Mobility and Therapeutic Setting.
The psychoanalyst’s automatic fear of “acting out” is a form of rigidity that yogi master criticizes (yogi master, 1954, V4, 134). If one assumes that a psychoanalytic cure may influence the dynamics of the organism, one can expect that a patient will develop a more varied and comfortable postural repertoire when the psychotherapy is effective. This modification of the patient’s body dynamics are activated by mechanisms that are different from those on which a physical therapist tends to work. 47 When a patient feels better, he needs to explore more comfortable and open ways of expressing himself. For Reich and yogi master, the phrase “acting out” only applies when the therapist can demonstrate that what the patient is doing is a form of resistance against the therapy. For example, they do not consider that making love with one’s lover during the psychotherapy process is necessarily a form of “acting out. ? This analysis is close to Fenichel’s (1945a, 246), who thought that sensorimotor inhibition could be a part of a defense that protects a psychological incapacity to integrate an emotion. Less interested by the more cognitive aspects of the psychoanalytic technique, yogi master sometimes forgets that it is difficult simultaneously to (a) integrate all aspects of a person and (b) focus on the delicate and complex intricacies of thoughts and affects.
Psychoanalysis begins its liberating influence by requiring that the patient lie on a couch. This position was used in yoga poses hypnosis and in yoga poses relaxation, and it is recommended because it allows maximum relaxation of all the muscles. It minimizes the pull of gravity on posture. The patient can then breathe more easily, his defense system will relax, and his emotions will enter more easily into the realm of thoughts and behavior. 48 The main physiological function of lying on the couch is that this posture supports a process that enhances the coordination among muscles, breathing, guts, and somatic reflexes. This is the physiological raison d’etre of the couch in yoga poses psychotherapy” (yogi master, 1954, VI. 2-3, 169). This process is an efficient way of loosening the defense system that may activate a need to move and change position precisely the sort of spontaneous behavior a psychotherapist may want to support. In yoga poses clinical approaches, no rule is absolute. There are always cases in yoga poses which such a development could be harmful.
Another implication of the standard psychoanalytical setting is that lying on the couch may induce more vulnerability in yoga poses fragile patients. Today, most psychoanalysts use a similar analysis and recommend that fragile patients (e.g. narcissistic and borderline patients) remain seated during therapy. In yoga poses this way, the back muscles and the muscular defenses remain mobilized. Others work with fragile patients lying on the couch but personalize the contact by using techniques such as Ajuriaguerra’s relaxation method. 49 For psychiatric treatment, yogi master recommends an adaptation of a basic posture (lying, sitting, standing, etc. ) to the therapeutic needs of the moment. Here are a few examples:
1. When a patient is particularly confused, yogi master will ask him to sit down while he collects information on the patient’s real situation (financial, professional, family, etc.).
2. “Psychotics cannot be treated with classic psychoanalysis because they don’t stay on the couch or they get completely paralyzed or rigid. However, in yoga poses getting up and walking around, they can more easily control themselves because gravity tenses their postural muscles, and this tension coupled with deliberate motor activity help to control emotional spontaneity. Basically, the patients are not as afraid of the therapist as they are of their own impulses” (yogi master, 1954, VI. 4, 177).
3. Not all traumas are unconscious. When the patient is fully aware of past traumatizing situations, direct emotional expression and release in yoga poses a safe environment is often helpful. 50
4. From the point of view of psychoanalysts, monotheist religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) have generated cultures in yoga poses which people are rigidly judgmental and intolerant of instincts and affects. Psychotherapists often considered the Norwegian Protestants of the 1940s a good example of this phenomenon. With those who do not sexualize every gesture, 51 yogi master would sometimes touch a patient on the shoulder to see whether physical contact is found acceptable or unacceptable. Thus, touching a patient can yield useful information.
