Yoga, with its combination of poses, breathing exercies and mediation techniques has been attracting people of all age groups thanks to its many health benefits.
The ancient practice has been gaining popularity not only as a fitness and wellness regime but also as an adjunct therapy in treating many health disorders from arthritis to heart disease.
The scientific benefits of Yoga have been acknowledged by several health studies. Yoga improves circulation of blood and oxygen in the body. It is also know to thin the blood which can decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke as they are often caused by blood clots, according to International Journal of Yoga (IJOY).
It also increases blood flow and levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells which allows for more oxygen to reach the body cells, enhancing their function, according to IJOY. Many studies have proved that yoga can lower the resting heart rate and can reduce the risk of heart attack.
“A regular practice of yoga keeps the mind and the heart lighter and stress-free. The results of having elevated cortisol levels caused by stress can lead to an increase in sugar and blood pressure levels which strains the heart. Therefore, it is very important to keep the body and mind stress-free,” says Yoga expert Grand Master Akshar.
Besides there are meditation and breath awareness techniques that can help relax the mind like Swaas Dhyan.
Grand Master Akshar suggests some mudras that can improve heart health:
Hridaya Mudra (Sanjeevani Mudra)
Hridaya Mudra is also called as Mritsanjeevani Mudra. Regular practice of this mudra reduces the chance of a heart attack if one doesn’t suffer from an existing heart ailment, according to the yoga expert.
For this mudra, sit down in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths and focus on your breathing process. Place both your hands on your knees and the palms should be facing the sky. Now bend the index finger of your hand and put it in the root of the thumb and touch the first tip of the middle and ring finger with the first tip of the thumb and press it lightly. The rest of the little finger should be kept extended as much as possible.
For this mudra, sit in a comfortable position and join the tips of the ring finger and little finger with that of the thumb. Keep all other fingers straight.
Breathe in and exhale for some time. If the condition is chronic, hold this mudra once in the morning and once in the evening for 15 minutes.
To practice this, first bring the palms to face one another a few inches apart. Bring the finger tips and thumbs of both hands together, allowing them to maintain light contact. The hands can also be raised to the level of the third-eye chakra, in the center of the forehead. Breathe through the nostrils, and place the tongue against the roof of the mouth with each inhalation, and relaxed with each exhalation.
Yogasanas and Pranayama for heart health
“The practice of Surya and Chandra Namaskar is recommended regularly. These flows can be great for keeping the heart healthy. Chandra Namaskar impacts the Ida Nadi or the lunar channel of the body and is considered as an effective heart-opener. Perform this sequence early in the morning or in the evenings at least thrice a week. Pranayama techniques like Bhastrika and Brahmari can also help you to protect your heart and delay or prevent any cardiovascular related disorders,” says Grand Master Akshar.