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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

YOGA AND HYPERTENSION


Hypertension as common as "common cold" 

Have you ever observed your respiration rate or your heart rate, when you get tensed, irritated, upset or happy? Notice it and be aware of it to find how it behaves in relation to your thought process; as your emotions are linked to your thoughts and which in turn affects your breathing pattern and leads to stress.

Everyone has stress in everyday life but the way you react to it matters a lot. The way we react states our emotional response to each situation. Since our heart’s function is directly related to emotional metabolism.

Some amount of tension is necessary for all of us to deal with it or fight with the stress; but once it is over you should know to let go and relax and live in the present. Since many of us carry these in back of our mind and our sleep is also disturbed, leads to continuous activation of stress hormones.

For e.g.:-an anxious over tense mind, is always gripped by worries and problems or who is constantly bursting in to a habitual states of anger, biting nails or facial muscles always tensed esp. the eye brows, causes an uncontrolled activation of the sympathetic nervous system and floods the circulation with the stress hormones.

       If we are ignorant about these symptoms associated to it, we might land up in trouble after few months and further leads to hypertension.

       When you are tensed for long hours or days, heart is strained and beat is accelerated and beats beyond its capacities. They are responsible for sending the small arteries in to tight spasm or permanent contraction, heart has to pump against the back pressure of the blood in the arterial tree and high blood pressure results. It also leads to other problems such as kidney and heart failure. 

Our emotional state directly influences the behavior of the heart and heart disease is often an emotional disorder than a physical disease.
     
BP can be  kept in control through proper diet and other  yogic relaxation exercises.
      Asanas: - Those asanas in which your head and heart remains in the same plane are preferable. For eg: Shashankasana and few lying down asanas too.

1.  Shashank asana :-

Sit in Vajrasana and raise your arms up and gently bend forward and place your forehead on the floor and your arms stretched forward.
     Make sure your head doesn't hang down and your buttocks seated on the heel.you can separate your knees so that you can allow your stomach to fall in between your legs and relax.
     Rabbit pose helps in relaxing the adrenal gland thus reduces the stress hormone.I have seen many of my students felling much better after the practice of shashankasana twice a day for 5 to 10 mins.This posture helps you to withdraw your mind from outside world.
     If you are not able to sit in Vajrasana for long then use the cushion as prop under your forehead as well as under your feet, and try to keep your head and the heart at the same level.

2.  Parvata Asana:- Stand with your legs close to each other and gently raise both your arms upward and interlock your arms and stretch it upward and raise your body on toes.Hold the posture for 10 to 20 counts with normal breathing.Repeat it 3 times and can be practised 3 times a day.
      Relaxes the shoulders as well as the spine and stretches the back and waist muscles. It helps to reduce the physical stress which you develop during the day.Can be practised during the day as it helps reduce the tension in knees as well as in neck and shoulders esp if one is an upper body athlete. for eg:-sitting in front of Pc for long hours.

3. Go-mukh asana-
This asana if done standing  or sitting on  the chair then you have to raise one arm up and behind your head and the other arm from below and behind your back and try to lock your arms.Hold it for 30 secs with your chin parallel to the floor.Repeat the same with the other arm.Repeat it 3 times and can be practised 3 times a day.
This asana in the standing posture or sitting on the chair or on the floor helps  one to relax their shoulders,chest muscles and allows one to take deep breath easily and improves the posture.


4. Deep breathing:-Since the mind influences body more than body influencing the mind. Accord to the research if you make a quick change in the rate at which you breathe, you send a message to the brain “I am not threatened”.
You can practice deep breathing anywhere without anyone's knowledge esp during work hours when the stress level are high. But try to maintain the ratio of 1:2 of inhalation and exhalation. You can this way reduce the stress hormones in the blood as brain understands your breath language.
Tranquilizing Pranayamas like Shitali , Shitkari, Bhramari are advisable as it cools the body and tranquillizes  the mind.

5. Bhramari: - Relieves stress and cerebral tension, alleviates, anger, anxiety and insomnia and reduces Bp. It also eliminates throat ailments. But it can't be practised by those having ear infections.
      If you practice Bhramari then make sure that you hum like bee loudly 11 times in 5 mins, or less numbers in more mins, so as to give you  complete benefit as it helps you to enter in to thoughtless state of your mind. This will in turn reduce the stress instantly.
      People suffering from migraine must practice this everyday 21 times to overcome their problem. Practice Bhramari in the ratio 1:4 of inhalation and exhalation.

6. Yoga Nidra meditation:-Yoga Nidra helps the practitioner to balance their emotions, anger and passions which will in turn balance their tensions. Yoga Nidra, helps in lowering the BP as thoughtless mind gets relaxed fast.  It has tranquilizing affect on the mind
I have observed my students getting positive results after their continuous practice of Yognidra during afternoons also as a power nap for 10 mins, helped them to lower the level of their high pressure which otherwise was difficult.
Like any other pump heart can lead to wear and tear if it’s abused and strained.
There is 20% reduction of oxygen consumption as against 8% reduction after 6 hrs of sleep.

Mental and emotional balance, dietary control, adequate exercise and sleep is required to balance your stress level in day to day life.

HARI OM




3 comments:

  1. Hi Prema,
    What do you exactly mean by yoga nidhra meditation.Is it the savasana which we practice at our regular class? can you explain in detail about the practice of this yoga nidra?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nidra means "sleep" ,no matter what or why,without resolving their tensions.
    But Yog nidra means sleep after throwing off all the burdens.It's of a blissful,higher quality altogether which relaxes the atma the inner self.

    by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

    ReplyDelete