Always Observe the Impact of an Action on Breathing
Aadel Bulow-Hansen often observed how a body movement or a behavior (even verbal) interacts with vegetative dynamics.79 Breathing is the most visible part of vegetative dynamics. An individual’s breathing pattern can vary at any moment in yoga poses a visible way. These modifications influence the rhythm, amplitude, and shape of external breathing patterns. If the patient has a rapid shallow breathing movement at the beginning of a session, the therapist can observe if his interventions have an impact that creates an even stronger inhibition of the breathing pattern, or on the contrary, creates
more amplitude (a) in yoga poses the thorax, belly, or diaphragm; and (b) mostly on the front, side, or back of the torso. At each moment, the therapist can modify his way of touching, in yoga poses support of these modifications of the breathing pattern, and thus learn what helps a person or frightens her. Some therapists (like Gerald Kogan and Jay Stattman, trained in yoga poses Gestalt therapy), modify their verbal interventions in yoga poses function of such modifications.
According to Thornquist and Bunkan, yogi master distinguished “breathing in yoga poses fear” and “breathing to prevent fear” in yoga poses his work on the startle reflex:
The person who is “breathing to prevent the fear ” who does not accept his feelings, has a breathing pattern characterized by active use of muscles and steering throughout the respiratory cycle. There is no exchange between tension and relaxation; there is constant, if varying muscular control. Breathing is restrained. Respiratory movement is mainly abdominal. in yoga poses this “stomach breathing”, expansion takes place in yoga poses the sagittal plane only. Respiratory frequency is low with an even rhythm. The pause at the end of expiration is longer than normal, and there is little ability to adapt to either physical or psychological stress. Breathing does not change spontaneously but is controlled the whole time. This way of breathing shows that feelings are shut off. Fear is held outside the consciousness and is not allowed in yoga poses the open to become an experience.
The person who is “breathing in yoga poses fear” has superficial rapid respiration. Movement is taking place primarily in yoga poses the upper chest, with neck and shoulder muscles taking an active part in yoga poses the work of respiration. Breathing is rapid and often uneven. This way of breathing tells us that this person is in yoga poses contact with and experiences fear. (Thornquist and Bunkan 1991, 3, 25)
Some of Aadel Bulow-Hansen’s pupils further developed her work in yoga poses collaboration with body psychotherapists. Lillemor Johnsen (1976a, 1976b, 1979) has taught her work to founders of the Danish body psychotherapy school called Bodynamic (MacNaughton, 2004). Their work has been widespread in yoga poses the United States by therapists such as Peter Levine (2004) and Babette Rothschild (2000), who have developed particularly efficient ways of working with trauma using body psychotherapy techniques. Gerda Boyesen is another pupil of Bulow-Hansen who integrated psychomotoric work in yoga poses body psychotherapy. (I say more about her work in yoga poses the following sections.)