Yoga and Hypertension
By Dr. Rita Khanna
Meaning Of Hypertension
Hyper means excessive or more than normal and Tension means an act of stretching or mental and emotional strain. Thus, it is a condition in which the blood pressure is abnormally high & can lead to a state of great emotional tension.
The rise in blood pressure is caused due to narrowness of the arteries & the heart has to work harder to push the blood through. When pressure is normal, an adult person registers 120 systolic and 80 diastolic mm of mercury pressure.
Abnormalities of arteries or circulatory system can increase this pressure to more than 140 systolic & 90 diastolic and if it remains constant at these levels then the condition can be termed as Hypertension.
A consistent excessive blood pressure causes various diseases such as lack of strength, tiredness, headache, nervous tension, insomnia, confusion, decreased memory restlessness, difficulty in breathing, bad temper, visionary troubles, coldness in the hands and feet etc.
Hypertension is a major cause of heart attacks.
The Higher Blood Pressure Can Be Brought Down By Observing The Following Rules:
- Get your health fully checked up by a doctor every six months after you cross the age of 40.
- One must get blood pressure checked every 2 or 3 months.
- Reduce your weight, take food which is balanced and which has no fat. Cut down consumption of sugar, jaggery, salt oil, ghee etc.
- If you have any problem with urinary system consult your physician.
- Try to remain free from mental tension during stressful situations. Mature your mind & don’t over react to day to day situations.
- Control your reactions to avoid arguments. Do not rewind your past mistakes, worries, tensions repeatedly. Stay in the present moment. Be aware of yourself always.
- The most positive step you can make is to practice yoga, pranayama, meditation daily to relax the mind, as these will not only remove symptoms but also prevent further disease.
- In addition, the last is to keep smiling, specially, whenever you are under stress. Try this formula… whenever you smile, you do not think. The tension will go away. It really works.
Can Those Having Blood Pressure Practise Asanas?
Yes, they can surely practise Asanas. The special Asanas and Pranayama that can offer help readily are Shashankasana, Sukhpurvaka, Sivananda Pranayama, Pranayama and Shavasana
- This Asana is performed while sitting in Vajrasana. Keep back, neck and head in a straight line.
- Sit with your legs folded behind in a manner similar to position occupied by Muslim friends while they sit for ‘Namaz’.
- Take a deep breath and raise both the hands in one line with head up.
- Now releasing breath and keeping the head steady in between the shoulders come down right up to the ground so that both the palms of the hands, the elbow and the forehead touch the ground.
- Be sure that while bending down in this manner both the buttocks will remain set between both the heels. They should not be raised.
- As you go on bending forward, go on releasing the breath.
- Breathe normally, when the head touches the ground.
- Remain a witness of inhaling as well as exhaling of breath.
- While you come up, breathe in.
In this asana, the forehead is touching the ground. This part of the head goes lower than the heart so for a little time blood circulation in head is also increased. Heart has to work less in pumping the blood to the brain.
For the practice of Sukhpurvaka Pranayama, one should sit steadily. Keep the palm of the right hand facing the face. Bend the first two fingers next to the thumb inside. Now put the right thumb on the right nostril and last two fingers of the same hand should be used to press the left nostril.
Always start breathing with left side & finish this pranayama also with the left side.
- Breathe in through the left nostril. Close the left nostril and breathe out through the right nostril.
- Breathe in through the right nostril. Breathe out through the left nostril.
- This becomes one round.
- Make few more rounds like this.
Do this pranayama everyday, morning and evening, at least for 5 to 15 minutes.
Lie down on the ground with face upwards. Bend both the legs from the knees. Knees should be kept pointing towards the sky and the heels of both the legs should be brought up to the buttocks but not touching them.
Keep the distance between the legs same as the distance between the two shoulders. Keep both the hands loose and a little apart from the body and thighs. Keep palms of the hands facing upward. Concentrate your mind on the solar plexus (navel).
- Now start breathing deeply and slowly. You should be aware that you are inhaling and exhaling.
- Remain a witness to the breath so that the breathing in and breathing out do not happen without your knowledge.
- You must remain happy in this watchfulness. The more that you can maintain this awareness, the more you will have control over your respirations and then you will also be able to control the blood circulation system.
- You can practise Sivananda Pranayama for a period of ten to fifteen minutes in the morning, noon, evening as well as late night, whenever your stomach feels light, about three hours after meals.
- You can increase this period to half an hour so that you will get mental soundness. It is very useful panacea for blood pressure, mental tension and irregularity of the stomach.
- Lie down with the back on the ground.
- Relax the hands and the legs.
- Listen the beating of the heart.
- Be a witness to the breath coming in… going out.
- Observe your body from head to toes – starting with the feet and slowly moving up to the head. Start becoming aware of the toes, feet, knees, ankles, leg muscles, buttocks, waist, back belly, chest, both the hands and the arms, shoulders and face, all these must feel relaxed.
You must experience the relaxation of these parts. You must go through the bodily relaxation, mental relaxation and in the end feel that the blood circulation system works quietly in a perfect manner. It reduces muscular, emotional and mental tensions in a very systematic way.
- The safest way to cure hypertension is to remove the real cause.
- Drink tons of water (normal temperature).
- A tablespoonful each of fresh amla juice / lemon and honey mixed together should be taken every morning.
- Before breakfast have a tablespoon of mixture made with equal amounts of onion juice and honey.
- The evening meals should be taken at least two hours before going to bed. Light evening meals are recommended.
- Sleep for 8 – 10 hours.
- Must avoid overstrain, worries, tension, anger and haste.
- Develop a calm and cheerful attitude and develop a contended frame of mind.
For more information contact:
Dr, Rita Khanna
2nd floor, Plot#22, Suman Housing Colony, West Marredpally Secunderabad-500026
Mobile: 09849772485 Ph:-040-65173344
The Yoga Studio is open 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Dr. Rita Khanna
Dr. Rita Khanna is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy. She was initiated into his discipline over two decades ago by world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh.
She believes firmly that Yoga is a scientific process, which helps us to lead a healthy and disease-free life. She is also actively involved in practicing alternative medicines like Naturopathy. Over the years, she has been successfully practicing these therapies and providing succour to several chronic and terminally ill patients.
At present, Dr. Rita Khanna is teaching Yoga in Secunderabad. She has been treating and curing various diseases and disorders through Yoga, Diet and Naturopathy and has been achieving tremendous satisfaction in disseminating this virtue.
History of Yoga
By Dr. Ajoy
Yoga is a spiritual practice that was developed in India about 5,000 years ago. In ancient times, the desire for greater personal freedom, health, long life, and heightened self-understanding gave birth to this system of physical and mental exercise which has since spread throughout the world. The early writings on yoga were inscribed on the fragile palm leaves that can be easily damaged, destroyed or lost.
The Yoga also finds its place in the scriptures of the Vedas and Upanishads. The ancient yogis or saints originally performed the India’s ancient Vedic religion, which emphasized mainly on rituals. But as the time approaches, these yogis want a direct spiritual experience and not symbolic ritual.
So they developed yoga. Taking into account the interrelationship between body and mind, the yogis formulated a unique method for maintaining this balance. This method combines all the movements with various breathing and meditation techniques that ensure peace of mind and physical health.
Yoga was slowly refined and developed by Vedic priests, who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads. One of the most famous scriptures is the Bhagavad Gita which was composed around 500 B.C. The Upanishads took the idea of ritual sacrifice from the Vedas and modified it. The Vedic priests mainly believe in teaching the sacrifice of the ego through self-knowledge, action (karma yoga) and wisdom (jnana yoga).
During the classical period, the first systematic presentation of yoga was made in the Patanjali’s yoga sutras. These yoga sutras were written in the second century and describes the path of Raja Yoga, which is known as “classical yoga”. Patanjali is often considered as the father of yoga and his yoga-sutras still strongly influence all styles of modern yoga. In Patanjali, the art of yoga is divided into an “eight limbed path” that contain the steps to obtain the enlightenment.
During the post-classical period, the teachers of yoga created a system of practices that was designed to rejuvenate the body and life. They rejected the teachings of the ancient Vedas and developed the Tantra Yoga, with various techniques to cleanse the body and mind. Thus, these body centered practices further led to the creation of Hatha Yoga.
During the period 1800 and 1900, the teachers of yoga started travelling to the west, to attract the followers. In the 1920, Hatha Yoga was strongly promoted in India by Mr. T. Krishnamacharya. Shri Krishnamacharya traveled through India and give demonstration of various yoga postures and opened the first Hatha Yoga school. B.K.S. Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikachar and Pattabhi Jois were the three students of Shri Krishnamacharya who continued his legacy and increase the popularity of Hatha Yoga.
The importation of yoga in the west still continued until Indra Devi opened her yoga studio in Hollywood in 1947. Since then, various other western and Indian teachers became the pioneers who popularized the Hatha Yoga and gain millions of followers. Now the Hatha Yoga has various different schools or styles, which emphasize the various aspects of the practice.
Dr. Ajoy Kr. Bhattacharjee is an Honorary Lecturer and Practitioner of Cardiac Yoga. You can visit his web site at: https://www.indovacations.net/Yoga/Yoga.htm
Dr. Ajoy Kr. Bhattacharjee is an eminent experienced Honorary Lecturer and Practitioner (“Natural Means”) in Yog Sadhna Ashram, Jaipur, Institute of Human Resources Rehabilitation, The SERCH Consulting Group of New Delhi, ARUNA MEMORIAL FOUNDATION,Delhi and Other Institutions, according to invitation received. His main vision has been to be prepared for challenges for better assignments and to be a dignified Lecturer by developing honesty, hard work and self-confidence to give respect to others and for himself.
