Yoga for High Blood Pressure | 5-Pose Routine
Yoga is highly beneficial for any stress-related issues. Yoga for high blood pressure and yoga for hypertension are powerful tools in healing these conditions, especially with no ill byproducts, only beneficial byproducts. Stress is the largest contributor to hypertension. Yoga’s most famous attribute is stress reduction. The reason for this is the relaxing effects of exercise in general, but mostly yoga exercises. Most exercises, yoga included, will facilitate the reduction of stress hormones. These same exercises also will facilitate the release of endorphins, which aids in relaxation. Yet yoga exercises for high blood pressure go three steps further.
How Can Yoga Reduce High Blood Pressure?
First, gentle stretching releases tension, especially when holding the asanas (poses) for a longer period of time. This tremendously deepens the relaxation effect, as well as creating a feeling of lightness, freedom and energy. Second, the associated slow, deep breathing that accompanies these asanas facilitates a whole other level of calmness, relaxation and mindfulness. Slow breathing emulates a calm state of mind. Last but not least, quieting of the mind occurs when focused on deep breathing. This quieting is the opposite of stress, because it pulls the mind away from the thought patterns and/or situation that’s stressful. If practiced regularly, mindfulness weakens stress-inducing thought patterns.
So now, let’s take this deep, slow breath and integrate some poses.
5-Pose Routine in Yoga for High Blood Pressure
This is not simply five poses to reduce high blood pressure. This is a five-pose routine, so practice these poses in the order given, while changing the order and adding other beneficial poses as desired.
Please start with five breaths per pose and work your way up to ten breaths a pose. Try to deepen and lengthen your breaths. Attempt five-second inhales and exhales, and grow the length of each breath as much as comfortable. Attempt to stay with your breath as you transition from pose to pose. Also, only enter a pose 50% to 75% of your max. Stay gentle.
Seated cross-legged or on your heels, with a straight spine, soft shoulders, and closed eyes. Breathe.
Seated spread leg forward bend. Breathe. (upavistha konasana)
Seated bound angle pose. Breathe. (baddha konasana)
Seated forward bend. Breathe. (paschimottanasana)
Gentle back bend. Breathe. (matsyasana)
(bonus pose) Resting pose. (savasana) For this pose don’t breathe deep. Allow your breath to be natural.
To create this blog and routine, I researched yoga poses contraindicated for high blood pressure, so I could understand what to avoid and why. I then used my 40 years of yoga practice and experience leading yoga classes to create this routine and breath work.
There are so many very nice poses we could add to this. Why not google “healthy yoga poses for high blood pressure” and create your own routine?
Challenges in life create strength and perspective and lead to places and pathways otherwise unexplored. If your physical issues have lead you to yoga, then these same issues are a huge asset and gift!