Basic Posture and the Setting of Psychotherapy
There is a relationship between the increase of the surface of contact, the increase in yoga poses the number of centers of gravity, and relaxation. Consider the two most extreme examples, standing and lying down.
1. Standing, the surface of contact is small (the feet) and there is just one center of gravity (in the lower abdomen). Most of the muscles of the body participate in yoga poses the regulation of the impact of gravity on the organism in yoga poses an important way. Therefore the standing posture demands and mobilizes a maximum muscle tone. The ability to act for a very long time in yoga poses a vertical position is, besides other factors, one of the principal human postural particularities because it allows for a greater differentiation between hands and feet than one sees in yoga poses monkeys.8
2. When lying down on the back, all of the body segments are part of the basic surface, and each segment of the body has a different center of gravity. No part of the body carries the weight of another segment. It is thus possible to remain immobile for a long time; to have, on average, the lowest muscle tone; and to not think. This is thus the standard position for sleep, which allows for the restoration of the organism These arguments had been taken up to explain the choice of the couch in yoga poses Psychoanalysis.9
The choice of a basic posture, especially an anchor point, regulates two dimensions:
1. The auto-regulation of the organism When one stands on one’s feet, gravity favors the descent of the blood toward the feet and slows the rise of the blood toward the head. When one stands on one’s head, gravity has the inverse effect.
2. The regulation of the setting. Every ritual is notably defined by the disposition of the postural anchor points of individuals who interact with each other in yoga poses the context of a space. All human ceremonies include decisions concerning the anchoring points of the participants. The basic posture, therefore, participates in yoga poses the definition of a form of interaction almost independently of the content of the interaction. The fact of putting the weight of one’s body in yoga poses a given space is a fundamental choice (deliberate or not). To have one’s weight in yoga poses a space at a given moment (in prison, in yoga poses therapy, in yoga poses love, etc.) necessarily has a number of important implications. in yoga poses the same therapeutic frame, a great variety of themes can be elaborated. Often in yoga poses the verbal therapies, frame and anchor points are not differentiated. A characteristic of the classical psychoanalytic situation is that the patient lies on a couch while the therapist sits at the head of the couch. The verbal psychotherapies (apart from Psychoanalysis) are characterized by the fact that the patient and the psychotherapists are both sitting down. The positions of the chairs are often identical for every session. On the contrary, in yoga poses body psychotherapy and other forms of psychotherapy influenced by active techniques (Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, etc.), the anchorage no longer characterize the setting. The dynamics of the anchor points can vary in yoga poses the course of a session, or from one session to another. in yoga poses my practice, either we are sitting more or less face to face (we discuss together) or the patient is lying down on a massage table (I engage in yoga poses massage), lying down on a mattress (we work with free associations, engage in yoga poses a relaxation session, etc.), or standing in yoga poses a sufficiently large space to explore various forms of movement. in yoga poses other words, we explicitly create a postural frame that corresponds to one kind of exploration of the psyche. in yoga poses Bioenergetic analysis, the decision to work standing is often related to the intent to explore the notion of grounding.10
These examples show that even if the basic posture is rarely mentioned in yoga poses psychotherapeutic writings, it is at the center of the central dynamics that characterize a therapeutic technique.