You may have a life-threatening condition and not know it until it’s fatal especially if you are a woman and that’s why knowing your numbers could save your life. Women are three times more likely to suffer from this silent killer than men.
1 in every 3 adults in the U.S has high blood pressure which is about 75 million (32%) individuals with hypertension. Hypertension strips the nation of $48.6 billion each year in terms of medication, missed work days.
Regular medical check-up and investing in the best blood pressure watch to monitor your BP levels at home is crucial for your health.
If not realized and treated in due time this life-threatening condition increases your risk of getting a stroke, kidney disease, heart failure, vision loss, aneurysm, brain and cognitive problems and even death.
A Dash diet and relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and guided breathing have been touted by medical practitioners to help lower high blood pressure but are they worth the hype? Let’s find out.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word “yogah” or “yogic” which means to unite, or yoke is an ancient technique that combines physical exercise, meditation and breathing to reduce stress, encourages relaxation and boosts your mental and physical well being.
It is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline that is believed to provide a variety of benefits including;
- Lower stress and relieve anxiety.
- Improve your heart beat.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Fight depression.
- Promote quality sleep.
- Improve balance and flexibility.
- Reduce chronic pain.
Can Yoga Reduce High Blood Pressure?
Get on the move. Light aerobic exercises such as walking and yoga have been shown to lower hypertension. Yoga is a beneficial therapy to relives stress, calm the body and mind and helps maintain regular heart beat and blood pressure.
It is a low impact exercise that is safe for most people and injury is infrequent. But you should consider consulting your healthcare giver if you are pregnant; have an ongoing medical condition such as glaucoma, high blood pressure or sciatica before practicing yoga.
You may need to avoid or alter some specific yoga poses. It is recommended you try out the poses with an instructor if you are a beginner to tailor your yoga poses because it is crucial you choose the right yoga poses.
Gentle yoga is therapeutic for people living with high blood pressure. Calming restorative yoga poses that do not invert the body are beneficial in relieving stress and lowering blood pressure naturally.
The best yoga poses for high blood pressure, stretch your legs, gently open up your hips and place your spine in a horizontal position to slow down your heart rate and help lower your blood pressure.
Can Yoga Breathing Exercises Lower your Blood Pressure?
Yoga breathing exercises can also lower blood pressure. Deep breathing calms the sympathetic nervous system and increases blood flow to the tissues especially the heart.
Yoga for high blood pressure is auspicious when implemented as a multi-therapeutic approach. You combine medication, lifestyle changes, and ayurvedic remedies to relieve stress and high blood pressure.
Yoga Poses to Reduce High Blood Pressure
Calm your mind and body and improve your circulation by incorporating these yoga techniques into your daily regime to regulate your blood pressure.
Bridge Pose- Energizing, restorative and rejuvenating.
- Lie flat on your back. You can place a blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck.
- Bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor, arms flat on the ground alongside your body and knees close to the sitting bones.
- Exhale and press your arms and feet on the floor. Push your tailbone upwards towards the pubis, Clasp your hands below your pelvis and extend your arms.
- Lift your buttocks off the floor.
- Ensure your thighs and inner feet are parallel to each other. Hold in this position for 1-3 minutes and release gently rolling your spine slowly onto the floor.
Downward Facing Dog (adho mukha svanasana)- rejuvenating stretch.
- Go into plank position, hands and knees on the floor. Set your knees below your hips and hands slightly forward from your shoulders. Spread your palms out and fold your toes.
- Exhale as you lift your knees off the floor. Keep your knees slightly bent as you lift your heels off the floor.
- Straighten your tailbone away from your pelvis and press it gently towards your pubis. Lift your sitting bones towards the ceiling. Hold for 1 to 3 minutes.
- As you exhale, push your thighs backward and stretch your heels on the floor. Keep your head between your upper arms and repeat pose.
Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)- the best hip openers.
- Sit with your back elongated and legs straightened in front of you. You can use a blanket to elevate your pelvis if your groin and hips are tight.
- Exhale and bend your knees. Fold your heels close to your pelvis and gently drop your knees out while keeping your feet soles together.
- Bring your heels close to the pelvis.
- Using the first and second finger, hold the big toe of each foot. Ensure the outer edges of your feet are planted firmly on the floor.
- As you sit, your pubis and tailbone should be equidistant from the floor. This keeps your pelvis in a neutral position.
- Hold for 1 to 5 minutes. Inhale and lift your knees away from the floor and extend your legs to their original position.
Learn step by step Bound angle pose with images
Yoga Poses to avoid if you have High Blood Pressure
Extreme yoga poses that require intense of forceful breathing should be avoided because they elevate your blood pressure by causing sudden flow of blood away from the heart to the head. They include;
- Shoulder stand
- Forearm stand
- Standing forward bends
Also, gentle techniques like legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani) should be avoided if you have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a life-threatening condition. But with a personalized yoga technique, you can calm your nerves and regulate your blood pressure levels. It is crucial you avoid strenuous yoga poses since you risk further worsening your condition.