A recent study finds yoga an has effective therapeutic applications for high blood pressure & other cardiovascular issues…
With the continued rise of modern lifestyle diseases and health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, many people are seeking treatments to complement or improve the results from conventional treatment methods, which often fall far short of achieving their promised results. While you should definitely consult with your doctor before trying any alternative methods, yoga has shown some promising results in several studies which have examined the positive effects of yoga and meditation for heart-related conditions.
For example, a recent study from the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports explored the impact of yoga – including physical poses (asanas), yogic breathing techniques, and meditation – on metabolic syndrome, “a group of metabolic abnormalities such as obesity, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure, that often occur in conjunction with each other and are major contributors to cardiovascular disease and other heart-related ailments.”
Participants in the year-long study engaged in 90-minute yoga classes three times per week, and their weight and other health factors were monitored both at the beginning and end of the study. The study found “a clear correlation between a steady yoga practice and a decrease in adipokines (cell signaling proteins that are released from excessive body fat), as well as a reduction in abdominal obesity.” There were also a number of other benefits that participants experienced, including lower blood sugar, decreased blood pressure, general weight loss, improved strength and flexibility, and “an increased feeling of overall well-being.”
While medical treatments are available for high blood pressure and high blood sugar, lifestyle changes are by far the most preferred and beneficial long-term strategy for controlling these life-threatening issues. A healthy diet, plenty of sleep and exercise, and stress-reduction practices such as yoga and meditation can go a long way towards preventing more serious health issues, and in some cases, may even help to reverse some of these chronic problems.
In particular, the yoga poses below – along with Pranayama breathing practices – may be beneficial for high blood pressure and/or high blood sugar:
- Simple Neck Rolls – Beneficial for releasing tension in the face, neck, shoulders, and upper back. These movements are very beneficial for people who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or computer, and can help improve circulation.
- Bitilasana (Cat/Cow Pose) – This is a great pose for warming up the spine and releasing tension in the hips and sides of the torso.
- Parvritta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head to Knee Pose) – Beneficial for stretching the hamstrings and releasing the muscles in the back and sides. For a more restorative version, rest the forehead on a block or bolster as you fold forward.
- Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall Pose) – This restorative inversion calms the nervous system, reduces overall stress in the body, and boosts the immune system by reversing the flow of lymph fluid in the body. It is best to hold this pose for a minimum of ten minutes.
You may want to consider doing these poses daily if you suffer from the health issues mentioned above.
Note: This post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Please consult a qualified medical practitioner before making any changes to your treatment regimen – yoga or otherwise.