With a Healthy heart, the beat goes on! Yoga to prevent, repair and reverse heart problems.

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India is seen as the diabetes and coronary heart disease capital of the world. According to current estimates, India will soon have the highest number of heart disease cases in the world. According to the Indian Heart Association, “50% of all heart attacks in Indians occur under 50 years of age and 25% of all heart attacks in Indians occur under 40 years of age. Population living in cities are three times more prone to heart attacks than people living in villages”. (Source=Times of India)

“The incidence of heart failure in India is around 10 million. A recent International Congestive Heart Failure study highlights that mortality rate in patients after one year of diagnosis is as high as 23 per cent in India. The study also emphasised that cardiac patients in the country are approximately 10 years younger than patients in Europe and USA.” (Source=Deccan Chronicle)

As per these widespread surveys 78% of men in between 30-40 run at risk of a heart attacks and their heart seems to be ageing faster than their real age.

 

This statistics and facts are really alarming. Its high time to start taking care of our Heart. In the best case we should focus on preventing heart diseases and if already into a heart problem then take steps to reverse it.

Types of heart problem:

  1. Coronary Artery Disease
  2. Enlarged heart (Cardiomegaly)
  3. Heart attack
  4. Irregular heart rhythm.
  5. Heart valve disease.
  6. And many.

The Risk Factor for Heart Problems

  1. High blood pressure
  2. High Blood Cholesterol
  3. Diabetes
  4. Obesity and Overweight
  5. Smoking
  6. Genes (Heredity)
  7. Hypertension
  8. Physically inactive
  9. Age
  10. Stress
  11. Alcohol

Symptoms of heart problems

  1. Chest pain or angina.
  2. Feeling heaviness, pressure and burning in chest.
  3. Fast and irregular heartbeats.
  4. Feeling shortness of breath.
  5. Feeling fullness, indigestion.

Yoga is that wholesome lifestyle that can rid you of stress and heal heart patients physically and mentally. It induces a healthy living through diet, exercises, pranayama, Yogasanas, Hasta-mudras and diet.

Yoga is known to:

  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Increase lung capacity.
  • Lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • Improve heart rate.
  • Boost blood circulation.

In addition to all of this, it is most effective in dealing with stress. The effect of pressure can never be under estimated. Ask someone who has undergone bypass surgery or suffered cardiac arrests or other heart diseases!

Let us have a brief look on how various yogic exercises help in battling heart diseases:

  • Pranayama

Seven pranayamas for heart patients.

  1. Bhastrika Pranayama
  2. Kapalbhati Pranayama
  3. Bahya pranayama
  4. Anulom Vilom Pranayama
  5. Bhramari Pranayama
  6. Udgeeth Pranayama
  7. Pranav Pranayama

Pranayama helps to:

  1. Remove the negative energy, toxins from our body and gives positive energy.
  2. Improve the blood circulation, which is very important for the heart to pump properly.
  3. Calm the mind
  4. Cure anxiety and depression.
  5. Release stress and depression.
  6. Remove artery blockages.
  • Yogasana

Yogasanas are the postures which give the external as well as internal organs of human body the right exercise while focusing on the breathing pattern. Few of the best Yogasanas for heart are:

1.Tadasana (Mountain pose)

The mountain pose helps strengthen the vertebral column and the heart. The deep breathing involved also expands the lungs.

 

2.Vrikshasana (Tree pose)

The tree yoga pose is an exercise helps in developing a firm and balanced posture. It broadens the shoulders and opens the heart.

3.Utthita Hastapadasana (Extended hands and feet pose)

This yoga posture requires focus and strength to balance. It helps to control weight, thus boosting the health of your heart.

4.Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

The chest expands as breathing becomes deep and rhythmical. It also increases stamina.

5.Veerabhadrasana (Warrior pose) 

The warrior pose improves balance in the body and increases stamina. It also improves blood circulation and releases stress. It keeps the heart rate in check.

.Utkatasana (Chair pose)

The heart and respiration rate increases. This posture stretches the chest and stimulates the heart.

