Dec 06 , 2019
So you want to know the best Pranayama for High Blood Pressure.
Hypertension or High Blood Pressure (BP) is a common condition in present times. It is a silent killer. Poor lifestyle and stress are the usual culprits that cause a rise in blood pressure levels. So, naturally, the treatment of hypertension also lies in maintaining a healthy mind and body. Meditation and physical exercises are often recommended as the best ways to reduce blood pressure levels. But by doing simple pranayama or deep breathing exercises, you can drastically cut down your hypertension.
What is Pranayama?
“Pranayama” is the Sanskrit word for the activity of channelizing energy. It is a kind of breathing exercise that involves slow and relaxing air circulation. Regular meditative pranayama are most beneficial for hypertense patients.
How Does Pranayama Control Hypertension?
While performing a pranayama, all of mind’s attention is directed on the breathing cycle. Simultaneously, healing energy is transferred to every part of the body. It is the calming effect of the exercise that reduces mental stress and regulates high blood pressure. There are different types of pranayama that energise as well as cool your body.
1. Chandrabhedan Pranayama
This yoga stance has many benefits for the body. It produces a cooling effect and brings down the blood pressure, acidity and heartburn sensations.
Steps to do it:
- Sit comfortably on a yoga mat and cross your legs.
- Keep your spine erect, relax your shoulders and close your eyes.
- Keep the thumb of your right hand on your right nostril.
- Rest the left hand on your left knee with palm facing the ceiling.
- Now close the right nostril with right thumb and inhale through the left nostril.
- Close the left nostril with your index and middle fingers.
- Exhale through the right nostril.
- This completes one round of Chandrabhedan pranayama.
- Repeat with the first step to complete 15-20 rounds.
2. Sheetali Pranayama
The calming effect of Sheetali Pranayama exceeds all others. It can drastically reduce body heat and soothe the mental system. It curbs high blood pressure levels by checking the tonsillitis, indigestion and eye or skin irritation troubles.
Steps to do it:
- Sit cross legged on a yoga mat comfortably and close your eyes.
- Keep your back straight and keep your body relaxed.
- Put your tongue on your lower lip and roll your tongue.
- Inhale through your mouth and hold your breath as long as you can.
- Close your mouth and exhale through the nose.
- This completes one round of Sheetali pranayama.
- You can do 5 rounds initially and go upto 15 rounds with regular practice.
3. Anulom Vilom Pranayama
It is the most famously known type of pranayama with multiple benefits. It directly heals the nervous system and increases the air assimilation capacity of lungs. Thus, it can treat hypertension, depression, migraine, asthma etc. effectively.
Steps to do it:
- Sit comfortably on a flat surface with your legs in a crossed position.
- Keep your spine straight and relax your shoulders.
- Keep your left hand on the left knee with palm facing the ceiling.
- Close your eyes and inhale deeply.
- Close your right nostril with right thumb and exhale through the left nostril.
- Now keeping the right nostril closed with your thumb, inhale through the left nostril.
- Now close the left nostril with ring finger and exhale through the right nostril.
- Inhale through the right nostril while keeping the left nostril closed.
- Exhale through the left nostril while keeping the right nostril closed.
- This completes one round of Anulom Vilom pranayama.
- You can do 11 rounds daily twice a day to relieve high blood pressure.
4. Udgeeth Pranayama
The primary benefit of this pranayama is improved mental health. Doing udgeeth breathing exercise regularly can increase the concentration capacity, mental stability and sleep-wake cycle of individuals. Since it treats anxiety, it can treat hypertension and poor memory as well.
Steps to do it:
- Sit comfortably with crossed legs on a flat surface.
- Take a slow, long and deep breath.
- While exhaling slowly chant ‘Om’ stretching it as long as you can.
- Repeat for 5 minutes and relax with your eyes closed.
5. Bhramari Pranayama
All kinds of throat and vocal chord problems like voice quality can be alleviated by doing this exercise. But it also calms the nerves and increases concentration levels. Thus, it can lower stress and hypertension to considerable levels.
Pic credit: 2.bp.blogspot.com
Steps to do it:
- Sit comfortably on a flat surface with your legs crossed.
- Keep your back straight, body relaxed and close your eyes.
- Close your ears with your index fingers.
- Take a deep breath in and hold it for a few seconds.
- While exhaling making a humming sound like a bee with your mouth closed (pronounce an elongated ‘hhmmmm’ ).
- Inhale deeply, hold the breath for some time and repeat the humming while exhaling.
- Repeat for 2-3 minutes and relax with your eyes closed for a few minutes.
6. Sheetkari Pranayama
This physical exercise is relatively more unique. It can cool down the body and help the mind to relax. In addition, it also lowers hypertension and strengthens the gums and teeth.
Steps to do it:
- Sit comfortably in a cross legged position on flat surface.
- Keep both your hands on the knees with palms facing the ceiling.
- Keep your back straight, relax your shoulders and close your eyes.
- Join your upper and lower teeth together.
- Put the tip of your tongue against the front teeth.
- Let the rest of your tongue touch the palate inside the mouth.
- Now part your lips and suck in a deep breath though the teeth with a chilling sound.
- Close your mouth and hold the breath as long as you can.
- Now exhale through your nostrils, completing one round of Sheetkari pranayama.
- Repeat 5 times and increase the count with daily practice.
Points to Remember
Pranayama must be performed under supervision. The regulations of yoga exercises must be followed even during a regular pranayama session.
1. Surrounding Specifications
- It must be performed in a clean, dust and pet free environment.
- The area must be quiet with least possible distractions to make oneself relaxed.
- Early hours of dawn are the best time to practice pranayama and breathe fresh air.
2. Personal Precautions
- Pranayama must not be done on a heavy stomach. A minimum gap of 2.5 to 3 hours is mandatory between pranayama and meals.
- Breathing must be gradual and slow in order to fill up the lungs completely.
- One can sit on a chair or sofa to do the breathing exercises. But it must be ensured that the body is not tense and the backbone is straight at all times.
- After conclusion of each pranayama, one must take a one to two minutes pause by keeping the eyes closed and unwinding the body.
- Discipline and regularity are the key to gaining maximum benefit from pranayama.
- Low blood pressure patients must not perform pranayama without consulting a trained yoga practitioner.
Practise different forms of deep breathing exercises on a regular basis and experience the difference it makes to your health. When are you planning to start with pranayama?
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