Yoga for Hypertension
What is Hypertension?
HTN is a medical condition characterized by chronically elevated blood pressure. (Blood pressure remains on the higher side of its normal limit for a long period of time.)
Blood pressure (BP) – the pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of the blood vessel while flowing. It is expressed in two ways due to the pumping action of the heart:
- Systolic – Maximum BP in the arteries – during contraction of ventricles
- Diastolic – Minimum BP in the arteries – during relaxation of ventricles
- Ideally, the blood pressure should be LESS THAN 120/80 mm of hg (millimeters of mercury)
When BP is persistently at more than 140/90 – diagnosis of HTN
(BP is measured by a sphygmomanometer.)
Note: If the person has a high BP once – doesn’t mean he is hypertensive. You have to measure 3-4 times – even after relaxation sometimes and if the pressure still remains more than 140/90, then the person can be said to be hypertensive.
Types of Hypertension
- Primary hypertension
- The exact cause is not known.
- 80-90% of HTN cases fall in this category.
- Also called essential HTN.
- Secondary Hypertension
- There is a cause for the HTN and hence it is taking place
- The most common cause is chronic kidney disease – where there is kidney failure – it leads to a lot of metabolic changes
- Other causes are diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome (excess of cortisol – excess minerals corticoids increases sodium retention and therefore water retention; aldosterone released by adrenal gland also controls sodium retention
- The function of sodium is an exchange of fluids – when there is excess sodium, it pulls out all the intracellular fluid and increases the volume of extracellular fluid and that increases blood volume and then increases blood pressure.
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH)
- Similar cause as that of pregnancy-induced diabetes
- Blood pressure more than 140/90 mm/Hg for 2 check-ups within 6 hours
- Usually occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy
- Pressure increases without prior history of HTN
- Cause: placental hormones cause vasoconstriction (decrease in the diameter of arteries); these hormones also play a role in increasing blood volume
- That is why pregnant women get swollen feet in the second/third trimester.
- After delivery, the BP comes back to normal in most cases.
Signs and symptoms of Hypertension
- Blurred vision
- Pain in the belly
- Bleeding from vagina
Yoga for Hypertension
What is Yoga?
According to Bhagwad Gita Equanimity, Stability, Balance, Harmony, Equipoise is yoga i.e. Samatvam Yoga Ucchyate.
According to Sage Vashistha yoga is the skill to calm down the mind i.e. Manah prasamana upayah yogah.
And according to Great Sage Maharishi Patanjali yoga is the cessation of mental modifications i.e. Yoga is to gain mastery over modifications of Mind.
According to Guruji Shubham Barwala Ji, yoga is the recognition of Mental Modification the moment they arise in our consciousness.
According to Guruji Neeraj Medharthi, Ji Yoga is the state of perfect balance.
Panch Kosha Based Yoga Therapy or Yoga for Hypertension
Yogic Diet – Yoga for Hypertension
- Salt restriction (salt causes retention of water in the body) – very effective in the pre-hypertensive stage.
- Avoid deep-fried items, fast food, junk food (bad cholesterol hardens the blood vessel walls, also it increases chances of coronary heart diseases, stroke, obesity).
- Avoid spicy items (which usually have a lot of salt and refined oil).
- Take more fruits, vegetables, and salads (more antioxidants that help prevent oxidative stress).
Asanas – 5 Yoga Poses for Hypertension
- No dynamic practices
- No inverted postures
- Sukshma Vayama
Kriyas – Yoga for Hypertension
- Jala neti/sutra neti
- Vamana dhauti
- Kapalabhati 20-30 strokes per min
Pranayama – Yoga for Hypertension
- Do Cooling pranayama
- Left nostril breathing
- Sectional breathing
Manomaya Kosha – Yoga for Hypertension
- Yoga Nidra
- Emotional counseling
- Mind Sound Resonance Technique (M.S.R.T.)
Vijnanamaya Kosha – Yoga for Hypertension
- Counseling about the disease, triggering factors, diet
Anandamaya Kosha – Yoga for Hypertension
- Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Spend time with family and loved ones.
Explore this Health Topic to learn more about Yoga for Hypertension, the role of yoga and yoga therapy for various diseases, and where to find more information regarding it.
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