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Is Yoga Good For Cardiovascular Health

/6gomukhasana Or Cow Face Pose

Yoga for Healthy HEART

How to do it

Step 1: Sit down comfortably on the ground and bend your knees.

Step 2: Now stack your right knee directly over your left knee. The legs should be as close to your buttock as possible.

Step 3: Take your left arm behind and bend your elbow. Try to reach your hand up towards the shoulders.

Step 4: Now take your right arm overhead, bend the elbow and try to interlock the fingers of both hands. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and then repeat the same on the other side.

Yoga Poses For A Healthy Heart

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According to the CDC , about 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States every year. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are key causes of heart disease. Increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels result from stress, anxiety, poor diet and lack of physical activity. The American Heart Association says healthy eating, exercise and meditation are recommended lifestyle choices to prevent and reverse heart disease.

More: Calculate your Target Heart Rate.

Yoga is a physical practice that emphasizes breath, focus and meditation. Practicing yoga brings a deeper awareness of the body, mind and emotions allowing the yogi to become more in tuned with their physical and mental health. Yoga builds cardiovascular health, increases lung capacity, and improves respiratory function and heart rate. It also boosts blood circulation, builds muscle, and decreases inflammation.

Step onto your mat these four poses will help improve your heart health.

Yoga Asanas For A Young And Healthy Heart

  • 2 years ago
  • 4 minute read

It is estimated that more than 80 million people in India are at the risk of cardio-vascular diseases. You would be surprised to know that this is more than the population of the entire United Kingdom!

As you delve deeper into this alarming number, you will find that about 30% of our countrymen suffer from high cholesterol. And, 1 in every 5 young adults suffer from high blood pressure. These lifestyle diseases are major contributors to a great number of Indians suffering from heart ailments early on in their lives.

While Health Insurance for high blood pressure and Health Insurance for high cholesterol are a great step towards managing these lifestyle diseases, so are some lifestyle changes. For instance, regularly following certain breathing exercises and increasing the capacity of your lungs is a great way towards bringing your heart health back on track.

It is well known by now that two of the biggest contributors of poor heart health in India are high blood pressure and cholesterol. Cholesterol can be reduced by Yoga as wel as high blood sugar. As India grows younger by the day, it is important to ensure healthy hearts across all age groups. In such a scenario, it is important to ensure that you diagnose these lifestyle diseases, to start off early management of the chronic diseases.

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Yoga For Heart Health

Exercise that gets your heart rate pumping isnt the only way to help improve your cardiovascular health. Managing stress also is critical to your overall heart health. Yogas clearest benefit to heart health is its ability to relax the body and mind. The practice of yoga also can increase strength, flexibility, and overall stamina, making it a great fit for a healthy lifestyle.

Here are 10 yoga poses for a healthy heart:

Does Yoga Improve Cardiovascular Health

Travel and health India: Meditation 17

For years, yoga has been touted for its numerous health benefits, including improved strength, flexibility, balance, and mental health. However, while yoga can often be associated with images of bendy women draped in yoga gear, this ancient tradition is so much more than just stretching and headstands.

The breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation involved in a Yoga Class can lead to measurable improvements in factors connected with cardiovascular health, better sleep, and less artery-damaging inflammation. Yoga class also encourages deep, slow breathing, which helps lower blood pressure by an average of five points after a few months of regular practice, research suggests.

With stress such a huge part of our daily lives and one of the biggest contributors to cardiovascular health, its no wonder so many people all around the world are turning to the mat. Theres a huge body of literature that suggest psychosocial stressors such as work and relationship issues, as well as anxiety and depression, are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

These stresses are an unavoidable part of being human but activate the bodys fight-or-flight response. This can be draining on the adrenals and put the sympathetic nervous system in overdrive, which can lead to inflammation and increased blood pressure, all of which are not great for your cardiovascular health.

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Getting Started With Yoga

If you’re new to yoga, seek out a beginner or “gentle” class, especially if you’re over 65 or have any medical conditions. To reap the greatest reward, find a class that features all four pillars of yoga: postures, breathing practices, deep relaxation, and meditation. In addition to dedicated yoga studios, many health clubs and community or senior centers now offer classes.

You might need some persistence to find a teacher and style of yoga that resonates for you. It’s like buying a car, says Dr. Khalsa. “You wouldn’t walk onto a car lot and buy the first car the dealer recommends. You shop around.”

For more information on starting a yoga practice and its other health benefits, see the Harvard Special Health Report An Introduction to Yoga .

Yoga May Benefit Heart Health As Much As Aerobics

5 Min Read

– Those sun salutations and downward dogs could be as good for the heart as cycling or brisk walking, and easier to tolerate for older people and those with health challenges, according to a new review of existing research.

Based on 37 clinical trials, researchers found that doing yoga lowered blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate and other cardiovascular risk factors in increments comparable to those seen with aerobic exercise.

Taken together, these improvements could facilitate and complement a regimen toward better cardiovascular health, said Paula Chu, a doctoral candidate in health policy at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

She and her co-authors caution in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, however, that larger studies are needed to understand how yoga improves health, how much of it is ideal and if there are differences in benefits from various types of yoga before the practice becomes a standard prescription for heart disease.

Nonetheless, yogas benefits have been long suspected, said Dr. Larry Phillips, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.

I think what weve seen is with yoga and the relaxation and behavior modification that goes along with it, there is a benefit to all patients, but especially those with heart disease, said Phillips, who was not involved in the new analysis.

These changes were similar to the improvements seen among people who did aerobic exercise instead.

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Yogis Are Often Asked Is Yoga Cardio While It May Not Seem To Be The Case All Practices Arent Created Equal And Some Strategic Sequencing Can Help You Get A Cardiovascular Workout From Your Practice

Youre halfway through a vigorous 90-minute vinyasa class. As your breath comes faster, sweat pools on your mat, and your muscles quiver with effort, you cant help wondering: Does this count as cardio?

When we talk about cardio, we are talking about aerobic exercisethat is, sustained activity that elevates your heart rate into a range at which youre training your heart. Cardiovascular fitness, sometimes used interchangeably with cardiorespiratory fitness, isnt a term you hear thrown around much in yoga class. But maybe it should be. Measured by how efficiently the heart moves bloodand therefore oxygento the muscles, cardiovascular fitness is considered one of the surest routes to leading a long, healthy life. The heft of scientific evidence shows that fitter people are less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers. Studies link cardio workouts with better cognitive function, sharper focus, and possible protection against the short-term memory loss that often comes with aging.

Whats more, having a fit heart is a matter of overall vitalitythe ability to move through your day with vigor and alertness. Its being able to play dodge ball with the kids, climb the front steps with an armload of groceries, and bust a move at your high school reunion. As a yoga practitioner, you might well wonder whether the practice that leaves you feeling so vital and energized is actually improving your fitness.

Yoga Asanas For A Healthy Heart

Yoga Therapy For Heart Health Level 1

Today, there is no age factor that determines heart ailments. People in their 20s are falling prey to heart attacks. Is it because like Atlas, the world is on our shoulders? Is it because we skip our meals and substitute it with convenience food with zero nutrition? The reasons are many, especially related to an unhealthy lifestyle.

The good news is that one can do a lot about it. Committing to a healthier lifestyle is critical and easier to follow than most imagine. What if a few simple stretches and breathing exercises could make you feel good ! Yoga for healthy heart asanas are a preventive measure and are beneficial as a curative one too. And with no side-effects, except a feeling of greater peace and health.

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Yoga Improves Strength Balance And Flexibility

Slow movements and deep breathing increase blood flow and warm up muscles, while holding a pose can build strength.Try it: Tree PoseBalance on one foot, while holding the other foot to your calf or above the knee at a right angle. Try to focus on one spot in front of you, while you balance for one minute.

Yoga For Heart Health: Practice These Techniques To Keep Your Heart Healthy

Yoga, with its combination of poses, breathing exercises and meditation techniques has been attracting people of all age groups thanks to its many health benefits.

The ancient practice has been gaining popularity not only as a fitness and wellness regime but also as an adjunct therapy in treating many health disorders from arthritis to heart disease.

The scientific benefits of Yoga have been acknowledged by several health studies. Yoga improves circulation of blood and oxygen in the body. It is also know to thin the blood which can decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke as they are often caused by blood clots, according to International Journal of Yoga .

It also increases blood flow and levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells which allows for more oxygen to reach the body cells, enhancing their function, according to IJOY. Many studies have proved that yoga can lower the resting heart rate and can reduce the risk of heart attack.

“A regular practice of yoga keeps the mind and the heart lighter and stress-free. The results of having elevated cortisol levels caused by stress can lead to an increase in sugar and blood pressure levels which strains the heart. Therefore, it is very important to keep the body and mind stress-free,” says Yoga expert Grand Master Akshar.

Besides there are meditation and breath awareness techniques that can help relax the mind like Swaas Dhyan.

Hridaya Mudra

Prana Mudra

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Yoga For Healthy Hearts

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says: Yoga is a study of life, the study of your body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, and ego study of your inner faculties.

Besides wisdom and philosophy, yoga is a relaxing combination of asanas, breathing techniques, and meditation. Every yoga pose has a particular effect on the respiratory system and therefore, affects the heart. The benefits include:

  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Improved heart rate
  • Boost blood circulation.

Yoga Benefits Heart Health

Yogasanas For Heart: 5 Incredible Yoga Poses To Keep ...

