I’m in a dream where I’m under water and choking on yoga


Ever since I’ve taken medication to control my anxiety, I’ve been on a high for how I can deal with things – I’m Supergirl. I can face any situation and anxiety bounces off my Citalopram armour.

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But there have been trade-offs. First, a slight weight gain (about 10 – 15 lbs.) has made me feel like I’ve had to make the choice between my mental health and physical health. But that’s ancillary to a more persistent issue: imagine Supergirl holding a truck out of the way of a child with her super-human strength, but not ever being able to let go.

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I’ve put my anxiety in a vice-grip – yes, it’s under control, but I can’t relax that grip for a second. When I’m angry, I grit my teeth, hence my inability to scream.

A few weeks after taking an improv workshop, I went back to a yoga class I first discovered two years ago. It is heavy on meditation – something I couldn’t do at the time without gasping for air.

Laying down in savasana (corpse pose) gave me the inexplicable sensation of drowning in the water in my own body. I feared a wave of it would crash back into my throat and literally choke me.

The instructor worked with me for weeks, suggesting I try laying back on a large cushion, so my head was slightly inclined. 

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This time I lay flat on the floor – without fear – and I try a new strategy. I try to stay as still as I can and focus on relaxing my face. I can feel all the individual muscles as I let them go: the muscles in my jaw tense from clenching my teeth, the muscles above my eyebrows tense from frowning – and I’m at peace.

Definitely not healed, but certainly not broken.