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Yoga for Blood Pressure
Introduction
Concept of Health
Yoga for Health & Happiness
Physiological Benefits
Psychological Benefits
Bio-Chemical Benefits
Yoga Benefits vs. Exercise Benefits
Yoga Therapy
Yoga for Blood PressureThe main cause of hypertension or blood pressure is stress and tension. Yoga can prove to be very effective in dealing with stress. In the case of blood pressure they can fight the causes, as well as the effects of high blood pressure and stabilize blood pressure thus reducing high blood pressure and regulating low pressure. Asanas calm the mind and regularize and balance the nervous system, the center that controls stress. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, which is involved in stress reaction also get stabilized in the practice of asanas resulting in regulation of the blood pressure.

The effects of hypertension on various systems such as the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems and on various organs especially the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys can be decreased and eventually neutralized by the practice of certain asanas and pranayama.

The asanas, which regulate blood pressure, belong to the forward bends, supine, sitting, and inversions group. However forward bends are the fundamental asanas to be practiced by persons suffering from high blood pressure, whereas Viparita Dandasana is the most beneficial asana for low blood pressure.

Forward bends should be practiced with bolsters, blankets and an elasto-crepe bandage wrapped around the forehead and eyes. In forward bends the frontal brain is pacified and blood flow to the brain is regularized. Stress gets released from the sense organs, eyes, nose, throat and tongue. Stress, chronic headaches and eye pain is also reduced.

The sympathetic nervous system relaxes and this has a positive effect on the other systems. Blood pressure becomes stable when the sense organs, the brain and the sympathetic nervous system are in a relaxed position. The horizontal position of the spine in these asanas allows the heart to slow down, as there is no stress to pump the blood against gravity to the brain. The heart rate and the cardiac output simultaneously slow down and blood pressure is controlled.

Although Uttanasana and Adhomukha Svanasana are categorized as standing asanas, they are actually forward bending standing poses and as such have a similar effect on the nervous system. When these two poses are practiced, the blood flows more freely into the aortic arch and the carotid sinuses. This extra perfusion into these volume sensitive structures inhibits the vasomotor center and blood pressure becomes normal.

Supine poses such as Supta Baddhakonasana and Supta Padangusthasana allow the abdominal region to spread and relax. This relaxation is not only beneficial to the entire organic body, but is also soothing on the nerves. Those suffering from high

blood pressure practice sitting asanas such as Baddhakonasana, Virasana and Upavista Konasana. People suffering from high blood pressure often have difficulty in breathing and these poses owing to their erect position, soften the diaphragm and remove tension from the ribs and the muscles. This helps the person to breathe easily.

Inversions such as Halasana, Setubandha Sarvangasana and Viparita Karani rests and rejuvenates the nerves and reduce the sympathetic tone immediately. Regular practice of these asanas keep the blood pressure under control. In Setubandha Sarvangasana the diaphragm and lungs are under control. The diaphragm and lungs are lifted and this help stabilize the blood pressure. Viparita Dandasana rests the Medulla oblongata, the center that controls blood pressure. However this pose is for those suffering from low blood pressure and should not be practiced by people suffering from high blood pressure, as it increases ocular pressure.

Svanasana and pranayama helps to control the automatic nervous system and the sympathetic tone gets reduced. As the mind and senses of perception are withdrawn, the blood pressure regularizes.

Advice:
Be sure to get advice from a trained teacher. When you have a backache, you should not do any yoga postures without expert guidance. This is especially true if your pain comes from a slipped disk.

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