At present Dr. Ajoy is practising on cardiac patients treatment through “Yoga, Pranayama and other natural means”. Dr. Ajoy completed his graduation from Calcutta University in the year 1975 and also done his doctorate in Naturopathy. For the last 15 years his main aim has been to educate people into a better way of living with SMILE (Soul, Mind & Body’s Instruments Love Every time) and maintaining health. He also believes that although medicines and surgery are some times necessary but there are alternative methods and medicines that can keep you healthy and restore health in terms of sickness.
Teaching Hatha Yoga – Methods for Improving Student Motivation
By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Many times, a lack of student attendance has nothing to do with the Yoga teacher. For example: When students experience job changes, divorce, illness, a death in the family, or an automobile accident – these are circumstances, which are beyond the control of a Yoga instructor.
Yet, student motivation is an area where we can definitely help. The following are some methods for raising the motivation level in our students, in anyone we meet, and within oneself.
Record keeping, or documenting goals achieved, is a great way to measure our progress toward our objectives. When students have a track record of all their successes in life, they become inspired and motivated. This not only applies to Yoga, but to life itself.
It is easy to lose the will to go on, if we believe we are not worthy of anything. One’s inner vision can easily become so distorted, that we believe we are failures, and we do not deserve to succeed. If we believe anything about ourselves, it should be positive, inspiring, and raise our spirits.
Yoga must become a lifestyle for students to experience complete health. Students should be constantly reminded to practice Yoga at home, while traveling, or in any place they go. Sitting up straight, walking tall, and standing erect, are everyday examples of correct posturing and proper alignment (asanas). Good posture can be practiced at any time.
The same can be said for Yogic breathing techniques (pranayama). We breathe all day; therefore, why not make a conscious effort to breathe correctly? Bastrika, Udgeeth, Nadi Shodana, Shitali, Ujjayi, Dirgha, and Kapalabhati pranayama can be practiced throughout the day. Granted, we may not want to practice all of them in a public place, but breathing correctly, and fully, will increase the quality of our lives.
Are students learning anything about Yamas and Niyamas in your classes? They do not have to learn them all at once. You could briefly cover one aspect, over the course a week, at the end of your class, or after meditation. This would give your Yoga students motivation and encouragement.
Mantra and Japa can be practiced mentally, at home, while traveling, or in between tasks. Regardless of religion, prayer is a universal concept. We live at a time when people say they are too busy to pray. They are busy working and making money. While it is true we need money to survive, it is false to claim we have no time for prayer.
Most Hatha Yoga classes do not discuss religion or prayer. In fact, praying and spiritual growth are not covered in detail, because there have been many conflicts over religion. Yet, the concepts and benefits of prayer are universal to all religions. Praying is good for spiritual health and motivation.
Making quiet time for a short meditation is something very few people do. Meditation can help us in many ways, but mental focus also brings about a new state of awareness, and the motivation to make positive changes.
Yoga teachers should also develop a handout – to cover living a Yogic lifestyle. This would provide information about the benefits of developing a “home Yoga practice.” Students can then make healthy changes gradually, as a result of the information you provide.
© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
Teaching Hatha Yoga: Physical Benefits of Yoga Practice
By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Although Hatha Yoga is much more than exercise, we can make factual comparisons, to other forms of physical exercise, to understand how this ancient practice manages to have such an enthusiastic following. On the physical level, the practice of Hatha Yoga can help a student develop strength, balance, flexibility, and cardio vascular endurance. In comparison to other forms of exercise, Hatha Yoga encompasses all of their physical benefits and more.
Some people would question the cardio vascular aspect, but they have not practiced Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations). This is a sequence of postures, which by itself, enhances strength, balance, flexibility, and cardio vascular endurance. Usually, Surya Namaskars contain twelve postures, but there are exceptions, and there are many different sequences.
Some forms of Power, Vinyasa, and Flow Yoga, connect movement in a similar fashion. Anyone who has practiced these forms of Yoga can attest to the aerobic value. Yet, some studies will question this, because Hatha Yoga is not a high impact exercise. All forms of Yogic exercise respect, and safely work, to preserve the joints.
Yet, exercise of moderate intensity, performed over time, is classified as aerobic. To go a bit further, any exercise activity, which requires oxygen to metabolize glucose, in exchange for energy, is aerobic.
With that said, no one usually questions the benefits of strength, balance, and flexibility from Yogic exercise, especially if they witness a room full of women over 50, who can balance their body weight on two hands in bakasana (also known as crane or crow pose).
The postures (asanas) are designed to massage internal organs, preserve skeletal health, and tone the muscles. Massaging internal organs is of primary importance to our survival. We can send toxins on their way by keeping the body in motion, and we do not need high impact movement to perform this task. Prevention of disease, and early detection of disease, are benefits of an internal awareness, which comes with Yoga practice.
On the skeletal level, we want to keep our joints intact for as long as possible. The ligaments and tendons are precious, so we work to keep them in good working condition, as well. On top of this, spinal alignment, during posture practice, helps with mobility, when we become seniors.
How many other exercise systems work so completely? This does not take away the value of cross training. By all means, walk, swim, and play your favorite games; but in comparison, Yoga, on the physical level, is the “Great Healer” of all forms of exercise.
© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications