Often called the silent killer as it presents no symptoms in its early stages, hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition. It’s usually only after organs have been irritated or damaged that the consequences of high blood pressure are realised. It can contribute to a number of diseases such as heart attack, kidney failure or stroke.
An unhealthy lifestyle can cause hypertension, so if you smoke, drink excessively, don’t do enough exercise, are overweight or have diabetes among other factors, it’s important to have regular medical check ups. As you grow older you should also have regular medical examinations. These regular check-ups are the main way to monitor your blood pressure.
How Can Yoga Help Hypertension?
Yoga can be practised as part of a healthy lifestyle, and some studies have been found to modestly reduce high blood pressure.
Yoga’s primary benefit in controlling high blood pressure is in its ability to reduce stress and increase relaxation. Yoga’s focus on the breath is the principal way in which stress is addressed. By becoming aware of how you are breathing in any given situation, you can take control and start to deepen and lengthen the breath, which in turns calms you down mentally and physically.
The many postures of yoga also help to tone the body and circulatory system – in twisting poses for example, it is said that you twist and squeeze internal organs much like you would twist a sponge to wring it out. When you untwist, the organs are flushed with fresh blood. In inverted poses, when the body is turned upside-down (whether fully or just a little) the circulatory system has to work a little harder to pump the blood around the body, in turn strengthening the muscles in the walls of the blood vessels. Note though, that inverted poses should only be attempted if your hypertension is controlled by medication and you have the go-ahead by your doctor. You should also only do inverted poses under the supervision of a qualified teacher.
Yoga poses, also known as asanas, not only have a strong physical effect on the body but also a psychological effect, making you aware of your mental and physical reactions in the poses themselves which you can then take out into your everyday life. Mind-body techniques, such as yoga and meditation, may be prescribed along with medication in treating hypertension.
Leading a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to treat – and prevent – high blood pressure, so including a regular yoga practice in your life under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher may go a long way towards achieving that goal.
Do you have a passion for Yoga? Would you love to turn your passion for Yoga into a rewarding career?
Check out the information we have available on what the Yoga course involves and thousands of other Natural Therapy Courses we have available online and throughout Australia. Why not let us help you find the right course for you today on 1300 924 960