Balanced Body May Help Lead to Balanced Mind

New Study Suggests Yoga Beneficial for Bipolar Patients.

Providence, USA – September 21, 2015 – Lisa Uebelacker, Associate Professor at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and her colleagues report that most of the 86 bipolar patients in her new study said that practicing yoga two to five times per week helped them focus on the present and feel calm. Uebelacker wrote, “We think yoga teaches people how to practice mindfulness: a non-judgmental focus on experiences in the present moment.” A full twenty percent of those surveyed said that yoga was “life-changing.”

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that nearly six million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder, defined as a “brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.” Bipolar disorder used to be known as manic depression, and is noted for the extreme highs and lows that people who suffer from the disorder experience. Many patients who are diagnosed and medicated still suffer from some symptoms, but in this study, many found that their symptoms were relieved by a regular yoga practice.

Finding balance is hard for even the most down-to-earth individuals, so it makes sense that actively engaging the breath and finding literal balance can help people relax their minds. Psychiatrist David Kahn says, “Yoga has a lot of powerful benefits for anybody, especially in optimizing mental and emotional balance.” Returning regularly to the mat and working within the parameters of the body offers yogis humility and allows them to embrace the present moment. There’s no doubt that more studies to come will link the benefits of yoga to bipolar disorder, as other studies have done for depression and anxiety.

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