More later on pain and pain suppression pathways in the brain!
Yoga helps to prepare me for meditation. It gets the kinks out so that I can actually sit, fold my legs and sit up straight and strong. Having my spine straight makes a big difference in my ability to focus. Mind you, straight doesn't mean straight, it means naturally, optimally curved with no vertebrae out of alignment. The spine to the midbrain to the limbic system: there are reasons why this works. I am trying to grasp it. Understanding and execution may happen at the same time.
At the other end of the spectrum, there's PTSD (Brons version). The cingulate decides of a stimulus is worth responding to, it serves as a judge and selects certain signals to emphasize, and deletes the others. When a person has excess norepinephrine (NE), which I presume from the notes is the case with PTSD sufferers, the excess NE (produced by the locus ceruleus which is predominantly sympathetic in nature) DAMPENS THE ACTIVITY OF THE CINGULATE. Ie, it shuts down one's filter that decides if a stimulus is important or not. A stimulus can then cause an uncontrolled autonomic and arousal response: it can matter too much, and cause one's heart to race. This is exactly what I experience. This is why I cannot sit through very frightening or violent movies. My body gets so ramped up that I absolutely must either fight or flee, and I choose to flee. I have walked out of so many movies that other people can sit right through, doesn't bother them a bit. But if I stay for a whole movie of that nature, my sleep will be disturbed, and I will not calm down for an entire day. It is unpleasant, and so I do not do it. But I wonder how I can treat excess NE? Perhaps meditation will help.