Yoga cure for Hypertension Print
Written by Dr. Ajay Kumar, Dr. Tina Singhal & Dr. B N Upadhyay   

As per yogic view the mind is the most important component in the etiology of hypertension. The causes of hypertension may be mental and physical.
Yoga aims to remove hypertension and its potential lethal effects through a system of asanas, pranayam and meditation along with a complete reappraisal of lifestyle. In this way we remove mental disease that often leads to physical disease.
Asanas
Asans means a steady and comfortable posture. These are physical postures both static and dynamic which are designed to relax and strengthen the body and mind. Asanas when practiced correctly in conjunction with mental concentration and breathe awareness, they will allow us to achieve a state of integration or homeostasis. On the other hand the wrong kind of exercise such as muscle building can cause or aggravate hypertension. These asanas are to be practiced in morning and before dinner at night for 5-10 minutes. Asanas stretch the muscle like a good massage and Pranayam performed in the morning and before sleep transforms day and night and improve the quality of both, our activity and our rest.
 

Shavashana: Shavasana literally means ‘Corpse Pose’ or ‘Dead Man’s Pose’. It is a posture of complete relaxation. While this asana is frequently assumed at the end of a yoga practice session, we can also use it to rest between yoga poses. We should try shavasana for ourselves to see how it can help to calm our mind and reduce tension and anxiety. The Sanskrit word shava means corpse. The shavasana is also known as the mritaasana.
Steps and Instructions:
1. Lie flat on your back with your legs together but not touching, and your arms close to the body with the palms facing up.
2. Keep your eyes gently closed with the facial muscles relaxed and breathe deeply and slowly through the nostrils.
3. Starting at the top of the head and working your way down to the feet, bring your attention to each part of your body, consciously relaxing it before proceeding on to the next.
4. Remain in the shavasana for between 3 to 5 minutes or longer. If you become sleepy while in the shavasana begin to breath a bit faster and deeper.
2. Vajraasana: The Sanskrit word vajra means thunderbolt or diamond.
Steps & Instructions-
1. The vajraasana is a seated posture. Begin by sitting back on your heels and placing your knees, legs and feet together.
2. Keeping the back straight place the palms of your hands down on top of your thighs.
3. Breathe gently through your nostrils and sit in this position for at least three minutes.
3. Padmasana: Lotus Pose is an intermediate to advanced seated pose that provides a deep stretch for our hips. This pose can also help to open our hips and improve our seated posture. We can use this pose for breathing exercises or meditation.
Steps and Instructions:
1. Sit on the floor with the legs stretched out straight in front.
2. Bend the right knee and grasp the right foot with both hands and place it on top of the left thigh bringing the heel as close to the navel as possible.
3. Bend the left knee and grasp the left foot with both hands and place it on top of the right thigh bringing the heel as close to the navel as possible.
4. Both knees should be on the ground and the soles of the feet are pointed upward. The spine is held straight but not rigid.
5. The position of the legs may be switched after a period of time if the posture becomes uncomfortable.
4. Pavana muktasana: The Sanskrit word pavana means air or wind and mukta means freedom or release, therefore this is the "wind relieving posture". So named because it assists in releasing trapped digestive gas from the stomach and intestines.
Steps and Instructions:
1. Inhale and bend the right knee and pull it close to the torso with both hands while interlocking the fingers just below the knee. Keep the left leg flat on the floor.
2. Hold the inhaled breath for a few seconds then exhale slowly through the nostrils and lift the back, shoulders and head off the floor and touch the knee with the forehead.
3. Hold the exhaled breath for a few seconds then slowly inhale and return the back, shoulders and head to the floor. Remain holding the knee.
4. Hold the inhaled breath for a few seconds then exhale while bringing the right leg to the floor.
5. Lie flat on the back in the shava-asana for a few seconds then repeat beginning with the left leg.
Pranayama: Yogic Breathing Techniques: Pranayama means ‘control (or extension) of the breath’. Practitioners of yoga believe that it is essential to learn to control the breath in order to still the mind. Consequently, detailed practices have been developed to enhance the flow of breath, or vital life force. These practices include various ways of inhaling, retaining, and expelling the breath.
Pranayama is sometimes described as the science of breath or extension of the breath. Pranayama is a highly evolved system of practices that can enable men to gain control over the breath. Pranayama is considered an invaluable practice because of the vital role that prana (‘air’, ‘breath’, or ‘vital life-force energy’) is believed to play in a man’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being. According to the tradition of yoga, prana is more than just air: It is the vital life energy that animates the being of not only every man, but also the entire world. When trying to calm an anxious friend, we intuitively suggest: “Take a deep breath.” Yogis have studied the power of the breath for millennia. They have discovered that by controlling the breath, we can control the mind.
One of the most common techniques taught in pranayama is three part yogic breathing. This technique brings one’s awareness to the breath in such a way that the duration of each inhalation and exhalation is lengthened. One does this by mindfully inhaling air in three steps: first, into the belly; next, into the mid-chest; and finally, all the way up to the shoulders and collarbones. Once the inhalation is complete, the breath is exhaled in three parts: first, from the top of the chest; second, from the mid-chest; and finally, from the abdomen. This cycle of breathing is repeated a number of times to provide increased oxygenation to the body, as well as to relax and restore.
Yoga Nidra
Deep Relaxation

