Yoga Poses for Hypertension
The DASH Diet is about eating the right sorts of foods to reduce hypertension, but there are also some Yoga poses for hypertension that can also help lower your blood pressure.
Yoga, when performed mindfully, can reduce stress-induced hypertension, it pacifies the sympathetic nervous system and slows down the heart, while teaching the muscles and mind to relax deeply.
The following sequence is designed to prepare you to work toward the practice of inversions safely and without raising your blood pressure.
Standing Forward Pose- (pictured above)
Stand up straight.
Start bending down to your legs keeping your back straight.
When it gets hard for you to keep your back straight, lower your head and grab your legs with your hands in order to help draw your stomach to your thighs.
Your head hangs freely.
Downward Facing Dog- (pictured above)
- From Table position (hands and knees on the floor, tuck the toes under, press into the hands and begin to lift the hips up towards the ceiling.
- Spread the fingers wide apart with the middle finger facing forward, and the palms shoulder width apart. Press the out through the fingers and edges of the hands.
- Using straight (but not locked) arms press the hips up and back reaching the chest towards the thighs. Lift up through the tailbone to keep the spine straight and long.
- Have the feet are hip’s width apart with the toes facing forward. Press the heels into the floor feeling a stretch in the back of the legs. The legs are straight, or you can have a small bend at the knees to keep the back flat.
- Let the head and neck hang freely from the shoulders or look up at the belly button.
- Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.
- To release: bend the knees and lower the hips back to Table position, or come all the way down to child pose.
Bridge Pose-(pictured above)
- Lying on your back, bend both knees and place the feet flat on the floor hip width apart. Slide the arms alongside the body with the palms facing down. The fingertips should be lightly touching the heels.
- Press the feet into the floor, inhale and lift the hips up, rolling the spine off the floor. Lightly squeeze the knees together to keep the knees hip width apart.
- Press down into the arms and shoulders to lift the chest up. Engage the legs, buttocks and mula bandha to lift the hips higher.
- Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.
5. To release: exhale and slowly roll the spine back to the floor
Plow Pose- (pictured above)
- Resting flat on your back, place your palms on the mat beside you.
- Inhale, activate your core, and lift your feet off the floor until they’re at a 90 degree angle.
- Support your hips and lower back with your hands as you lift them off the floor.
- Continue to lift up as you hinge at the hips and rest your feet directly above your head. Press your toes firmly into the mat beyond your head and energetically press into your heels. Lift your top thighs and tailbone toward the sky and pull your inner thigh into the pelvis.
- Create space between your chin and your chest.
- If you’d like an additional shoulder opener, remove your hands from your lower back, extend them on the mat in the opposite direction, and clasp the hands. Press them down on you mat to lift the hips and thighs up even higher.
- To exit slowly and with control, place your hands on your back, hinge at the hips until your feet are high in the sky above your hips (90 degree angle), and slowly roll down vertebra by vertebra.
Pranayama- (pictured above)
Pranayama can also be extremely beneficial for reducing hypertension.
Research studies demonstrate that conscious breathing quickly lowers blood pressure.