Good news for those who suffer from high blood pressure. A new study showed that just one hour of yoga daily is enought to lower hypertension.
Authors of the study conducted by the European Society of Cardiology presented the findings at the 68th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India held in Kochi, India on Dec. 8 – 11.
According to the authors, an hour of doing meditation, asana and pranayama in Hatha yoga was enough to see significant results in the participants of the research.
A total of 60 people participated in the study. They were described as individuals with hypertension but otherwise healthy. They were divided into two groups. The first group of 30 participants were given Hatha yoga lessons for a month by a certified yoga teacher, which they continued at home. The second group was a control group. Both groups had their blood pressures monitored.
The researchers found that the blood pressure (BP) of the yoga group lowered by 4.5 mmHg and 24 hour mean arterial pressure decreased by more or less 4.9 mmHg.3. While these numbers may not seem like huge drop, they were still significant considering that just a 2 mmHg decrease in diastolic BP is enought to lower the risk of heart disease by 6 percent, and lower the risk of heart attacks by up to 15 percent.
Dr. Ashutosh Angrish, who presented at the conference explained that it is still undetermined exactly how Hatha Yoga helps decrease hypertension, but it is clear that all three elements of the practice work together.
“The exact mechanism is not clear from our study but it has been postulated that yoga may decrease the sympathetic drive, reset the baroreceptors and cause neurohumoral effects. The findings suggest that a combination of all three components of yoga (asanas, pranayam and meditation) is helpful but our study is unable to pinpoint their individual contribution,” he said.
Doctors at the conference agreed that patients with hypertension, as well as prehypertension, would benefit by adopting a daily Hatha Yoga practice, as well as take steps to follow a healthy and balanced diet and over all lifestyle of well-being.