Where Do Stories Reside in the Body? by Kathy Dahl
We know that stories affect us deeply. Often we are moved to tears or laughter when hearing or reading a story. We know that we carry the stories of our lives deep inside of us. So where do these stories actually reside? When we step onto our mats, how can we best access the stories we hold deep inside?
In Kevin Kling’s book, On Stage with Kevin Kling, he writes, “When you’re in the room with a storyteller, it’s a visceral experience. The story comes through the eyes and ears and even chemically. If a storyteller talks about throwing a ball with his right arm, the area of your brain that throws a ball with the right arm lights up. So when you are told a story in person, the experience is actually transferred to you. I think there’s a lot to that.”
Mathew Sanford adds, “Your mind is fickle. It changes; it fluctuates; it forgets. Your memory… that’s even worse. Memories fade and morph and tell the stories that you create as much the stories of what actually happened. Not so with your body. Your body is steadfast. It remains… in every moment of your entire life… always faithful, always happening. Your mind brings only pictures and a few fleeting sensations from your past. Your body is your past, the unwavering marker of everything you have been… both your space AND your time. Touch your body and touch the only real proof that you have ever been. Your body is the story of your life. Listen to it… honor it.”
Patricia Weaver Francisco writes in her book, Telling: A Memoir of Rape and Recovery, “In setting down the details of my own experience with rape, I am hoping to start a few conversations. I’ve found that the story I have always told myself about these events has a dramatic coherence, that my selective memory has not selected randomly but has kept the telling details, those images that carry the feelings of a whole time.”
Of all of the yoga postures, Savasana (Corpse Pose) may be the pose where we can best integrate the stories our bodies hold and the thoughts that form around those stories… Would you like to explore the role of mind and body in telling our stories? Are you ready to step into the pages of your life? Please join us at Body. Mind. Story. coming up October 18-21 with Kevin Kling, Matthew Sanford, and Patricia Francisco.