Nurture (Updated: 01/08/18)

Without nurture, real profundity in movement is more difficult to attain. If we are to go face the dragon, we are to have the blessings of the mother. We also want to dance in a way that is sustainable, so that we can dance to a very old age like Kazuo Ohno. Nurture creates a safe environment to enter into deep resonance. There are various nurturing practices. Several of the practices can also be done with partners.


There are innumerable amount of breathing techniques. Here are a few breathing techniques that may be used.

1. Localized

This is breathing directed to a particular area of the body, e.g. perineum or kidneys.

2. Silk Breath

Imagine there is a silk ribbon gently travelling in and out of your nasal passage. This is very gentle breath and is smooth. Silk breath can be short, long, or natural.

3. Breath of Fire

This is very subtle and fast breath going in and out. The focus can reside under the nose. Think millimeter inhalation and expiration. The body will feel heat and also vibrate.

Experiment utilizing breath with movement. For instance, when moving toward the vertical axis, inspire, and when moving away, expire. Or when expanding the body, inspire, and when the body is dropped, release the breath.

5. Yawn or No Breath

The space between inspiration and expiration is a magical space. You can feel the effects with a yawn, especially sustaining a yawn.

6. Expelling

Expel breath completely and suddenly, especially stale breath that is no longer needed.

7. Organ Breath Sounds: (1) Lung – sssssssss. (2) Kidney – choooo (oo in shoe). (3) Liver – shhhhhhh. (4) Heart – haaaaa. (5) Spleen/Pancreas – whoooo (more from back of throat than kidney). (6) Tripple Warmer (Multi Organ) – heeeee

Shakes & Quakes

Whole body shakes are one of the most fundamental methods of releasing tension. Can also be done by knocking the heel while standing in which case it will be like a bodyquake.

A recommended practice to get into the body which is both extremely nurturing and great for butoh is the floppy body. The floppy body is a body being shaken by something else while one is passive or floppy (one can even think dead or asleep). Executing the floppy body with the entire body is great, but one can also isolate different parts such as the hands, essentially bringing for the floppy hands.

Dropping Limbs

Reach up with a limb with inhalation then expel the breath while dropping the limb.

Partner Puppet

With one person lying down, have another gently manipulate, shake, and rotate the limbs as the lying down person completely relaxes the joints and muscles.


While sitting, sway in space. To start, you can move on the directions of a clock. All directions, however, work. Also, you can lay in a supine position (on your back) and pull and push your heels back and forth. You can develop a nurturing vibration through this subtle rocking.

If you are sitting or standing in any space (even outside of the butoh world), it is recommended to always have at least a subtle sway. The sway can act as an excellent transition point between qualias. The sway can also be thought of as the palate cleanser to the wine tastings of qualias.

Walking in Space

Just plain conscious walking all throughout the space can be nurturing. Like swaying, it is also a great transition point between qualias or palate cleanser for the wine tastings of qualias.

Physical Pressure

Laying of Hands

Simple hand to skin contact alone is nurturing. Specific places to try:

1. One hand heart, another forehead

2. One hand heart, another stomach

3. One hand base of skull, another solar plexus

4. One hand heart, another on spine (especially while in fetal position)

5. Head container – one hand front, one back; one hand side, another side.

Patting, rubbing, and rocking can also work or hovering over the skin where the heat of the hands can be sensed.


Hugging yourself is always nurturing and can also be done in a number of ways. The arms need not be the only things. Try with legs too.

Acupressure & Trigger Point

If you want to experiment with various acupressure or trigger points, you can do so. The information is widely accessible. Experiment with various ball densities (e.g. tennis ball, softball).

Wall Massage

Experiment giving various pressure against the wall with your entire body. The wall can be incredibly nurturing.

Tension Release

Wring a wet towel, swing ropes, bear hug a pillow, etc.


If much nurturing is needed due to finding too sharp of an edge, find a blanket (the heavier the better), and cushion to either hug or prop head with.


All stretches should target the fascia or provide strength at point of maximum extension. Do not stretch a cold body part.

Inner Smile

Visualize a time that made you smile authentically. Take this smile inside your body. You can smile to wherever needs the attention. Smile to all the organs and systems. Study your anatomy and have a smile frenzy.

Shadowbody Six Nurturing Steps

1. Rub hands till they are hot then lay them on the effected area by holding, rubbing, patting, squeezing, and vibrating.

2. Scoop and then quickly eject the imagined knot or density behind you while ejecting the breath.

3. Sway or dance 3d scribbles to the same area.

4. Simultaneously tense and freeze the area while holding the breath.

5. Release breath while shaking or convulsing the area.

6. Take relaxing breaths into the area. If having to do with a specific organ, refer to Organ Breath Sounds on the Breath section.

Panic/Anxiety Emergency

In case of an emotional/psychological emergency, keep these in mind. Just one may work just fine. I have utilized all three of these before when faced with dark shamanic journeying.

1. Stop and breathe.

Utilize the silk breath (see above) in a comfortable posture (such as half lotus) and become a third person observer.

2. Give up.

Surrender to the ground. Whatever comes at you will not effect you because that would be like beating a dead horse. You can even jokingly ask (like I have), what are you going to do, kill me? I’m already dead!

3. Repeat “love.”

Repeat “love” to yourself like an endless mantra. Nothing more.

Important: If the episode passes, yet you feel shaky or trembly, resonate with this by taking them into more pronounced shakes or convulsions. This is a natural response in nature to release trauma. Despite, it does not hurt to shake or convulse just in case. See section Statue & Freeze.