Kintsugi: Repair what is Broken with Gold

Recently Juliu Horvath (founder of the Gyrotonic method) shared a story with his master trainers that deeply touched me. It is the Japanese tradition of kintsugi. A broken bowl is not discarded, but instead repaired so that the cracks are filled with gold. When I heard this, I began to tear up. I felt the broken parts inside me that wanted to be seen as beautiful again. In America when something breaks, we have come to throw it out and buy a new one. Not only do we have a culture that disposes of everything, but we cast away broken people too. It makes me so sad.


When bodies break, they are most often repaired with pharmaceuticals and surgeries. When minds break, people suffer depression. Much brokenness can even lead to incarceration, or a body that feels like it is in jail because of the absence of freedom in its movement. People try to cover up all their body stories, all their pain, out of shame, embarrassment, and fear. And let’s do it as quickly as possible! For things that are messy or hard are even more embarrassing or shameful! Heaven forbid we should be on a path here to understand…to learn from mistakes…to create greater connections…


Gold is a good conductor of heat and is soft enough to be malleable. Who wouldn’t want a body to be able to flow energy smoothly and freely, and muscles to move with a supple quality. What is the the “gold” worthy of filling our broken spaces?


One of the things that I love most about what I do is the art of “repairing”. If what we have before it is broken is something important, or even precious, something that cannot be replaced, isn’t it worth time and money to repair it well? What if we fill our cracks with gold? What if the process of repairing was worthy of such love that we gave all our attention to it, as an artist to her alloys.  What if we were to feel more beautiful afterwards than ever before?