High blood pressure is a serious condition that an estimate 1 in 3 American adults face, whether they know it or not. Left undiagnosed or untreated, damage to vital organs such as the heart and kidneys can occur.
While the high blood pressure diagnosis is usually given when your blood pressure reaches the 140/90 range over multiple office visits, it’s beneficial to take 130/80 as a warning sign to begin taking action.. Alongside prescribed blood pressure treatments, many lifestyle changes and activities are proven to assist in blood pressure control and over time, may even be enough to cancel the need for prescription medication.
One practice that’s growing in popularity for improving hypertension is yoga. This ancient Indian practice has modernized and made quite a boom in the United States, and for good reason!
By promoting physical activity, reducing stress and cortisol levels, and improving circulation, yoga can lend you a hand in achieving and maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
One of the best things you can do for high blood pressure is physical activity for 30 minutes a day. Using yoga for exercise is a great way to get active and increase endurance, muscle tone, and burn calories.
Yoga offers versatility for every age level and ability, and a wide range of motion that is low impact for joints and easy to modify for physical limitations or injuries.
The strength gained from yoga improves posture and muscular health while burning fat and increasing endurance. Because of the imbalanced nature of many poses, yoga strengthens deep core muscles that are often hard to train with traditional exercises. Even 15 minutes of yoga can provide a calorie burning energy boosting workout, and according to a one particular study, just 2-3 sessions per week for 6 months led to a reduction in participants blood pressure readings. Over time, the benefits of yoga on blood pressure only increase with improved practice and strength.
Yoga also helps to decrease stress and cortisol levels, which can greatly help those persons whose hypertension is due to chronic or acute stress. By taking the time to ground your body to your practice and calm your mind, yoga instills a sense of mindfulness that our brains crave in our fast-paced world filled with stressors.
By getting to a relaxed state of mind regularly, your brain’s stress responders are more apt to handle stressful situations therefore leading to long term improvements in blood pressure.
Seasoned yogis have also developed breathing techniques to use outside of the yoga studio for handling stress and calming the mind when stress hits. These tactics are helpful for anyone who encounters stressors regularly and need a better way of handling them.
Another strong point for yoga is improved circulation. Many popular poses such as the downward dog triangle and camel pose are excellent for increasing the circulation to your spine, organs and glands which will improve overall health and get that blood pumping effortlessly.
High blood pressure is often caused or worsened by poor blood circulation, so this improvement can have a direct effect on your blood pressure. Improved circulation also leads to better skin health, digestion, memory and improved sleep quality.
The beneficial mix of physical activity and relaxation makes yoga a perfect addition to your self-care when it comes to managing high blood pressure. By increasing your activity level, mindfulness and circulation, you can do your body good and over time make a significant positive impact on not just your blood pressure issues but your overall health and wellness!
A high blood pressure diagnosis isn’t the end of your life. If you still have breath in your body, there are many thing you can still do to improve your condition, and yoga is just one!
Thankfully, yoga’s increasing popularity has made it easy to get started using home videos, private instructors, or local classes and studios. Shop around and find the yoga class that best suits your preferences. Combine yoga with natural hypertension remedies such as watermelon or coconut water and not only start looking better but feeling better as well.
Best of health and wellness to you – namaste.
About the author:
Trysh Sutton is a wife, mother, attorney, interior decorator, strategic leader and teacher. She runs a website called Pure Path Essential Oils, a naturopathic wellness company that promotes healthy living and healing through the use of essential oils and sustainable living.
You can follow her on social media to learn more about the benefits of essential oils, and healthy living practices.