Hypertension, a silent killer, comes with no warning signs or symptoms. This stress-induced condition is so common today that nearly half the adults in America have hypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. With fast-paced, stressful lives and extreme or irregular lifestyle choices, it’s not very hard for this condition to catch up to us. While it is common, it’s not one that should be taken lightly as it can lead to many other diseases and illnesses down the line.
A holistic and sustained way to manage high blood pressure is with yoga. Yoga helps you manage stress, which itself is a big factor. When stress is lowered, the mind and body is more relaxed and balanced. Many practices like asanas, pranayama, meditation and yoga nidra are useful in lowering stress. Here are a few asanas for stress-relief.
For Hypertension, adapting a yogic lifestyle which consists of balance is helpful. Joining a yoga class 2-3 times a week where a teacher will guide you through specific practices will go a long way to managing high blood pressure. Yoga postures improve blood flow and oxygen, release blockages and relax the mind and body.
Here are 10 yoga poses for hypertension
Child’s pose or Balasana
This relaxation posture allows you to lengthen the upper body and induces blood flow to the brain. The improved blood circulation, along with the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system provides a soothing effect. It also improves mindfulness.
Half spinal twist or Ardha Matsyendrasana
This intense twist stimulates the abdomen, while opening up the chest. It relaxes the nervous systems and improves blood circulation, which helps regulate blood pressure.
Seated forward fold or Paschimottanasana
This posture activates the parasympathetic nervous system and vagus nerve, infusing the body with renewed energy. It aso ignites the digestive fire, improving digestion and releasing toxins. This normalizes blood pressure and relaxes the mind and body more.
One legged forward bend or Janu Sirsasana
Similar to the seated forward fold, this posture also activates the parasympathetic nervous system which helps the body relax. It also has a great effect on the tummy as it gives a massage to the abdominal organs and impacts weight loss. With better weight loss, blood pressure is also better regulated towards normal levels.
Bound angle pose or Baddha Konasana
While this posture opens up the hips and groin, it also opens up the chest, stimulating blood flow. Furthermore, it can be calming as well as it helps release stress and weariness. Variations can also be adapted which will be helpful in relieving tension from the back. This induces more relaxation.
Thunderbolt pose or Vajrasana
The only yoga posture that can be done after a meal is the thunderbolt pose or Vajrasana. This posture reduces the blood flow to the legs, increasing circulation in the abdomen. This improves the digestive fire, enables better digestion and improves blood circulation. It also helps with weight loss which helps regulate high blood pressure.
Legs up on the wall pose or Viparita Karani
This is also a very relaxing posture that induces blood flow back up from the legs. It improves oxygen levels, which makes you calm and rejuvenated, and helps you let go of accumulated stress. The improved blood circulation will normalize the blood pressure levels as well, and is good for the circulatory system.
Easy pose or Sukhasana
This is a simple meditative posture which calms the mind and body. It reduces blood pressure by making your mind and body feel balanced, peaceful, and happy. Sitting in this posture while practicing breathing exercises or meditation relaxes the nervous system further and heightens your experience of the practice.
Cobra pose or Bhujangasana
The cobra pose enhances blood flow in the body, improving oxygen supply. It also helps relax the back and opens up the chest. This relieves stress, improves circulation and calms the nerves, thus regulating blood pressure.
Bridge pose or Setu Bandhasana
This posture opens up the chest and relaxes the back. It also normalizes blood pressure by improving blood circulation and soothing the nerves. The posture also takes away fatigue and stress accumulated in the back, which helps you relax more.
Apart from these asanas, you can also simply lie down on your back in the corpse pose or Savasana. Most of us have forgotten what it feels like to just slow and relax. In Savasana, we are completely relaxed and blood pressure is also reduced. By simply relaxing, our blood pressure can be managed to a very great extent. When you practice yoga regularly you’ll learn to be more mindful of your breath, lifestyle choices and stress levels. In just a few classes you’ll start seeing a world of difference within you!