Ways Yoga Promotes Heart Health

Yoga is acclaimed for it’s holistic health benefits. This ancient discipline also does wonders for our heart health.
We often read worrying statistics showing heart attacks occurring at a younger and younger age and twice as often in men than in women. Men should be wise and jump onto the yoga bandwagon. If they don’t have a studio close by or their work schedule is erratic they must enroll in Online Yoga Classes for Men, and work at reducing bad cholesterol levels and improve overall good heart function.

Listed below are some interesting facts on how yoga impacts the health of the heart.

1- Less Stress

The regular practice of Yogic Pranayama or breathing techniques along with asanas, or physical postures, helps unravel the knots of chronic stress lodged in the body and mind that significantly boosts heart health. When one has high stress levels, these knots of tension build up and our bodies experience anxiety, increased heart rates and triggered inflammation in the cardiovascular system. To counteract these negative states, yoga techniques such as pranayama, meditation and the practice of mindfulness reduce stress hormones like cortisol and lower the risk of heart disease.

2- Strong Circulation

Its the job of the heart muscle to keep pumping steadily and sending oxygenated blood circulating though the entire body. The overall yoga practice of static postures and flowing vinyasas leads to a strong circulatory flow. Any sluggishness in the system is alleviated. This boosts the cardiac system.

3- Strengthening The Heart Muscle

Different postures engage different muscle groups. Poses like Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) and Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana) expand the chest muscles and encourage deep breathing. They also stretch the heart muscle thereby enhancing its efficiency.

4- Cardiac Workout.

The heart muscle should get a strong workout thrice a week. Dynamic Yogic sequences such as the Sun Salutation and the Vinyasa flows where one is moving and transitioning continuously from pose to pose, contribute to cardiovascular fitness and endurance. During the performance of these, the heart is working little faster than normal for a stretch of time. It’s important to keep this movement continuous, (faster pumping of the heart muscle) for somewhere between twenty to forty minutes, depending on one’s age and fitness level. This cardiac workout can be achieved via running, jogging and various sports as well.

5- The magic of inversions

When we turn the body upside down in inverted yogic postures such as Sarvanghasana (Shoulderstand), Handstand and Sirshasana (Headstand), then gravity is favouring the heart and deoxygenated blood flows down, back to the heart with the force of gravity and the heart does not have to work so hard for venous return for a few minutes. This short break is a vary valuable rest for the heart, which works relentlessly day and night.

6- Blood Pressure Management

Yogic Pranayama includes one magical breathing exercise called ‘Anuloma Viloma’ or ‘Alternate nostril breathing’ which balances both hemispheres of the brain. If this is practiced seriously, regularly and for a good stretch of time in each sitting (fifteen minutes to forty minutes) then one can lower elevated levels of blood pressure.

7- The Role Of ‘Mudras’ In Heart Health

‘Mudras’ are a mysterious but very powerful yoga practice. It involves hand gestures where we arrange the fingertips and thumb tips in different ways to achieve certain health benefits. ‘Mudras’ are based on the science of the elements, which human beings are composed of. Our fingers and thumbs represent these five elements of nature and by manipulating them we can increase or decrease these elements within us, to affect the required changes. The ‘Apana Vayu Mudra’ or the ‘Mritya Sanjeevani Mudra, also referred to as the ‘Heart Mudra’ is supposed to be a very potent Mudra, with many benefits for the heart. It is believed that performing this ‘Mudra’ even during a heart attack can arrest the attack and save our life.

8- Burning Calories

Many exercise systems including yoga will help burn excess calories. Keeping our body light is the best gift we can give our heart because it does not have to carry the load of so much bulky fat. Extra weight strains the heart that much more for every action required, be it walking, running, moving about. In a slim light body, the blood circulates smoothly, the heart is not stressed.

9- Hormonal Balance

Although weight loss can be achieved through various exercise systems, balancing one’s endocrine or hormonal glands is feasible only through yoga. The pressure that we put on these glands, the massage that they receive through a series of postures and ‘bandhas’ (yogic locks) helps to get them working from a place of balance. When the powerful hormonal system is functioning well, there is least strain on the heart and the body can function from a place of ease.

Correcting arrhythmias of the Heart

A systematic practice of a combination of many breathing exercises help people whose heart has slipped into beating in different incorrect rhythms. Sometimes people experience skipping of heartbeats, other suffer from palpitations, where the heart begins racing for a while. ‘Deergha Swasam’ or Conscious deep breathing, breathing at different rhythmic counts and alternate nostril breathing are some of the very effective breathing techniques to settle these conditions.

10- Meditation

Meditating on the ‘Anahata Chakra’ or the heart center is a subtle but powerful way to bolster the strength of the physical heart. Yoga explains us that the heart muscle on the physical level and the heart chakra in the body of energy are connected and they feed and supply each with health and strength. We should use this deep knowledge wisely.

Scroll to Top

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.