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Brooke West

Healthy Sleep: Functional Yoga Medicine

Yoga and ayurveda (Life Science) are relevant when it comes to managing mood, daily, annual and lifelong rhythms. As a Yoga Therapist, I apply these sciences to my life and assist clients to create an artful way of life that supports individual well-being.

One of the main things to remember about insomnia is not to sweat it when you can't fall to sleep. Anxiety over the clock ticking makes it worse.

Yoga Philosophy for Bipolar Disorder 101: Part 2, Satya

The basic “do’s” and “don’ts” of Yoga philosophy are called the ‘Yamas’ and ‘Niyamas.’ Sourced from the ancient Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, they illustrate universal truths of the human condition and practical, applicable solutions for a better way of life... for everyone. 

The ‘Yamas’, five “don’ts”, describe impulses in human nature that may lead to devastation if left uncontrolled. Last month I described the first Yama: ahimsa, or nonviolence. 

Yoga Philosophy for Bipolar Disorder 101: Part 1, Ahimsa

Yoga is more than what you want your body to look like. What do you want your life to look like? 

The core philosophy of Yoga - not just seeking fulfillment in the material world while still living in it - offers a structure of restrictions and observances to favor which can lead to a sense of “true fulfillment,” especially to lovers of and livers with bipolar disorder. Reflecting upon these tenets may help reduce recurring trauma. 

Ayurveda, Yoga and You - Ancient Wisdom for Bipolar Disorder

Interest in the more subtle Yoga practices related to mental health has expanded. The other side of the Yoga coin, ayurveda (AH-yur-vey-dah), offers 5,000 year old tips on lifestyle and stress management, diet, herbs and cleansing and other complementary healing modalities which can help us to balance symptoms of bipolar disorder. Ayurveda, meaning "the science of life," and Yoga practices reflect to us how we move through the world, thereby addressing our responsibility for managing our wellness and our root dysfunction triggers.

Yoga as Medicine for Bipolar Disorder: Twelve Pain Management Suggestions To Practice On and Off The Mat

A childhood friend from my old L.A. neighborhood passed away in July, the same way that my sister, D’Arcy, died: by a drug-overdose. Both my sister and Susie experienced untreated bipolar disorder-related addiction.

Susie’s affluent, educated Hollywood friends did not have the language skills to address Susie’s issues in the last couple of years. My family was the same when D’Arcy died: baffled and stammering and traumatized by years of suffering and unexplainable behavior. 

Bipolar Yoga Teacher Teaches Bipolar Yoga Student How To Breathe

I made a friend through The International Bipolar Foundation’s Facebook page this spring. I had posted a target-market question, wanting to know what people wanted, what they couldn't find and what they hoped for in recovery. Andrea pleaded for a route to an inner place more brightly lit.

Follows is some of our continuing conversation. Reprinted with permission.

Brooke West

While attending college, Brooke experienced her first onset of bipolar II disorder. However, Brooke West is extraordinary in that she is high-functioning and has managed her illness with a disciplined combination of medication, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques, including Yoga and meditation, since 2005. She is certified as an Ananda Yoga® instructor, an Ananda® Meditation instructor and will be certified in Autumn, 2014 as an Ananda® Yoga Therapist, among the first five to graduate the program. She is a Yoga and meditation instructor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.