Part 1: A Conversation With Juliu Horvath, Creator and Founder of the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®
Recently, I started making a point to ask Juliu Horvath about the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® Method, his life, and his future creative endeavors.
Below is the first part of one of our recent conversations. (You can find Part 2 here.) This particular discussion explores some of Juliu’s more esoteric and philosophical perspectives on the methods and his experiences in developing these methods.
CINA: Thank you for taking the time to chat with me, Juliu. I’m interested to know what you have been thinking about lately and what you might like to share with the community.
JULIU: I want to reinforce what Gina was saying in the interview you did with her.
Basically, the whole Gyrotonic system, and everything that came to me, came through experience. So, the most important thing for people to understand is that they will have to re-experience the same things I have experienced. Then they will know the origin and the meaning of this system.
If they don’t have their own experiences, it all remains just verbiage. Everyone translates it to their own mindset and their own feelings. What they hear is not necessarily what is said; it’s what they want to hear. What they don’t want to hear, they interpret in billions of different ways.
The only way to relate to this system is through experience. There is no other way. There is just no other way. All the people trying to prove that this is scientifically correct are not coming from that background. Now, because it is there, you can dissect it and analyze it and do this and that with it.
What I perceived is a dimension that has not been perceived yet. Or, it has been perceived and interpreted in other ways, and into other manifestations, such as martial arts, tai chi and yoga. All of those are coming from the same perception, the same place. But the interpretation and the manifestation have been different.
How it manifested through me is slightly different. Why is it now that the difference is so important? Because whatever has been experienced ten thousand years ago is not valid anymore for people living in this age and this era. Our feelings have already grown into something else. Our interpretation needs to go in a different way, just like the way children are now born with such perceptions and gifts and all kinds of things that we didn’t have in our time.
This was one of those outbursts of gifts to me, because I was capable and able to interpret it in such a way that it becomes tangible and useful for many, many other people.
CINA: Do you feel that with many other people having experiences it should be open for interpretation, or should it should be measured against your experiences?
JULIU: It cannot be measured against my experiences because everyone will experience it in a slightly different way according to their past and according to their background. The interpretation always depends on a person’s background.
But when you are in a neutral state, you will understand it. You might appreciate it or not appreciate it, but you will understand it. So it has to be perceived from a neutral place, without interpretation.
Your physical, mental and emotional makeup might be similar to mine. That would then be appealing because it creates sensations and feelings that blend together with you as good things. With others, these things can remain foreign. It doesn’t mean that the system is good or bad. You are either foreign to it or you connect with it.
It’s like food. You have a certain affinity with some things; your taste buds respond differently than mine. Or, like when two or three friends speak about a movie, each one may have a different impression. They might agree if their interpretation blends. If not, they are going to contradict each other.
Or it’s just like politics. Now is a good time to look at the politicians and the way they fight with each other. They all want to do and say the same things, and yet look at how many different ways those ideas comes through. You see? And the one to convince the bigger majority is going to be the winner.
It’s the same here. I don’t want to convince anybody. I would like you to experience it and see if you have an affinity with what’s happening, or not. A lot of people obviously do, and others maybe don’t.
This is why there are levels and layers and everything. We have layers for very beginners and for those who are injured or sick, or cannot do other more strenuous exercises.
From there, you can develop towards your own goals. Where is it that you want it to take you? When you explain where you want to go, I can adjust the system according to your needs. It can cater to every possible aspect of physicality, mentality, etc… because it’s coming from a neutral place. This system can be modified into any direction.
CINA: What do you mean by “neutral place.”
JULIU: A neutral place means the healthiest possible place in the body where you are happy, healthy and feeling good in the body. Everyone wants to arrive to that place of feeling at home in their compound. It’s what people say: the mind, body and spirit. If this modality can bring you the experience of comfort, within your body and all of these different places, then this is what you should follow. If not, it’s useless.
You know, this is how it works with different sports. I would never go and play football. For me, that is totally against my grain. Swimming, I like to do. Many people like to swim, but not everybody. And there are also different degrees of interest within that. So if I want to teach you to swim, I first teach you to float. When you are comfortable with floating, we then see how far and where you want to go with your swimming.
With every sport and everything, there is a beginning, a middle and a crescendo, depending on your makeup and where you want to take it—or where it allows you to be taken. If there is a desire there, I can cater the system so that it is going to enhance the qualities that you need for that particular desire.
Because, first of all, going back to the neutral place, what do you need to excel in any sport? You need health, comfort in your body, mobility in all possible directions, strength, vitality, all these different things that you need. I’m going to bring all of those qualities into motion, inside of you, depending on your physicality, age and whatever else. It will take you to that dimension.
CINA: Why is movement and the breath so important to reach those deeper dimensions that we can’t seem to get to otherwise?
Juliu: It is a certain desire to move in the body. You can see this when a child is born. It moves the body, but it is not moving him; it is not a willful movement or conscious act. It’s all over the place, right?
Then later on, we start educating children to quiet down and to sit, but there are tendencies in the body that need manifestation. If that is not manifested, you are stifling it. Just like not going to the bathroom when you need to. You are basically constipating yourself.
When you don’t move when you feel the urge, you are constipating. That’s what they are doing with children. When they should move, they tell them to sit. When they should sit , then they tell them to move.
