Every living animal on the planet has blood pressure; there is no exception to this rule. The blood flows through the body with certain pressure, but if the pressure is higher than the normal range then it is a disease, which is called High Blood Pressure or Hypertension.
The contraction of the heart creates enough pressure to pump the blood to all parts of the body. Sometimes for various reasons these blood pressure increases, for example: during fearful situations, anger, anxiety, excessive thinking, mental tension or even from physical exertion. During these situations the heart comes under extra workload. But when the situation comes to normal, so also does the blood pressure. This temporary change in Blood Pressure is not a disease but when this Blood pressure doesn’t come back to normal levels, it becomes a disease.
It is known to be a silent killer. If not detected at an early stage, it may lead to arterial cardiac and renal damage. Nevertheless, hypertension can be detected if people experience some mild and pounding headache, giddiness, hazy vision, ringing in the ears, and disturbed kidney functioning. If experienced continuously, it may lead to heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.
Causes of High Blood Pressure:
There are two types of problems- physical & mental.
1. Narrowing of arterial lumen.
2. Increase in cholesterol level in the blood.
5. Liver or Kidney problem.
6. Excess use of non-vegetarian food and wine.
7. Too much spicy or oily food.
Our mind is very sensitive. Heart beat increases in emotional people very quickly due to anxiety, anger & fear etc. It causes mental tension and also a rise in blood pressure. Materialistic living provokes tension even on very minor issues which leads to anxiety and depression easily and further results in aggravated blood pressure levels.
Yoga asanas for maintaining Blood Pressure:
The following are the Yoga abhyas (practice) you may follow to help you manage High blood pressure. Note that Yoga is not the only treatment for high blood pressure. Seek your doctor’s advice before starting Yoga practice.
1. Tadan Breathing or Ajgari Mudra:
– Sit down in Padamasana or Sukhasana.
– Now slowly inhale from both the nostrils expanding your abdomen like a pot belly.
– Hold your breath for 5 seconds then exhale from your nose and pull your stomach in while exhaling.
– Do it ten times.
2. Shambavi Mudra:
– Sit in any comfortable meditation pose keep the head, shoulder and spine upright and straight.
– Place your hands on your knees in Gyana Mudra.
– Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
– Open your eyes and focus both your eyes upwards and inward towards the center of eyebrows. Hold the gaze as long as you are comfortable. – Release your gaze if the slightest sensation or strain.
– Close the eyes and relax them. Try to do 5 minutes daily.
– This Mudra strengthens they eyes muscles and releases accumulated tension in the area.
– It develops concentration, mental stability and the state of thoughtlessness.
– Ailments including headache, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, excessive sleep and eyes complications are cured.
– People suffering from cataract surgery, glaucoma and eye operations should not perform Shambhavi mudra.
– For advanced practitioner it is a powerful technique for awakening Agya Chakra.
3. Sahaj Dhyan:
– Sit in padmasana or Sukhasana.
– Sit quietly and relax your body, breathe slowly and deeply and say “I am calm” each time you exhale.
– Do not try to chase thoughts out of your head; in fact, don’t try to do anything.
– Practice for five minutes at a time, gradually building up to 20 minutes.
Sahaj dhyan when performed regularly slows your breathing, calms brain wave patterns and lowers blood pressure.
4. Yoni Mudra:
– Sit in padmasana or sukh asana and stretch out both palms and bring then to your face.
– Close your eyes with the help of the index finger without pressing them.
– Put your finger on either side of your nose, upper lips and lower lips, respectively, both your ears must be pressed lightly with the thumbs.
– Your eyes and nose must not pressed; feel the emotions within you and concentrate on your breathing.
– Relax the whole body.
– The breathing will be deep but gradually it will become quiet and shallow. Do it 5 to 10 minutes daily.
– Look at the tortoise, when it feels that something is disturbing it from outside, it withdraws its head, legs and tail from the object and shuts itself in Yoni Mudra and controls the external senses.
– It develops calmness, steadiness and balance. This mudra also helps to increase awareness and concentration.
5. Sheetali Pranayama:
The word “sheetali” means cooling in Sanskrit, it is taken from the original word “sheetal” which is soothing or cold. The practice of sheetali breathing calms the mind, reduces the stress or fight – flight response. It cools the body and mind.
– Sit in padmasana or sukhasana.
– Put both your hands on knees in Gyan Mudra.
– Try to concentrate on your breathing.
– In this pranayama the tongue is rolled in a specific manner as shown in figure.
– Inhale deeply through it with a sound, close your eyes, hold your breath and exhale.
– This is one round. This should be practiced at least ten times.
– This pranayama is helpful in high blood pressure and also calms down anger.
– It cures constipation, skin diseases and the problems related to liver.
– The people suffering from cough should not do this pranayama.
– The patients suffering from asthma and tonsillitis should do it under the guidance Yoga guru.
– Lie down on the floor on your back, keep the legs straight on the floor with feet apart by about your shoulder width.
– Keep the arms straight by your sides with hands placed about six inches away from the body.
– The head and spine should be in a straight line.
– Close your eyes gently.
– Loosen your whole body and cease all physical movement.
– Focus your mind on your breathing and allow it to become rhythmic and relaxed.
– This asana removes physical and mental fatigue.
– The breathing becomes more regulated and controlled naturally.
– This asana improves optimum capacity of lungs and intake of oxygen.
– Relaxation helps to open up blocked arteries and thus helps to improve cardiac functions.