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Dr.Armughan Riaz
M.B.B.S, Dip Card
Consultant Cardiologist


Yoga Exercises For High Blood Pressure

Here are most important exercises and poses for high blood pressure and hypertension.

Yoga Exercises For High Blood Pressure

 In order to manage high blood pressure, lifestyle management, one of which is Yoga lifestyle, helps treat and prevent high blood pressure through body activities and mind power.

The following are the Poses you may adopt to help you manage high blood pressure. Note that Yoga is not the only treatment for high blood pressure, Seek your doctor’s advice before starting Yoga practices.



Yoga Poses and Yoga Exercises for high blood pressure

1- Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
This is one of the classic Meditative Poses and position and is usually performed after doing the Corpse Pose. The Easy Pose helps in straightening the spine, slowing down metabolism, promoting inner tranquility, and keeping your mind still. The Easy Pose or Sukhasana is a relaxation pose intended for Meditation. It promotes inner calm, opens the hips, relieves tirednessand and straightens the spine. As the name suggests, this pose is very easy to proform. In this section, learn how to do the Easy Pose.
1-First Sit down on the floor or a Yoga Mat.
2-Cross your legs, placing your feet below your knees.
3-Clasp your hands around your knees.
4-Keep your body and head straight.

Shoulder Stretches
Shoulder Stretches are great in relieving stress and tension on your shoulders and your entire upper back. Practice them daily for several weeks and notice the changes in high blood pressure. Learn some basic stretches for the shoulders in this article. You will need a long strap for this one. Sit in any comfortably erect position. Hold the strap and straighten your arms in forward position. As you inhale, move your arms up until they are overhead, and exhale as you bring them down behind you.You must Coordinate this movement with your breathing, making the movement smooth. Make sure the strap is long enough and your hands sufficiently far apart, so that you can keep your arms straight. If you cannot keep your arms straight, better to lengthen the strap.The basic idea is to circumscribe as large a circle as possible with your hands as they go up and over. Therefore, at every given moment you are stretching outward through your arms in the direction they are pointing. 
Stand Spread Leg Forward Fold
This is another yoga pose for high blood pressure. Practicing the Standing Spread Leg Forward Fold can strengthen and stretch your inner and back legs and your spine. If you have back pain or lumber region problem, then you should avoid doing the full forward bend. For beginners, you may use props like a folding chair to support your forearms.
Practicing the Stand Spread Leg Forward Fold can strengthen and stretch your inner and back legs and your spine. It is also good for toning the abdominal organs and calming the brain. Doing this pose can relieve mild headaches and give great comfort.
How to do this yoga pose.
  1: Start with the Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
  2: Jump so that your feet are around four feet apart. Slightly turn your heels outward while you look forward.
  3: Bring your hands together in the prayer position against the chest bone. 
  4: Bend your upper body from the hip until halfway parallel to the floor. Without causing tension in the chin, stretch out your neck, which causes the back to be lengthened. The chest bone is moved slightly in the direction of the belly. The breathing goes through the belly or towards the chest bone, against which the hands have been placed. Look straight downwards at a spot on the floor.
Do this exercise in quite environment and remain focused on a correct position of the back and the chest. 

Cat Pose (Bidalasana)
Lets come to another yoga exercise for high blood pressure. The Cat Yoga Pose teaches you to start movement from your center and to coordinate your movement and breath. These are two of the most important themes in Yoga practice. Keep in mind that the Cat Pose may not be suggested if you have any chronic or recent back injury or back pain. The Cat Yoga Pose teaches you to initiate movement from your center and to coordinate your breath and movement. These are two of the most important themes in Asana practice. The alignment of your center depends on the positioning of your pelvis. Therefore, think of your hip positioning as the center of each pose. This is important because your spine is the most significant line of energy in every pose and because the way your spine elongates from your center depends solely on which way your pelvis is turning round.

Learn how to perform the Cat Pose in this section.

