Anxiety and stress significantly affect the blood pressure. Yoga is a very useful therapy to help lower high blood pressure. Yoga asana and breath awareness, along with pranayama and meditation, can be used to calm the heart and other organs, as well as keep the various systems of the body in equilibrium.
Ujjayi Breath and Blood Pressure Reduction
In the neck, there are two unique pair of organs called carotid sinuses, that line both sides of the artery. Carotid sinuses also detect any BP rise and tell the brain to intervene.
These two small, flattened organs, detect the stress and send the information directly to the brain that responds by picking up the heart beat and tightening the arteries, thus restoring normal blood pressure.
Those who suffer with high blood pressure, should engage in only the first and second level of Ujjayi. As tension builds up in the body and stress increases, the stress hormone, cortisol, is released. A minor amount of pressure is applied to the sinuses in the neck during Ujjayi pranayama. This in turn controls the heartbeat and blood pressure, which is coupled with a feeling of relaxation.
In addition to increasing with oxygen provision to the body and eliminating toxins, pranayama is said to calm the mind, increase mindfulness, and decrease high blood pressure. The reason ujjayi is so essential for meditation is because it induces relaxation, which is conducive to successful meditation.
Khechari Mudra with Ujjayi Breath
In this mudra, the practitioner places the tongue on top of the soft palate and breathing in, followed by exhaling. The Khechari mudra is a yoga gesture meant to enhance spiritual energy by awakening the power of prana in the body. Not only is it effective for stress management, but it improves sleep and eye-sight as well. In the long run, practicing Khechari Mudra (Nabho Mudra) can make the central nervous system and the endocrine glands work in harmony which protects the body from an array of ailments associated with anxiety and stress.
If you practice Ujjayi without Khechari mudra, you can compare the differences in pressure with the same technique performed with and without the tongue lock.
As soon as your blood pressure is elevated and you would like to see a difference right away by lying down and focus on your breath.
As an alternative, you can also practice alternate nostril breathing, also known as Anulom Vilom Pranayama, or Dirga Pranayama, the so-called yogic breath or three-part breath before performing yoga asanas. This will help to calm your heart rate and reduce your blood pressure.
By practicing Khechari Mudra, a person can experience a change in his personality. A balanced personality characterized by the least amount of polarity is a result of overcoming emotional stress.
Blood pressure can affect internal organs, including the heart, and result in heart disease and a stroke. Through consistent practice of yoga, students can benefit in either healing or controlling the symptoms caused by high blood pressure. Inversions are yoga postures where the heart is higher than the head, it is recommended to B.P patients not to practice inversions.
Restorative yoga poses are optimal stress relaxation rather than strength as they allow the body the rest it needs when muscles are tensed.
Sukhasana, Baddakonasana, Bhujangasana, Utthista Marichasana, Paschimottanasana and Savasana are some of the poses you can practice to control your blood pressure.
Prior to beginning yogic posture practice, you should focus on getting your breathing in order and in control. It is the right breath that will make the practice of yoga asanas easier and more beneficial.