Yoga is long known to be more than just a stretch or breath, as it helps improve the flexibility of joints and increases core muscle strength, thus, in turn, improving one’s capacity of performing aerobic exercises like jogging, running, swimming, cycling, etc. It is a form of exercise, which helps in physical, mental as well as social well-being.
While cardio and weight training work to rev up your heart rate and build muscle mass, yoga, as a complementary practice, can assist in preventing and managing many chronic diseases including heart disease by decreasing the chronic inflammatory cytokine levels.
The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology through a review of Yoga and cardiovascular diseases indicates that apart from helping one feel calmer and more balanced, yoga helps lower heart disease risk as much as conventional exercises, such as brisk walking.
Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, senior cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai shares, “Yoga helps in preventing heart disease mainly by controlling various cardiac risk factors.
Studies have shown that yoga and dynamic physical activity helps in better control of diabetes. Diabetes is known to be a major risk factor of heart disease. Better control of diabetes prevents progression of heart disease. Yoga helps in control of BP and heart rate. By controlling high BP, it helps prevent heart disease.”
Yoga also helps in better control of blood lipid and that way helps in preventing heart disease. Yoga decreases stress and thus decreases the urge to smoke. All these beneficial effects of yoga on various cardiac risk factors helps in keeping the heart healthy.
Yoga asanas to keep heart healthy:
- Tadasana ( mountain pose)
- Brikshyasana ( Tree pose)
- Bhujangasana ( Cobra pose)
- Kapal bhati pranayama ( skull shining breathing technique)
- Dhanurasana ( bow pose)
- Paschimottanasana ( seated forward bend)
- Savasana ( corpse pose)
- Ardha matsyendrasana (sitting half spinal twist