High blood pressure or hypertension is a serious medical condition. It can lead to cardiovascular diseases, heart failure, and other serious health issues. High blood pressure affects almost one-third of adults worldwide and as many as 7 out of 10 people with hypertension don’t know they have it. That’s why we are here with a list of best yoga poses to reduce high blood pressure.
If you think that you might be at risk for high blood pressure or are concerned about your current blood pressure readings, keep reading to learn more about this condition and how yoga can help reduce your blood pressure by lowering stress levels, improving concentration, and reducing anxiety.
So, without any further ado, let’s get about best yoga poses to reduce high blood pressure!
What is Hypertension or High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood within the arteries. It is expressed as two numbers. For example, 120 over 80 or 140 over 90. The top number (systolic blood pressure) is when the heart contracts and pumps blood out to the body. The bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) is when the heart relaxes and refills with blood.
Healthy blood pressure is under 120/80 mmHg. If you have blood pressure that is higher than that, you have hypertension. Normal blood pressure can vary slightly from person to person.
For example, it can depend on your age, gender, ethnicity, and height. It’s also important to note that blood pressure can change throughout the day, as well as from day to day.
What causes hypertension?
There are many factors associated with hypertension, including aging, being overweight, genetics, diet and nutrition, stress, and tobacco use.
Age: The risk of developing hypertension increases with age. The average onset is 60 years of age, but it can occur at any age.
Genetics: Certain genetic factors increase the risk of hypertension. Talking of how much hypertension is genetics; Family and twin studies estimate that the heritability of blood pressure is 30 to 50 percent.
Diet and nutrition: Eating a diet high in sodium, processed meats, and refined sugars may increase blood pressure.
Stress: The stress hormone cortisol may increase blood pressure.
Tobacco use: Using tobacco may increase blood pressure and accelerate the progression of hypertension.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
For most people, the only warning sign of high blood pressure is either a blood pressure reading at the doctor’s office or an increase in the frequency of headaches. In some cases, people with high blood pressure do not experience any symptoms at all.
If left untreated, hypertension can lead to serious complications. These include heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
How Yoga Helps Reduce High Blood Pressure
Several studies have looked at the potential benefits of yoga for hypertension. Yoga has been shown to improve heart rate variability, which can be helpful for managing hypertension.
Yoga may also help to reduce stress, which can be helpful for managing hypertension. Additionally, yoga has been shown to improve blood pressure in people with diabetes, which can often be tied to hypertension. Yoga may also help to improve sleep quality, which can be tied to hypertension as well.
With that said, let us have a look at the best yoga poses to reduce high blood pressure
Yoga asanas for Hypertension
Okay, peeps! Let’s get started with the best yoga poses for tackling hypertension.
As the name suggests, the child pose or shishuasana is a yoga pose where we put our body in a position similar to a child lying down.
Child pose is a restorative yoga pose that can be used to help relieve stress and tension. It’s also said to be helpful for people with high blood pressure. To do the child pose start by kneeling on the ground. Then sit back on your heels and lower your forehead to the ground. Next stretch your arms out in front of you and rest your chest on your thighs. Finally, breathe deeply and hold the pose for at least 30 seconds.
Vajrasana (Diamond Pose)
The diamond yoga pose is a great way to release tension in the lower back and spine. It also helps in opening up the chest and relieving hypertension.
To do this pose start by sitting on your heels with your knees hip-width apart. Then place your hands on your thighs and press down into your feet as you exhale and lift your hips up off of your heels. As you inhale press down into your hands and bring your chest up toward the ceiling. Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths before slowly releasing back down to your starting position.
Paschimottanasana is a seated forward bend that lengthens and stretches the spine shoulders and hamstrings. It’s also known to calm the mind and relieve stress.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Bend forward from your hips keeping your spine long as you reach for your toes. If you can’t reach your toes place your hands on your shins or knees and continue to lengthen your spine as you fold forward. Hold this position for 5-10 breaths before slowly coming back up to sit upright.
Shavasana or Corpse Pose is a restorative yoga pose that can be done to help alleviate hypertension. The pose can also help to reduce stress and anxiety and promote a sense of calm and well-being.
To do the pose lie on your back with your legs and arms extended and your palms facing up. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Breathe deeply and slowly for several minutes. If you have any pain or discomfort please stop.
It is amongst the best yoga poses to reduce high blood pressure.
Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
Sukhasana is a simple but effective pose for hypertension. It helps to calm the mind and relax the body which can lower blood pressure.
