If you didn’t know by now, yoga and meditation in tandem can help you in the treatment of high blood pressure. Yoga and meditation together may assist in lowering your blood pressure when its abnormally high and have favorable effects on the nervous system. By practicing certain yoga and meditation techniques you can not only lower your blood pressure, but also reduce the effects of hypertension that impact other parts of the body.
Heart disease is one of the leading killers in the world today. With the combination of a fast food Diet and a low priority for exercise, it isn’t any surprise that heart disease is easily one of the most dangerous things people have to worry about. Not only that, but the stresses of daily life are constantly plaguing the population. Everybody wants, and needs, to succeed. The stress associated with such important tasks can cause blood pressure to rise. Sometimes, stress can cause other issues associated with heart disease as well, such as stress-eating unhealthy foods that contribute to poor health.
What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a rise in pressure exerted by circulating blood on the artery walls as a normal response to stress and physical activity. However, if this pressure remains persistently high (high blood pressure as it is called), it can overwork your heart and arteries, making arterial disease, heart attacks and strokes more likely.
Blood Pressure Measurement
Medical practitioners record blood pressure as two values, the systolic (the pressure of the blood as it enters the aorta from the heart) and the diastolic (the pressure when the heart ventricles relax between beats). It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). High blood pressure, or in other words, Hypertension or High Blood Pressure, is defined in an adult as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140mm Hg systolic pressure, or greater than or equal to 90mm Hg diastolic pressure. However, a blood pressure reading above 140/90 indicates hypertension and is considered abnormal at any stage.
High Blood Pressure Effects
Coronary heart disease, leading to heart attack and stroke, is the main harm that can be caused by High Blood Pressure. Hence, we can realize the fact that High Blood Pressure can easily play with the lives of man.
Yoga can also help to reduce high blood pressure because it stretches, elongates and massages the blood vessels which improves circulation and encourages the blood vessels to remain soft. Stress can also increase blood pressure and yoga, with it’s relaxing principles can help combat that.
It is worth noting that yoga is also a weight bearing exercises because some of the poses require you to hold up your own body weight. Weight bearing exercise can help to prevent osteoporosis, a disease which affects one third of women and two thirds of men over the age of 50.
Can it Happen to Me?
High Blood Pressure can occur to both children and adults. However, people above 35 years of age, have a greater chance of being attacked by High Blood Pressure. It is mostly common in African-Americans, middle-aged and elderly people, obese people, heavy drinkers, and women who take birth control pills. People suffering from diabetes mellitus, gout or kidney diseases are also prone to High Blood Pressure.
Is There a Genetic Connection?
Yes, High Blood Pressure can also run in families. So if your parents have a history of high blood pressure, try to keep an eye on your pressure. It may arise due to your genes.
High blood pressure can also be contributed to high stress and tension levels. Therefore, it is important to reduce stress if there is a genetic connection to high blood pressure.
Get regular, brisk exercise and eat a healthy diet. Check your pressure regularly and take necessary steps before it damages your heart!
There are a few categories of asanas which are recommended to lower blood pressure: forward bends, sitting, supine and inversions group.
Forward bends have the best effects on high blood pressure, so they can help you the most to lower your blood pressure. These exercises have a calming effect on the brain, the blood circulation to the brain is normalized, and they help you reduce the stress from the sense organs, things that lower blood pressure. So, the brain, the sympathetic nervous system and the sense organs are relaxed, the cardiac output and the pulse rate decelerate at the same time, and blood pressure stabilizes, so it lowers blood pressure when its high.
Other asanas which have beneficial effects on the nervous system and help you lower blood pressure are Uttanasana and Adhomukha Svanasana, which have to be practiced with the head resting on props, so the blood circulates more freely into the aortic arch. These help you lower blood pressure.
Baddhakonasana and Virasana are some of the sitting asanas which can be practiced in order to get a lower blood pressure by the hypertensives, which in most cases are hard breathing. These poses eliminate the tension from the ribs and the intercostal muscles, so they help you to breathe with no difficulty, and lower blood pressure.
Other poses which help you lower blood pressure are the supine poses, like Supta Baddhakonasana which, by relaxing the abdominal region, and so the entire body, bring calm on the nerves.
Inversions asanasas such as Viparita Karanti and Halasana revitalize the nerves, assure the control over the lungs and diaphragm, so if you practice these exercises constantly, you will get a lower blood pressure. There are also useful the Svanasana and pranayama, which provide the control over the automatic nervous system. As the senses and the mind are chilling, the blood pressure stabilizes, and in case of hypertension it leads to a lower blood pressure.
How Meditation Helps to Reduce Blood Pressure
Ultimately however, meditation is a great way to help keep that type of stress in check. Rather than allowing the negative cycles to persist, meditation can provide a way for us to unplug from the world around us and refocus our minds onto things that are not as overwhelming. When we engage in stress-relieving activities, our brains respond very physically. Chemicals such as nitric oxide are released and it is found to be helpful in reducing blood pressure.
In fact, one study even found that people who managed to keep a regular meditation schedule were able to lower the dosage of the blood pressure medications that they had been using to keep their health in check. That isn’t to say that if you start to meditate, you should immediately cut down on the dose of whatever medicine you are taking. However, you can keep in touch with your doctor about your new lifestyle change and see if there is the option later on down the line.
Reducing stress is a huge key in reducing blood pressure. When we find ourselves getting stressed out, our bodies react. Our hearts beat more quickly, we get flushed, and we generally suffer from tightness in the chest or other limbs. Stress is known as the silent killer for a reason.
But meditation is a cure. While it may not always reduce the stressful situations you experience in your life, it dose provide us with a great coping mechanism that allows us to build up our resistance to stress and process negative events in a healthy way rather than letting them bring us down. No matter what style of meditation you choose to utilize, it has a high chance of reducing your blood pressure. Whether you are simply focusing on your breathing, practicing mindfulness, or listening to guided meditations, taking the time away from your hectic life to focus inward is a great asset.
While we can’t completely cure the world of heart disease, we can at least take steps in preventing it from affecting us as badly as it could. In lowering our risk of heart disease by practicing meditation and lowering stress, we are ensuring ourselves, and those we care about, that we are capable of handling whatever life throws at us in a healthy way. In learning more about meditation, you may literally save your life!
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Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet