High blood pressure is a serious problem that can cause heart attacks, strokes, and even death. It is recognized as a ‘silent killer’ because it does not show any symptoms initially. The only way to know if you have it is by getting checked regularly. Once you find out you have high blood pressure, it is important to learn how to control it.
There comes the role of yoga. Yoga will help you to connect your mind and body, focus on your breath, and do physical poses. It is a holistic approach to help with the different factors that contribute to high blood pressure. Continue reading to know how yoga will help in high blood pressure management.
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Yoga and Blood Pressure: An Overview
There is a deep relationship between yoga and blood pressure management. Yoga has the power to calm the mind and control breathing which will help in managing your blood pressure. According to research, if you do yoga regularly, you can lower your blood pressure.
Recent data shows that more than 76 million adults in the United States suffers from hypertension, but less than half of them manage to control their blood pressure effectively. Challenges such as the high cost of medications, potential drug interactions, and people not sticking to their prescribed drug routines contribute to this widespread problem. Yoga is found to be a promising alternative in this regard.
Although there is not a universally accepted definition of yoga, it is generally recognized as an ancient tradition that involves postures, breath control, meditation, and ethical practices. With the number of yoga practitioners on the rise (15.8 million in the U.S.), it is gaining attention from healthcare providers as a potential means to enhance overall health, especially in managing blood pressure.
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Can Yoga Lower Blood Pressure?
Various studies have shown that yoga actually has positive effects on high blood pressure. In a recent study, people who are in high blood pressure treatment practiced yoga three times a week and had a good drop in blood pressure as compared to those who did not.
Another study also shows that if you add deep breathing and meditation into your yoga, it will have a good impact on blood pressure. According to 2020 study, attending one-hour yoga class will help you to have flexible arteries. Flexible blood vessels need less pressure for blood flow and thereby you can lower the risk of your hypertension.
Researchers found that people practicing yoga regularly have more flexible arteries. But if you have high blood pressure, it is always good to consult your doctor first before starting yoga. Some poses, like inversions, might need to be avoided. Always follow your doctor’s advice and notice how your blood pressure reacts to your yoga routine for safe results.
Also Read: International Yoga Day 2024
How to Reduce Blood Pressure Using Yoga?
Yoga poses is playing a vital role in regulating blood pressure. Deep-breathing exercises, meditation, and gentle stretches in yoga help to reduce your stress and promote relaxation. This will thereby help you to lower your blood pressure levels Also, it will enhance your overall cardiovascular health. You can use various asanas if you want to reduce your blood pressure. Check out below how asanas will help you in regulating your blood pressure.
The Importance of Asanas
Yoga asanas usually include conscious and deep breathing while coordinating your body movements. They will manage blood pressure naturally by reducing stress. If you do not take sufficient rest, you will have stress and high blood pressure. Yoga asanas help you to have better sleep habits. Obesity can also raise your blood pressure, but if you combine yoga with a healthy diet, you can maintain a balanced weight. Yoga will finally bring positivity, happiness, and hope in you which will further help in regulating your blood pressure.
Incorporating Pranayama Techniques
You can also do pranayama techniques to control your blood pressure. Pranayama means “breath control” in Sanskrit. It actually focuses on breath regulation to improve your physical and mental health. It involves deep, controlled breathing practices that can positively affect both your body and mind. Have a look at the two important pranyama techniques below in detail that you can use for blood pressure control.
Anulom Vilom (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
Anulom Vilom practice, or alternate nostril breathing, is a popular technique to balance your body and mind. To practice, simply breathe through one nostril at a time. This method, especially without holding your breath, will help you to manage your blood pressure levels if you have a high blood pressure.
Bhramari (Bee Breath)
The Bhramari Pranayama is named after an Indian bee due to the humming sound it makes. This practice is very simple as you have to just cover your ears and hum. Even if it is simple, it is a powerful practice which will help you to calm your busy mind. If your mind gets calm, you will become stress-free. And it will ultimately give you regulated blood pressure.
Best Yogasanas for Blood Pressure
Downward-Facing Dog (AdhoMukhaSvanasana)
Downward-Facing Dog (AdhoMukhaSvanasana) is a great practice for those who have high blood pressure. It will boost your blood flow throughout your body, including the brain. This pose involves bending forward and helps you to slow down the heart rate.
Bridge Pose (SetuBandhasana)
When it comes to Bridge Pose (SetuBandhasana), you can do it to boost your kidney energy and calms the nervous system. It will further help you to maintain balanced blood pressure in your body.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Child’s Pose (Balasana) will give you a chance to be calm and relaxed. Also, it will make your hips and spine ready for movement by making them open and long.
Legs Up the Wall (ViparitaKarani)
Legs Up the Wall (ViparitaKarani) will aid in managing your hormone changes in the body. It will give you relaxation, reduce your stress, and restore your strength. This will help manage hormones and the systems that control blood pressure.
Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
The Cow Stretchwillwakes up your tailbone, the bottom of your spine, while the Cat stretch will ease the tension of your neck and upper back. This movement not only stretches the back but also the belly, hips, lungs, and chest. It will thereby boost blood flow in your spine and pelvic area. At last, it will benefit your blood pressure.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
People with high blood pressure often live busy and stressful lives. They might forget how to slow down and relax. The last pose called Corpse Pose (Savasana) is crucial. It will teach you to relax and stay peaceful.
Yoga and Heart Health: Addressing High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
Yoga offers a holistic approach to cardiovascular well-being as it focuses on heart health through mindful practices. It will help you to address your high blood pressure and heart disease by promoting overall wellness. In a holistic approach, yoga combines physical postures, controlled breathing (pranayama), and meditation, positively that positively affect the heart and circulatory system.
If you do regular yoga practice, it will reduce your stress which is the main factor in heart issues. The gentle exercises and relaxation techniques in yoga will enhance your blood flow and cardiac function. By including mindfulness and balance, yoga has become a valuable approach in maintaining a healthy heart. Its positive impact on mental and physical aspects contributes to a comprehensive strategy for cardiovascular well-being.
Adopting yoga in your daily life will help you to tackle your high blood pressure fluctuations. It will not only help you to improve your physical health but also mental health. In addition, it will encourage you to have a healthy lifestyle. No matter what is your daily life schedule, find some time for yoga also to stay healthy especially if you have a high blood pressure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Does hot yoga affect your blood pressure?
As per the research of the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions, if you do hot yoga for 12 weeks, it will lower your blood pressure especially if you have stage 1 hypertension.
2. What is the role of yoga on blood pressure control?
Yoga is a helpful tool to control your blood pressure. Using yoga, you can bring a change in your blood pressure through below given ways.
Strengthening the heart
Boosting Overall Wellness
3. How much yoga to lower blood pressure?
It has been tested that doing yoga three times a week has lowered blood pressure.
4. Which Yogasana is the best for blood pressure?
Yashtikasana which is also called the Stick Pose is a simple but effective asana to regulate your blood pressure.
5. Can yoga improve heart health and reduce several risk factors for heart disease?
Of course, it will help you to reduce the risk of heart disease. It will simply improve your blood sugar levels and cholesterol by boosting your metabolism.