Blood Pressure & Kaiut Yoga
In the United States, about 77.9 million (1 out of every 3) adults have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a condition by which the force of blood flowing through the arteries is consistently too high.1
If you have high blood pressure, you’re not alone.
- In the United States, about 77.9 million (1 out of every 3) adults have high blood pressure.
- A higher percentage of men than women have high blood pressure until age 45. Beyond age 65, a much higher percentage of women than men have high blood pressure.
- The estimated direct and indirect cost of high blood pressure in 2009 was $51.0 billion.2
When we think of high blood pressure, we rarely think of yoga as an integral part of a treatment plan. Many of us believe that medication and/or nutrition should be the cornerstone of most plans. While medication and lifestyle changes might be necessary, a consistent yoga practice can be even more helpful than we might imagine.
In a recent 2019 study, researchers found that people with high blood pressure who did yoga 3 times a week, were successful in reducing their blood pressure aside from medication or nutrition changes. In classes that included breathing and relaxation techniques, participants experienced an average decrease of 11 mmHG more than control groups in systolic blood pressure and 6 mmHG more in diastolic blood pressure.
As a result, this study’s lead author, Yin Wu, stated:3
So, yoga, among other lifestyle interventions (such as diet and smoking cessation) should be adopted early on even when the blood pressure is still relatively low, and should be continued along with medication when blood pressure is relatively high.
Kaiut Yoga is a form of yoga that can be beneficial for one’s high blood pressure treatment plan. Here are three ways that Kaiut Yoga can positively affect circulation and high blood pressure:
- Our focus on the parasympathetic system: In Kaiut Yoga, it’s not so much about the pose that we might be working with, it’s all about our approach. We’re able to be highly effective in working with HBP because we frequently approach poses from the perspective of rest. This focus on resting vs. doing, enables students to access their parasympathetic system. As the parasympathetic system is triggered a cascade of healing effects flood the system.
- Holding poses for an extended period of time: As we hold poses a little longer with an emphasis on rest, we are able to affect deeper structures inside the body. Yes, we are adding pressure to the joints and at the same time, as we hold poses, we’re able to affect the soft tissue structures, including blood vessels. The combination of: stimulating blood flow as we hold poses longer in and at the optimal depth, we are then able to impact the nervous system and affect blood pressure over time.
- Reversing the flow of blood: Inversions are particularly beneficial for the cardiovascular system. In Kaiut Yoga, inversions like legs up the wall, are very effective for tonifying the cardiovascular system. When the legs are up the wall, reversing the flow of blood from a passive perspective (using gravity and the wall without struggling to hold an inversion), we’re able to directly affect the heart and cardiovascular system as a whole.
Remember, that yoga is much more than a stretch and the main windows of healing and results are the nervous system, blood flow, and joint mobility. When we practice from this perspective, we’re able to enlist yoga as a powerful and effective health care tool that can make a difference in conditions like high blood pressure and general cardiovascular health.
If you know someone in your life that struggles with high blood pressure or cardiovascular health, send this post their way and have them contact us for an initial consultation. Our goal is to empower as many people as possible through the Kaiut practice.
1. What is High Blood Pressure? www.heart.org. Published 2016. Accessed February 15, 2021. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure/what-is-high-blood-pressure
2. Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics–2013 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2012;127(1):e6-e245. doi:10.1161/cir.0b013e31828124ad
3. Rapaport L. Yoga linked to lowered blood pressure with regular practice. U.S. Published February 28, 2019. Accessed February 16, 2021. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-yoga-blood-pressure/yoga-linked-to-lowered-blood-pressure-with-regular-practice-idUSKCN1QH2MK