Yoga for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that can cause changes in your energy and mood as well as your overall ability to function. People with bipolar disorder have “mood episodes,” which are periods of intense emotional states. Stress has been shown to worsen bipolar disorder.Anything that relieves stress and anxiety may be useful for managing bipolar disorder. Yoga can be a helpful addition to an overall treatment plan for bipolar disorder. It incorporates physical, meditative, and emotional elements that may help you manage your condition.Yoga is calming for many people. It involves a combination of disciplined movement, controlled breathing, and meditation. This combination can leave you feeling relaxed and invigorated.

Yoga can also contribute to your overall physical fitness by targeting your flexibility and balance. Along with adequate sleep and a nutritious diet, exercise (flexibility, aerobic, and strength) forms the basis of general good health. Good overall health can help you deal with a chronic illness like bipolar disorder.

How Does It Work?

Yoga usually involves stretching and balancing your body in specific stances, called poses, while practicing controlled breathing and meditation. This combination often leaves people feeling calmer, yet invigorated. It may help you manage stress. Stress can trigger mood episodes if you have bipolar disorder.

There are different levels and types of yoga. Some of the types of yoga that you may see offered at a yoga studio include:

  • Hatha yoga, a calmer type of yoga that is good for beginners and is often used to help manage stress
  • Iyengar yoga, a relaxing type of yoga that uses props such as blocks to help you hold a pose
  • Bikram yoga, also known as “hot” yoga, which is done in a heated room
  • Vinyasa yoga, also known as “flow” yoga, which is often faster paced and can be more challenging for beginners
  • power yoga, which is often a fitness-oriented type of vinyasa yoga

Yoga shouldn’t take the place of conventional treatments for bipolar disorder. You should continue taking any medications prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may also recommend alternative therapies, such as talk therapy.

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