High blood pressure is a result of poor diet and lack of exercise. The conventional medical treatment for this condition includes a modified diet and prescription medication.
From a yogic perspective, high blood pressure is the result of blocked energy in the heart chakra. Research shows that regular yoga practice is beneficial in treating this condition.
One study published in “Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice” showed that yoga might even be a viable alternative to drug therapy in treating high blood pressure and hypertension.
Postures in yoga for high blood pressure are designed to open the heart chakra, allowing energy to move freely up and down the other energy centers of the body. They may also help relieve stress and tension, which can contribute to this condition.
Remember that natural therapies such as yoga are meant to be used in conjunction with, and not in place of, conventional care.
Always check with your doctor before beginning a yoga program if you have been diagnosed with hypertension or any other related condition. In general, those with high blood pressure should not practice inversion postures (turning the body upside down).
Ustrasana, or camel pose, is designed to improve flexibility in the spine. But, it also helps relieve stress and anxiety. Because it is a back bending pose, it opens up the heart chakra and improves the flow of energy.
Begin kneeling on your mat with your hands at your sides. Inhale and raise your hands back behind you. Exhale and rest the hands down on the ankles while arching the back. Allow your head to drop back as you breathe and relax. Hold this pose for several deep breaths. Rest, then repeat two or three more times.
Bhujangasana, or cobra pose, is also a gentle back bending posture. It strengthens the back, improves flexibility and stimulates the heart chakra. It is used therapeutically for back problems, respiratory problems and to treat stress and anxiety.
Begin lying face down on the mat. Place your hands under your shoulders, elbows tucked in. Inhale and push the upper body up off the mat. Do not sink in the shoulders, but keep the arms strong. Look slightly upward. Hold and breathe deeply. Rest, then repeat two or three more times.
Upward dog is a powerful variation of this pose. Begin in cobra pose. On the inhalation, lift the whole body off the mat, resting only on the feet and hands, and maintaining the arch in the low back. Hold for several deep breaths, then rest back down on the mat. Repeat two or three more times if possible.
Salambhasana, or locust pose, is another gentle back bend designed to strengthen the upper body and legs. Like other back bending postures, it opens the heart chakra and helps improve breathing. It is a simple posture with profound benefits.
Begin lying face down on the mat, hands at your sides. Inhale and lift your upper body off the mat, then left both legs off the mat. Squeeze the thighs together to support your low back. Extend through the fingers, reaching for your legs or feet. Hold for several deep breaths. Rest, then repeat two or three more times.
Dhanurasana, or bow pose, is a deep back bend which also opens the heart chakra. It is used therapeutically to treat backaches, fatigue and anxiety.
Begin lying face down on the mat. Bend both knees and reach back with the hands, grabbing onto the feet or ankles. Lift the head up off the mat. Inhale and pull the feet back, lifting the upper body off the mat. Breathe deeply and hold for up to 30 seconds. Rest back down on the mat, then repeat two or three more times.
Matsyasana, or fish pose, is a very simple back bend. It opens the heart chakra and relieves tension in the back. It is beneficial for anxiety and fatigue, as well as cardiovascular disorders.
Begin lying flat on your back on the mat. Bend your elbows and press your body weight into them, arching the low back and coming up onto the crown of the head. Your body should be off the mat, while your legs and hips are resting on the mat. Hold for up to one minute, breathing deeply. Rest and repeat one or two more times.
Savasana, also known as corpse pose, is a restorative posture best practiced at the end of your yoga session. It relieves stress and anxiety in the whole body.
Begin lying flat on your back, arms at your sides, legs open about hip width apart. Close your eyes and begin to relax. As you inhale, allow the whole body to fill with breath. As you exhale, exhale slowly, allowing all the muscles in the body to relax. Stay in corpse pose for several minutes.
You can use your time in this pose for meditation and relaxation as well. As you breathe deeply and relax, imagine your heart rate slowing down. Imagine your blood pressure decreasing. Let go of all your thoughts and worries and just relax. For maximum benefit, practice this yoga for high blood pressure on a daily basis.
- “Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice”; Role of Naturopathy and Yoga in the Treatment of Hypertension; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21168107