Yoga And High Blood Pressure / Hypertension


There is no other gift greater than the gift of health. It is rightly said that health is wealth.We should aspire to develop all round physical, mental and spiritual health. Imbalance or improper functioning of the physical or mental bodies results in serious repercussions on the well being of a person, which would necessitate medical attention.

Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure is one among the various diseases that affect the human body. The medical term for blood pressure is hypertension. Blood pressure is characterized by abnormal pressure levels in the arteries. The blood pressure in a healthy, normal person is 90/60mmhg. When the pressure is lower than the normal, it interferes with the well being of a person. When the pressure increases, it causes damage to the heart and sometimes proves fatal.

Causes of High Blood Pressure / Hypertension:

Hypertension is usually caused due to excess stress, strain, and emotional disturbances. In some cases, arterial problems, disturbed kidney function and malfunctioning of the endocrine gland cause hypertension.

Symptoms of High Blood Pressure / Hypertension:

The usual symptoms of the disease are dizziness, sound in the ears, headaches and dull vision.


Physiological benefits of yoga

  • Sleep pattern is improved.

  • Yoga normalizes weight.

  • Energy levels increase

  • Immunity increases

  • Pulse rate decreases

  • Blood pressure decreases

Psychological benefits of yoga

  • Concentration is improved

  • Attention focus is improved

  • Memory is enhanced

  • Mood swings get stable

  • Social skills improve

  • Poise and steadiness grow

Yogic Postures - An Insight

Yoga poses requires one to study each pose and execute them slowly with balance and concentration. Asanas work on all the systems of the body, also making the spine and joints supple. It tones up the muscles, glands and internal organs. Yoga asanas must be executed with proper breathing. Undoubtedly, yoga contributes to spiritual growth and improves the quality of life. Apart from increased flexibility in the muscles, chronic health conditions are treated and cured through the practice of yoga. Inner peace ensues after the practice of asana and pranayama and this enables the practitioner to tread life with purpose and direction.


A peek into select poses.

Camel pose

Steps

  1. Sit on your heels.

  2. Inhale and bend the back to touch the ankles with the hands. The back must be arched.

  3. Hold this position for few breaths and exhale while coming back to the original position.Relax.

Knees squeeze

Steps

  1. Lie on your back.

  2. Lift your right knee and bring it close to your chest. Use your arms to support the knee against the chest.

  3. The left leg should be kept straight.

  4. Bring the right knee to the original position and relax.

  5. Repeat the same with the other leg.

Corpse pose

Steps

  1. Lie flat on your back.

  2. Close your eyes.

  3. Be aware of the body parts and turn your attention to them.

  4. Relax the body parts at will from toes to head. Relaxation has to be induced.

  5. Mind should be made free from all disturbing thoughts.

  6. When the posture is executed perfectly, peace and calmness saturates the being.

Nadi shodhana- Breathing Exercise

This practice is also called alternate nostril breathing. Practice of Nadi Shodhana helps to calm the mind of its disturbances and makes it conducive for meditation. Nadis are the carriers of prana to the different parts of the body. There are 72,000 nadis in the human body. Pranayama cleanses these channels and the body is energized with the flow of pranayama.

Steps

  1. Sit in a comfortable position and relax all the body parts.

  2. Close your eyes.

  3. Close your left nostril with your thumb and inhale slowly. Exhale the breath through the right nostril. This constitutes one part of the breathing.

  4. Alternate the breath to the right nostril, i.e, inhale through the right nostril by closing the left nostril. Then, exhale through the left nostril.

Pranayama should be followed by meditation.


Meditation

Meditation helps to be in touch with the inner self.

Steps

  1. Just close your eyes and focus your attention on the point between the eyebrows.

  2. One can chant 'Om' for a few minutes until a peaceful feeling touches you. Fill the mind with faith in the divine that always protects and directs your being.

The Last Word

Yogic Practice is an exercise in self-discipline. 'Discipline' is best explained by this quotation, written by an author who prefers anonymity, " Discipline is, to do the things you don't want to do, when you know you need to do them."

Asanas are simple to practice, which is followed by pranayama and meditation. Yogis say that when breath is controlled and becomes rhythmic, one can enjoy the gift of health. The body is made of vital current or prana. The prana is also called the life force. The body is sustained by the flow of prana into all the body parts. When one does breathing exercises, or pranayama, the prana is regulated and the body is suffused with increased energy level. The prana currents help to cure diseases and set in healing vibrations. This enables the body to heal itself.

Finally, bear in mind that asanas should be practiced with ease, devoid of any tension. One must be conscious of the body movements during practice. The relaxed movements induce calmness and peace. Yoga Bhashya states, ' The posture becomes perfect when the effort of achieving it vanishes.'

Reference

Submitted by : Mrs.Uma

Edited by : Mrs. Savitha

 

How Yoga Helps

In order to prevent this disease, yogic practices should be incorporated into our daily routine. Yoga helps to combats stress and saturates the mind with tranquility.. However, yoga is not the only cure for hypertension, medical advice is necessary. The Yoga asanas help in bringing about a balance in the autonomous nervous system, a center that controls stress. Yoga helps in regulating the blood pressure by stabilizing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

Sedentary lifestyles are the reason for high blood pressure. Physical activity and ability to stay active helps to reduce the risk of blood pressure. Physical activity makes the heart stronger. Exercise helps to improve the condition of the heart, by making it pump more blood efficiently.

High blood pressure is caused due to high levels of stress. It is purely a mental condition. The most effective way to handle stress is to change your mental attitude towards the problems that trouble you. To initiate change in thought patterns requires mental strength. This strength can be gained through pranayama.

Hypertension affects the internal organs like heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Practice of asanas and pranayama helps to reduce the damage caused by hypertension. During asana practice, the movements are static; hence, it requires less blood and oxygen to assume a posture. This poses less strain, keeping the muscles relaxed. The circulation of blood is improved. Yoga helps in oxygenating the blood, enabling fresh nutrients to all the vessels and capillaries in the blood. When blood circulation is improved, the brain absorbs more oxygen and this helps one to be alert, enhances concentration skills and improves mood swings. When stress is reduced, the body’s immune system gets a boost, that also effectively enhances cognitive abilities.


How Yoga Helps

In order to prevent this disease, yogic practices should be incorporated into our daily routine. Yoga helps to combat stress and saturates the mind with tranquility. However, yoga is not the only cure for hypertension; medical advice is also necessary. The Yoga asanas help in bringing about a balance in the autonomous nervous system, a center that controls stress. Yoga helps in regulating the blood pressure by stabilizing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

Sedentary lifestyles are the reason for high blood pressure. Physical activity and ability to stay active helps to reduce the risk of blood pressure. Physical activity makes the heart stronger. Exercise helps to improve the condition of the heart, by making it pump more blood efficiently.

High blood pressure is caused due to high levels of stress. It is purely a mental condition. The most effective way to handle stress is to change your mental attitude towards the problems that trouble you. To initiate change in thought patterns requires mental strength. This strength can be gained through pranayama.

Hypertension affects the internal organs like heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Practice of asanas and pranayama helps to reduce the damage caused by hypertension. During asana practice, the movements are static; hence, it requires less blood and oxygen to assume a posture. This poses less strain, keeping the muscles relaxed. The circulation of blood is improved. When blood circulation is improved, the brain absorbs more oxygen and this helps one to be alert, enhances concentration skills and improves mood swings. When stress is reduced, the body’s immune system gets a boost that also effectively enhances cognitive abilities.


    

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