Can Yoga Lower Your Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other unhealthy cardiovascular events. Traditionally treatment has been limited to medication and diet.

The question is starting a Yoga practice can help you keep your blood pressure within a healthy range?

If you don’t already know...High blood pressure is a medical condition in which the pressure of the blood pushing against the blood vessel walls is persistently high. High blood pressure forces the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. When blood pressure is high for prolonged periods, hardening of the arteries, heart failure, and other ailments can develop.

High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because one can live with it for years and not realize it, as it often doesn’t present any warning signs or symptoms. For most adults, there often aren’t any easily identifiable causes. The stresses of modern-day life, poor diet, and sedentary lifestyle certainly seem to contribute to high blood pressure in many individuals. However, some individuals are more predisposed to high blood pressure than others.

That’s where Yoga comes in, Yoga can be a very effective and non-invasive way of reducing high blood pressure. It is particularly effective in reducing the diastolic number – which is the most important. It is suggested that people with high blood pressure should only practice certain postures, whilst acknowledging that there are other postures that are not suitable for them. The yogic practices of meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises) are also particularly beneficial for people who suffer from high blood pressure.

People with high blood pressure are admonished to be cautious in approaching exercise. This is generally because vigorous exercise puts stress on the cardiovascular system, including raising heart-rate and blood pressure.

Before engaging in any sort of exercise program, including Yoga of any type or variety, people with any sort of cardiovascular condition including high blood pressure should consult their physician. However, the Yoga asanas practiced in the Yin Yoga and Restoratives styles of Yoga are not considered to really be cardiovascular exercises.

Rather than placing the focus on cardiovascular fitness Yoga is more about achieving a balance between body and mind, energizing your body in the process.

When done with conscious breathing Yogic postures balance and stabilize the autonomic nervous system resulting in the regulation of blood pressure.

The best postures for regulating the blood pressure belong to the forward bend, supine, and sitting groups.

Yoga Poses for Blood Pressure Reduction:

1. Plow Pose,

2. Head to Knee Pose

3. Heroes Pose

4. Accomplished Pose

5. Lotus Position

6. Corpse Pose

7. Half Lotus Pose

8. Seated Forward Fold

Pranayama Breathes to Try:

1. Deergha Swasam (or three-part breath): This is a deep breathing technique that floods the system with up to seven times more oxygen than normal breathing.

2. Ujjayi Pranayama (or Victorious Breath): This is a balanced and calming breathing technique which builds heat in the body and increases oxygenation, it also this also affects the carotid sinus which helps to normalize high blood pressure.

3 Naddi Shoddi (or alternate nostril breathing): This is very calming to the nervous system as a whole.

This kind of Yogic breathing can also have a positive effect on cardiovascular health, concentration, brain functioning, sleep patterns, depression, anxiety, and stress.

It has been known for quite some time that engaging in regular exercise and healthy eating habits helps to lower blood pressure. Your diet can play a huge part in high blood pressure. The traditional yogic diet is vegetarian. It is based on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and free of animal products except for milk, yogurt, and cheeses.

So, the answer is Yes! Yoga can modestly reduce your high blood pressure; and because of this it can help to lower the risk of heart problems, chronic kidney disease, and strokes. If you reduce stress on the mind and the body by eating a healthy diet focused on pure, wholesome and nutritious foods, practicing Yoga asanas, and pranayama your blood pressure can definitely be controlled within normal limits.

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