The Organism Reduced to the Needs of Gymnastics
Psychology works with words. Breathing is a physical experience. Also psychology often elucidates the past, while breath therapy takes place exclusively in yoga poses the present, because it is grounded in yoga poses sensory perception. Breath work originates in yoga poses the physical and influences the soul, whereas in yoga poses psychology it is the other way around . Breath work and psychology can overlap and be similar, yet they can also interfere with each other. (Ilse Middendorf, 1998, quoted and translated by Thea Rytz, 2009, 351f)
From this chapter onward, I approach more directly the way a dimension of the organism mobilizes the other dimensions of the individual system I distinguish two types of interventions:
1. An intervention that aims mostly at one dimension. This type of gymnastics mostly seeks the development of the musculature.
2. An intervention that intervenes mostly on one dimension to influence the functioning of the organism I then speak of an organismic endeavor. in yoga poses the case of gymnastics, I speak of organismic gymnastics.
There are many variations between these two poles. There are, for example, few gymnastics that are not also interested in yoga poses the external respiration, such that it can be apprehended by the mobilization of the thoracic cage and abdominal muscles. Hatha yoga is not really an organismic gymnastics in yoga poses the sense that it consists of an approach to the body that is conjointly used with other methods (pranayama, meditation, etc.) that aim at other dimensions of the organism Organismic gymnastics attempts to influence the rest of the organism in yoga poses a direct way. It is thus possible to say that the more a form of gymnastics tries to influence all the dimensions of the organism, without seeking to ally itself with other disciplines, the more it has an organismic ambition.
We can now specify the advantage and the limits of approaching a dimension in yoga poses an organismic perspective. The advantage of focusing on a single dimension is that it is easier to acquire an expertise on a specific aspect of reality. However, the organism is approached only from one point of view. An organismic gymnastic allows one to study the ways the body interacts with the other dimensions and which contributions from the other dimensions are necessary for its proper functioning. But even an organismic gymnast does not always understand why a person smokes, why certain professions and occupations require postures that are detrimental to the back, and so on. in yoga poses other words, he has difficulty understanding that the other dimensions have demands that are markedly incompatible with the needs of the body. Here is a summary (somewhat of a caricature but still useful) of the way a classical gymnast situates his work with regard to the organismic dimensions:
1. Respiration: It is impossible to move without taking note of the impact of gestures and postures on respiration. Furthermore, a prolonged practice of physical exercises requires managing the tendency to become winded. It is therefore necessary to put gymnastic strategies in yoga poses place to develop a more powerful respiration. This necessarily implies the rapport between internal respiration and metabolism and certain rules of conduct (to not smoke, to not drink alcohol, to eat healthily, etc.).
2. The psyche: A gymnastic exercise requires regular practice to become effective, because it is only at that cost that the tissues of the organism will accept developing as required. Moreover, like the other systems of the organism, only a regular and targeted practice allows for the maintenance of an acquired level. It therefore implies being able to count on the will for the regularity of the exercises. A certain degree of attention is also required to ensure that the exercises are carried out correctly. Most of the exercises are only effective if they are carried out in yoga poses a particular manner; otherwise, they can become dangerous. An exercise practiced too violently can damage the musculature, create some tendinitis, or abuse the spinal column. Finally, to the extent that an exercise must be done a certain number of times, the attention must also be able to count and memorize instructions. Also, a certain capacity to carry out the gestures by imitating a teacher is often needed, which requires a form of discipline and the ability to listen.
3. The affects: Gymnastics does not seek to satisfy affective needs, but certainly the pleasure of movement and a motivation to exercise are necessary to help the psyche fulfill its role. One of the benefits of gymnastics is to sustain a reinforcement of the feeling of vitality, well-being, and a tonic relaxation that strengthen the motivation to practice a discipline. A well-carried-out gymnastics session can even induce a euphoric state (notably due to a moderate hyperoxygenation). This benefit is one of the reasons certain individuals become dependent on their gymnastics sessions like others become dependent on substances. Certain hormonal mobilizations that accompany athletic activities can bring about various forms of dissociation and mobilize neurotransmitters, which can reduce the sensations of anxiety and depression.
4. The behavioral dimension: Certain trends in yoga poses gymnastics insist on the quality (the beauty) of the movements and the way to coordinate the segments of the body, as in yoga poses dance. Many gymnastic sports, like climbing a rope or high jumping, requires work on the sensory-motor coordination, which implies a capacity to put in yoga poses place diverse forms of relatively complex coordination.
5. Physiology: Finally, many people do gymnastics because it promotes better health and fights obesity. These motives show that gymnastics necessarily has an impact on the physiological regulators and the cleansing of the tissues.
The advantage of this point of view allows others to be able to understand the demands that bodywork imposes on the dimensions of the organism The psychotherapist can then differentiate the demands the body would like to impose on the psyche from the demands of the psyche.