It's a technique imported from the East and has already been known to help relieve panic attacks, anxiety and depression. Now some experts recommend this exercise for individuals afflicted with bipolar disorder.

What is it? Yoga. Indeed, the slowed breathing characteristic of this exercise combined with the slow, graceful movements seem to bring relief to those in a depressive episode of bipolar disorder. It's well known that yoga helps many individuals to become more aware of their bodies. It makes equal sense then that yoga can help a person with bipolar disorder become more aware of their bipolar disorder.

Those who have used yoga to help control the symptoms of their bipolar disorder say it's a great way to help them lead an active and satisfying life. These individuals find that yoga is a great tool for reducing mood swings of bipolar disorder. Those with bipolar disorder say that the ancient practice is an amazingly effective way to challenge your body to mentally slow its pace. As you concentrate and focus on the different yoga poses, practice the breathing techniques and even meditate a bit, you can indeed reduce the anxiety associated with bipolar disorder as well as the heightened moods your body is subjected to.

Any one diagnosed with bipolar disorder should never discontinue their prescription medication. But yoga is a great complementary therapy to go hand-in-hand with traditional treatment of bipolar disorder . It is possible, that with continued, sustained practice of this exercise, a person with bipolar disorder may be able to slowly reduce the amount of prescription medications he needs. But, this should be determined by his physician who is treating him for bipolar disorder.

Many diagnosed with bipolar disorder say that after performing yoga for even a short period of time, they can actually feel the re-emergence of the stability of their emotions.

Why is yoga so effective? According to Stephen Cope, a psychotherapist and author of the book, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, contends that the postures of the exercises are major contributors to relieving symptoms of bipolar disorder. He explains that they improve a person's mood by allowing energy to move through areas of the body where the feelings of grief and anger are housed. In fact, Cope says that yoga is 'an accessible form of learning self-soothing.' This is a great technique for anyone who is afflicted with the mood swings of bipolar disorder

A recent study, conducted in Canada, bears this statement out. Zindel Segal, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, recently studied yoga used in conjunction with cognitive therapy. In essence, cognitive therapy is journaling your thoughts concerning your emotions. He asked 145 people at risk for depressive episodes of bipolar disorderto undergo either cognitive therapy alone or coupled with yoga. After eight weeks of treatment those who received both types of therapy were more resistant to the depressive state of bipolar disorder.

Segal explains the results are significant because it creates another avenue for individuals with bipolar disorder to learn about their emotions. 'Both approaches,' he says, 'allow people to observe their experiences without judgment.' This is a vital first step away from depression due to bipolar disorder.