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Posts Tagged ‘hypertension and yoga’

The science on the mind-body approach to hypertension has been summed up in the February 18, 2018 newsletter by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

A 2010 review of 36 randomized trials on biofeedback as a treatment for hypertension found that there was no convincing evidence that it was a superior to medications, placebos, no intervention, or other behavioral therapies.

A 2013 review of studies on Transcendental Meditation (TM) indicates that it may have a modest reduction in hypertension. How does TM fare compared to other forms of meditations? There have been no head-to-head studies.

A 2014 review of studies: Compared with exercise, no evidence was found for effects of yoga on systolic or diastolic blood pressure. It cautioned that people with high blood pressure may need to modify or avoid certain (unspecified) yoga poses.

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Mahasri Yoga is now on You Tube. Certain breathing practices help significantly with hypertension. It is hoped that the following two audio tracks in English and Gujarati recently uploaded on You Tube will be helpful and enjoyable:

Mahasri Yoga: Pranayama-Body Stillness (English)

Mahasri Yoga: Pranayama-Body Stillness (Gujarati)

Dealing with hypertension in its early stages, using yoga and breath awareness, is much easier than when it progresses extensively. Prevention is better than cure. These are simple, effective, basic practices used before starting the more familiar pranayamas.

As stated on www.mahasriyoga.com/pranayama:

“The first step to having an effective pranayama practice or meditation practice is learning to use the breath to still and calm the body. As long as the body is restless or tense, the mind is drawn to the body and distracted by it. Making any progress in pranayama is difficult in the agitated or distracted state.

Conscious breathing, used to become aware of the physical body, will allow you to stop running ragged with the mind and emotions. It gives you a way to slow down, to stop. When you breathe in, know that you breathe in. When you breathe out, know that you breathe out. Without your attention, your awareness, the emotions run out of energy and slow down. With the awareness focused on the breath and body instead of on thoughts, the mind becomes still, the body calm.

A still body, not a sleeping body, tends to increase attention span and pacify a restless mind. A restless body can be a reflection of a scattered and unfocused mind. This practice will help the body become still and quiet, the mind more focused. It is also effective in releasing stress and pain.”

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