How do I know?
I am a qualified Yoga teacher
When Tinnitus hit in 2016 my Yoga practice died with the silence I also thought was gone forever.
I had always practised yoga in quiet rooms. I was not the type of teacher who had new age music on in the background. I like silence.
NB: The reality was it was never actually silent at all, there were cars outside the window, people next door, clocks, bird song etc, but I will come back to that.
So instead of using the tools I already had, yoga, meditation etc I spent two years (two *** years !!) trawling the internet and forums looking for a cure and listening to horrors stories. Each time I tried to do yoga I put on loads of white noise and the Tinnitus rose above it so I dropped it.
Over that two year period, other aspects of my health suffered both physically and mentally which is not surprising as I was no longer doing my daily yoga program!
I began to read more about spending time with Tinnitus and how it helped with habitation. This was obviously mindfulness meditation which I had already trained in but my thoughts were I cannot do anything like that while I can still hear the Tinnitus sound. (Classic faulty thinking – the answer is the reverse)
I have mentioned this in other posts but there is a practice called the body scan where you rotate your awareness around your body. When you get to your toes nearly everyone will be aware of tingling or warmth in that area. This was a slow light bulb moment for me as I then realised I living totally in my head. I was all ears and had forgotten about everything else. I was obsessed with finding an answer from outside my body and had not connected the dots that habituation comes from within.
So I started to do yoga again. Not because of Tinnitus, but because my knees and lower back was hurting and anxiety was now sitting on my shoulder most days.
At first, I put on some gentle music on, but I found this distracting and then I thought no, I have always enjoyed yoga in a silent room so that is what I am going to do. The only other sound will be T, so let’s do this.
However, because I was all ears I noticed other things as I started to stretch my body. Birds outside the window, children playing, a delivery truck, the clock on the wall. All things that I never noticed before.
The auditory system is turned way up when we suffer from Tinnitus as it constantly looks for danger – as you involve yourself in other things it turns itself down.
So in 2016 I was convinced the tools I had no longer worked, I was wrong they did still work and (for me) they got me out of my head and back into my body.
As I focused on my knees and back I became more aware of other body sensations, I was aware of my breath and how I felt overall. I was technically expanding my awareness to a wider spectrum of subjects.
I began to notice on the days I did yoga Tinnitus was less of an issue, something was changing.
I now practice yoga every day in silence and I hear nothing just like before this happened.
I only hear the birdsong or a clock if I look for it and Tinnitus is also just another sound if I choose to look for it.
It is not only yoga that will do this.
Basically yoga got me out of the way so my brain could rewire itself and habitation could begin.
Any passion or interest will do this. But for me, Yoga was that catalyst.