The specialists associated with the mind-body axis in yoga poses the 1930s were influenced by the traditional methods of the Far East (yoga, judo, etc.) but also by masters more difficult to situate, like Ottoman Zar-Abdusht Hanish (1844-1936)20 and George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff. Their knowledge surpasses what is taught in yoga poses European yoga schools because they would have been trained by the masters of the Far East, who had taught them knowledge rarely disseminated because it was profound, secret, and delicate to handle. As Europeans, they set about to adapt this knowledge according to what a European or an American is able to integrate. Hanish’s influence is above all due to his way of coordinating postural work and breathing exercises. He was a reference not only for gymnasts like Elsa Gindler but also for physical therapists and orthopedists like Andre de Sambucy, in yoga poses France.
Hanish would have been initiated in yoga poses Iran into a sort of yoga inspired by two sources:
1. The sculptures of ancient Egypt. For Hanish, the positions of the statues of the pharaohs are a model of orthopedically healthy behavior, useful to all those who would take the time to explore them. He relates the postures and the gestures of the Egyptian statues to precise breathing exercises which develop the body as well as its coordination with the development of certain mental faculties.
2. The wisdom of Zoroaster. Hanish’s teaching claims to resurrect the wisdom of the ancient mazdeen religion of the Persians and the teachings of Zoroaster.
For Hanish, the organism is a complex mix of indirect and direct links between the centers of the organism This explains in yoga poses part how his system was able to influence so many schools of mind-body work. Each school could take what was convenient. Here are a few examples:
1. Hanish teaches a list of a few direct links between parts of the organism, like the following:
a. There would be some direct links between the feet and the ears that would render the massage of the feet useful for the development ofhearing21
b. Thoracic breathing develops the intellect and spirituality, while abdominal breathing develops the body and instinctual impulses. Superficial respiration generates superficial thoughts and deep respiration, deep thoughts.22
c. There is a relationship between supple fingers and a supple mind.23 Every time that I attended a course in yoga poses a body/mind discipline, I had access to a list of this type: whether it was in yoga poses acupuncture, in yoga poses tai chi chuan, in yoga poses the Mathias Alexander method, or in yoga poses Biodynamic psychology. Every time, the list is different, and sometimes contradictory.24 Every time, the link mentioned seems to have a certain relevance that becomes increasingly vague as soon as I try to organize and define these connections in yoga poses an explicit way.
2. The harmonization of the rhythms of the organism. Hanish systematizes the usefulness of coordinating gesture and respiration. This principle had already been introduced from Turkey by Ling; the description proposed by Hanish is more detailed and explicit.25 This way to associate gestures to respiratory schemas, as if they form a necessary system for the proper unfolding of an activity, is found in yoga poses tai chi chuan. We find traces of this way of exploring gesture and breathing in yoga poses Gindler’s and Reich’s methods. in yoga poses all these cases, the association between gesture and breathing is considered a building block to create a rhythm that harmonizes all the dimensions of the organism, which then functions in yoga poses sync with a profound rhythm of the organism taken as a whole.
3. The complex particularities of each organism and the necessity to learn to experience oneself from the inside.26 For Hanish, the organism is an infinitely complex organization that particularizes itself and draws out numerous intricate associations in yoga poses the course of a lifetime. As all of the gestures, thoughts, and affects that we carry out have an impact on the general functioning of the organism, no one specialist can understand the exact needs of an organism It is therefore imperative that each individual develop the feeling that permits him or her to experience the organism from the inside. This sixth sense allows us to feel what we are doing and how our internal and external actions relate to one other. It also allows a person to understand how his or her particularities form a particular whole that is one of the many possible manifestations of the living. Therefore, only by learning how to explore oneself from this point of view in yoga poses a detailed manner can an individual learn to appreciate who he is and develop what can only exist in yoga poses him Only in yoga poses becoming sharply aware of the extraordinary richness of our complexity are we able to begin to appreciate the particularities of others.
The way to feel from the inside is a common aspect among most schools of body psychotherapy and of the humanistic ones, such as Gestalt therapy. It was often transmitted to these schools by some of Elsa Gindler’s students.
In the 1920s, the gymnastics teacher Elsa Gindler observed how important proprioceptive awareness training is for well-rounded personal development. The German educator pioneered a paradigm shift, without which many of the approaches that focus on awareness of the body and the mind would be inconceivable today. (Thea Rytz, 2009, Centered and Connected, 30)
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