How Yoga Can Help People With High Blood Pressure

By Subodh / January 15, 2015

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a lifestyle disorders that paves way for various health conditions such as strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular conditions. The unhealthy lifestyles along with indulgence in high sodium junk foods, lack of exercise, excessive smoking and alcohol consumption have elevated the risk of this lethal condition. Along with the intake of anti-hypertensive drugs and a well designed diet, including yoga in your daily regimen is known to be beneficial for people with high blood pressure.

Yoga, according to the studies, is a non-invasive way of curbing down the very spiraling pressure levels, especially the diastolic ones. Along with various asanas, Pranayama, and meditation should also be practiced under supervision to reap the benefits of yoga for hypertension.

Some of the most suggested yoga poses for hypertension include:

  1. Halasana – Plow Pose
  2. Janu Sirsasana – Head to Knee Pose
  3. Adho Mukha Shvanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose
  4. Virasana – Hero Pose
  5. Siddhasana – Accomplished Pose
  6. Padmasana – Lotus Pose
  7. Ardha Paschma Padmasasana – Half Lotus Intense Stretch Pose
  8. Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend
  9. Ardha Matsyendrasana – Seated Lord Of The Fishes Pose
  10. Shavasana – Corpse Pose

The breathing techniques that a person suffering from high blood pressure could practice include:

  1. Anuloma Viloma Pranayama – Nadi Shoddana – Alternate Nostril Breathing
  2. Ujjayi Pranayama – Victorious Breathing
  3. Deergha Pranayama – Three part breathing

While there are numerous other yoga asanas that you could practice, it is always advisable to take a personally supervised class under a trained yoga guru to thwart off unwanted effects.

Take a look at some of the asanas that you can try at your home. These are quite simple to learn and easy to practice. Along with them, practice the Nadi Shodhana that is also explained for better benefits. This is a vinyasa, a very simple one, that can be practiced by the beginners also.

The Vinyasa Yoga Sequence For Hypertension

1. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

uttanasana

Aim: Relax your body and mind, improve the blood circulation

How to do:

  1. Stand straight on the mat, knee caps and hamstrings pulled up, hands resting along the body.
  2. Keep the spine straight, navel pulled in, and shoulders relaxed.
  3. Inhale and lift your hands over head, aligned with the ears.
  4. Exhaling, bend forward, torso falling off the hips, head to feet.
  5. Simultaneously, bring your hands forward, allowing your fingers to touch the floor.
  6. Let the abdomen rest on the thighs.
  7. Take 5 deep breaths.

2. Adho Mukha Shvanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Aim: Improve circulation, boost digestion, lower blood pressure levels

How to do:

  1. From Uttanasana, jump back or walk back your legs.
  2. Place your palms firmly on the ground, fingers spread out, and palms placed at hips width.
  3. Spread the feet out at hip width.
  4. Lift your hips to the ceiling while pushing the heels to the floor.
  5. Lower your head allowing it come closer to the feet.
  6. Take 5 deep breaths.

Come back to Uttanasana.

3. Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend

paschimottanasana

Aim: Relax, ease stress, boost circulation, lower blood pressure

How to do:

  1. From Uttanasana, slowly bend your knees and lower yourself into Dandasana, Staff Pose.
  2. Flex your toes and keep the spine erect.
  3. Inhale, lift your hands over your head, aligned with the ears.
  4. Lengthen your spine as much as possible.
  5. Exhale and bend forward from the hips, bringing your hands along to grasp the toes.
  6. Beginners or people with back or knee injuries can keep their knees slightly bent.
  7. Exhale and keep bending till your head is on the toes and chin rests on the shin.
  8. Tucking in the abdomen, take five deep breaths.
  9. Inhale and release the pose.
  10. Stand up and come into Samasthithi.

This makes one round of Vinyasa. Do 10 such rounds. Ensure that you are breathing at each and every stage.

The Must Include Breathing Routine For People With High Blood Pressure

Nadi Shodana or Anuloma Viloma is one of the simplest yogic breathing technique that eases the stress levels. The lower the stress levels are, the more manageable your high blood pressure levels will be.

Pranayama

How to do:

  1. Sit down, spine erect, in a comfortable seated pose of your choice.
  2. Rest your hands on your thighs, palms shaped in Gyan Mudra [Index and thumb finger tips in contact].
  3. Lift your right hand and shape into Pranayama Mudra.
  4. Close your right nostril with the right thumb. Fold in the index and middle fingers allowing it to come closer to the thumb. The little finger will be stretched out, while ring finger will be used to close the left nostril.
  5. Exhale completely through the left nostril.
  6. Inhale via the left nostril for a count of 5.
  7. Close the left nostril with your right ring finger.
  8. Now, open the right nostril and exhale completely.
  9. Inhale via the right nostril, close it, and exhale via the left nostril.

This completes one round of Anlom Vilom Pranayama. Do 15 such rounds.

Practice this yoga sequence for hypertension at home along with the breathing technique. If you have uncontrollably high blood pressure levels, then do visit a doctor and consult with him before practicing yoga.