Yoga exercises for healthy heart are significant as they increase flexibility, reduce weight, and improve mood and energy. Studies show that Yoga is one of the best exercises for healthy heart. Yoga originated in ancient India, and many studies and evidence reveal that it contributes to a healthier heart. It also improves mental well-being and quality of life. According to the research done in March 2016, the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, thirty minutes of Yoga practice for twelve weeks, can lower the heart rates and blood pressure of people suffering from atrial fibrillation.
In 2014, students of the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Health Policy at the Harvard Medical School systematically evaluated the data of previous controlled studies and experiments. From the evaluation, they observed that as compared to people who do not exercise with those who practice Yoga had lower diastolic blood pressure, lower systolic blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and lower body mass index.
According to the research done by the CDC, approximately 600,000 people in the United States die every year due to heart disorder. The British Heart Foundation recommends Yoga for people suffering from heart disorders as the regular practice of Yoga decreases stress and anxiety, and also reduces the risk of depression.
10 Yoga Exercises for Healthy Heart
Yoga exercises for healthy heart are a precautionary measure, with a feeling of peace and well-being. Yoga is a blend of asanas, meditation, and breathing techniques. It has a distinct impact on the respiratory system and the heart. The advantages of Yoga exercises for healthy heart include:
- Reduce bad cholesterol levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve lung capacity
- Increase blood circulation
- Improved heart rate
In yoga, there are particular asanas for heart problems. Here are 10 Yoga exercises for healthy heart:
1. Sukhasana or Easy Pose
This Yoga exercise for healthy heart can be practiced as mini-meditation, at the beginning and end of the exercise. Sukhasana is a simple cross-leg seated posture. In this asana, you have to sit comfortably, with the right leg in front of the left leg. Keep the back straight with your shoulders down and relaxed and the hands on the knees, with the palm facing up. Close the eyes, and concentrate on inhaling at a count of two and exhaling at a count of four.
2. Tadasana or The Mountain Pose
In Sanskrit, tada means “mountain”, and asana means “pose”. Therefore, this asana is known as Tadasana or Mountain Pose. This Yoga exercise for healthy heart stimulates the nervous system and enhances body posture and balance. For this asana, stand straight with your feet parallel. Firm the thighs and inhaling while raising both the arms upwards and interlock the fingers. Lift the heels and stand on the toes. Stretch the body from the toes to the fingers. Retain this position for ten seconds and then exhale. Relax and release the pose.
3. Virabhadrasana or The Warrior Pose
The Virabhadrasana or Warrior Pose develops balance in the body and improves stamina and endurance. This asana also enhances blood circulation and reduces stress. This Yoga exercise for healthy heart involves the mountain pose or tadasana, accompanied by stretching one leg backward and the other leg at a ninety-degree position, with the hands stretched above the head. Hold this position for thirty seconds to one minute and after that release the arms and straighten the stretched leg.
4. Trikonasana or The Triangular Pose
Trikonasana or the Triangular Pose is a standing Yoga asana designed to develop cardiovascular exercise and to boost stamina. This asana starts with a wide-legged position. After that, turn the right foot out and stretch the arms wide open, with the right side of the waistline over the right leg, and then gently go down. Face downwards with a flat back and keep the right palm on the floor, with the left arm extended upwards. Repeat the same on the other side also.
5. Savasana or The Corpse Pose
Savasana is the counterpose for all Yoga exercises for healthy heart as it enables the body to relax. This asana is an amazing stress buster. Savasana enhances the overall well-being of the body and heart. For this asana, lie down on the back and the eyes closed. Keeps your arms by the sides, palms facing upwards and legs extended out, with the ankles fall outward. After that, gently start inhaling and exhaling. Retain this posture for 5 minutes.
6. Bhujangasana or The Cobra Pose
Bhujangasana or The Cobra Pose expands the chest and stimulates the heart. This asana works on the spine, abdomen, shoulder, and helps in reducing stress and fatigue. For this Yoga exercise for healthy heart, lie down on the stomach. Place the hands next to the chest and then, gently push the body up. Focus on breathing.
7. Paschimottanasana or The Seated Forward Bend
The Paschimottanasana aids in reducing the heart rate and enables the body to relax. For this asana, sit with the legs extended in front and join them together. After that, try bending forward to touch the feet without bending the knees. This asana increases the flexibility of the body.
8. Dandasana or The Stick Pose
Dandasana or The Stick Pose promotes a good posture and strengthens the back. It stretches the chest and shoulders. For this asana, lie down on the stomach and keep the hands next to the chest. After that, push the body upwards, raising yourself, and try to balance the body on the palms and feet.
9. Setu Bandhasana or The Bridge Pose
Setu Bandhasana promotes deep breathing. This asana stretches the spine and the chest increasing blood flow. For this asana, lie down on the back and keep the hands stretched sideways. After that, fold the knees and spread them out. Lift the body from the pelvis area. This asana works for the thighs, hips, stomach, and back.
10. Anjali Mudra
The Anjali Mudra asana opens the heart and soothes the brain, efficiently reducing stress and tension. For this asana, sit cross-legged and bring the palms together. Keep the fingers extending out to the middle of the chest. After that, close the eyes and gently inhale. Hold the breath and then exhale slowly. This asana prepares the body for meditation and pranayama.
Yoga improves heart health and promotes physical activity. It helps in managing stress and anxiety. By controlling hypertension, Yoga lowers blood pressure and soothes an abnormal heartbeat. Also, if you are suffering from any heart disorder, consult the doctor regarding the level of Yoga appropriate for your body.