Come February and people start to think of Love. Our heart has always been a symbol of love and life. Probably there is no better time of the year than now to focus on our Heart Health! That’s where we present the “Yoga for Heart Health” article for you. With today’s changing lifestyle, there is no age factor for heart problems. The young generation is falling prey to many heart-related ailments, ranging from high blood pressure too high Cholesterol to even heart attacks. These changes are bound to happen due to unhealthy food, lack of exercise, irregular sleeping habits. However, if one wants, a lot can be done about it.
Yoga has proved since time immemorial that it comes with significant health benefits, including flexibility, calmness, weight control, increased level of energy and lots of advantage to one of the most important organs of our body – our Heart. The best part of Yoga is that there are no side effects, and you get a great feeling of peace and good health.
Yoga involves a series of postures (asanas) coupled with breathing (pranayama) that improves strength, balance, relaxation, suppleness and more. Practicing Yoga regularly brings a deeper awareness of the body and mind, allowing one to be more tuned to their own physical and mental health. Yoga helps improve Cardiovascular Health by increasing lung capacity, developing respiratory function and boosting blood circulation. Better quality of sleep with an improved heart rate is very helpful for a heart patient.
Yoga has a long list of benefits, let us look at the top three for our Heart Health.
1. Yoga encourages Physical Activity – Immobility is one major risk factor in developing heart disease. People who do Yoga are more likely to be more active in the day than others who do not. They also follow healthier eating habits and a healthier routine as the overall body-mind awareness increases. Yoga is less vigorous than many other types of exercises, hence it is also perfect for people who might not be keen for heavy exercise, and yet helps to boost muscle strength, balance, flexibility, etc.
2. Yoga manages Stress– Due to the focus on awareness of your breath and relaxation, Yoga plays an important role in reducing stress. Meditation if correctly done can help to keep the heart healthier by improving emotional and mental health. This is possible with mindfulness and greater awareness of breathing. Studies have also shown that there is a reduction in blood pressure with regular Yogic practices. One of the benefits of Yoga is the ability to relax the body and mind, and this, in turn, leads to better sleep quality.
3. Yoga as a Heart Booster – By decreasing stress levels, yoga helps to lower not only blood pressure but also blood cholesterol levels. Hence, the quality of life and heart health improves in the long run. Deep slow breathing which is encouraged in Yoga also has a similar effect. Yoga helps one to follow a healthier lifestyle by motivating to
exercise regularly. People tend to have a different perspective on life after practicing Yoga regularly. This, in turn, leads to a lifestyle change with a shift of goals from the material to the spiritual!
There are a lot of asanas in Yoga. Someone with a heart ailment needs to begin with simple asanas, slowly and gradually adding on asanas that need more stamina. Along with asanas, focus on breathing exercises and regular relaxation is equally important. One needs to learn to consciously relax for a healthy heart. As we see, Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind and has a lot of health benefits. However, it is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher. For a truly strong heart, along with Yoga certain lifestyle changes are also required.
Cultivating a loving, caring nature, letting go of strong likes and dislikes and correct management of emotions is helpful. Changes in the diet as advice must be followed for living a good life. An adequate amount of water in the day is important. Alcohol and smoking should be avoided. A more or less fixed routine with a good sleep pattern is also advisable for good heart health. Identify a hobby and keeping the mind occupied and happy helps good functioning of the heart.
All said and done, having faith in God is a must. We can keep on trying, but we need to leave the results to Him. We have to remember that just as the technique is Yoga, the final goal is also Yoga.