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Yoga Each Day Can Keep High Blood Pressure at Bay

New research indicates that practicing yoga may help prevent patients from developing hypertension.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 75 million adults in the US have high blood pressure. An additional 1 in 3 have “prehypertension”, or higher than normal blood pressure which can progress to hypertension.

High blood pressure is defined as having a systolic (top number) reading of greater than 140 and a diastolic (bottom number) reading of greater than 90. Prehypertension is 120-139 systolic and 80-89 diastolic.

Lifestyle changes are most often recommended for those with prehypertension, such as improving the diet, getting more exercise, quitting smoking, and losing excess weight.

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Additionally, new research from India suggests that adopting an hour-a-day practice of hatha yoga is also beneficial for those with prehypertension. In a study of 60 patients, Dr. Ashutosh Angrish, a cardiologist at Sir Gangaram Hospital in Delhi, found that those who added yoga practice to other positive lifestyle changes over a three-month time period experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure readings.

Even small reductions in blood pressure “could be clinically very meaningful, because even a 2 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure has the potential to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by 6 percent and the risk of stroke and transient ischemic attack by 15%,” says Dr. Angrish.

Most forms of yoga in the West can be classified as Hatha Yoga. Hatha simply refers to the practice of physical yoga postures. Hatha practices are designed to align and calm your body, mind, and spirit in preparation for meditation.

Reference: European Journal of Cardiology
Photo Credit: By Portobellostreet - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons