Yoga has changed my brain

I used to be “an anxious person”.

I  suspect that a propensity towards anxiety is wired into you, a bit like the way an addict always considers themselves an addict, either using or in recovery. 

It comes back at certain moments. But yoga is my way to arm myself against it. I am no longer that person who has a vague sense of inexplicable dread in the pit of their stomach for a lot of the time.

I practiced yoga movement and breathing enough for them to filter into my everyday life. It helped me know in my body that symptoms like tightness in my chest or wobbles in my tummy were not signs of some “truth” but frequently misfirings of information from my brain to body and back again.

Before this I had bought into the story my anxiety was telling me about the world around me and of myself as an “anxious person”. Some stories are true or partly true, but often I wrapped myself up in exaggerations or recurrent patterns. 

Now I feel more able to deal with what life throws at me. Things will happen. Life unfolds. Some things I can influence or change, others not so. 

The mind left to its own devices whirrs and buzzes and worries. We can check these tendencies (maybe we are always “in recovery” from some version of ourselves, always a work in progress), get better at recognising warning signs and understanding what we need, and asking for help.