Today, there is no age factor that determines heart ailments. People in their 20s are falling prey to heart attacks. Is it because like Atlas, the world is on our shoulders? Is it because we skip our meals and substitute it with convenience food with zero nutrition? The reasons are many, especially related to an unhealthy lifestyle.
The good news is that one can do a lot about it. Committing to a healthier lifestyle is critical and easier to follow than most imagine. What if a few simple stretches and breathing exercises could make you feel good (especially your heart)! Yoga for healthy heart asanas are a preventive measure and are beneficial as a curative one too. And with no side-effects, except a feeling of greater peace and health.
Yoga for healthy heart
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says: “Yoga is a study of life, the study of your body, breath, mind, intellect, memory, and ego; study of your inner faculties.”
Besides wisdom and philosophy, yoga is a relaxing combination of asanas, breathing techniques, and meditation. Every yoga pose has a particular effect on the respiratory system and therefore, affects the heart. The benefits include:
- Lower blood pressure.
- Increase lung capacity.
- Lower bad cholesterol levels.
- Improved heart rate
- Boost blood circulation.
Yoga is effective in dealing with stress and pressure. That, itself, can heal a heart patient.
20 Yoga exercises for a healthy heart
There are specific asanas in yoga for heart problems. The following 20 yoga exercises for healthy heart can be practiced as a sequence. The yoga for heart health series begins with simple asanas, gradually leading to postures that require more stamina. The process is gentle and rejuvenating.
1. Tadasana (Mountain pose)
The mountain pose helps strengthen the vertebral column and the heart. The deep breathing involved also expands the lungs.
2. Vrikshasana (Tree pose)
Benefits of Vrikshasana.
The tree yoga pose helps in developing a firm and balanced posture. It broadens the shoulders and opens the heart, making one feel confident and happy.
3. Utthita Hastapadasana (Extended hands and feet pose)
Utthita Hastapadasana yoga posture requires focus and strength to balance. It helps to control weight, thus boosting the health of your heart.
4. Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
Trikonasana is a heart opening, standing yoga posture designed to promote cardiovascular exercise. The chest expands as breathing becomes deep and rhythmical. It also increases stamina.
5. Veerabhadrasana (Warrior pose)
The Veerabhadrasana warrior pose improves balance in the body and increases stamina. It also improves blood circulation and releases stress. It keeps the heart rate in check.
6. Utkatasana (Chair pose)
In the Utkatasana yoga posture, you can feel the heart and respiration rate increase. This posture stretches the chest and stimulates the heart.
7. Marjariasana (Cat pose)
8. Adho Mukho Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)
This yoga posture strengthens the chest muscles and expands the lung region, increasing its capacity.
Read more about Adho mukha Svanasana.
9. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
Bhujangasana stretches the chest and invigorates the heart.
10. Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
The Dhanurasana (bow pose) opens up and strengthens the heart region. It is stimulating and makes the whole body flexible.
11. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose)
Setu Bandhasana pose facilitates deep breathing. It stretches the spine and the chest. It also improves blood flow to the chest region.
12. Salamba Sarvangasana (Half shoulder stand pose)
This stand pacifies and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for relaxing the body. It creates space in the chest and can be restful and rejuvenating.
13. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting half spinal twist pose)
This twist works on the whole spine and opens the sides of the chest when performed on the left and right sides. It also stimulates the heart.
learn more about Ardha Matsyendrasana
14. Paschimottanasana (Two legged forward bend pose)
The Paschimottanasana posture brings the head lower than the heart. This helps in reducing the heart rate and respiration while allowing the entire system to relax.
15. Dandasana (Stick pose)
This pose facilitates a good posture as it strengthens the back. It also stretches the shoulders and chest.
16. Ardha Pincha Mayurasana (Dolphin pose)
The dolphin pose is a little more demanding than the downward facing dog pose. It significantly increases stamina and strengthens the upper body. It prepares you for more heart opening postures.
17. Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana (Dolphin plank pose)
The Makara Adho Mukhi Svanasana dolphin plank pose strengthens the shoulders and abdomen. It also calms the body and balances the mind.
18. Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx pose)
The Salamba Bhujangasana (sphinx pose) allows the chest to open. It is a mild back bending posture that gently opens the chest and stretches the lungs and shoulders.
19. Shavasana (Corpse pose)
Benefits of Shavasana
Deep rest is the counter pose for all yoga postures. It allows the body and the breath to relax. It is a wonderful stress buster. It improves the overall health of the heart and body.
20. Anjali Mudra (Salutation seal)
The Anjali Mudra opens the heart and calms the brain. It effectively reduces stress and anxiety. It also better prepares the body for pranayama and meditation.
It is ideal to end each sequence with a few minutes of meditation. One could choose a guided meditation from this list. Regular practice of these simple yoga for heart postures will reap many benefits in your life. Live a healthier and heartier life!
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind and has a lot of health benefits. However, it is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher. In the case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher.