Yoga

Yoga can be a valuable addition to an overall treatment plan for bipolar disorder as it incorporates physical, meditative, and emotional elements that could help a person manage his or her condition.

How Does Yoga Fit In

Stress has been shown to worsen bipolar disorder. Yoga can be relaxing for many people, and anything that can relieve anxiety can be a useful tool in treating the condition.

Yoga can also contribute to overall physical fitness, including flexibility and balance. Exercise, along with adequate sleep and a nutritious diet, forms the basis of general good health, which can only help someone dealing with a chronic illness like bipolar disorder.

How Does It Work

Yoga usually involves stretching and balancing the body in specific stances called poses while practicing controlled breathing and meditation.

The combination often leaves people feeling calmer, yet invigorated.  

Yoga can be learned at home through the endless amounts of free videos online, but attending regular classes can help you learn from others in the class, as well as gain personalized instruction from the yoga teacher.

There are also varying styles of yoga, so sampling each of them can help you find the style that best suits you.

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Who Can Take It

Yoga is widely practiced, but there are different levels, and it is a good idea to do poses that are within your skill range. You can do this by practicing at home at your own pace, but attending beginner’s classes ensures you’re doing the poses correctly, thus reducing your risk of injury.

Side Effects

Yoga is generally considered safe, but people who have certain conditions should be careful. This includes pregnant women, people who have glaucoma or other eye conditions and people with physical injuries.

As with any exercise program, it is a good idea to consult a physician before starting.

Availability

Classes are available in most communities, but there are also DVDs, and even cable television exercise shows that feature yoga sessions that you can practice at home.

Highlights

Yoga is a combination of disciplined movement, controlled breathing and meditation that can leave someone relaxed and invigorated simultaneously.

It is widely available, both in classes and as something that can be self-taught at home using DVDs, books or even television exercise shows.

What The Expert Says

“Like mediation, controlling your thoughts and emotions through your body is a powerful experience that is the opposite of depression and anxiety. Being able to be the master of your own mind is the opposite of bipolar disorder when you feel out of control. Yoga teaches you strategies of self-control,” said Dr. Soroya Bacchus, a psychiatrist who practices in California.