Yoga for Bipolar Disorder

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Bipolar disorder can be helped through certain yoga poses. Relax using yoga techniques presented by a professional yoga instructor in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Yoga Therapy
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jeff, at Light In Shining Armor Studios, and today we're going to discuss some Yoga poses for bipolar disorder. The one that comes to mind for me is the shoulder stand. So, I'm going to have my assistant Nessie come in and help me demonstrate the pose. We begin lying on our back, some may say in Savasana; always take a couple of deep breaths. Check the body to make sure the neck, shoulder and back are in good condition to come up into the posture. You do not want to be warmed up before you do, we've done some warm up, so Nessie, go ahead and come up. You inhale, bring the body up into the position. You want to make sure that the hands are on the back supporting the back. The elbows are in as close together as possible, the back is straight, the legs are up in the air. You do not want to flex the toes or flex the calves. It takes about three minutes for the blood to get from the toes down to the top of the head. So, you want to hold the pose longer than you might think. One of the things is, you always have to give yourself permission to come out of the posture in any class or any private practice if you're uncomfortable. So, you hold the pose, slow, steady, deep breathing. Get comfortable; you'll fee the body release and relax with each breath. You'll be very comfortable into the position the more you practice. To come out of the position, one of the ways that I like to do it is we bend the knees and bring the feet to the buttocks, you bring your hands to the mat and then, you're going to gently roll out of the position, trying not to raise the head, neck or shoulders. Make sure you exhale the entire time, release the legs and I like to come to Savasana after each pose so you can check the body to make sure you're not holding tension in the body. If you have neck issues and you still want the benefits from the shoulder stand, you can put a towel or a rolled up mat underneath your neck and I'm going to show you that modification now. Roll the mat and roll the mat to make sure it is on the back correctly, under the neck. "Is that okay?" Alright. And then come up into the posture. Same thing, you want to inhale all the way up, hands are on the back; this way you might engage the hips a little more, so you're not putting too much pressure on the neck. So, you'll notice that the legs and the body are not straight up and down; she has a little, a little bend in the hips which helps take the pressure off the neck. Always modify. I cannot stress that enough. Coming out of the position is the same way. Bend the knees, bring the feet to the buttocks, you bring your hands to the mat. Gently roll out of the position as you exhale the entire time. Never hold the breath in Yoga. Again, we're in Savasana; we're checking the body to make sure we're not holding tension causing pain or discomfort. So, that's one of the posture you can use in Yoga to help with bipolar disorder. I'm Jeff at Light In Shining Armor Studio. Thanks for listening.

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