How Yoga Can Help Lower Your Blood-Pressure
Blood-Pressure is a significant function of our bloodstream,
regulated by the contractions of our heart-muscle. It is responsible
for transporting essential nutrients, as well as oxygen to our
muscles and organs through our blood (intensity depends on the
actual physical effort). On the other hand, permanent pressure
which can exceed a rate of 120/80 mmg/Hg could damage your
This is why permanent high blood pressure (med.
hypertension) is a serious condition causing heart attacks,
strokes, and certain kinds of heart diseases. Since affected
people won’t recognize any short term-symptoms while suffering
from hypertension it is referred to be a “silent killer”, leading to
most illness-caused-deaths in the western world. Therefore it is of
highest importance to safe blood-vessels from longtime strain in
order to prevent your body from any lethal consequences.
A healthy lifestyle including regular exercise, a balanced
diet, reduced salt intake, and the avoidance of any drugs (such as
alcohol and nicotine etc.) is key for preventing yourself from
causing or increasing high blood pressure.
Apart from taking any daily-based medication (in order to get
hypertension under temporarily control), YOGA is one of the most
powerful methods to get your mind and body in a healthy condition whilst creating harmony of your physical, energetic, mental and emotional condition.
By practising Yoga you will be not only taking care of your
body, but rather giving yourself the opportunity to discover your
true self by receiving back your natural strength, resulting in full
harmony of your body functions. As far as Yoga is concerned, you
ought to know which practises are best for lowering hypertension
and why they will have a positive impact on your health:
Meditation is known as being one of the best stress-relieving
practises. It is crucial to relieve stress hormones such as cortisol
by exercising certain styles of meditation in a regular way. Hence
your stress levels fall significantly, and all the systems within the
body begin to normalise. The result will be showing up in a
significant reduction of high blood pressure.
Different styles of meditation should be taken in
consideration, whereby Transcendental Meditation seems to be
one of the most effective. This technique takes attention beyond
normal thinking by using a repetitive mantra, which is given by a
meditation-teacher of the Maharishi Vedic Education Foundation.
Another very effective and basic method would be an everyday,
but simple mindful meditation (named dhyanam or dhyana). In
dhyana, all the senses are quiet and the mind alone is active. You
will be focusing on yourself and your surroundings, while
maintaining your eyes closed. It is vital to try to stay unattached of
any arising thought which will be coming up to your mind. After
several times of practising, you should already feel and get meditative state of mind induces benefits for reducing blood pressure.
1) Sheetali Pranayam: The word “sheetali” means cold or
smoothing and is part of the Hatha Yoga practises. The main
purpose of this breathing-technique is to cool down the body
which results in having positive effects on the nervous system and
endocrine glands. Simply sit in any comfortable meditative
posture, bring your tongue all the way out and fold both sides of
the tongue, like a tube or straw. Inhale through your mouth,
exhale through both nostrils and repeat for about 8-10 Min. Due to
its cooling effects, this technique is recommended in summer or
2) If you having problems with folding your tongue, Sheetkari
Pranayam represents a effective alternative. In this technique you
simply inhale through your open mouth by exposing your teeth,
then exhale through both nostrils by closing your mouth. The
effects will be best if breaths are repeated for about 5-8 minutes.
The combination of synchronizing body-movements in
addition of conscious breathing is called Asana. Asanas need to
be practised in a regular manner. Try avoid getting in a rush or
exaggerating yourself. There are many different types of asanas
and asana-flows today, the following ones are easy to execute
and very helpful in reducing hypertension:
1) Shavasana (corpse pose): In this pose you simply have to lie
down on your back, put your arms about 15cm away from your
body, hand palms facing upwards towards the sky/ceiling. Your
head should be in one line with the back, and do not use a
cushion. Try to shift your awareness towards your whole body
and its functions – let your breath cycle in a natural way and relax
for 5-20 min. By practising this asana you will increase your
subconscious awareness for your whole circulatory-system.
2) Ardha Matsyendrasana (half spinal twist): Start this asana
by sitting on your mat with both legs stretched out in front of your
body. Flex your toes and slowly bend your right knee touching
your chest. Now place your right foot down on the outside of your
left knee flat on the floor – toes facing to the front. Next bend your
left knee and bring your heel next to the right buttock. Slightly
twist your spine to the right while passing the left arm between the
space of your chest and your right knee. Grab the left foot. Rest
your right arm next to your back. Now try to straighten your spine
as much as possible, putting your drishti over your right shoulder.
Exhale while twisting your trunk, inhale when coming back to your
front – repeat the whole sequence to the other side.
This asana is a superb way to regulate the secretions of the
adrenal gland whilst activating and cleansing the kidneys,
pancreas and liver. Moreover it will balance both sides of the
body, creating harmony and relaxation. All of that will have a
positive impact on your blood pressure.
3) Paschimottanasana (Forward Bend Pose): Sit with both legs
straight in front of your body and place your hands on your knees.
Try to relax your whole body and slowly start bending your torso
to the front – be aware of executing this movement from your hips
and not by curving your back. Try to grasp the big toes with your
fingers and thumbs. Slowly and carefully bend forward, do not
strain – rather take attention to your breathing: slowly and deeply.
This asana won’t only make your hamstrings and hip joints
flexible, but it also massages the abdominal and pelvic region
including the liver, pancreas, uro-genital system, kidneys and the
adrenal gland. Your blood circulation throughout your whole body
will be stimulated in a positive way.
To put it in a nutshell, Yoga is a unique and sustainable way
of getting your mind-body in coherence. For this, illnesses like
hypertension can be prevented or healed up. It will require time
and patience from you to stick to your daily yoga routine which is
decisive to get any benefits out of your practise. Yoga should not
be only a sideline activity, but rather it must be defined as a
holistic principal of harmony and unification. Practised in daily life.
In this respect, yoga is far from just being a physical exercise – it
should become your living-knowledge through practise and
If you are looking to expand your understanding about yoga and learn all about asana, pranayama and meditation, I recommend to take part at the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in India!