Hot Yoga Benefits and Best Practices for High Blood Pressure

Hot Yoga Benefits and Best Practices for High Blood Pressure'

Hot yoga is the gentlest form of physical, mental, and spiritual exercise. It cleanses the mind and body of harmful toxins by making the body sweat in controlled temperature settings of 40 degrees Celsius or above. It also regulates the emotions and boosts emotional well-being and positivity. Hot yoga not only improves overall health but also helps treat specific health concerns, and hypertension (high blood pressure) is at the top of the list.

Hypertension is a silent killer. It attacks the body without any apparent signs and exposes it to numerous other diseases and complications. When the pressure of blood against the walls of vessels rises, it is called high blood pressure. Occasional high blood pressure can be managed with limited care. However, if it occurs more frequently, it means the person suffers from hypertension and needs to manage the condition more carefully.

Taking medication for hypertension is inevitable. However, your body will develop resistance against a particular medicine, and you will need to upgrade it. Exercising to improve your lifestyle is too late at this point, as it will only raise your blood pressure. The question here is if hot yoga is really good for high blood pressure or hypertension.

Give an in-depth read to this article to find the connection between hot yoga and high blood pressure and follow the recommendations to manage the condition smoothly.

Common Triggers of High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Hypertension is a condition common in people over the age of sixty-five years and overweight. However, these are not the ultimate conditions. The prevalence of a few triggers and risk factors can increase the chances of this health issue. The most common triggers of hypertension you must know include:

  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking and drinking habits
  • Stressful life conditions
  • Family history of hypertension
  • Lack of physical activity and exercise
  • Increased intake of salt in food

How Does Hot Yoga Impact Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition that is caused when blood pushes against the walls of blood vessels and arteries at high pressure. Lack of any activity or exercise can make the arteries narrow. High blood pressure can further damage the arteries, cause various health complications, and even lead to death.

Indulging yourself in strenuous physical exercise can accelerate your breathing rate and make the heart pump blood faster. It will further increase the pressure on the vessels and invite health complications. Hot yoga has a positive impact on high blood pressure and helps bring it down to a normal level.

Hot yoga limits exertion, lowers the heart rate, and improves breathing, all of which contribute to smooth blood circulation. It also boosts the flexibility and health of arteries and enables them to better sustain the blood pressure. Let’s get into the details of this blog if you are interested in exploring the benefits of hot yoga for high blood pressure and suitable poses to achieve the goal.

Top 4 Benefits of Hot Yoga for High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure can get high at any time, given the stressful and other required conditions. However, hypertension is a condition that develops gradually due to the frequent occurrence of high blood pressure.

Hypertension often proves a silent killer as it has no apparent symptoms but can cause stroke and compromise the functioning of the heart, kidneys, and other vital organs. A scientific study has highlighted a drop from 126 mmHg to 121 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 82 mmHg to 79 mmHg in diastolic pressure after a regular yoga practice of twelve weeks.

Hot yoga is the most beneficial practice for hypertension, as it can help you notice an improvement in numbers with consistent practice. If you start hot yoga practice in the early stages of hypertension, you can ensure overall improvement without taking any medication.

Common benefits of hot yoga practice for high blood pressure people include the following:

1. Gentle Exercise

Hot yoga is a gentle exercise that does not put much strain on the body and aids with hypertension. Other types of exercises include rigorous workouts, which increase the heart rate and blood pressure. Hot yoga offers some restorative poses people can practice in controlled temperature settings. It helps them keep the body relaxed and comfortable and gradually lowers high blood pressure. Patients of hypertension join a hot yoga studio to practice gentle exercise in controlled temperature settings and secure positive outcomes.

2. Reduces Stress

Hot yoga reduces stress levels, which further aids with controlling and managing hypertension. Stress and anxiety significantly contribute to high blood pressure, and people face a hard time controlling them. Hot yoga practice allows people to meditate and practice breathing exercises along with yoga poses in controlled temperature settings. Regulating breathing practices reduces stress levels and makes people more calm and composed. Regular practice offers significant improvement in hypertension.

3. Makes Arteries Flexible

Hot yoga practice makes the arteries flexible, which significantly lowers hypertension. The controlled temperature settings of hot yoga allow practitioners to explore the flexibility of their bodies. The humid and moist settings hinder any stiffness in the body and boost flexibility. The flexibility of the body strengthens the arteries and makes them flexible, too. The flexible arteries are better able to handle the high blood pressure against their walls.

4. Regulates Breathing

Hot yoga regulates breathing, which is the last benefit of hypertension. Not many people breathe properly. They just take in limited oxygen, which is necessary for survival only. On the contrary, hot yoga practice and poses facilitate deep breathing. People breathe in more oxygen and ensure it reaches all the organs sufficiently. More oxygen in the blood boosts the functioning of organs and heart health and keeps the blood pressure in check, too.

