It’s only natural to be concerned about heart disease. This is a very common condition that affects people all over the world and there are many factors that contribute to it. As a matter of fact, it is right up along with homicide and traffic accidents as one of the leading causes of death in the world. You can do many things to keep your heart healthy and ticking, including making some lifestyle changes and one of the best things you could do is practice yoga.
Doctors have begun to recommend that their patients practice yoga regularly because it provides a number of benefits such as:
Prevention of heart disease: Yoga has the ability to lower blood pressure and regulate breathing. The physical stress on the heart reduces when blood pressure becomes normal and there are adequate oxygen levels in the blood. Therefore, practicing yoga regularly helps keep the heart muscles strong.
Reduces emotional stress: Most people are unaware that emotional stress can actually harm their health and not just upset their mood. It is a medical fact that the coronary arteries start to contract when a person is stressed In addition, plaque begins to build up very fast in the arteries. The heart has to work very hard in consequence and it gets damaged very soon. Stress hormones cause the platelets to become sticky and this can result in blood clots, and eventually, strokes. Yoga can help avoid all of this by bringing down stress levels.
Low intensity workout: Yoga is a unique exercise in that it provides just the right amount of workout. A person who is in the beginning stages of heart disease will not be able to exercise, and yoga is the perfect alternative with its stretches and deep breathing exercises. Its calming effect on the sympatheic nervous system helps reduce stress hormone levels in the body.
Reduces inflammation: Inflammation has a very negative effect on the entire body and not just on the heart. A protein called cytokine IL-6 causes dangerous levels of inflammation in the body, but yoga can help keep it under control.
While yoga is extremely beneficial to prevent heart disease, you do have to realize that this only works as part of an overall healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and the absence of cigarettes and alcohol. In case you already have heart disease then you should talk to your doctor before you take up yoga. Keep in mind that a few asanas or positions can actually increase your blood pressure instead of reducing it. Therefore, you need to take up cardiac yoga which makes use of positions that have been modified to suit the needs of your heart. This type of yoga will typically have exercises of lower intensity and it also incorporates a lot of breathing and stretching exercises in addition to meditation. An experienced yoga teacher will be your biggest asset in dealing with your disease. Over time you will also be able to reduce your dependence on medication.