"Anorexia Nervosa was my demon, my inner monster"

Meet @carolinedoesyoga sharing her story with us. These are her words💚 . . "When I started practicing Yoga it was out of necessity & I did it begrudgingly wishing it was something more hardcore . But that was the point. At the time my body wasn’t up to doing anything more strenuous. I’d spent two years completely signed off work & all forms of exercise. Even brisk walking was frowned upon . The Anorexia became obvious: A bag of bones with a perpetually pissed-off-face (mostly made of big teeth) & baggy clothes. I smoked, drank black coffee & vodka & every now and again a lettuce leaf or solitary mushroom would pass my lips . Before being diagnosed, exercise had been a huge part of my life. Being physically active is a massively important part of keeping a healthy body & mind, but I don’t do things by halves & we later found out that over-exercising is a classic symptom of Anorexia . So, once the doctors finally had their hands on me they put a stop to that & I had to do a lot of sitting. Hence the pissed-off face . To be fair to the health professionals (& my poor, long suffering Mum) their apprehension was real. When my body wasn’t getting nutrition, it turned inwards & started breaking down any protein it could find. My heart was the main concern . Recovery was slow & painful, but thanks to some very patient friends, family members & doctors, I was finally given the green light to gently start to move again . No matter how strenuous a pose or vinyasa flow sequence might feel, your heart never has to over work … & I did try! . When I first started it was all about working hard. The relaxation was just something I had to get through before I could march home again . Over time this has softened & I’ve seen the importance of the breath work & relaxation. But I think it’s something that you have to experience for yourself . I do up to 10 hours of yoga a week, but it’s not the physical movement that has increased my confidence, quietened my anxiety and improved my sleep, it’s the relaxation, the pranayama and making connections with my new-found family of students and fellow teachers 🙏 Caroline" .