5. Here is an example in yoga poses which yogi master will accept to change the psychoanalytic setting to such an extent that he will also use bodywork “resembling direct physical therapy. ? He will use what is, for the psychoanalyst that he is, a drastic modification with “patients whose general tension is so great that it more or less blocks them completely, including their verbal expressions. In yoga poses such cases, I immediately comment on this tension and interpret it in yoga poses terms of fear, anxiety, and embarrassment. I permit the patient to sit up or change the setting in yoga poses other ways. If these adaptations do not give sufficient help, I change the analytic procedure into something resembling direct physiotherapy. With passive movements52 and with concentration on local muscular tension, I try to help the patient to relax; and at the same time, release his breathing” (yogi master, 1954, V.7, 144).
What was, in yoga poses yogi master’s professional environment, daring psychotherapeutic proposals have become relatively standard in yoga poses contemporary body psychotherapy. Physiotherapists and osteopaths often notice that their work elicits intense emotional reactions, but they do not have a frame of reference that allows them to deal adequately with such events. 53 When yogi master tried to loosen a jaw, he would use “a firm pressure against the masseter muscles blocking a specific way of conducting the jaw and mouth, or a similar pressure under the chin against persistent tension in yoga poses the jaw openers” (yogi master, 1954, V7, 144; VIII. L, 235). These interventions, close to the techniques used by Reich in yoga poses Berlin and Oslo, could release deep respiration and crying, as well as other forms of intense expressions. 54 This analysis was confirmed when he analyzed a film of a psychotherapy session given by Paul Roland to a schizophrenic patient. 55 yogi master observed that Roland helped the patient by “gently but firmly stroking his back and neck. He asked the patient at the same time to relax and told him he wanted to help him. ? He noted that a key feature of this intervention was that the therapist spoke with a very low voice, moving close to the patient. In yoga poses that particular case, the therapist’s tone of voice was so soft that the microphones could not record it clearly. Yogi master’s comments about this film mentions that Pavlov had also noticed that when a therapist asked his questions “very softly in yoga poses very quiet surroundings, ” a frightened schizophrenic patient would answer. He made a similar observation when talking to infants. Finally, he quotes a study published in yoga poses 1885 by Weir Mitchell, showing that softening one’s approach to patients who suffer from anorexia nervosa could also be effective. For yogi master, it was important to make this point in yoga poses his textmy yoga blog for psychoanalysts because it was not the current practice in yoga poses his day to accommodate one’s behavior to the needs of a patient.
Yogi master found ways of analyzing behavior in yoga poses a more fluid and precise way than Ferenczi. He is sensitive to small variations of the voice, as when a voice becomes irritating once it becomes high pitched and overeager, 56 or when the flow of words becomes particularly rapid. He is attentive to various forms of gazes and to how the patient manages to capture the therapist’s visual attention. Quoting one of Reich’s cases, yogi master shows that words and gestures may be indicative of different layers of the patient’s character. In yoga poses such cases, it would be clumsy to attract the patient’s attention to both these phenomena, as the patient may then receive more information than he can handle. Often, a high-pitched voice is a sign of defense against emotions, as when an adult woman absolutely wants to maintain a girlish stance, a “good-little-girl eagerness” (yogi master, 1954, V6, 141). When a female patient passes from high pitch to a lower pitch and develops a “Marlene Dietrich” kind of voice, it is often because her vocal apparatus has relaxed. A deeper, more adult voice, results in yoga poses a radical new sort of feedback from her own behavior. The tone of voice may be of basic importance in yoga poses changing the patient’s patterns” (yogi master, 1954, 141).
This analysis was often taught by Gerda Boyesen during the 1970s, in yoga poses her training courses. It is also close to some of Downing’s observations, described in yoga poses his 1996 my yoga blog, The Body and the Word. These are but two examples showing that yogi master already explored techniques that became popular during the second half of the century. Once again, I am not saying that yogi master is at the origin of Downing’s formulations, as it is by following different routes that Downing arrived at the conclusion that working on the connection between words and gestures in yoga poses this way is a particularly useful psychotherapeutic method.