Last time, we talked about different types of yoga equipment. This time, we are going to see how yoga can be used to help relieve stress and control blood pressure. As the author of this post, I do not claim to be a licensed medical professional of any kind.
Research shows that yoga is very beneficial when it comes to alleviating stress and controlling the effects of high blood pressure (hypertension). Some doctors actually encourage patients to practice yoga as a preventative measure.
Yoga provides a holistic approach to dealing with constant worry and stress. The practice of yoga stretches and helps alleviate tension and pain throughout your entire body. With focus, guided meditation, and basic breathing exercises you can train yourself to have control over the stressful situation you are in.
Can Be Used Anywhere
The best thing about the practice of yoga is that you can relax your body any time you are feeling overwhelmed. It helps you become aware of what is going on inside. The more you practice the easier it becomes to achieve the balance and harmony that your body needs.
Another great benefit of yoga is that you can practice certain breathing and relaxation techniques anywhere. Anytime you feel anxious, worried or under pressure, all you have to do is sit down, relax your shoulders, take a long steady breath in and slowly exhale. This quickly releases tension that your body was building up and it also helps you to focus better.
By repeating this practice 3 to 5 times, notice how much calmer you feel. When it comes to controlling high blood pressure, there are 2 effective yoga exercises that have been proven to help lower it:
**PLEASE CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE PERFORMING ANY OF THESE POSES**
Inverted yoga reverses the action of gravity on the body. In inverted poses, legs and abdomen are placed higher than the 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. This is a great pose to help with circulation around the body. Normally, the muscles of the calf and other skeletal muscles in the lower extremities must contract in order to pump un-oxygenated blood and waste back to the heart through the veins.
During inverted poses, gravity causes the blood to flow easily back through the veins and this brings the blood pressure in the feet to a minimum. This in effect gives skeletal muscles a chance to rest. This drainage of blood and waste from the lower body back towards the heart helps alleviate other symptoms, such as varicose veins and swollen ankles as well. To perform this pose by lengthening up through the legs and keep them very active so your spine opens and the entire body becomes involved in the pose.
Did you know the simple act of breathing has the power to nourish the body, calm the mind and ultimately reduce stress?
However, not just any breathing will do the trick. If you’re like most people, you take short, shallow breaths, pulling your stomach in as you inhale and never emptying your lungs of carbon dioxide when you exhale. But what most people don’t know is that long, slow breaths are more efficient and beneficial than short, fast ones.
To take in a good breath, your lungs must first be basically empty. Thus the key to efficient breathing lies in exhaling completely. A full exhalation begins with the upper chest, proceeds to the middle chest and finishes with tightening the abdominal muscles. Only after a good exhalation can you draw in a lung full of the oxygen-rich air your blood needs to nourish your cells.
The practice of rhythmic breathing can help harmonize the body, mind, and emotions. This unique breathing technique eliminates stress as well as fatigue and negative emotions such as anger, frustration, and depression, leaving you calm and relaxed.
As you can see, yoga has many different benefits and both inverted yoga poses and rhythmic breathing can do wonders for your mind, body, and soul. Stay tuned for the next one where 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 5-This Is How You Manage Your Stress (Why Yoga Matters), remember to like, share, and comment below.
P.P.S.- If you want to check out the whole ‘Why Yoga Matters’ series click HERE.