Last time, we talked about the different types of yoga accessories.
This time, we are going to talk about how yoga can be used to help you manage your blood pressure.
As the author of this post, I do not claim to be a licensed medical professional👩🏾⚕️🙅🏾♀️ of any kind.
**Please consult your physician before attempting any form of yoga.**
Why Yoga Is So Beneficial
We all know that yoga is very beneficial to relieving stress and controlling the effects of high blood pressure also known as hypertension.
When you are constantly stressed out or a worry wort/negative Nancy, your blood pressure will begin to rise.
Yoga provides a holistic approach to dealing with constant worry and stress and thus many doctors encourage their patients to take up some form of yoga to be used as a preventative measure.
The practice of yoga stretches and helps alleviate tension and pain throughout your entire body.
It specifically focuses on matching your breath with each pose that you perform.
Having a smooth inhale and exhale at certain points in the pose is the primary objective yoga.
Many of the poses in yoga help to align and elongate your spine and stretch out your back, hips, legs shoulders, and arms…pretty much your WHOLE body!
Along with focus, guided meditation, and basic breathing exercises you can train yourself to better manage stressful situations you are in.
Practice Yoga Anywhere
The best part about yoga is that you not only relax your body and your mind, but you can literally do this at anytime!
Yes…I know that somewhat rhymed.
So anytime you feel anxious or overwhelmed start to shift your focus to your breathing.
To learn more about how to shift your focus to your breathing, check out these techniques in my post How To Start Mindful Meditation.
Once you learn some breathing techniques, anytime you feel anxious, worried or under pressure, all you have to do is sit down, relax your shoulders, take a long steady inhale in and a slow steady exhale out.
This quickly releases the tension your body was building up and it also helps you to focus better.
Try to repeat these long deep inhales and exhales about 3 to 5 times and notice how much calmer you feel.
It helps you to become aware of what is going on inside too.
You can start your body scan meditation to find what places on your body is tense and tight and begin to release that tension.
The more you practice the easier it becomes to achieve the balance and harmony that your body needs.
When it comes to controlling high blood pressure, there are 2 effective yoga exercises that have been proven to help lower it:
**Please consult your physician👩🏾⚕️ before performing any type of yoga.**
Inverted Yoga Poses
Inverted yoga reverses the action of gravity on the body.
In inverted poses, such as wide leg forward fold and inverted headstand, your legs and your core are placed higher than your heart.❤️
One of the reasons for this is simply because the force of gravity is reversed and the rate of blood flow back to the heart (venous return) becomes significantly greater.
Have you ever noticed that after you go for a run🏃🏾♀️ your legs feel great but the next morning☀️ they are SUPER sore?
That is because all the lactic acid builds up in your muscles and that causes your legs to become sore.
To stop the lactic acid from building up in your legs, right after your run, lay on your back and place them at a 45 to 90-degree angle against the wall.
By doing inverted poses like this it helps with the circulation of blood around the body.
Normally, your calf muscles and other muscles in the lower extremities must contract in order to pump un-oxygenated blood and waste back to your heart through your veins.
During inverted poses, gravity causes the blood to flow easily back through the veins.
By doing this, it lowers your blood pressure in your legs and feet.
This, in turn, helps to alleviate other symptoms, such as varicose veins and swollen ankles as well.
It also gives your skeletal muscles a chance to rest.
One of My Favorite Inverted Poses
Plow pose is one of my favorite inverted poses.
To perform this pose start by lengthening up through the legs.
Keep them active in the air so your spine opens and your entire body becomes involved in the pose.
Or, you can begin to lower your legs over your head and gently land your feet on the floor.
Hold this for about 2 full deep inhalation and exhalations and then slowly lift your legs back up and lower your whole body down gently and with control.
Here is a video that shows you step by step on how to perform this pose correctly.
Try out even more inverted poses and see which ones you enjoy the best!
Full Exhalation Breathing
In my other post about How To Start Mindful Meditation I talk a lot more about breathing and how it can help nourish the body, calm the mind and ultimately reduce your stress.
I wanted to talk a little bit more about what kind of breathing can help you achieve these things.
If you’re like most people, you don’t really pay any attention to your breathing.
You probably take short, shallow breaths.
You pull your stomach in as you inhale and never fully empty out your lungs of carbon dioxide when you exhale.
Many people may not realize that breathing this way is not effective.
Instead, you should take long, slow deep breaths.
They are more beneficial.
To enjoy the benefits of a good deep breath, you must first empty out your lungs completely.
This is the key to effective breathing!
A full exhalation begins with the deflation of your upper chest, followed by the middle part of your chest and then it finishes off with the tightening of your abdominal muscles.
Only after a good exhalation can you draw in a lung full of the oxygen-rich air.
Your blood needs that kind of rich air to nourish your cells.
The practice of inhaling deeply and exhaling fully can help harmonize the mind and body.
Along with that, it can also help you to increase your lung capacity.
This unique breathing technique eliminates stress, fatigue, and negative emotions such as anger, frustration, and depression, leaving you calm and relaxed.
To Wrap Things Up…
There are so many health benefits that yoga provides that even this little series won’t be able to touch all of them.
Just remember, anytime you feel stressed out or tension building up, stop what you are doing, take 3-5 long, deep inhales and exhales.
That tension build up is your bodies way of telling you it needs a break and your mind needs a break.
Inverted yoga poses along with breathing correctly can really bring your health to the next level.
Next time, we will be talking about the benefits of core power yoga.
To another issue of Why Yoga Matters,
P.S. – If you enjoyed this post on Part 4-This Is How You Manage Your Stress (Why Yoga Matters), remember to like, share, and comment below.
P.S.S.- If you want to check out the whole ‘Why Yoga Matters’ series click HERE.