Yoga nidra, which literally means ‘yoga sleep’. Yoga nidra is more commonly known as “Deep Relaxation,” or when performed at the end of a yoga session, “Final Relaxation.” This deeply calming experience can help us to integrate the benefits achieved during our yoga session, as well as let go off any areas where we may still be holding tension—whether that tension be physical, mental, emotional, or even spiritual. Nearly every yoga class concludes with a period of deep relaxation. Many yoga teachers believe that this is the most important part of a yoga practice. It provides the opportunity not only to integrate the benefits of our yoga session, but also to tune in to ourselves—a priceless benefit for the typical man suffering from the pressures of time constraints and societal demands.
There are many powerful ways of preparing for Deep Relaxation. We should try concluding our yoga practice session with this progressive relaxation exercise. While Deep Relaxation is frequently performed at the end of a yoga session, we can perform yoga nidra any time we are in need of relaxation, independent of practicing other yoga poses. Assuming yoga nidra when we come home from work can be deeply restorative.
Meditation
Meditation now forms an integral part of many well-recognized medical programs. Meditation helps us to enter the alpha state of brain wave activity, which is associated with relaxation and the reduction of stress. This, in turn, can help reduce blood pressure, heart rate and speed of breathing as well as promote healing.
The words ‘meditation’ and ‘medicine’ are both derived from the same Latin root word. Western medical research is only now validating what practitioners of yoga have known for thousands of years: Meditation can be good medicine—a powerful tool for healing body, minds and spirit.
Continue breathing in this manner for several minutes. Let the focus of your awareness be the breath. If your attention becomes distracted by other thoughts, just gently dismiss them and bring your awareness back to the breath. After a few minutes, slowly bring your awareness back to your body. Feel the energy flowing to your fingers and toes. With your eyes still closed, gently stretch your fingers and toes. Rub your hands together and cup the palms lightly over your eyes. Feel the warmth of your hands restoring and energizing you. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes. Keep your hands cupped over your eyes for a moment while you adjust to the light, and then slowly release your hands. Take a moment to notice any changes in how you feel or how you perceive your surroundings.
This basic meditation can help to make us feel more relaxed and centered. It can give us renewed energy and help us to think more clearly. It can be used to start our day, as a stress-buster during a busy day of work, or as a way of clearing mental debris at the end of a workday.
The greatest benefits of meditation will come with regular practice. Through meditation, the mind can become more centered and clear. This provides an ideal opportunity for us to access your deepest, inherent wisdom.
We should try meditating early in the morning if we can, after we’ve gotten up and done our morning ritual and before starting the workday. As we progress, we might also add a 15-minute period of meditation at the end of the workday to clear our mind of the clutter of thoughts and feelings that have accumulated during the morning and afternoon, and so restore ourselves as we prepare for our evening activities.
Steps and Instructions:
1. Find a quiet, clean, safe space for yourself. Make yourself comfortable.
2. Assume a comfortable position, sitting on a chair, or in any cross-legged position of your choice on the floor, spine erect but not rigid, hands softly resting on your knees or in your lap.
3. Close your eyes.
4. Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears, then down toward your feet to release any tension you may be feeling.
5. Now bring your awareness to the point just below your nostrils.
6. Focus on your breath. If possible, breathe in and out through your nose rather than your mouth: Breathing through the nose helps to filter, purify, and moisten the breath before it is distributed throughout the body.
7. On each inhalation, focus your awareness on the cool intake of air into your nostrils.
8. On each exhalation, feel the warm, moist outflow of breath from your nostrils.

1. M.D.( Kayachikitsa), IMS, BHU, Varanasi.
2. M.D.( Rachana sharir), IMS, BHU, Varanasi.
3. Prof., Deptt. of Kayachikitsa,
IMS, BHU.
 

 
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DAV's Ayurveda for Holistic Health
ISSN 2348-6910 Volume - 1 , Issue: 28 , September 2015

Home arrow Sep 2010 arrow Yoga cure for Hypertension

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President, DAV College Managing Committee,
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Asst. Director, Dayanand Ayurvedic College,
Jalandhar.
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