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By Sydney Solis
“A dream is a poem of the body.” – Sandra Cisneros
If you’re a writer like me, chances are that when you were a child you a spent a lot of time inside reading books. I couldn’t get enough of books and cramming lots of stories and information into my head. The images and stories spun my mind into outer space, and my imagination went wild. Then I would write for hours. Later I went to journalism school, and my mind became sharp and fast-thinking so that I could churn out lots of stories. But I was all in my head.
Over the years, however, I discovered that my mind isn’t the only place that thinks and is intelligent. In our Cartesian world, thinking with the mind is considered superior, but our bodies think and are intelligent too! In fact, the gut and heart have just as many neurons as the brain does. Plus, getting into your body more can offer up not just more sensory and physical experience in time and space to make your writing come alive for your reader, but can also be a gold mine as a source of interesting material to write about and give insight into who you or your characters are and what their motivations are.
In the upcoming “Mythic Yoga: The Story in the Body,” we will be using our imagination, breath and body to explore what we are feeling and “thinking” with everything below our heads! Using guided meditation and yoga nidra, or sleep yoga, we can get into a deep state of relaxation and awareness and “think” with that fourth state of consciousness that is between waking, dreaming and sleeping. With physical movement we can get grounded in a place where we can access images that correspond with different body parts, connect with forgotten incidents and emotions from the past that are embedded in muscle and write about them to see where they take us.
World mythology and the oral tradition also play a part in Mythic Yoga, as these ancient symbols and images activate archetypes within us. “Where do those images of paradise come from?” Mythologist Joseph Campbell asked. “The soul.” Images are created within the realm of the body, via the heart. Through the yogic niyama of svadyaya, or self-reflection, we can tap corresponding symbols in mythic images and archetypes to explore our own or character’s motivations and stories. Myths also provide anchors and meaning in a seemingly more technological and alienated world. Myths link us to the interior world, the lost realm of soma, of the body and the symbolic, intuitive realm that has, according to Einstein, been lost in favor of the intellect.
The oral tradition provides us with a different way to access story, too. Oral is primary and primitive. Your voice is a unique creation via body, sound and the symbolism of words. What happens when you speak your thoughts, ideas and stories into creation rather than write them down with a pen first? What happens when you move your body and speak? It may surprise you!
Find out by joining me and others for some Mythic Yoga on June 18 from 5:00 to 7:30 PM and discover through gentle yoga and movement, dream work, and the power of your own voice a whole new world of story that awaits.
Sydney Solis is a writer, storyteller, and teacher of yoga. She founded Storytime Yoga and the Mythic Yoga Studio. She teaches Mythic Yoga at Lighthouse’s Lit Fest on June 18. Register today!.