1: Start on your hands and knees. Position your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath the hips. Have your fingers of hands fully spread with the middle fingers pointing straight ahead. Make your back horizontal and flat. Gaze at the floor. This is your "neutral" positioning. When your pelvis is in neutral, your spine will be at full extension, with both the front and back sides equally long.
2: As you wait for the inner cue, do not sag into your shoulders. Instead, create a line of energy through each arm by pressing downward into your hands and lifting upward out of your shoulders. Go back and forth like this several times to make sure you understand the movement. As you exhale, sag into your shoulders and do the incorrect action; as you inhale, lengthen the arms, lift out of the shoulders and do the correct action.
3: When you are ready to begin, breathe in deeply. As you expire, turn your hips into Cat Tilt. Do this by gently pulling the abdominal muscles backward toward the spine, tucking the tailbone (which is called as coccyx) down and under, and gently contracting the buttocks. Press firmly downward with your hands in order to stay lifted out of the shoulders, and press the middle of your back toward the ceiling, rounding your spine upward. Curl your head inward. Gaze at the floor between your knees.
The Cat Pose loosens your back and spine. It also stretches the front and back of your body and frees your neck and shoulders. Doing the Cat Tilt elongates your back muscles and makes your abdominal muscles contract. Doing the Cat Pose benefits your health by stimulating spinal fluid and the digestive tract, and by improving circulation through the spine and core. It is also beneficial in managing stress.
If you have any difficulty doing this exercise, you may place a folded  Blanket under your knees to protect you from pressure or pain. Caution must be observed if you suffer from any chronic or recent back pain or injury. 
Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
If done properly, the Half Spinal Twist lengthens and strengthens the spine. It is also beneficial for your liver, kidneys, as well as adrenal glands. Practice this Yoga Pose under the supervision of a Yoga instructor. In this section, learn how to perform the Half Spinal Twist.
The Spinal Twist Yoga Pose, which takes its Sanskrit name from the great Yogic Sage Matsyendra, is one of the few Yoga Poses in the Basic Session that rotates the spine. Most bend the spinal column either backward or forward, but to become truly flexible it must be twisted laterally as well. The movement also tones the spinal nerves and ligaments, and improves digestion. Keep your spine erect and your shoulders leveled in the position. Breathe steadily. Twist a little more each time you exhale. Twist first to the left, as below, then repeat the sequence twisting to the right.
1: Kneel and sit on your feet with your heels pointing outward.
2: Then sit to the right of your feet, as illustrated.
3: Lift your left leg over your right, placing the foot against the outside of the right knee. Bring your right heel in close to your buttocks. Keep the spine erect.
4: Stretch your arms out to the sides at shoulder level, and twist around to the left. 
5: Now bring the right arm down on the outside of the left knee and hold your left foot with your right hand, placing your left hand on the floor behind you. As you exhale, twist as far as possible to the left. Look over the left shoulder. 
Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
The term Pavanamuktasana comes from the Sanskrit word 'pavana' which means air or wind and 'mukta' which means freedom or release. The Wind Relieving Pose works mainly on the digestive system. specifically, it helps in eliminating excess gas in the stomach.
You may not be aware that a Yoga Exercise can relieve even the unwanted gases from your body. In the Wind Relieving Yoga Pose, the excess gas would be removed from the stomach and intestines, thus improving the digestive system. This Yoga Pose will also tone and stretch your lower back.
1: Lie on the Yoga Mat.
2: Raise your left knee.
3: Wrap your hands around your left knee.
4: Raise your head towards your knee. Breathe, release. Repeat with the right leg. You can also do the rocking motion slowly with rhythm.
Remember that while practicing the Wind Relieving Pose, resist the tendency to raise the lower back or buttocks off the ground and try to keep the leg that is on the mat as straight as possible. Aside from releasing unwanted gases from the intestines and stomach, the exercise will also massage the abdominal organs and the rocking motion will get rid of the stiffness in your spine.

Double Leg Raises
A Double Leg Raise is similar to a Single Leg Raise, only this time, you will raise both legs. In doing this Yoga Pose, make sure that the full length of your back is resting on the floor and your shoulders and neck are relaxed. This section covers the steps and guidelines on how to do this pose properly.
This simple Yoga pose prepares your body for the other Yoga Asanas. It strengthens the abdominal and lower back muscles and is often used to come up into the Head Stand. Performing the Double Leg Raise trims the waist and the thighs. If your muscles are weak, you may find yourself arching your lower back or using your shoulders to help lift your legs. To get the most benefit from this Yoga Posture, make sure that the full length of your back is resting on the floor and your shoulders and neck are relaxed.
1: Lie flat on the floor.
2: As you inhale, raise both legs, keeping your knees straight and your both buttocks on the floor.
3: Exhale and lower your legs. Repeat ten times. Make sure that your lower back remains flat on the floor while you bring the legs down to avoid any spinal injury.
Be sure to keep your lower back and buttocks on the floor. Once you can perform the Double Leg Raise without strain, lower your legs as slowly as possible and keep your feet an inch or so off the floor between raises to make your muscles work harder.

