Q: What are the main factors that put you at risk of suffering from heart ailment?
A: When we talk of heart ailments, we should understand that there are modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors. Factors such as natural ageing process and hereditary traits of an individual are non-modifiable but, in such cases, the risk of the heart disease can be reduced and managed to a certain degree. Whereas modifiable factors example- food habits, routines, exercise, stress, anxiety and few changes in lifestyle can be modified. Yoga advocates “Prevention is better than cure” and focus on the modifiable factors so that the heart ailments can be eradicated from our lives.
Q: How can yoga help?
A: People are taught to cultivate and nurture desirable and beneficial habits that help them live a good healthy life. So, positive vicissitudes occur in an individual’s life in the form of adopting home-made sattvic diet, fixed routines, cultivating objectivity, optimistic approach and harnessing good thoughts.
Read More: What is Sattvik Diet?
Yoga helps people to understand their own body and mind. This is important to combat any diseases and prevent cardiac ailments by following a Yogic diet and healthy lifestyle by practising Yoga asanas regularly.
Yoga also helps individuals on psychologically level. It helps to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Yoga promotes a sense of well-being.
Stress is a significant factor identified that increases coronary spasm. Yoga techniques can help prevent and control spasms in blood vessels, bring down blood pressure and normalise heart rate.
Yoga teaches us to become aware of ourselves, of our feelings, of our thought processes and our habitual patterns. Awareness of ourselves and our environmental factors which influence our health combined with a philosophical approach, can help significantly reduce modifiable risk factors like stress etc. an aware person will understand his body better and is cautious about his lifestyle and hence tends to keep under control external circumstances that can cause trouble.
For those who already have been facing heart trouble, I would say that they should minimise stress, bring about conductive lifestyle changes and practice yoga techniques like meditation and asanas regularly to maintain their heart condition at the best possible level and to prevent further damage.
Q: What Yoga can I do to prevent, control and reverse heart disease?
A: 5 Effective Yoga Tips for Heart Blockage- Dr. Hansaji Yogendar
Read Here: How to Reverse Heart Disease – by Hansaji
The most important thing people should remember is that these asanas must regularly be performed to see results and under the guidance of experienced Yoga teachers. Most people will not see results if they are done once in a while. Daily practice is the key.
Recommended 5 Effective Yoga Tips for heart blockage control and reversal of heart disease
- Yogendra Nishpandabhava – Lean against a wall, resting the head and shoulders with the legs stretched in front. Keep a distance of 2-3 feet between your legs, as per individual comfort. Place the hands gently on the upper thighs with palms facing upwards and close the eyes. If not possible to sit on the floor, sit on a firm chair. Emphasis should be on comfort rather than posture, to minimise distractions. Start by observing the breath for a few minutes and then gently direct the attention to a sound, which is continuous but feeble. Passively hear this sound, without any association with the object. Sit in this posture for 15 minutes. If the mind wanders, then gently bring it back to the sound. Practice daily in the morning / during the day, as convenient. No limitations.
- Yogendra Anitya Bhavana – Sit in Sukhasana/ Vajrasana or any other meditative posture and close the eyes. If not possible to sit on the floor, sit on a firm chair with an erect backrest. Mentally, passively review the events of previous day in detail and in chronological order. Do not judge or analyse any thought/event. When we go deeper into the technique beyond mere chronological listing of events; we have to analyse our state of mind, our feelings and even thoughts while living that particular moment. Practice daily, preferably before bedtime. Meditation can help people develop Anitya Bhavana. Take some time off your daily schedule for moments of quiet and silence.
- Yogendra Sthitaprarthanasana or the standing prayer pose – The practice of Sthitaprarthanasana not only enables co-ordination and balance but also promotes mental poise and spiritual elevation. Stand erect with hands at their respective sides and feet as close together as possible. Keep the knees straight but not stiff. Place the body weight on the balls of the feet, towards the big toe. Keep the neck straight and abdomen in normal contour and chin drawn in. The pelvis tilted at a subtle angle as to prevent any exaggeration of the lumbar curve. Focus your eyes at any one point straight ahead, keeping the mind calm and body relaxed. Fold both the hands in Namaskar mudra and place them in front of the chest. Keep the shoulders and elbows relaxed. Close the eyes (or fix the gaze at any one point) and passively observe the breath (final position). Mind may wander to other thoughts but gently bring it back to breath. Initially stay in the position for a few minutes, taking it up to 10 minutes with regular practice. Limitations / Contraindications: People suffering from acute arthritis (lower limbs) and varicose veins should not stand for a long time. In case of vertigo, keep the eyes open and gaze.
- Dradhasana or the firm posture – Lie down on your back taking support of your hand and turn to your left side. Align your body in straight line and keep your legs one on top of the other. Rest the right arm on to your body. Eyes closed and relax in this posture for 5 minutes.
- Anulom Vilom Pranayama – Beat diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol with this Yoga Pranayama.
Watch the video for details
Singer Sukhwinder Singh of the Bollywood fame beats heart disease with Yoga; maybe you can too. Yoga for better living and healthy heart rhythm!
“I have been practising Yoga for roughly three years now. A teacher from The Yoga Institute trains me regularly, and Dr. Hansaji who is the director of the Institute is also my guide and counsellor. She inspires me and helps me maintain an optimistic view of life.
My success mantra in life is Ashtanga Yoga or the traditional Yoga. The thought of doing Yoga first came to my mind when I took a stress test. I was informed that I am a borderline case of heart disease and should watch my heart health. My doctor then advised me to start doing Yoga and recommended me The Yoga Institute, Santacruz (E). I met Dr Hansaji Jayadeva who spoke to me about the yoga way of life, and since then have been doing Yoga regularly. Exactly one year I was amazed to learn that I am perfectly fine that my heart is a lot healthier. That’s when I grasped the importance of doing Yoga every day.
Yoga completely changed my perspective towards life and the way I look at things. I now look at the positive side of everything and try to do all my tasks with a sense of Yoga philosophy. She and her team taught me a few yoga techniques that helped me develop objectivity.
It could be education, dance, writing, teaching or anything else. I feel even music is a lot like Yoga. Relaxation is the cornerstone of living a good yogic life. While it is necessary to be active and do all the tasks at hand with optimum efficiency, it is also important to relax and refresh yourself.”