Why the Body?
Below, I’ve listed several reasons for why I teach writing the way I do.
The body is how we experience the world. It is through our bodies that we gather information for our brains to process. Lively writing incorporates the senses.
When we pay attention to our bodies, sometimes we are able to bypass brain chatter and “notice” on a deeper level. Rather than pushing our thoughts and words around, we open and notice thoughts and words that arise.
Sometimes people get really wound up about writing. How many of us put our research papers off until the last minute while we were in school? What about some of us who have taken on copywriting as a job – and we are strictly bound by rules and deadlines? Or maybe someone told us we were stupid or had nothing important to say – and that stuck with us? Movement lightens things up – it’s fun.
Most of us simply don’t move enough in our day – so why not get some exercise before doing a practice that pretty much requires us to sit?
Personally, I’m hyper and easily distracted and bored. I need to let off extra energy often, and I find that movement helps. Music helps. Dancing helps. Singing helps. If I try to fight my need for action, my mind gets stuck in a loop. A shift in focus breaks the thread.
Yoga body/yoga mind. Stimulate the body/stimulate the mind. Sometimes the body just needs a little attention in order to relax, and when the body relaxes, the mind can relax.
I am coming to believe that we ignore our bodies at the peril of not only ourselves, but, our planet. We need to remember that our lives are lived not only in our heads and on our computer screens. We are beings in bodies experiencing a physical life. We physically live on Earth. Our disconnect with the planet mirrors our disconnect with our bodies – we cannot live without a planet nor our bodies. (Common sense, but . . . ) Paying attention is important – denial is dangerous.
Our heads sometimes have ideas about things that our bodies completely disagree with – that’s worth exploring.
I’ve found that what works for me works for others, too. Write what you know . . . teach what you know.