Yoga Asanas for High Blood Pressure: Genereally speaking, asanas that do not invert the body are beneficial for people with high blood pressure. Calming restorative yoga asanas are particularly useful for reducing stress and lowering blood pressure naturally, as are intensive stretching poses like leg stretches and hip openers. Favor yoga asanas that put the spine in a horizontal position, which allows the heart to slow down, as it takes less effort to pump the blood to the brain. Sitting positions and lying asanas like Baddhakonasana, Virasana, and Upavista Konasana are very useful for people with high blood pressure.
Mild inversions can be introduced gradually: A great alternative to Viparita Karani, for example, with similar relaxing and calming effects, is supported Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) done on bolsters. Bridge pose is energizing for the kidneys and hence soothes the system, lowering high blood pressure. While the head is slightly below the heart in this pose, supported Bridge Pose is generally considered to be acceptable for students with high blood pressure. Similarly, Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) is a mildly inverted posture, which is considered acceptable; it lifts the heart only a little above the head and does not elevate the legs, increasing pressure in the head very little.
Utilizing yoga as therapy for high blood pressure is most useful if done as part of a multi-theraputic approach, including lifestyle changes and Ayurvedic remedies for stress and high blood pressure. As always, when it comes to natural healing, getting results are not usually as quick and easy as popping a pill. The good news is, however, that when you take steps to lower blood pressure naturally by helping the body’s own healing response to take care of the problem, you get true, holistic healing. Not only will you avoid unwanted side effects from blood pressure medication, when blood pressure is lowered naturally because your nervous system becomes more balanced, your whole mind and body system benefits. This means you, generally speaking, will feel better, have more energy, will perform better during the day, and have more resources for coping with stress.