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Can You Stop Heart Disease With Yoga?
7 Surprising Heart-Healthy Benefits of Yoga
February 25, 2016
  |  
By: Malinda Gibbons

There’s another reason to do yoga, and it’s something important that you may not know. It turns out that the mind-body link, combining relaxation with exercise, might be the key to a healthy heart.

A recent study shows that doing yoga may help lower the risk of heart disease just as much as regular exercise, such as walking or jogging. Yoga incorporates the “om” with the exercise burn, combining physical activity, breathing and meditation. And because there are so many different types of yoga, it’s easy to modify for different levels of fitness ability.

Here Are 7 Ways Yoga Works For Your Heart:

  • You’re Just Doing It. Lack of physical activity is a significant risk factor in people who develop heart disease. People who do yoga are more likely to be physically active and stick to a fitness routine. For overall heart health, you should do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, at least five days a week.
  • Less Stress Savasana. Stress can lead to high blood pressure, overeating and physical inactivity, which puts you at risk for heart disease. Yoga reduces stress and helps you focus on your breathing, which is important for stress reduction.
  • Breathe Bigger. Decreased lung capacity increases your risk for stroke and heart attack. Yoga can improve your cardiovascular capacity and endurance.
  • Lower Blood Pressure. Long-term high blood pressure can weaken your heart and blood vessel walls, which can eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke. Yoga helps reduce stress and blood pressure, making it an effective treatment for high blood pressure.
  • Less Inflammation. Inflammation is how your body responds to stress and injury. People who do yoga have less heart inflammation and fewer blood compounds that are linked to inflammation.
  • Lower Blood Glucose Levels. Yoga will lower your blood glucose and decrease your waist size, which will cut your risk for heart disease.
  • Cut Afibs in Half. Doing slow-paced yoga classes twice a week can cut your atrial fibrillation, or afib, episodes in half. Atrial fibrillation is when you have an irregular or rapid heartbeat that can lead to stroke, heart attack, or heart failure.

Which Type of Yoga is Best?

  • Hatha yoga may be the best type of yoga for beginners since it brings focus to the breathing and involves slow movements.
  • Kripalu yoga is also a slow-moving yoga that utilizes breathing exercises.
  • Sivananda yoga is good for people with disabilities.

Which Yoga Poses Are Good for the Heart?

  • Tree pose calms the mind and helps lead to a steady heart functioning.
  • Triangle pose opens the heart and chest.
  • Cobra pose stretches and strengthens the chest.
  • Bow pose opens the heart and chest.
  • Bridge pose facilitates deep breathing and opens the chest area.
  • Two-legged forward bend is a resting posture that brings the head lower than the heart, causing a reduction in heart rate and respiration.

Should we put a link to pictorial representations of these poses? I really like that you have included them and I imagine people who are unfamiliar would like to know more

  • Yes, I think that would be awesome, or an infographic with pics and a brief explanation? I wasn’t sure what we could link to as far as other sites?

Is Yoga Safe for Me?

Yoga is safe for almost everyone. Talk to your doctor about the best way to modify poses for your condition, whether it’s high blood pressure or another type of health issue, such as back pain. There are so many different types of yoga, you can find the best fit for you. The important thing is to make time in your day and do it regularly. Your heart will thank you!

Yoga
Heart
Stress
Exercise
Blood Pressure
Healthy
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Malinda Gibbons
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Idyllwild, CA
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