Building strength and calm by Chloe Hodge


tucked away within a listed building on Bermondsey Street is the tranquil Studio 74, in which trained dancers Elaine Puren and Beatriz Pascual have been practising and teaching The Gyrotonic Expansion System for the past eleven years.

The studio is a calming zone, naturally lit and free from boisterous gym music or intimidating machinery, with clients instead using handcrafted wooden equipment, assisted by Beatriz, Elaine or one of their three other trainers.

The Gyrotonic Expansion System has a dedicated following, yet is still not widely known. It was first established by Romanian dancer Juliu Horvath in the 1970s, who Beatriz and Elaine still train with every year. The Gyrotonic system is rhythmic, calming and quite the workout – users creating spherical movements to mobilise a series of weights, pulleys and wheels, in turn stimulating the metabolism and nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.

Beatriz explains that the tension created is more like water resistance than the jarring weights of conventional gym equipment, so the technique builds strength whilst also increasing flexibility in the spine and joints.

Watching a demonstration from Beatriz and Elaine, it’s clear how beneficial this sort of wide and varied movement is for office workers in particular. Lunch-time gym sessions are now a popular choice, but whilst rigorous spin classes are likely to lead to muscle tears, a lunch hour spent in Studio 74 should mean you return to your desk with stronger posture and relieved of aches and pains.

The system is actually ideal for those prone to injury: clients have been known to start working out just two weeks after hip and knee operations, and both Beatriz and Elaine have practised the technique the whole way through pregnancy.

Both Beatriz and Elaine have Master Trainer status so train teachers, and work with men and women from their twenties to their late seventies, novices to professional dancers. It’s unsurprising that Beatriz and Elaine remark that “clients often leave the studio smiling” considering the beautiful equipment, one-onone approach and the sweeping symmetry of The Gyrotonic System itself; here exercise is presented as a pleasure rather than punishment.

So, why not treat a friend to a Gyrotonic session? Studio 74 offer gift vouchers for one or more lessons – an ideal feel-good Christmas present! See the offer below for The RIVER reader discount.


“the tension created
is more like water

Studio 74
76 Bermondsey St
London, SE1
t: 07511 036148

Receive 10% off your first session if you mention that you’re a reader of The RIVER!

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