It is a popular proverb “how flexible the body is; shows how healthy the heart and arteries are.”
There is a simple way to measure body flexibility. Sit on the floor with your back against the wall, legs extended, and then lean forward and see how far you can reach with your arms toward your feet. The further, the better. It’s called the sit and reach test.
So if you are flexible enough to touch your toes; you are at best of your health.
But it never means that you should be worried if you are not reaching there; just be a little careful!!!
Our heart works 24 hours for maintaining proper supply of oxygen and other nutrients via blood. Along with this; it is also responsible for clearing out CO2 and other metabolic wastes from each and every part of the body. Even when we are having a restful sleep. Our heart continues to work. Without proper working of heart we can not even imagine about the our existence. So it becomes very important to take care of heart and regularly monitoring its working.
Need of Yoga Asanas for Cardiac Health
Nowadays we are having much better health services. Health budget is every time high and increasing every now and then. So we should expect that we should live a healthier life than our ancestors. But things are in opposite mode. Life expectancy might have increased but simultaneously there is also increased level of suffering for man kind. Means some thing is going wrong.
We are living a lifestyle which is very harmful for the cardiac health. The main lifestyle related factor which is proving hazardous for heart is physical inactivity. It is resulting in high blood pressure, high level of bad fats and low level of good fats, extra weight and diabetes. Another factor which is also very harmful for heart is stress. Stress does the same what physical inactivity is doing. It increases the blood pressure and the blood sugar level.
So now the question is; is there any way which can reverse the effect of modern lifestyle and improve health of heart. The answer lies in regular practice of Yoga Asanas, Pranayama and Meditation for heart. The most distinctive benefit of Yoga for Heart is that it can be practiced by an individual who is already suffering from any heart disease where the exercises are totally avoided (as exercises increase the blood pressure which might result in life threatening consequences while Yoga for heart does the reverse i.e. even though it increases the basic metabolic rate of the body; it remarkably reduces the blood pressure)
Benefits of Yoga in Cardiac Health
Regular practice of Yoga for Heart improves health of heart in following way:
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Improve symptoms of heart failure
- Ease heart palpitations through controlled breathing
- Enhance cardiac rehabilitation
- Lower cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and stress hormones
- Improve balance, reduce falls, ease arthritis, and improve breathing for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Boost immune system
Getting into the various postures during a yoga session for Heart gently exercises the muscles. Anything that works on muscles is good for heart and blood vessels. Activity also helps muscles become more sensitive to insulin, which is important for controlling blood sugar. The deep-breathing exercises help slow the breathing rate. Taking fewer but deeper breaths each minute lowers blood pressure and calms the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for generating stress hormones. The postures and deep breathing offer a kind of physical meditation that focuses and clears the mind.
Yoga for heart helps burn cholesterol and extra fat and thus relieves the heart from extra work. Overweight and obesity cause problems to heart that can be easily avoided.
Yoga for heart is also especially beneficial for you if you have problems with nervousness and anxiety. When you are anxious and afraid, your heart starts beating faster. If this happens too often, it becomes a problem and can be too much for heart. Yoga for heart helps to control and regulate heart beat. You manage to remain calm even in difficult situations and thus save heart from unnecessary stress.
Beneficial Yoga for Heart
There are several poses that can be practiced regularly in order to improve the health of heart. These Asanas also improve the circulation of blood to every part of the body and strengthen the heart muscle. Virbhadrasana and Paschimottanasana promote cardiovascular exercise, and prompt you to breathe strategically and adequately. This helps you to increase your stamina, which gives you more energy to complete your daily activities and allow your heart to pump blood through the body quicker.
This will help the body to replenish itself quicker, and can even help you to sleep better. Tadasana, Vrukshasana, and Padmasana not only work to strengthen the heart, but can be used to increase flexibility, which can prevent muscle cramping in the future. Vajrasana and Pavanamuktasana improve the working of the digestive system. Once the digestive fire is ignited properly it will stimulate the metabolism at cellular level and help in reducing bad fats from the body. Savasana calms the body down physically as well as psychologically and alleviate the effect of stress. Sarvangasana and Surya Namaskar are too much exertional to be practiced independently.
Beneficial Pranayama for Heart:
Nadi Shodhana and Ujjayi Pranayama should be practiced regular to maintain the heart working properly.
You should join a Yoga class for Heart and practice Yoga for heart under supervision of a Yoga expert only.