Chances are at least one person in your life—a family member, someone you work with, or a good friend has high blood pressure and takes medication to bring it under control. Wondering why so? Because high blood pressure or hypertension is an extremely common medical condition across India. Workload and stress are the major culprits of high blood pressure. If not controlled in time, it can lead to heart stroke and turn fatal. Yoga can help lower blood pressure naturally and reduce hypertension induced by stress. 

To know more about this condition and its effects, TC46 connected with Dr Pradip Shah, General Physician at Fortis Hospital, Mumbai. Here he shares causes, signs and symptoms of blood pressure in women. And the effectiveness of yoga in treating blood pressure with 6 asanas and breathing exercise. 

1. It is key to know the causes of high blood pressure in women

Some of the most common causes are:

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Extra salt in the diet
  • Too much alcohol consumption
  • Old age
  • Genetic reasons

2. Look for these signs and symptoms of high blood pressure in women

Visit a doctor if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain
  • Nose bleed
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Oedema (fluid retention)

3. Yoga can help to control high blood pressure

Yes, yoga poses involve breathing in a certain pattern which can control blood pressure as well as relieve stress. It will also enhance the functioning of your heart. Yoga leaves a positive impact on your mind and body. It is an effective way to lower blood pressure.

4. Yoga asanas to be avoided by women with high blood pressure

In general, yoga is a wonderful way to avoid and combat high blood pressure. But you should know which yoga poses are safe and which to avoid.

  • Standing poses
  • Backbends
  • Inversion

5. Breathing exercises can help reduce high blood pressure

Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Lie flat on your back, use a pillow to support your neck and bent knees.
  2. Place one hand on your chest and place the other hand beneath your ribcage.
  3. Inhale slowly through your nose.
  4. Exhale through pursed lips.

Resort to natural remedies to avoid long-term side effects and keep high blood pressure in check. Combat high blood pressure problems with yoga. Practice body movements synchronized with breathing techniques which help to soothe the nerves and bring down an abnormal heart rate but also relieves stress and controls blood pressure naturally. Also, find 6 yoga and pranayama exercises to treat your sinus infection here.

6 Yoga Asanas To Lower High Blood Pressure

1. Shishuasana (Child pose)

Child pose is beneficial for hypertension patients. It can give you relief from different factors which contribute to high blood pressure. This asana reduces stress and improves blood circulation throughout the body. Controlled breathing while performing this asana promotes calmness and reduces stress from the neck and shoulders.

How To Do It:

  1. Sit on your heels. Bend forward keeping your hips on the heels, and bring your forehead to the floor.
  2. Keep your hands on the floor alongside the body, palms facing up. (If this is not comfortable for you, you may place one fist on top of another and rest your forehead on them.)
  3. Gently press your chest on the thighs.
  4. Hold.
  5. Gently come up and sit on the heels, uncurling vertebra by vertebra and relax.

2. Vajrasana (Diamond Pose)

This pose can be done even after lunch or dinner. It helps to control obesity and increases blood flow to the lower abdomen. If you’re willing to get into the habit of yoga, then here are 5-morning asanas to help you get started on your yoga journey.

How To Do It:

  1. Fold up the legs backwards moreover sit down by the assist of your knees.
  2. Your spine, neck, head, must be straight.
  3. Maintain right palm on the right knee and left palm on the left knee plus elbows in a straight line.
  4. Look front and inhale and exhale.
  5. Leave over these steps for 5 to 7 minutes moreover get a break. You can boost the time by 15 – 20 minutes.

3. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Shavasana or corpse pose is meant for relaxation. This is one of the easiest poses which you can try to control your blood pressure numbers. Shavasana calms your brain, relieve stress, relaxes the body, reduces headache, fatigue and insomnia. These all are the risk factors of high blood pressure. By controlling these factors, Shavasana leads to lower blood pressure.

How To Do It:

  1. Lie on your back with your legs spread out.
  2. Keep your hands on the sides with palms facing the sky.
  3. While staying in this relaxing pose, breathe deeply.
  4. Take time to focus your attention on each part of the body.
  5. Stay in the pose for up to 5 minutes.

4. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

It is a popular yoga asana that regulates breathing. This pose gives you relief from high blood pressure by promoting a peaceful mind and reducing stress. A relaxed mind promotes a healthy body. This asana will also stretch the back and neck. It will also improve the posture of the body.

How To Do It:

  1. Bending forward slowly increases the exhale, which leads to relaxation. 
  2. Sit in the ‘easy pose’ calmly, and shins crossed with your right shin in front. 
  3. Bend forward slowly and be like that for five good breaths, then put the other shin in front.
  4. Keep hands on the floor, and then put both the legs straight into a ‘standing forward bend’.

5. Virasana (Hero Pose)

This asana is an incredibly simple and effective way of lowering high blood pressure. It opens up the chest and ensures proper circulation of blood throughout your body. Did you know that you can also practice yoga for PCOS? Here are 10 yoga asanas to practise if you have PCOS. 

How To Do It:

  1. Sit on the floor on your knees. Keeping the knees together, spread the feet and place them away from your hips.
  2. Bring the hips to the floor and sit back completely on your gluteus resting next to the heels. The feet should have the toes pointed outwards and not inwards.
  3. Place the hands with palms facing downwards on your knees.
  4. Relaxing the shoulders and the chest, bring the spine up and straight elongating the spine.
  5. Bring the chin down and relax the entire facial muscles and close your eyes relaxing them too.
  6. Take a few breaths here as you elongate the spine and bring the tummy in working on the core strength.
  7. Then hold the fingers at the required mudra depending on the pranayama practice placing the back of the wrists on the knee closer towards the thighs.
  8. Begin deep breathing ensuring the spine remains straight and strong. Stay here for a comfortable period of time depending on the practice of pranayama.
  9. The main idea of this pose is the stability of the back and the strength of the hips, so ensure the spine remains straight throughout the practice. Ensure the bodyweight does not fall on the knees and the ankles.

6. Ardha Halasana (Half Plow Pose)

This asana helps control high blood pressure and also helps burn fat in the thighs, abdomen, and hips. Here are some yoga poses to tone your body and tips to safely practise these asanas.

How To Do It:

  1. Keep your hands by the side of your thighs with your palms resting on the ground.
  2. Inhale and slowly raise your legs together without bending them at the knees and bring them vertical to the ground.
  3. The body, from hip to shoulder, should be kept straight.
  4. Maintain the final position for 5-10 breaths with body awareness.
  5. Exhale and slowly bring your legs down to the ground without lifting the head.
  6. Relax.
  7. You may repeat the same 3-5 times.
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