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Yoga and Meditation To Improve Cardiovascular Health

Updated on December 26, 2015

Introduction to the Cardiovascular System

Your heart is one of the most vital organs in the body, if not the most important at all. After all, when your heart fails to function, so does the rest of your body that could prove fatal. This organ consists of several muscles that is responsible for pumping blood all throughout your body through multiple blood vessels. This pumping action follows a rhythmic pattern of contraction, wherein an average human hearts produces 72 beats per minute. The process of pumping blood through the entire body is also responsible for the assimilation of vital nutrients to ensure that all organs are functioning properly.

However, health statistics indicate that cardiovascular diseases are one of the most common causes of death worldwide. There are several factors that could trigger this disease, such as improper diet, unhealthy lifestyle choices, and constant emotional distress. Due to the increase in number of fatalities for heart-related diseases, health experts have advocated various methods to restore heart function and vitality.

Meditation for Better Cardiovascular Health

If you want to improve your cardiovascular condition through yoga, you need to place proper emphasis on meditation. Although it does not directly affect your heart's condition and its function, it plays an important role during preventive care.

The process of meditation eliminates tension from your heart that might have accrued as a result of too much stress and emotional pressure. The more exposed you are to intense situations, the bigger your risk for developing high blood pressure. So with a positive attitude, you are able to protect yourself against potential triggers for heart attack.

Yoga Exercises for Improved Cardiovascular System

Yoga is an effective way to naturally cure and prevent heart problems. This is a holistic method that you can use to perform exercises ideal for promoting better heart condition, advocating  a healthy lifestyle and diet patterns, as well as nourishing yourself with a positive attitude.

The incorporation of breathing exercises into your performance of yoga asanas strengthen your heart muscles while boosting circulation. In order to get the most out of your yoga sessions and promote better heart, take note of the exercises below that will help improve your cardiovascular condition.

Advanced Yoga Poses : Yoga Locust Pose

How To Do the Crow Pose

Locust Pose (Shalabhasana )

The locust pose is good for your heart, hence must be included in your exercise routine to boost your cardiovascular system. It is included in one of the basic steps in Hatha Yoga, which can bring in a lot of benefits such as adding flexibility to your back and building strength, aside from boosting your heart's condition.

To perform the Locust Pose, you must be on a prone position with your abdomen facing the floor. Place your chin against the floor while both arms are resting on either sides of the body. Hold both your heels and toes together. During inhalation, lift your legs above the floor. Apply pressure on your fist as you lift your legs. Hold yourself in position for a few seconds or as long as you can hold. Then, get back to your starting position. Relax your body and feel the stretching effect on your back muscles.

Crow Pose (Kagasana)

This pose can be a bit challenging such that it might require a certain level of skill and upper body strength to pull this one off. And yet, it is ideal for keeping your heart fit and boosting your cardiovascular system.

Start this position by slighting bending your knees. Then, rest your palms against the floor within shoulder-width apart. Your knees must be on the back of your upper arm as you begin to come forward. Slowly lift your head while doing this. Slowly lift your feet off the ground such that it is only your arms that are balancing your entire weight. Lift your feet one at a time to avoid shocking your arms of the weight.

CorePower Yoga Halasana

Plow Pose (Halasana)

The Plow pose is a variation of the inversion, which is very ideal for promoting better cardiovascular health. To perform this pose, you must lay out a blanket on the floor for support on your shoulders while you are lied down. Use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs over your head such that the toes are able to touch the floor while above your head. Your fingers must be interlaced behind your back as you keep both arms properly straight.

Roll your shoulders under, doing it one at a time. Observe proper alignment of your hips with your shoulders. To come out of this position, slowly roll out and keep your legs straight until both feet are together.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

The Mountain pose (or Tadasana) is another excellent yoga exercise to perform if you want to keep your heart fit. Performing this exercise is quite simple such that even beginners can do this. From a standing position, make sure that both your big toes are touching each other. Then, lift all of your toes allowing them to fan out. After dropping them down, you can opt to slightly separate your heels if the ankles start to feel uncomfortable.

Divide your entire body weight to all corners of your feet. Engage your quadriceps in action by drawing them upwards such that your knee caps rise. Rotate your thighs inward to widen your sitting bones, such that you could tuck in your tail bones. Draw your belly slightly inward as you widen your collar bones. Although it might appear as though you are merely standing, this actually helps to bring alignment to your entire body.

Breathing Techniques Good For Your Heart

Breathing or pranayama is a vital component in each yoga practice, more so when you are trying to achieve a healthy cardiovascular system. However, some breathing techniques are more effective than others in terms of keeping your heart healthy.

One such exercise is the Kapalbhati breathing technique. To perform this, you must breathe in rapid succession. At the same time, you must control the movement of your diaphragm while you are forcing in higher amount of oxygen into your respiratory system within a relatively shorter amount of time. This breathing practice promotes the absorption of richer blood into your cardiovascular muscles, which help avoid major heart problems.

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  • carolina muscle profile image

    carolina muscle 8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    very instructional.. thank you!!