Yoga to help with high blood pressure?

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    Dimitri
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    Hi all,

    Based on my recent GP appointment results, I have quiet consistent high blood pressure. I was wondering why is that and apart from the wine cause (yes, yes, can drink less!), I am a bit puzzled.
    I do exercise 5 days a week including yoga session and a tennis lesson. I eat healthy food and I actually cook myself, so no processed foods! I also do not eat lots of salt and started taking garlic supplements (apparently helps, let’s see).

    This post is about my exploration of how yoga can help. Based on what I read in B.K.S. Iyengar book that is called ‘Light on Yoga’, there is a set of asanas that you can do to help with the high blood pressure.

    I started doing it just a week ago with just a few asanas from the list below, so will incorporate more into my home practice soon and see whether it works. Watch this space!

    List of asanas for high blood pressure (if my descriptions are not clear, and I know they are not! please refer to the book):
    1. Halasana – a first one I started to do and the first one in his list. You basically drop your legs behind your body (as a preparation for shoulder stand, or coming off shoulder stand). Have a set of breathing exercises or pranayamas when in the pose and try to enjoy!
    2. Janu sirsasana – you sit on the floor with one leg bent and one straight and bend your body to cover the straight leg. Stay in the pose and again breathe or do pranayamas. Enjoy.
    3. Paschimottanasana – what a name! yet it is simple: you site with both of the legs straight in front of you and bend your body over them. Start with the waist, then torso and then the neck and your head to get a proper form of this bent pose. Pranayama and enjoy!
    4. Virasana – you sit on your knees and make sure the surface is flat enough, so not on the carpet, so you are massaging your feet with your bum. If you sit long enough and not accustomed doing this pose often you would be so relieved! Yet it is important to practice it. Have a stretch when in the pose. Reach high. Enjoy.
    5. Do a full lotus pose or if you can’t start training your body with the half-lotus. I can’t do full one now, so even half-lotus makes me a bit uncomfortable. But the body learns, you will see!
    6. Pranayama 1 – alternate nostril breathing: you cover one nostril and breathe in and out with just one, then alternate it with the other. It is said that this breathing exercise will calm you down and also focus your mind. Fabulous!
    7. Pranayama 2 – deep breathing. Try to make audible sounds when you slowly but powerfully breathe in, then a very audible sound when you slowly and fully breathe out. Make a pause. Repeat. In his book he recommends 80 repetitions for one practice. I start with just a dozen of each pranayamas, but will gradually increase.

    There are a few more, more complected, poses (you can look them up in the book), but I started to focus on this quite simple set. It takes a proper 15-20 minutes if you really stay in the pose and do pranayamas properly. Time to buy a blood pressure monitor to see!

    Dare to try? (by the way, he suggested also a set for low blood pressure, if that’s what you’re after!)

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Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.