Now that you know the benefits of hot yoga practice for hypertension, you must learn about the specific poses that can facilitate it.

Top 8 Yoga Poses to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Relaxation is the key to reducing high blood pressure. However, sitting straight while doing nothing may not help with it. You need to indulge yourself in relaxing yoga poses to divert and calm your mind of the unintentional yet never-ending worries. You can add effective yoga poses to your routine to treat hypertension gradually.

Practice following hot yoga poses when you have high blood pressure and notice the change they bring.

1. Bridge Pose

The bridge yoga pose calms the mind and opens the lungs, which treats hypertension. The pose also offers a deep stretch to the neck, chest, and spine. It also strengthens the core, glutes, and hamstrings. Due to all the stretching and strengthening involved, it is tricky to practice on your own. Joining YOFIT hot yoga classes in Dubai offers the edge of learning poses from experts and practicing with perfection.

Lie flat on the floor if you want to practice bridge pose on your own. Bend your knees and put the sole of your feet on the ground while maintaining a comfortable distance between them. Stretch your arms along the sides of your body. Lift your hips and spine off the ground while pressing your shoulder and head into the ground. Avoid overdoing it if it feels uncomfortable.

2. Corpse Pose

The corpse yoga pose is the favorite pose of even those who know nothing about yoga, as it only requires you to lie flat on the floor. Lying down straight and comfortably helps reduce high blood pressure, and the corpse yoga pose only facilitates it more. It helps the body relax by relieving it of stress and fatigue. It also calms the mind from racing thoughts, which soothes hypertension.

Lie flat on the floor to start your practice for the corpse yoga pose. Keep your legs straight and stretch the arms along the sides of the body. Avoid joining your legs and feet, as it will trap unnecessary stress. Maintain a comfortable distance between them and let yourself relax. Release your shoulders comfortably and tuck in your chin. Stay in the position for ten to twenty minutes.

3. Easy Pose

Easy yoga pose is one of the best yoga poses to reduce high blood pressure. Though the pose is easy to practice, the term easy pose means “with ease.” It regulates breathing, aids meditation, and has calming and relaxing impacts on the mind and body. The pose requires sitting on the floor. If you are uncomfortable with it, you can use props like blankets, yoga blocks, or towels.

Sit on the floor in a comfortable cross-legged position. Avoid lowering your knees to the ground level and balance your weight on your sit bones perfectly. Stretch your upper body so your spine, shoulders, and head are aligned. Rest your palms on the thighs. Let your spine rise while inhaling and drop it during exhalations. Repeat the practice a few times before getting out of the pose.

4. Child Pose

Child pose regulates blood circulation and offers instant relaxation. It makes you feel lighter and calm as a child, thus named so. The pose specifically helps reduce high blood pressure by calming down the mind and regulating breathing. It is easy even for beginners and does not put much strain on the body. Due to this, you can easily practice it when your blood pressure starts getting high.

Sit on your knees on the floor to get started with the child yoga pose. Keep a little gap between your knees while joining your toes. Straighten your upper body while paying attention to the spine, shoulders, and head. Raise your arms straight in the air. After that, move your upper body towards the torso, place your raised arms above the head, and your forehead on the floor. Stay in the position for a few minutes and repeat the movement a few times.

5. Legs Up the Wall Pose

Did you ever hang your legs up the wall during your childhood while playing? If yes, it means you practiced yoga and are familiar with the pose. Legs up the wall pose specifically stretches the hamstrings, pelvis, and glutes. It also stretches the muscles supporting the spine and hips, thus offering an instant feeling of relaxation and calming down the practitioner.

Legs up the wall is one of the easiest poses you can practice independently. Lie beside a wall to get started with the pose. Gently move your legs up the wall and rotate the upper body away from it so the wall is in front of you. Lift your hips from the ground and ensure your lower body hangs along the wall. Rest your arms and head on the floor and focus on your breath.

6. Bound Angle Pose

Regulating blood circulation during high blood pressure is extremely crucial to bring it down. Indulging in strenuous and exhausting activities will only worsen the condition. Bound angle yoga poses target the adductor muscles, strengthen them, and specifically aid with blood circulation. It also helps the body relax and keeps the exertion at a minimum level.

Sit on the floor while folding the knees on the sides and bringing your feet in front of you to get started with the pose. Place your feet in such a way that their sole are joined. You can place blankets or blocks under your knees for added support. You can also hold your feet with your hands to maintain the position and balance. Stretch your spine on inhales and drop it on exhales. Continue the practice for a few minutes and get out of the pose.

