If you’re worried about your heart health or if your doctor has told you that you have high blood pressure, ask if yoga is appropriate for you. Chances are, the answer will be yes—there are definite benefits from practicing yoga, including:
- Increased blood flow.
- Regulated adrenal glands.
- Lowered blood sugar.
- Improved balance.
Yoga has also been shown to lower heart disease risks, as well as lower your weight, blood pressure, and LDL (bad cholesterol). These all add up to great benefits for your heart health.
No matter what your current physical fitness routine is, yoga poses can be adjusted to meet your needs. You can reap the benefits of a range of yoga poses if you start at the beginning and build your way up.
Yoga for Health
So many yoga poses are beneficial for heart health and lowering blood pressure that you almost can’t go wrong. Of course, “almost” is the operative word. Consider your current health and exercise level before you begin. Now is not the time to show-off; yoga builds upon itself. In other words, practice makes perfect, and yoga requires a lot of it.
Search for a class where you’ll feel comfortable. The more comfortable you feel, the more likely you are to participate and return on a regular basis.
Remember your longterm goals and practice yoga often. Make yoga a regular part of your routine, either on a daily or three-times-a-week basis—or whatever works for you. The important thing is that once you commit to yoga, you follow through with classes, at-home sessions, and even posing on a mat at the park. You will only achieve the heart health benefits and the lower blood pressure numbers if you make yoga a consistent part of your life.
If you want to try something new and you’re considering Bikram yoga, consult with your doctor first. Since these classes take place in a heated room and generally last 90 minutes, they can put an unnecessary strain on your body. Make sure you and your doctor agree that it’s safe for you. In addition, ask how high the yoga studio sets its thermostat. Some studios are willing to conduct hot yoga in less hot rooms, which might be easier for a beginner.
If you have the interest, time, and money, consider going to a yoga spa. This is a destination where you focus on yoga—practicing poses, improving strength, learning about breathing. These getaways can be educational and healthful.
Usually, classes are held for different skill levels. So, if you’re just starting out, make sure they offer plenty of beginner classes. The same goes if you’re a pro. Make sure there are yoga classes that will challenge you. For added fun, talk your best friend into going with you!
Don’t be deterred if you’re completely out of shape and working your way up into fitness. Did you know you can do yoga in a chair? You can use a chair as support during a pose or you can sit in a chair and modify a pose for work for you.
In order for yoga to work for you, you need to make sure that you acknowledge and accommodate any physical limitations you have. It’s almost certain that there will be a yoga pose workaround.
Incorporating yoga into your life will make you stronger and improve your balance. And since everyone has a chair, you can do chair yoga at home or in a studio. Again, whatever works best for you.
Some hospitals and rehab centers offer yoga as part of their rehabilitation programs. Ask around to see if a yoga session like this might be right for you. Since these yoga sessions are held in medical facilities, you will benefit from knowledgeable staff who will understand any limitations caused by high blood pressure or other ailments.
In the end, yoga is a holistic and whole-body approach to health and well-being. Treat yoga like you treat your prescribed medication. Make sure to do yoga poses as consistently as you take your medicine. There are plenty of online resources, including YUNI Beauty, which offers great information about how to make yoga part of your whole life. Get started on a healthy lifestyle today.