Planning for Coaches Expecting Their First Baby

Over the last year I have worked to transform my business to clarify my expertise and evolve my practice towards somatic coaching work that I can offer online to expand my reach and maximize my time and value.  I did all of this while preparing to have my first child! It seems like a lot, but it was well planned and an important step to help expand and reshape my business to meet the needs of my expanding family and my new lifestyle.  I’m excited to share an opportunity I had to talk with a friend and colleague and owner of Universal Coaching Systems about Embodied Business planning for coaches expecting their first baby.  We had a great interview on her podcast, Coach Pep Talk.

Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments…

Coach Pep Talk Podcast Episode 8- Interview with Dawn Strom

In Joy!

Somatic Movement

Somatic Movement

About Somatic Movement


Education and Therapy

The field of somatics has developed over the last century through a process of inquiry into how consciousness inhabits the living body. The term is derived from the word “somatic” (Greek “somatikos”, soma: “living, aware, bodily person”) which means pertaining to the body, experienced and regulated from within. According to Thomas Hanna, who first coined the phrase, “somatics” is the study of self from the perspective of lived experience, encompassing the dimensions of body, psyche, and spirit.

Somatic movement describes movement that is sensed and shaped from within, rather than from an external source. Somatic Movement focuses on the ways that we determine, shape, change and create our movement through image, thought, intention and interaction with our environment.

Somatic movement education and therapy is the process of awakening awareness of the human body in movement. Registered practitioners guide individuals and groups into inner experiences of their bodies, deepening the clients’ understanding of themselves in motion.

  • Somatic Movement Education focuses on techniques to develop awareness and understanding of the moving body, develop embodied creativity and transform and create new experience through movement
  • Somatic Movement Therapy focuses on the interconnection between mind-body and environment in the healing process. Somatic Movement techniques help to understand and re-pattern movement and use imagery, intention and touch to integrate mind and body to support your healing process.


Benefits of Somatic Movement

  • Increased health and wellness
  • Improved performance
  • Expanded creative expression
  • Integrated learning and transformation

 The Internation Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association  registers programs and Somatic Movement Educators/Therapists