Yoga Exercises for Hypertension

By on September 9, 2012 with No Comments

When analyzing the way in which yoga plays a role in managing hypertension, it is essential to understand the aspect of blood circulation in the body and how elevated blood pressure occurs. In a normal situation of blood flow, the heart receives impure (de-oxygenated) blood in the right atrium and then pushes it to the right ventricle. From the right ventricle, the blood is send to the lungs where purification (oxygenation) takes place. When blood is purified in the lungs, it is sent to heart’s left atrium and then passed to the left ventricle. It is from there where it is distributed to other parts of the body.

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In order to smoothly flow to other parts of the body, blood is pumped by the heart. As it passes through the arteries, it creates pressure against the walls of the vessels. This is referred to as blood pressure. There are various factors which act on the flow of blood as it circulates and these are such as arteries constriction and the volume.

Physiological changes can occur within the vessels and when coupled with increased blood volume, these factors create high pressure. When the vessels narrow and the volume of blood increases, these factors can lead to elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure is attained when the systolic reading is more than 130mmHg and the diastolic pressure reading is above 90 mmHg.

High blood pressure exposes a person to risks of suffering from such conditions as kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and blindness. There are other causes of elevated blood such as imbalances and disruptions in rennin, aldosterone and angiorension as well as renal disorders. There are different forms of hypertension such as essential, secondary, white coat, isolated systolic pressure among others.

The treatment of hypertension takes many forms and entails combination of many aspects such as medications, healthy eating, and reduction of sodium intake, exercising and weight loss. Lifestyle management such as Yoga lifestyle can help in the treatment and prevention of hypertension. Yoga works on blood pressure and wellness of the body and mind through coordination of the body parts, the mind and the soul.

There are various yoga poses, which can greatly help in managing hypertension. Double leg raises is one of the poses, which are utilized in yoga practices and this entails positioning on your back with legs straight and arms out to your sides. In that position, you inhale and lift both legs together until the body is bent 90 degrees while maintaining the feet parallel to the ceiling. You then exhale as you slowly lower your legs to the flow. You can repeat the same positions for about 12 times.

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Another pose is shoulder stretching. This helps in relieving stress and tension on your shoulders and the back. Easy pose is a classic meditative pose and it is done after you have had a corpse pose. The easy pose helps straighten your spine, and slow down metabolism. It also improves inner tranquility and keeps the mind steady.

Cat pose is another essential yoga practice and it entails getting onto your hands and knees on the floor. With your knees straight under your hips and arms directly under shoulders, you place your hands forward. You then get into a neutral position with your back straight while looking down at the ground.

In that position, you take a big inhale and round your back as you also tuck your tail under while at the same time exhaling. You inhale as you come back down to neutral position and exhale as you go back up. This exercise can be repeated about 12 times. Other essential poses are Half Spinal Twist, Wind Relieving pose and Anuloma Viloma.

Yoga exercises work in different ways in reducing high blood pressure. When a person has chronic stress induced muscular contraction, this condition reduces lumen diameter of the vessels. This increases the pressure that is exerted on the vessel walls. By stretching muscles and relaxing them through yoga exercises, this reverses the effects and creates smooth blood flow.

In addition, blood pressure is increased by sustained activation of Flight and Fight response. Yoga exercises switch off the Flight and Fight response and this reduces blood pressure. Another way in which yoga works in reducing hypertension is by controlled pressure on kidneys and adrenals and this regulates blood supply in these organs and it helps in regulating blood pressure by secretion of rennin, adrenalin and angiotensin.

Moreover, regular yoga exercise reduces the aldosterone, a stress hormone as well as a potent vasoconstrictor. In essence, regular practice of yoga can reduce blood pressure by about 10 to 15 mmHg. Similarly, yoga can reduce weight gain, which also reduces blood pressure. When taking yoga exercise, it is essential that you consult your doctor as some of the poses may require certain body wellness and fitness. People with spinal injuries or back problems may require special introduction and training in their yoga practices by professional yoga trainers.

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