7. Lotus Pose

Relaxing and calming the mind can help manage high blood pressure efficiently. Sitting idle does not mean you are relaxing. You need to indulge yourself in relaxing activities to secure the outcome. The lotus yoga pose is the best relaxing pose you can practice when your blood pressure is high. It can reduce stress, help you relax, and calm the mind without any unnecessary exertion.

Sit cross-legged on the floor to get started with the lotus pose practice. Instead of resting your feet under the thighs in a cross-legged position, fold them on the upper side and press into your thighs. Stretch your spine, keep your head straight, and place your hands in your palm. Pay attention to your breathing patterns and stay in the pose for as long as you feel comfortable.

8. Cobra Pose

The cobra yoga pose improves oxygen intake, which boosts blood pumping and reduces pressure. High blood pressure can damage the arteries and hinder proper blood circulation. Cobra pose aids with that, too, and helps regulate blood circulation and pressure. The pose also strengthens the back muscles and improves heart health, so you can practice it regularly.

Lie flat on your stomach to get started with the cobra pose. Maintain a balanced distance between your feet and legs. Bend your elbows slightly and bring your palms below your shoulder blades. Lift your face and chest up the floor while pressing your palms into the floor. Press your stomach and lower body into the floor while elongating the spine. Focus on breathing and repeat the pose a few times.

6 Yoga Poses to Avoid During High Blood Pressure

Yoga is generally a beneficial practice that strengthens the muscles, tones the body, and resolves numerous other concerns. However, in some scenarios, it can prove more harmful than beneficial, and hypertension is one of them. Practicing yoga or hot yoga with high blood pressure is not completely disadvantageous, but some specific poses can prove so.

Yoga also involves some strenuous and overly exerting poses, which may hinder relaxation and make the blood pressure even higher. Avoiding specific poses when your blood pressure is high is recommended. However, you must refrain from yoga inversions at all times if you suffer from hypertension.

Here are the yoga poses you must never practice when your blood pressure is high, as they can worsen the situation.

1. Headstand

Headstand is the basic yoga pose to avoid during high blood pressure. The pose requires inverting the whole body while resting the body weight on the head. It makes the blood rush to the head and can increase the chances of stroke if you already have high blood pressure. So, refrain from practicing this pose if you are a patient with hypertension.

2. Handstand

A handstand is also a dangerous yoga pose for people with high blood pressure. The pose also requires inversing the body and balancing the weight on the arms and hands. The head is below the heart in the pose and makes the blood rush in that direction, too. The pose is quite exhausting and increases the risk of stroke. So, refrain from the practice when your blood pressure is high.

3. Shoulder Stand

Shoulder stand is another yoga pose that is inhibited for people with high blood pressure. This inversion pose makes practitioners lift their bodies in the air while placing their shoulders and heads on the floor. The whole body weight is on the shoulders. The sudden flow of blood towards the head can cause numerous complications and may even cause death, so you must avoid it.

4. Plow Pose

The plow pose is the next yoga pose to avoid when your blood pressure is high. This pose involves a half inversion, which means the practitioners need to fold the legs above the head. Plow pose is quite rigorous and can increase your heart rate. If your blood pressure is already high, a high heart rate can lead to cardiovascular complications and risk your well-being. So, be mindful of yoga poses.

5. Wheel Pose

Wheel pose is the next one on the list of yoga poses you must avoid if your blood pressure is high. The pose, also known as a backbend, requires the practitioners to bow backward. The pose is quite rigorous and leads to a sudden increase in heart rate and blood flow. The pose can increase the complications of cardiovascular health, causing stroke and other issues, so refrain from its practice.

6. Fish Pose

Fish pose is the last one on the list of hot yoga poses to avoid during high blood pressure. Even if your blood pressure is not high at the moment but you suffer from hypertension, the pose can negatively impact your health. The pose requires dipping the head below the heart, which can make the blood rush to the head and cause a stroke. You must opt for poses according to your condition to maximize the gains and keep the risks at bay.

Are You Reluctant to Practice Yoga for Hypertension Independently?

Practicing yoga for hypertension at home may bring more harm than good. You might choose the wrong poses and fail to practice the right ones perfectly. Moreover, you will not have the heated and controlled temperature settings required for hot yoga at home, which may limit the benefits. Explore the professional hot yoga studio, opt for the classes best suited for your condition, and practice the poses with experts to secure the benefits.

Common FAQs

Is Hot Yoga Good for High Blood Pressure?

Yes, hot yoga is highly effective for high blood pressure, as consistent practice helps bring down the systolic and diastolic levels.

How often should I practice hot yoga to manage hypertension?

You must practice hot yoga twice or thrice a week for at least an hour to manage hypertension smoothly.

Can I practice any pose when the blood pressure is high?

No, you must avoid inversion and other high exertion poses when your blood pressure is high, as they can further aggravate the condition. However, Bridge, Corpse, Child, and Lotus poses are recommended for managing high blood pressure.