Ever heard aunties and uncles saying, “Mera toh BP shoot up ho jaata hai!”. While it might seem like a common phrase, blood pressure issues aren’t great. Having your blood pressure fall in the normal range is a very crucial part of maintaining a healthy body. Unfortunately, blood pressure is fast becoming one of the more commonly noticed ailments amongst women and causing a series of serious health risks like organ damage and stroke. While a lot is said about high blood pressure (hypertension), low blood pressure (hypotension) is considered to be a less serious problem. In reality, both high and low blood pressure can lead to long term problems and should be corrected at the earliest.
How Do Blood Pressure Conditions Affect Women
High Blood Pressure
Did you know that high blood pressure is one of the most common causes for heart stroke? Statistics suggest that 1 in every 25 women ends up with high blood pressure during pregnancy. Menopause also significantly increases the chances of high blood pressure in women. Medical practitioners refer to high blood pressure as a slow killer. If there is no attempt made to correct it, high blood pressure can cause considerable damage to the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys. In everyday life, this condition is the reason for loss of concentration, chest pain, palpitations, irritability, memory loss and loss of sex drive.
Low Blood Pressure
Although having slightly lower blood pressure is considered normal for women who are petite, athletic or about to hit menopause, low blood pressure is no less evil when compared to high blood pressure. Very low blood pressure levels are a reason for sudden bouts of fainting and blackouts that can cause injury. Having low blood pressure can also lead to internal bleeding, blood loss, heart problems, kidney damage and dehydration. Research has proven that women with low blood pressure are more prone to having suicidal thoughts as it makes an individual feel weak and low.
Causes Of Blood Pressure Conditions In Women
Although blood pressure conditions are found in men as well, there are some causes that are peculiar to women. Here are some common causes of blood pressure conditions in women:
- Birth control pills
- Lifestyle (alcohol, smoking, unhealthy diet)
- KIdney disease
- Nutrient deficiencies
Symptoms Of Blood Pressure Conditions In Women
In order to treat blood pressure conditions in time, it is necessary that all women are aware of the symptoms of blood pressure fluctuations. Some of the symptoms of an abnormal blood pressure range are:
- Blurred vision
- Irregular heartbeat
- Extreme headache
- Chest pain
10 Yoga Asanas To Regulate Blood Pressure
It is very common to see women taking blood pressure medication on an everyday basis to keep their blood pressure in check. While medicines do a good job in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, making lifestyle changes to complement the medicines can help women reduce the dosage of their medication and become less drug-dependent. Yoga is one such alternative therapy which can do wonders for women with blood pressure related conditions.
1. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
Corpse pose is a pose that can instantly relax the mind and body. It is great for reducing stress, battling anxiety, decreasing fatigue, curing insomnia and reducing headaches. This pose is helpful in lowering the blood pressure, making it ideal for people suffering from hypertension.
- Lie down on your back.
- Keep your feet hip distance apart and your hands by the side of your body.
- Your palms should be facing the sky.
- Relax in the pose while you breathe consciously, shifting your awareness to all parts of your body one by one.
2. Child Pose (Balasana)
Child’s pose is a practice that calms the body and brings about a sense of peace and serenity. It helps in regulating blood pressure because it can reduce fatigue and stress while improving blood circulation in the body.
- Kneel down on the mat.
- Let your hips rest on your heels.
- Gradually start to bend forward.
- Stretch your hands and place your palms facing down on the mat.
- Slowly place your forehead on the mat.
- Hold this pose for 10-15 seconds.
3. Forward Seated Bending Pose (Paschimottanasana)
Obesity is a very common cause for blood pressure conditions. This forward seated bending pose is great for weight loss. It improves digestion and reduces excess fat from the abdominal region. If practiced regularly, this pose is sure to help with fatigue and anxiety issues that are commonly seen amongst women with low blood pressure.
- Sit down on the mat with your legs stretched out.
- Inhale as you raise your hands.
- Bend forward and try to touch your toes with your fingers as you exhale.
- Aim to rest your forehead on your knees.
- Stay in the pose for 20 seconds.
4. Forward Bending Pose (Uttanasana)
An easy way to keep fatigue, anxiety and stress in check, the forward bending pose is good for the spine and legs. It helps in keeping the mind calm and getting rid of stress and tension. The pose is also beneficial in improving blood circulation.
- Stand in front of a chair.
- Keep your legs hip distance apart.
- Raise both your hands as you inhale.
- As your exhale, bend your body forward and bring your forearms on the chair.
- Stay in the pose for 15 seconds.
5. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
The cobra pose is an amazing option for people with high blood pressure because it is very effective in lowering blood pressure. It helps in reducing stress and maintaining a healthy heart rate. This pose stretches the spine in a way that the thoracic region is opened, leading to better supply of oxygen to the body.
- Lie down on your stomach.
- Have your toes flat on the mat.
- Keep your palms just below your shoulders.
- As you inhale, slowly lift up your torso.
- Straighten your arm, tilt your head and arch your back.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
6. Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Vipreet Karani)
When it comes to increasing blood circulation, the legs-up-the-wall pose is probably the most effective method of getting the blood to flow towards the abdomen and pelvis. This pose is great for women during menstruation as it helps with stomach cramps. Regular practice of this pose is sure to help with thyroid, blood pressure, migraine, backache and leg cramps.
- Lie down facing the wall.
- Move your hips closer to the wall as you swing your legs up the wall.
- Your body should now be at a 90 degree angle from the wall.
- Spread out your hands.
- Stay in the pose for 45 seconds.
7. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Downward facing dog pose is good for the internal organs as well as the external appearance of the body. It improves the flow of blood to vital organs of the body, improves posture and strengthens the body. This practice is great for women who have a blood pressure condition.
- Stand on your fours on the mat.
- Lift up your hips while straightening your hands and pushing your navel in the direction of your thighs.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
8. Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
The shoulder stand is great for all women, especially for the ones with blood pressure conditions. This practice is immensely helpful in maintaining the health of the female reproductive organs. It also promotes effective blood circulation throughout the body.
- Lie down on your back and bend your knees.
- Keeping your knees feet distance apart, lift up your body as you inhale.
- Your shoulders must remain on the mat.
- Now interlace your fingers and place them below your hips.
- Stay in the pose for 30-45 seconds.
9. Breathing Exercise (Bhastrika Pranayama)
Breathing exercises form a crucial part of yoga. This particular breathing exercise increases the oxygen levels of the body, making the body feel energised and refreshed. This practice is also beneficial for the respiratory system.
- Sit cross legged.
- Inhale slowly.
- Hold your breath for 5 seconds and exhale forcefully.
- Continue this practice of inhaling slowly and exhaling forcefully 10 times.
10. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
This pose is an extremely easy pose to stay in, which makes it possible for people of all fitness levels to do it easily. One can expect to lower their blood pressure by practicing this pose on a regular basis as it plays an important role in relaxing the body and reducing stress, insomnia and fatigue.
- Sit cross legged.
- Keep your spine straight.
- Join your thumb and index finger and place your palms on your knees.
- Breathe slowly and deeply.
- Stay in the pose for 1 minute.
High blood pressure slowly causes deterioration of health and low blood pressure can cause the body to go into shock and become the cause for surgical disorders or blood loss. Hence, there’s no saying which condition is better than the other. Regular checkups are recommended to keep the blood pressure in check so that you are not in for a rude shock all of a sudden. Thankfully, timely diagnosis and regular medication has helped women keep their blood pressure levels in check and to prevent any damage to the organs. These yoga asanas are great for all women, even the ones who are not battling blood pressure conditions because they help in improving the overall health of the body.