Home » Heart Health » Yoga for Heart Health: 5 Yoga Poses To Improve Your Heart Health
Exercise that elevates heart rate is not the only form of exercise that benefits heart health. Did you know that yoga, with its calming and stress-reducing effects, is also a great way to support heart health and prevent or manage heart disease?
Regular yoga practice has been associated with a decrease in blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and improved cardiovascular endurance. It can also help manage stress, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. However, it’s important to note that yoga should not be used as a sole treatment for heart disease and should be combined with other lifestyle changes and medical management as recommended by a doctor.
1. Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar): This study (Ref. Link) concluded that practicing Surya Namaskar regularly can help maintain or enhance cardiorespiratory fitness and support weight management. Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is a sequence of 12 Hatha yoga poses typically done at the start of Hatha yoga classes, with variations. It is rooted in the ancient Hatha yoga text, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, which encompasses over 8 million poses and pays tribute to the significance of the sun.
2. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II): The pose involves stretching hips, engaging hips and calming gaze. Stand facing the long side of the mat with feet parallel, ankles in line with wrists, left toes slightly pointed towards the upper left corner of the mat, and right knee bent over right ankle. Ensure equal weight distribution between both legs, grasp the back foot’s outer edge, and press down. Keep shoulders over hips, head above pelvis, and reach forward and backward with arms while turning head to look past your right hand. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
This article “The Yoga Heart Connection” (Ref. Link) explains how practicing yoga can positively impact heart health by reducing stress, improving cardiovascular function, and managing risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Research shows that yoga can lower heart rate and blood pressure, increase heart rate variability, and improve overall cardiovascular endurance. Additionally, regular yoga practice has been linked to reduced anxiety and depression, which can also benefit heart health. The article concludes that incorporating yoga into a well-rounded fitness routine can help support overall heart health. Ready to unroll your mat and start your journey towards heart health with a yoga class? Add a smart heart monitor, the Frontier X2 and track your heart health.
Hatha, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga yoga styles can be beneficial for heart health, but it’s best to find a style that you enjoy and practice regularly.
Regular practice is key to seeing the benefits of yoga for heart health. Aim to practice at least 3-4 times a week for best results. Always practice under a yoga teacher.
Some beginner-friendly yoga poses for heart health include Downward Dog, Warrior I, and Mountain Pose.
Yoga cannot cure heart health issues but can complement medical treatments and improve overall heart health. By reducing stress, improving cardiovascular function, and strengthening the heart, yoga can help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve recovery after a heart event.
Yoga can have a moderate impact on heart rate by increasing it during physical poses and reducing it during relaxation and breathing exercises. The combination of physical activity and controlled breathing in yoga can lead to improved cardiovascular function, increased blood flow, and lower blood pressure.
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