Yoga can reduce blood pressure but know your body’s injury potential


A clinical study led by holistic researchers in Florida Atlantic University,Boca Raton,studied the effects of yoga on hypertensive patients in Thailand. You may click here to read the 2005 article published in the journal, Holistic Nurse Practice in 2005. The researchers, Ruth McCaffrey, Pratum Ruknui, Urai Hatthakit, Payao Kasetsomboon, studied a group of hypertensive patients in Thailand, both male and female, to determine the effectiveness of a yoga program on hypertensiion and stress. They concluded that the experimental group showed significantly decreased mean stress scores and blood pressure, heart rate, and body mass index levels compared with the control group.

High blood pressure is when your blood pressure is usually higher than it should be. It is also called hypertension.. If your blood pressure is not lowered, there is risk for damage to your eyes, brain, heart, blood vessels, and kidneys. Talk to your doctor. Ask if you are at risk for having high blood pressure.

This study is easy to test on yourself.
Borrow or buy a blood pressure monitor. They are very small and portable. Make two charts. On one write no yoga. On the other write with yoga. On both write headings for the following columns:
1) Activity
2) Food or drink
3) Stressful event
4) Exciting or sad event
5) Date
6) Time
7) Blood pressure Diastolic
8) Blood pressure Systolic
9) Pulse

Now, simply measue your own blood pressure every two hours. Note, if you exercised or walked the dog or cooked or shopped. Especially important to note if you met friends, colleagues or aquaintances
Note under food if you had a meal or a coffee (which has caffeine) or tea (herbal or regular) or water or salty or sugary snacks or fruit/ vegetable snack
Note all the other self explanatory columns

Next day, follow a supervised hypertension yoga program. Measure your own blood pressure at the same times as on the day with no yoga. Try to follow the same routine and eat the same meals and drink the same drinks. For people with diabetes or kidney disease, blood pressure lower than 130/80 is good. Lower than 120/80 is ideal. For the average individual blood pressure lower than or equal to 120/80 is ideal.

Compare the results of your own two charts; one with yoga and one after just a single supervised hypertension yoga program. Make your own conclusions for your own body.

Keep in mind that no two people are alike.
You are a unique individual. Read how to avoid sports related injuries by clicking here. Yoga was never meant to be a sport. It is a reverant, spiritual, slow breathing, stretching, restfull, practically no impact routine. Poorly trained, irresponsible, irreverant individuals who call themselves yoga teachers with little knowledge of yoga and the purpose it serves, are hurting yoga enthusiasts. Avoid them. Find the right yoga teacher. What works for you may not necessarily work for your neighbor or best friend or a relative. Your genes are your own unique signature and dictate how you respond to stress and being around people you like or dislike. If you enjoy shopping for groceries while your friend finds vacuuming relaxing which stresses you out, then the two activity charts will record different results for such people.

Invest in research on effectiveness of yoga on your own hypertension
Yoga may easily serve one level of stress. However, to conclude if yoga will reduce the levels of daily stress in your personal routine, invest in the research on the effectiveness of yoga on your own hypertension. You deserve it. Go on. Take the step. Also, you might need two yoga routines a day instead of doing it all at one time. Discuss with your yoga supervisor. If your research shows that you are hypertensive at 2 pm daily, then enquire if is there a short routine that you could personally follow that might ease your stress levels. It might do you wonders by keeping an extra yoga mat in your office. Simply lay it down and do a routine for 5 minutes. Measure your blood pressure with or without yoga at same time in the office over two days at the time when the stressful event occurs daily. Perhaps, your boss walks in at the same time everyday to chat with you. If that stresses you out daily at the same time, measure your blood pressure one day right after the boss leaves. Next day, lay down the yoga mat and do a short yoga routine discussed with your yoga supervisor. Measure your blood pressure. Did the yoga help you?

Can yoga cause injuries?
There have been several recent reports on yoga related injuries. Listen to your body. Go to three different teachers before choosing one. The following articles cover yoga related injuries very well. Read them well before trusting any yoga teacher. The first one is the most important.
1) Top 10 Sports – Related injuries and yoga poses to avoid them
A must read
2)How yoga can wreck your body by NY Times
3)Practising safe yoga – 5 tips to avoid injuries by Huffington Post

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