How Yoga May Benefit High Blood Pressure

Desirable or normal blood pressure is generally considered to be below 120/80 (one-twenty over eighty), where 120 represent the systolic measurement and 80 represent the diastolic measurement.

According to a new study presented at the “28th Annual Scientific Meeting”, yoga may help lower a person’s blood pressure.

In this study, Dr. Debbie Cohen of the University of Pennsylvania, led a team of researchers to evaluate exactly the effect yoga had on blood pressure among a total of 58 women and men, aged 38 to 62.

Although the study couldn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship, doing yoga two to three times a week was associated with an average drop in blood pressure readings from 133/80 to 130/77, the researchers said.

In comparison, the average decrease in blood pressure was smaller (134/83 to 132/82) among people who ate a special diet but did not do yoga.

In a bit of a surprise, doing yoga in tandem with a special diet did not outperform doing yoga alone — blood pressure numbers fell only slightly (135/83 to 134/81) among people who ate a special diet and also did yoga, the researchers said.

The small decline in blood pressure among people who ate a special diet and did yoga may be because doing both required a greater amount of time, making it more difficult for participants to stick with their regimens, the authors said.

They believe that the reason why yoga is able to lower blood pressure so successfully is because of the relaxation and mindfulness associated with it. In fact, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) found that yoga may be superior to other forms of exercise in its positive effect on mood and anxiety.

The authors said that yoga could have a very beneficial effect on people suffering from high blood pressure, especially when used in addition with other lifestyle modifications.

According to a previous study by researchers at the University of Ulster, low levels of weekly exercise can drive down blood pressure and boost overall fitness.

It is important to note that blood pressure treatments should be patient-specific – some treatment options may work for some but not for others.

Yoga poses that can help reduce high blood pressure include:
• Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose)
• Janu Sirasana (Head to Knee Forward Bend)
• Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose)
• Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
• Setu Bandha Savangasana (Bridge Pose)
• Ardho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
• Virasana (Hero Pose)
• Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose)
• Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
• Savasana (Corpse Pose)

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