Yoga for Hypertension
Chances are at least one person in your life—a family member, someone you work with, or a good friend—has high blood pressure and takes one or more pills a day to bring it under control. Why is it so likely? Because high blood pressure—what doctors call hypertension—affects one in three adults in the United States. Elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease, is often described as a “silent killer.”
Blood pressure—the force blood exerts against the walls of your arteries as it travels through the circulatory system—fluctuates during the day, increasing during exertion or stress and decreasing when the body is at rest. Most doctors agree that a blood pressure reading of less than 120/80 is ideal for adults, and diagnose hypertension when those numbers reach 140/90.
More often than not a high-stress lifestyle can lead to what doctors call “essential” hypertension, where there is no disease-specific cause.
How can yoga at Moksha Wellness Yoga help fight Hypertension?
Yoga, when performed mindfully, can reduce this type of stress-induced hypertension, while addressing its underlying causes. It pacifies the sympathetic nervous system and slows down the heart, while teaching the muscles and mind to relax deeply. This is probably due to an increase in antioxidants and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
While a general yoga practice has a pacifying effect and can bring the nervous system into balance, select asanas work better than others for actually lowering blood pressure—and simple modifications make others more beneficial. Pranayama breathing exercises can also be extremely beneficial. Research studies demonstrate that conscious breathing quickly lowers blood pressure.