Yoga, as it pertains to heart health, offers many benefits. Standing on your head or doing a different type of inversion? These postures strengthen the heart muscle, as it requires it to pump blood against a lot more gravity than standing, sitting or lying down. "Heart opening" postures and deep breathing help create space in the cardiothoracic cavity, giving these vital organs space to operate optimally.
PubMed has a pretty extensive set of data showing various outcomes related to yoga and reduction of hypertension, and more clinical trials are perhaps needed to solidify our own subjective beliefs or personal findings. That said, I have my own personal story of yoga improving my blood pressure. Since I have not been practicing rigorously or regularly, however, the numbers are up. Insert sad face here!
So, let's spend a little time thinking about the things we can do to strengthen our most important muscle:
improving our resting heart rate through cardio and meditation, regular cardiovascular exercise such as brisk walks or other aerobic workouts; dancing and deep breathing are all great ways to care for our heart, feel better about ourselves and eek out a few hundred more beats of the hardest working pump on the planet.
Tell us what you do to care for your heart! Leave us your comments, ideas and suggestions for our RiversEdge community.