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Archive for the ‘yoga for heart health’ Category

According to a June 24, 2011 article “Yoga Protects the Brain from Depression” in the British newspaper The Telegraph, those who practice hatha yoga three times a week have higher levels of the amino acid GABA. This amino acid is essential for a calm state of mind and helps ward off depression, according to the article.

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A  study written up in US News on April 2, 2011 (and Huffington Post) indicates that a combination of asana, pranyama, and some form of meditation may be helpful in reducing the incidence of irregular heart or atrial fibrillation.

For gentle physical movements of asana, readers can refer to www.mahasriyoga.com/asana. Chair yoga is particularly beneficial for seniors. Gentle breathing practices of pranayama to reduce anxiety and help reduce blood pressure are under www.mahasriyoga.com/pranayama (click on Download Practice Tracks). The website also has guided meditation tracks for Yoga Nidra and Candle Flame Trataka under www.mahasriyoga.com/meditation (click on Download Yoga Nidra and Meditation tracks).

Everything you need from yoga, as one of many tools, toward heart health is available on the website. Always keep in mind that yoga is never a substitute for medical care.

So many of you have already experienced first-hand the benefits of a balanced yoga practice (that includes asana, pranayama, and meditation) toward lowering blood pressure.

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A small but promising body of research suggests that yoga’s combination of stretching, gentle activity, breathing, and mindfulness may have special benefits for people with cardiovascular disease. This body of work suggests that yoga may

• reduce high blood pressure
• improve symptoms of heart failure
• ease palpitations
• 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.

For more, read this May 10, 2011 Health Beat, a Harvard Health Newsletter.

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