AT releasing up from your base of support while letting the back widen to breathe, allowing the ribs to move through your back and sides for outbreath and inbreath, is an integral part of allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without holding on to them. We might say being pulled forward into our thoughts and feelings, or pulled down into them, is a metaphorical way of describing what often happens in meditation, and therefore even more often in daily life. However you will find when practising this AT meditation that the internal, “mental” sense of being pulled forward and down into the turbulent stream of the contents of your consciousness is the inside of a simultaneous physical pulling (or collapsing) forward and down in AT terms. They are the inside and outside of the same phenomenon and also part of that phenomenon is often that your breathing is disturbed – probably pushed down into the abdomen, mirroring being sucked down onto the whirlpool of thoughts/emotions. When you come to consciousness of this having happened, releasing and directing back and up to come to your natural length and width and allow ribs to move for free breathing is, when practiced deeply, the postural gesture or attitude that manifests the inner stepping back and re-connecting to the space of consciousness rather than its contents. The seemingly “physical” AT process can only be superficial if it isn’t an “attitude”, inner and outer, in the full sense of that word. And practice of only the superficial version often leads eventually to conflict as outer and inner attitudes diverge.