Before I go too far, Ive added a whole section on my page for Yoga including links, definitions, and types. I read that followers are not notified of changes such as new pages, blog changes, etc so I wanted to make sure anyone that cares see them. Myself, im using them as a source to start off from and a ending place for me to be.
Yoga can be a very valuable addition to bipolar treatment. It incorporates physical exercise, meditation, and emotional elevation.
Warning: before starting any form of exercise, consult with your physician first.
Stress is one of the biggest enemies of bipolar disorder. The higher the stress levels, the greater chances of not only a breakdown to depression but manic episodes. The relaxing of mind and body can elevate the days stress from work, school, life.
Secondly, exercise also adds endorphins which boosts moods and emotions. Obviously there are many other ways to exercise, but I just started doing this again and I’m starting to feel internally better. The added benefit of also exercising is nice as well since my depression diet shed so many pounds.
For those who do not know what yoga is, I’ll give some of the basics behind it.
Items used for yoga (but not required):
- Yoga mat (anything padded and roughly your body length will do)
- Yoga block (its a square shape, soft in feel. Its meant to allow for wider stretching)
- Towel (just to dry off from sweat)
- Bottle of water
Yoga involves balance and stretching in specific poses combined with calm breathing techniques. Depending on what video, class, etc you are following along with it can be as simple as a mental relaxation. To a very physically challenging effort.
According to Stephen Cope, a psychotherapist and author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, hatha yoga’s postures improve mood by moving energy through places in the body where feelings of grief oranger are stored. “Hatha yoga is an accessible form of learning self-soothing,” he says. “These blocked feelings can be released very quickly, [creating a] regular, systemic experience of well-being.” Yoga students may also benefit from their relationship with the yoga instructor, Cope said, which can provide a “container” or a safe place for investigating, expressing and resolving emotional issues. The instructor’s encouraging and accepting words may also help students defeat self-limiting notions.
I recommend watching videos at first, maybe following along too. There are tons of free videos around the web.
Myself, I’ve tried a few but what stuck for me is the yogaX section of p90x. I’m excited about where this is going to take me.