It is about listening. How you listen to your urges and pre-direction is how you are going to help the body to become harmonious, healthy and wholesome. You chose the direction in which way you want to go. But without the basic health—vitality, agility, flexibility, strength—if you don’t have all of this, you cannot go anywhere.
Basically, we want to make your body like a monkey. We see what the monkey can do, whether it wants to play football, or swim, do gymnastics, or ballet, or who knows what else. Or it may be happy to be just a lazy bum. In this case, we just sit and breathe and do conscious breathing exercises. In that way, there is a modality within this structure for everybody’s need and capacity .
Do you understand the neutral now, and how you can go from there to a higher purpose?
CINA: Well, I think I get what you are saying, but I have a long way to to go to actual understanding! One thing I especially had a hard time understanding, until I found the Gyrotonic Method, is the breath. Why is it so important?
JULIU: Let me put it simply. Your energy and your breath in the body move like a fart in the pants. When it is released, it is all over the place. Because of your desires and your internal feelings in the mind, and how those work, they pull your energies and the breath all around and in all kinds of directions, but it doesn’t have a homogeneous purpose for movement. As I’m saying, it’s all over the place.
The breathing, conscious breathing, educated breathing, pulls all of these energies toward one direction. The positive and the negative come to one single direction, and that creates balance in the body. Are you getting this?
CINA: I think so. I’m starting to get it better now that I’m feeling it in my own body and in my own Gyrotonic practice.
JULIU: It’s like in water. There is turbulence all around, or it has a purpose through flow. If I start moving it circularly, it flows. What does it do when it flows? It doesn’t just disturb everything all around it, but puts it into one direction in motion.
So if something is sitting, like a problem or sickness, you can’t organize it within turbulence. But if I can pull it in one direction, then the body can eliminate it.
It is like an effect of circulating and eliminating the negative, or static, or stagnating places. It’s directing the fluidity of the energy, the fluidity of the life force within yourself. There are many places in the body that are stagnating and in a continual turbulence, like when you have inflammation. This is why it gets inflamed, because the waters are stopping there and heat builds up. The pain brings all kinds of particles that settle around there.
But if I keep moving it, I don’t let negative and frozen energies, or disturbed energies, sit in the body around an organ, around a joint, around whatever. Breathing in a certain way will create this internal flow into one direction, where you put everything into motion, and nothing is stagnating. The surplus is eliminated’ we get rid of the unnecessary, keep the necessary, and keep it in a calm, balanced form at the very end of our sessions.
This is how the movement and the breathing, with the fluidity of the movement, the fluidity of the breathing and the directed motion into certain patterns, will create a healthy manifestation.
CINA: How does the spiritual body come into this picture?
JULIU: You are the spiritual body. Whoever lives in the physical body is the spiritual body, if there is something like that.
But while it is in a disturbance, it is totally non-spiritual. This is because, as I am saying, it is a disturbance. How can it be spiritual? There is no calmness of mind, there is no fluidity in the motion, and the organs are unhappy; how can any spirituality be there? You are the spiritual body but you are contaminated with all kinds of bullshit on the top.
It’s like a blank piece of paper. When I start doodling on it, you don’t see the white paper anymore; you see only the black scribbling. But the white underneath is the spiritual. The black is all bullshit, no matter what you consider it to be.
What we are looking for is to make the white visible and to manifest it. That is the spirituality. All the scribbling on the top, and even what you are doing through the system, is another kind of scribbling. When you find the white underneath, that is the neutral place I am talking about.
This is why in my book, I describe it. Read the white between the letters, not the black, and then you will understand the writing; then you will know the origin of things because it all comes from that one white space.
That, to me, is a simplistic way to explain spirituality. Again, everyone will explain it in different ways. There are hundreds and hundreds of points of view of what spirituality is. But to me, this is what it is. Because everything is a scribble on top of nonsense. You have to look beyond. The beyond is the before, not after. It is where it’s coming from that is the beyond. So it’s a return to the before. Go back to the before, and you’re going to be in the beyond.
CINA: In discussion about writing, some say the author’s intent doesn’t really matter. Rather the reader’s interpretation is ultimately what becomes the reality. Is this similar to what you are talking about?
JULIU: Well, it matters what has been intended. However, I can not change your interpretive mind, and I’m not here to convince anybody of the rightness or wrongness of things.
That’s why I’m saying, experience it. Then you will see if it’s right for you or not right.
There are people who are masochists and beat themselves and cause pain because it feels right for them. Maybe they have such a deep rooted thing that only another pain can alleviate it. So they go at it in a roundabout way.
Ultimately, you are searching for comfort and wellbeing. If this doesn’t cause a sense of wellbeing, and it feels like torture, then why do it? In the beginning of everything, of course, it seems torturous because you don’t have the skills or whatever. This is why you can’t only experience it once. You have to experience it many times to get a bigger picture and find out if it feels right or good for you, or not.
Many people come and say, “This is what I’ve been waiting for all of my life” So did I. For me, it came directly. To you, it comes indirectly. Why didn’t somebody discover it before? I ask the same thing. But they didn’t and I did.
So it is with everything. Why not before? Only after it has been discovered, it has been discovered, right? Where was it before? It was there. Only those that were capable to draw it down into this dimension were not there.
You can read Part 2 of Juliu’s conversation with me here.
Cina Canada is a GYROTONIC® Trainer and the Media Coordinator for GYROTONIC® International Headquarters.