Anuloma Viloma
Anuloma Viloma is also called the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. In this Breathing Technique, you inhale through one nostril, retain the breath, and exhale through the other nostril. Learn how to do this technique for beginners by following the steps found in this article.  Anuloma Viloma is also called the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. In this Breathing Technique, you inhale through one nostril, retain the breath, and exhale through the other nostril in a ratio of 2:8:4. The left nostril is the path of the Nadi called Ida and the right nostril is the path of the Nadi called Pingala. If you are really healthy, you will breathe predominantly through the Ida nostril about one hour and fifty minutes, then through the Pingala nostril. But in many people, this natural rhythm is disturbed. Anuloma Viloma restores, equalizes and balances the flow of Prana in the body.
One round of Anuloma Viloma is made up of six steps, as shown below. Start by practicing three rounds and build up slowly to twenty rounds, extending the count within the given ratio.

The Vishnu Mudra
In Anuloma Viloma, you adopt the Vishnu Mudra with your right hand to close your nostrils. Tuck your index and middle finger into your nose. Place the thumb by your right nostril and your ring and little fingers by your left.
One Round of Anuloma Viloma (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
 Inhale through the left nostril, closing the right with the thumb, to the count of four.
 Hold the breath, closing both nostrils, to the count of sixteen.
 Exhale through the right nostril, closing the left with the ring and little fingers, to the count of eight.
 Inhale through the right nostril, keeping the left nostril closed with the ring and little fingers, to the count of four.
 Hold the breath, closing both nostrils, to the count of sixteen.
 Exhale through the left nostril, keeping the right closed with the thumb, to the count of eight.

Benefits of Anuloma Viloma
The exercise of the Anuloma Viloma produces optimum function to both sides of the brain: that is optimum creativity and optimum logical verbal activity. This will make both sides of the brain, the left side which is responsible for logical thinking and the right side which is responsible for creative thinking to function properly. This will lead to a balance between a person's creative and logical thinking. The Yogis consider this to be the best technique to calm the mind and the Nervous System.

Anuloma Viloma: The Scientific Confirmation
Medical science has recently discovered the nasal cycle, something that was already discovered by the Yogis thousands of years ago. Modern scientists found out that we do not breathe equally on both nostrils, that is one nostril is much easier to breathe through than the other at any particular time. Each nostril alternates about every three hours. The Yogis claim that the natural period is every two hours, but we must remember these studies were done on people who do not have an optimum Health level.
Scientists also discovered that the nasal cycle corresponds with brain function. The electrical activity of the brain was found to be greater on the side opposite the less congested nostril. The right side of the brain controls creative activity, while the left side controls logical verbal activity. The research showed that when the left nostril was less obstructed, the right side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects were indeed found to do better on creative tests. Similarly when the right nostril was less obstructed the left side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects did better on verbal skills.
Medical science has not quite caught up with the ancient Yogis yet. The Ancient Yogis even went further. They observed that a lot of conditions were due to disturbances of the nasal cycle or if a person breathe for too long through one nostril. To prevent and correct this condition, they developed the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. This clears any blockage the airflow in the nostrils and reestablishes the natural nasal cycle. For example, the Yogis have known for a long time that prolonged breathing through the left nostril only (over a period of years) will cause Asthma. They also know that this so-called incurable disease can be easily treated by teaching the patient to breathe through the right nostril until the Bronchial Asthma is cured and prevent it from recurring by doing the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. The Yogis also believe that Diabetes Mellites is caused, to a large extent, by breathing mainly through the right nostril.

Please dont consider Yoga Exercise as only treatment of high blood pressure. You must contact your Doctor for expert opinion. This article is only for information purpose.



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