According to the CDC, high blood pressure affects nearly 1 in 3 Americans. High blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body, which can lead to headaches, anxiety, shortness of breath, or chest palpitations.
In the long term, high blood pressure also leads to a number of changes in the heart that increase the overall risk of heart attack, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death.
Yoga is an ancient mind and body practice that involves physical poses, concentration, and focused breathing.
Researchers from Harvard University have found that when 15 minutes of yoga were practiced after 30 minutes of aerobic exercise for 5 days a week, research participants had improved resting blood pressure and heart rate.
This significantly reduced their 10-year risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Yoga is well-known for its calming effect. The practice may also help reduce cortisol, a stress-hormone that has been shown to increase blood pressure.
When practiced regularly, yoga can promote heart health, strength, flexibility, and overall well-being.