By TNT Bureau
Jan 10, 2017: High blood pressure or hypertension is becoming a common problem, mainly because of our lifestyle. High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease. Due to high blood pressure, the force blood exerts against the walls of your arteries as it travels through the circulatory system. This increases with exertion or stress and decreases when the body is at rest.
Blood pressure reading of less than 120/80 is normal in adults, but when the numbers reach 140/90, it means high blood pressure. The top number (the systolic pressure) is the amount of pressure in the arteries when the heart beats or contracts. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure, or the pressure that remains in the arteries between beats, when the heart is relaxed.
Yoga, when performed rightly, can reduce stress-induced hypertension, and addresses the underlying causes. It pacifies the nervous system and slows down the heart beat, while telling the muscles and mind to relax.
Pranayama is also extremely beneficial
Studies have found that conscious breathing quickly lowers blood pressure. So practicing pranayama while lying down encourages the breath to arise smoothly from a relaxed state, without any force. If you sit, keep your spine straight and lift your chest, while keeping your head down in jalandhara bandha, so that there is no strain on the heart.
A general yoga practice can bring the nervous system into balance. But some specific asanas work better, and lowers blood pressure. For example, forward bends poses are good where the head is supported. It brings a sense of calm to the head, neck, face, and diaphragm. Here are some yoga asanas that are particularly beneficial.
Yoga asanas to reduce high blood pressure
- Sukhasana or easy pose
- Uttanasana or standing forward bend pose
- Adho mukha svanasana or downward facing dog pose
- Virasana or hero pose
- Baddha konasana or bound angle pose (cobbler pose)
- Setu bandhasana or bridge pose
- Shavasana or corpse pose
Avoid these poses
And here are some of the yoga poses that you should avoid if you have high blood pressure.
- Forearm stand
- Shoulder Stand
- Downward facing dog
- Standing forward bends