In today’s fast-paced life, a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy food habits, stress in personal & professional life are the main culprits of high blood pressure. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure (BP) increases the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and kidney failure. Common high blood pressure symptoms include dizziness, headaches, fatigue, nose bleeding, nervous breakdown, etc. However, one often notices these symptoms when BP shoots up to dangerous levels. Regular practice of Yoga for Hypertension can help to maintain blood pressure.
Yoga Benefits for High Blood Pressure
Practicing yoga helps in reducing hypertension by calming the nervous system. Yoga has emerged as one of the most important tool for the overall wellness of the mind and body. Physically, it tones your muscles, slows down your heart, strengthens your joints, and provides flexibility to your body. Mentally, yoga benefits by treating disorders like anxiety, stress, etc. to keep you relaxed. In a nutshell, yoga helps to discipline the human body and soul. Take a look at some of the key Yoga benefits for High Blood Pressure patients.
- Regulates blood pressure
- Improves nervous system
- Increases lung capacity
- Treats digestive disorders
Best Yoga for High BP Patients
Now that you are aware of the benefits of yoga for high BP patients, here are some of the most recommended yoga poses for them:
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Bridge pose strengthens your nervous system, abdominals, and hamstrings. This relaxing pose is perfect for relieving lower backaches and as a rejuvenating exercise.
- Release your feet to place them flat on the yoga mat. Bend your knees as you lie back. Keep your legs and feet parallel to each other with your arms alongside.
- Rock your pelvis to pull in your stomach as you inhale with your lower back gently pressing against the floor.
- Lift your hips by pressing into your feet. Use your hands and arms to help you balance and support the movement if you wish. Your shoulder must be in contact with the floor throughout this exercise to avoid any neck injury.
- Maintain this pose for a few breaths with your hips forming a line from the chest diagonally.
- As you exhale, roll your spine back onto the ground gently from your upper back down.
- Maintain the natural curve of your spine by keeping your lower back slightly off the ground. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
Benefits of Bridge Pose
- Stretches your neck, spine, and chest to stimulate abdominal organs
- Therapeutic for high blood pressure by calming down your brain and reducing fatigue, anxiety, depression, etc.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Also known as the Savasana, the corpse pose provides complete relaxation and is a challenging one. Here is a quick step-by-step guide to performing savasana yoga for beginners.
- Lie flat on your back with your legs separated.
- Place your arms on your side with your palms facing up.
- Close your eyes and concentrate from your head to your feet. Inhale & exhale deeply and slowly through your nostrils.
- Helps in lowering the blood pressure by relaxing the body
- Calms the brain and reduces stress and fatigue
Head-to-Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana)
This therapeutic pose stretches your spine, shoulders, legs, and groin. It calms down your brain, improves digestion, and reduces blood pressure.
- Stretch your right leg out in front and pull your left foot between your right leg and your groin.
- Inhale while sitting up straight as you press your left hand into the crease of your thigh. Your right hand must be resting into the ground.
- Extend your spine and turn your torso slightly to align your bellybutton with your right thigh.
- As you exhale, start folding forward from your groin. Use a towel around your foot to hold it firmly if you cannot reach for your foot with your hands as you bend.
- Move your spine forward in a circular motion over your right leg by keeping your spine and neck straight.
- Keep stretching till you are comfortable and hold this pose. Inhale to lengthen your spine and exhale to ease yourself forward again.
- Hold this pose for three more cycles before switching legs and repeating the exercise on the other side.
- Therapeutic for high blood pressure and relieves fatigue, anxiety, headache, and insomnia.
- Improves digestion and stimulates the liver and kidneys
Dolphin pose opens up your shoulders and strengthens your arms and legs.
Step for Dolphin Pose
- Come on the floor on your knees and hands. Align your knees below your hips and forearms with your shoulders. Press your palms together and forearms into the floor.
- Curl your toes and lift your knees away from the floor as you exhale. Lengthen your tailbone and lift your sitting bones.
- Firm your shoulders and widen them away from the spine. Draw them towards the tailbone as you continue to press the forearms into the floor.
- Continue to lengthen your tailbone and maintain the pose for about a minute. Exhale and release your knees to the floor.
Benefits for Hypertension
- Helps in attaining the normal blood pressure and calming the brain
- Strengthens arms, shoulders, and legs
Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
The bound angle pose is one of the best yoga poses for opening hips and increasing circulation. This pose works on your lower back and stretches your neck, hips, and inner thighs.
Step to Baddha Konasana
- Sit down and bring the soles of your feet together in the front. Bend your knees in the butterfly position.
- Bring your heels close to your pelvis by grabbing your toes for support.
- Sit straight and inhale without tucking your pelvis.
- Press your knees towards the ground as you exhale.
- Start bending your hips while keeping your spine straight to take your ribs forward towards your feet.
- Continue lowering down as long as you are comfortable without bending or curving your spine.
- Relax your neck by resting your chin and maintain this pose for 1 to 5 minutes.
Benefits of Baddha Konasana
- Helps to relax and relieve anxiety, fatigue, etc.
- Improves blood circulation by stimulating the heart to restore normal blood pressure
Yoga plays a crucial role in relieving many health problems for people with high blood pressure. The asanas described above are relaxing and therapeutic with most of the ailments related to heart diseases. If you are suffering from high blood pressure, you can include yoga in your fitness regime for mental as well as physical well-being. However, if you have low blood pressure, you should refrain from certain yoga poses. In both these cases, it’s best to consult your yoga instructor and doctor before practicing any exercise. Here, are some of Yoga books that you may like to refer to know more about Yoga practice.