To do Sukhasana, sit on the floor with your legs crossed in front of you. If you can’t cross your legs place them parallel to each other. Sit up straight and place your hands on your knees with your palms facing up. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths. Hold the pose for 5-10 minutes.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist)
Ardha Matsyendrasana is a sitting half spinal twist yoga pose that stretches the shoulders neck and spine along with helping in high blood pressure.
Sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your right foot flat on the ground next to your left thigh. Place your left hand on the ground behind you for support. Inhale as you lengthen your spine. Exhale as you twist to the right placing your right hand on the outside of your right thigh. Look over your right shoulder. Hold for 5-10 breaths before releasing and repeating on the other side.
Badhakonasana or the butterfly pose is a yoga asana that has a lot of benefits one of which is reducing hypertension. This pose helps to open up the hips and the groin area which in turn helps to release any tension that might be building up in these areas. It also helps to stretch the inner thighs and the knees which can be helpful in reducing pain and stiffness in these joints.
To do the butterfly pose sit on the ground with your back straight and your legs extended in front of you. Then bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to fall open to the sides. Use your hands to hold onto your feet and then begin to flap your legs up and down like the wings of a butterfly. You should feel a stretch in your inner thighs and groin. Hold the pose for as long as is comfortable and then release.
Janusirsasana (One-legged Forward Bend)
Janusirsasana stretches the hamstrings back and shoulders. It also helps to improve balance and concentration and also reduces high blood pressure.
To enter the pose start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Step your left foot forward and place your left hand on your left hip. Bend your right knee and bring your right heel to meet your left buttock. Inhale and lengthen your spine. As you exhale lean forward from your hips and place your right hand on the floor in front of you. If you cannot reach the floor place a block under your hand. Continue to exhale as you lengthen your spine and fold forward over your straight leg.
Bonus pose: Ardha halasana (half plow pose)
Ardha halasana is a variation of the classical yoga pose halasana (plow pose). It is a restorative yoga pose that can help to lower blood pressure.
To do the pose lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands on your hips. exhale as you slowly raise your legs and hips off of the ground bringing your toes toward the ceiling. Keep your back and neck straight as you do this. Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths before slowly lowering your legs and hips back to the ground.
These additional things may help you…
Meditation has been found to be an effective way to lower blood pressure. A study published in the American Heart Association’s journal “Hypertension” found that people who meditated for 30 minutes a day for eight weeks lowered their systolic blood pressure by four points on average and their diastolic blood pressure by three points on average compared to those who made no changes to their lifestyle.
The study participants who meditated also had a significantly lower heart rate than those who didn’t meditate.
Pranayama or controlled breathing is a practice that can help to regulate blood pressure. In a study published in the International Journal of Yoga, it was found that pranayama significantly reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The study participants who practiced pranayama had a decrease in blood pressure of around 10 mmHg which is considered to be clinically significant.
Limit alcohol and quit smoking
Talk to your doctor about how much alcohol is safe for you to drink. If you are taking blood pressure medication, your doctor may recommend that you cut alcohol out completely.
Smoking is another leading cause of hypertension. A study published in the Journal of Hypertension found that smoking may lead to higher blood pressure readings and that quitting could significantly reduce your blood pressure readings.
Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is the best way to lower your blood pressure and prevent high blood pressure from occurring in the first place. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods; instead, make small dietary adjustments to reduce your risk of high blood pressure.
A study published in The Journal of Human Hypertension found that people who ate a diet rich in yogurt, fruits, and vegetables had lower blood pressure readings.
If you are looking to reduce your blood pressure with diet, the best foods to eat are the ones that are rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Foods like bananas, avocados, and beans are rich in potassium. For Magnesium, you can go for almonds, cashews, and spinach. Calcium can be found in milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Get a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep is crucial for your health, including your blood pressure. According to a study published in the Journal of Hypertension, sleep-deprived people had higher blood pressure readings than those who slept enough hours.
If you are having trouble sleeping, try to identify the cause of your insomnia. If you have high blood pressure, you may want to cut back on caffeine, exercise more, and try some yoga poses before bedtime.
Stress can cause your blood pressure to spike and should be controlled. You can do this by meditating, getting more exercise, and spending time with friends and family. Stress reduction exercises like yoga and meditation can help lower your blood pressure by relaxing your muscles and bringing your blood pressure back down to its normal level.
Keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level is an important part of maintaining good health. While there isn’t a cure for high blood pressure, you can tackle it smartly. This includes managing your diet, reducing stress, and practicing these best yoga poses to reduce high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a serious medical condition that can lead to cardiovascular diseases, heart failure, and other serious health issues. Yoga can be a great way to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and improve your ability to manage your blood pressure.
If you think that you might be at risk for high blood pressure or are concerned about your current blood pressure readings, make sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and practice yoga.