In this post, we take a look at the effects of hypertension on the body and mind, and how to manage them through a well-curated yoga for high blood pressure routine.
Hypertension by numbers in the modern world
The modern world is a stressful place, and the numbers certainly seem to back this up, with a 2018 survey finding that 9 in 10 Indians suffer from stress. These elevated levels of stress and anxiety are not only having an impact on our mental health, but our physical health as well. Stress can significantly raise our blood pressure, leading to hypertension, and consequently, a number of other serious health problems.
Studies on hypertension have thrown up some alarming statistics, with the WHO estimating that of the 1.13 billion people worldwide who suffer from it, fewer than 1 in 5 people have it under control.
One of the biggest challenges with hypertension is that it may not always display symptoms, even though it significantly raises the risk of various health complications in the long term, ranging from coronary artery disease to kidney failure and stroke. This makes it imperative for us to take any measures we can, to prevent complications from developing.
Yoga for High Blood Pressure: Combating the Symptoms
Along with healthier diets, doctors often prescribe exercise as an effective way to counteract the adverse effects of high blood pressure, as regular physical activity is known to be immensely beneficial to our cardiovascular system. Yoga can prove to be an especially useful supplement to most treatment plans, and a carefully curated yoga for high blood pressure routine can provide a number of benefits for people with hypertension, without placing undue physical strain on their bodies.
A lack of balance in diets, coupled with modern sedentary lifestyles can be significant contributing factors to obesity and high levels of stress. Both of these can cause the walls of our arteries to narrow and harden, and over time this leads to sustained high blood pressure, causing severe damage to the circulatory system. Studies have shown that a yoga for high blood pressure routine can help improve the elasticity of the arteries, and thus enhance overall circulation in the body.
Reducing overall blood pressure
Our blood exerts a certain amount of pressure as it circulates within the body. The pressure on the arterial walls is known as “systolic pressure”, and the force exerted between consecutive heartbeats is known as “diastolic pressure”. Hypertension can cause a significant increase in these pressures, and in-depth studies have found that yoga can contribute towards measurably reducing them both.
Breathing exercises to reduce stress levels
We live in a fast-paced, high-tension world today, and levels of stress among working professionals are higher than ever before. Over a sustained period of time, these high levels of stress contribute majorly to the development of hypertension, as well as a number of other health problems. Supplementing a yoga for high blood pressure routine with gentle breathing exercises can further help to combat the effects of stress, leading to a drop in blood pressure levels.
Moderating the body’s stress responses
Guided meditations can also have a positive effect on blood pressure. Techniques such as visualization train the mind to focus on positive, soothing imagery, and this can help to induce a calmer state of mind. Lower stress levels lead to a drop in the heart rate, and an overall improvement in the moderation of the body’s stress responses.
With the hectic world we live in today, levels of stress and anxiety are very much on the rise. This can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health, by manifesting in illnesses like hypertension which pose a silent, but very real threat. By making physical activities a part of our daily routine, or by adopting a specifically-designed yoga for high blood pressure routine, we can take concrete steps towards lowering our risk of various harmful illnesses, and ensure a healthier and happier life overall.