So why is yoga so good for your health? Well, according to the British Heart Foundation an inactive person spends on average 38% more days in hospital than their active counterparts. Yoga is a fantastic way to make movement a bigger part of your lifestyle.
A recent study has found that yoga can help improve hypertension (blood pressure). Blood pressure is the measure of pressure exerted on the artery walls as blood flows through them and round your body. The highest number is the systolic pressure and this is when the left ventricle is just about to contract and force oxygen rich blood out of the heart. The bottom number (the diastolic phase) is when the heart is relaxed and refilling with blood.
High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90 or higher
Ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60 and 120/80
It’s been estimated that 40% of the adult population are hypertensive and that figure increases with age. The problem is that it is a silent disease that you won’t know about until something happens or until you have a routine check up.
If you suspect your blood pressure may be too high or too low, get your pressure checked by a health professional, or invest in a good blood pressure monitor.
Lifestyle changes can help control and manage your blood pressure and if action is needed, one of the recommendations is likely be to increase your levels of physical activity. Yoga is a great option as the movement, the meditation and the breathing exercises can all help to regulate your blood pressure.
It’s important to choose a reputable yoga studio with a great teacher who will be able to help and advise you. Always let your teacher know about any health concerns. Some postures are not recommended for people suffering with blood pressure issues but, as always, it’s possible to adapt a yoga session to suit your individual needs.
Please consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle such as going on a diet or embarking on an exercise programme. Yoga or any other activity should never be a substitute for consulting your health practitioner.