(The Best Years in Life)
Around one in every three people in the United States has high blood pressure, a
condition that can slowly damage the body overtime. High blood pressure can
cause disabilities, kidney failure and stroke. It is often a precursor to
cardiovascular disease, which kills more people in the US than anything else.
Lifestyle changes can control high blood pressure. Yoga can actually lower it.
High Blood Pressure and Yoga
The American Yoga Association states that the quickest way to lower stress is to
improve one's breathing and posture, both of which can be accomplished with yoga
poses and deep breathing. Reducing stress can help to lower blood pressure. Yoga
is specifically known to decrease blood pressure, especially the diastolic
score, which is most critical for health. According to Yoga Journal, some of the
best poses for high blood pressure include fire log pose, bridge pose, reclining
hero pose, and corpse pose. People may perform these exercises in a sequence or
separately depending on how much time they have and personal preference.
Fire Log Pose
Fire log pose is a simple seated position that stretches the hips and groin
muscles. It is also beneficial for stress and high blood pressure. To do fire
log pose, sit on the edge of folded yoga mat, bend the knees, and cross one leg
over the other, resting the top foot on the opposite thigh. The legs resemble
two logs of wood stacked diagonally one on top of the other.
The hands may rest on the floor to help with balance. It is important to sit
tall and pull the shoulders back in this pose. Sitting up straight strengthens
the muscles in the core, namely the muscles of the abdomen and back. This
improves one's posture, which lessens pressure on the lungs and heart. Improved
posture makes breathing easier.
Typically, one would hold the pose for 60 seconds and then switch the position
of the legs.
Bridge pose is a minor backbend performed in a reclining position. This exercise
provides a range of benefits, including lowering stress, fighting fatigue,
lessening headaches, and improving conditions such as high blood pressure and
To do bridge pose, lie face up with the knees bent. Position the feet so that
the lower legs are perpendicular to the floor. With the arms relaxed at the
sides, lift the buttocks and lower back toward the ceiling. Some people prefer
to place a yoga block between the knees during this pose. Holding the position
for 30 to 60 seconds is ideal.
Reclining Hero Pose
Reclining hero pose is a restorative yoga pose done while lying on the floor. It
provides an exceptional stretch to the thighs and knees, as well as the ankles
and abdomen. This pose not only benefits high blood pressure, but can also
improve digestion and lessen menstrual pain.
To get into reclining hero pose, sit with the knees bent and legs apart so that
the buttocks rests on the floor between the calves. Slowly lean backwards until
the back and neck rest on the floor. The arms can relax palms up at the sides.
Holding the position for 30 to 60 seconds is sufficient.
Corpse pose is one of yoga's best known poses and is often used to end
sequences. Corpse pose is basically lying on one's back with the arms relaxed at
the sides. It is customary to allow the legs and hips to roll slightly outwards
while resting in corpse.
Lying in corpse pose is an excellent opportunity to practice deep breathing
exercises. Breathing deeply into the diaphragm brings more oxygen into the blood
and strengthens the muscles involved in respiration. Overtime, breathing
exercises can improve focus and improve serenity. It is easy to look at one's
abdomen to ensure that the diaphragm is moving while lying in corpse.
All of these poses promote a calm mind and relaxed body. The more people focus
on the poses and their breathing, the more benefits they derive from any yoga
practice. In situations where someone has high blood pressure, it is
particularly important to do everything possible to manage stress and improve
one's mood. Practicing yoga along with adopting a healthy diet can do wonders
for high blood pressure.
Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the
fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse
University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group
exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy.
Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel,
Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's
Natural Healing Tips
blog or join her on
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