Regular yoga practice may reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts. Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga.Try it: Downward Dog PoseGet on all fours, then tuck your toes under and bring your sitting bones up, so that you make a triangle shape. Keep a slight bend in your knees, while lengthening your spine and tailbone.

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Yoga May Soothe An Irregular Heartbeat

Atrial fibrillation, or afib, is an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by rapid and irregular beating that can lead to stroke and other complications. According to a review published in December 2015 in the Journal of Arrhythmia, practicing yoga was linked to a drop in the number of episodes experienced by patients who have afib. Study participants who developed a yoga practice also reported a higher quality of life, though more research is needed to confirm a connection. Dr. Ostfeld says, There may be some potential for yoga to help in the treatment of people with afib to reduce the number of episodes they have.

The Staying Power Of Yoga

If you frequent a vigorous flow class, youve probably noticed that the practice gets easier the more frequently you do it. The first time you go to a power flow class, your heart rate might inch up to 175 beats per minute, but if you go to that same class three times a week for six months, your heart rate might rise to only 160 beats per minute. Thats a good thing. It means that your heart muscle is getting stronger in response to the training youre giving it. Your heart meets the demand as your muscles develop, says Fleming. These adaptations mean that the heart doesnt have to work as hard anymore. In a nutshell, thats what being cardiovascularly fit is all about.

So does yoga count as cardio? The best answer is: It can. Yoga not only gets your heart pumping, but it also quiets the mind and body, honing an ability to experience a greater sense of well-being, says Dean Ornish, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and the founder and president of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California. And if you find an exercise you enjoy, the more youll do it, and the more fit youll become.

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Could Improve Heart Health

From pumping blood throughout the body to supplying tissues with important nutrients, the health of your heart is an essential component of overall health.

Studies show that yoga may help improve heart health and reduce several risk factors for heart disease.

One study found that participants over 40 years of age who practiced yoga for five years had a lower blood pressure and pulse rate than those who didnt .

High blood pressure is one of the major causes of heart problems, such as heart attacks and stroke. Lowering your blood pressure can help reduce the risk of these problems .

Some research also suggests that incorporating yoga into a healthy lifestyle could help slow the progression of heart disease.

A study followed 113 patients with heart disease, looking at the effects of a lifestyle change that included one year of yoga training combined with dietary modifications and stress management.

Participants saw a 23% decrease in total cholesterol and a 26% reduction in bad LDL cholesterol. Additionally, the progression of heart disease stopped in 47% of patients .

Its unclear how much of a role yoga may have had versus other factors like diet. Yet it can minimize stress, one of the major contributors to heart disease (

or in combination with a healthy lifestyle, yoga may help decrease risk factors for heart disease.

Healing Mudras For A Healthy Heart

Chair Yoga for Cardio Health

Hriday Mudra

The practice of Hridaya Mudra is beneficial for those who have suffered from any heart-related conditions including a heart attack. The mudra is useful in balancing the Heart Chakra by pressing of the thumb , the ring finger , and the middle finger together at the tips.

The Hriday Mudra is suggested as practice for a healthy heart. Start by holding the mudra 3-5 minutes and slowly increase the practice as your level of comfort increases.


Sit down in a meditative pose such as Sukhasana or Padmasana and keep your back straight. Allow the tip of your index finger to gently touch the base of your thumb. Join the tips of your middle, ring and thumb fingers. Straighten your little finger Do this with both hands and place the back of your palms on your knees Close your eyes and direct your attention to your breath


This mudra helps to direct Oxygen towards the heart and controls any problems related to the heart Keeps blood pressure in checkCommon factors that affect the heart more often than not are negligence and a lack of awareness. Make a conscious effort to maintain a relaxed mind and a calm sense of being. Triggers such as depression, anxiety, unhealthy diet, lack of nutrition and erratic lifestyles must be avoided or eliminated from our lives. Eat healthy home-cooked food as fatty, heavily processed and oily foods can increase your blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular disorders.

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Could Promote Sleep Quality

Poor sleep quality has been associated with obesity, high blood pressure and depression, among other disorders .

Studies show that incorporating yoga into your routine could help promote better sleep.

In a 2005 study, 69 elderly patients were assigned to either practice yoga, take an herbal preparation or be part of the control group.

The yoga group fell asleep faster, slept longer and felt more well-rested in the morning than the other groups .

Another study looked at the effects of yoga on sleep in patients with lymphoma. They found that it decreased sleep disturbances, improved sleep quality and duration and reduced the need for sleep medications .

Though the way it works is not clear, yoga has been shown to increase the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness .

Yoga also has a significant effect on anxiety, depression, chronic pain and stress all common contributors to sleep problems.

Summary: Yoga may help enhance sleep quality because of its effects on melatonin and its impact on several common contributors to sleep problems.


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