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Yoga for High Blood Pressure

Written By Vijay K
Posted On 15 Jan, 2020

Nearly one in three Indians has high blood pressure.

One in five young adults in India has high blood pressure according to research presented at the 70th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India (CSI). That is equal to around 80 million people, which is more than the entire UK population.

Chances are that atleast one person in your life – a family member, a coworker or a friend has hypertension and taken medicines to lower it.

Effects

Elevated blood pressure – what doctors call hypertension, greatly increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure, is often  described as the silent killer.

What can you do

Besides medication, there are many other things you can do to lower your blood pressure.

  • A healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking and alcohol
  • Reduce stress

Practicing yoga can help in atleast three of these lifestyle changes : exercise, reducing stress and maintaining a healthy weight.

Yoga practices

Because yoga improves strength and flexibility it may also be good option for people who want to start exercising. In yoga, all movements are done slowly. A person should never push their body to do a pose.

It is best to start doing yoga with a qualified instructor, to ensure that you are doing it correctly and safely.

Unulom Vilom pranayam

Conscious breathing is known to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, while also slowing your thoughts and calming  your mind.

Anulom Vilom Alternate Nostril Breathing pose
Anulom Vilom Alternate Nostril Breathing pose Credit : Child Pose Shisuasana
Child Pose – Shisuasana


Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

Easy sitting pose. Sit cross legged in this meditative pose to reduce your BP. This should help calm and soothe your mind.

sukhasana
Sukhasana

Shavasana – The Corpse Pose

Easiest of all, anyone can do it. Relaxes your body, improves blood circulation to all parts of the body.

Three to five minutes of practice relieves fatigue, stress and depression. Can be done for a longer period.

Helps improve your sleep cycle.

Shavasana
Shavasana Credit : Yanalya

Diamond Pose ( Vajrasana)

Quietens your mind. The only one asana which can be done right after having a meal. Stretches your legs which may be a little difficult in the beginning, but with practice you may be able to stay up to 15-20 minutes in this pose.

Vajrasana
Vajrasana Credit : Yanalya

Setu Bandh Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

Gentle backbend. Place a pillow or a blanket under your back if you need.

Stretches your lower back and abdomen.

setu bandh sarvangasana
Setu Bandh Sarvangasana

Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee Forward Bend)

Streches your back, shoulders, arms and back of the legs. You do not need to stretch your forehead right up to your knee, stretch only to the extend you are comfortable with.

Janu Shirshana
Janu Shirshasana

Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)

Restorative yoga pose, relaxes lower back.

With head and heart at the same level, allows mind and the body to relax.

Viparita Karani
Viparita Karani

Poses to be avoided

Inversion asanas like shirshasana – headstand, sarvangasana – shoulder stand are best avoided when you have high BP. 

Check with your doctor before starting yoga. Also speak to your yoga instructor to be sure that the following poses are safe for you.

Consult your ayurvedic physician for the correct dosage before you start.

Takeaway/Summary

Yoga would be  a healthy addition to your treatment plan. it may not be a replacement for treatment and medication that a healthcare professional may recommend. In general, check with your doctor and then start a gentle, calming and relaxing yoga routine.


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