7.Marjariasana (Cat pose)

It allows the heart rate to settle and become soft and rhythmic again. It also boosts blood circulation.

8.Adho Mukho Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)

This yoga posture strengthens the chest muscles and expands the lung region, increasing its capacity.

9.Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

Bhujangasana stretches the chest and invigorates the heart.

10.Dhanurasana (Bow pose)

The bow pose opens up and strengthens the heart region.

11.Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose)

This pose facilitates deep breathing. It stretches the spine and the chest. It also improves blood flow to the chest region.

12.Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting half spinal twist pose)

This twist works on the whole spine and opens up the sides of the chest when performed on the left and right sides. It also stimulates the heart.

13.Shashakasana

Helps build strength of heart muscles and reduce belly fat which is harmful for heart.

14.Paschimottanasana (Two-legged forward bend pose)

The Paschimottanasana posture brings the head lower than the heart. This helps in reducing the heart rate and respiration while allowing the entire system to relax.

15.Dandasana (Stick pose)

This pose facilitates a good posture as it strengthens the back. It also stretches the shoulders and chest.

 

16.Shavasana (Corpse pose)

Deep rest is the counter pose for all yoga postures. It allows the body and the breath to relax. It is a wonderful stress buster. It improves the overall health of the heart and body.

 

  • Hast mudra:

1.Anjali Mudra (Salutation seal)

The Anjali Mudra opens the heart, calms the brain. It effectively reduces stress and anxiety. It also better prepares the body for pranayama and meditation.

 

2.Apana Vayu mudra-the mudra of heart:

Along with strengthening your heart and regularizing palpitations, regular practice of this mudra eases gastric issues. Named as the ‘Mrita Sanjeevani Mudra’, it provides immediate relief to a person suffering from cardiac arrest. It eases the pain and improves blood circulation when under attack.

 

3.Prana mudra- the mudra of life:

As the name suggests, this yoga mudra enhances life force. It actually helps in clearing the clogged arteries, lowering the risk associated with cardiovascular conditions. Practicing this mudra daily improves fitness and immunity levels.

4.Surya mudra-the mudra of sun:

Activate the solar plexus in you and fill you with energy with this easy yoga mudra. It has a positive impact on the functioning of the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism results in obesity, which in turn, affects the functioning of the heart. Practicing this mudra can help in regulating the functioning of the thyroid gland, in turn safeguarding the health of your heart. It also helps in lowering bad cholesterol levels, shielding your heart from high cholesterol triggered health issues.

5.Linga Mudra:

This mudra is helpful for those who are suffering from diabetes. Obesity and diabetes are serious health issues that can damage your heart. Practicing this can help in keeping diabetes and weight under control, keeping your cardiac health in top condition.

6.Ganesh mudra:

This mudra is ideal for people who have high levels of cholesterol as well as for those whose heart is really weak. It opens up your bronchial tubes, paving way for an improved circulation of blood. It opens up the heart chakra and strengthens your heart. A fabulous way to de-stress the distress filled in the heart chakra, it acts as an effective first aid in scenarios of myocardial infarction.

7.Hriday mudra:

Helps redirect prana towards the heart, balancing the blood pressure and helping with heart problems. Helps open the heart on a pranic and emotional level, releasing emotions and tensions.

  • Diet for heart:

Try to eat foods that are in their natural form, as they come from the ground.

Some important things to be taken into consideration:

  1. Control your portion size

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories than you should.

  1. Eat more vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fibre. Vegetables and fruits, like other plants or plant-based foods, contain substances that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you cut back on higher calorie foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods.

  1. Select whole grains

Whole grains are good sources of fibre and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products.

  1. Limit unhealthy fats

Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a build-up of atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

  1. Choose low-fat protein sources

Legumes — beans, peas and lentils — also are good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for meat. Substituting plant protein for animal protein will reduce your fat and cholesterol intake and increase your fibre intake.

  1. Reduce the sodium in your food

Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet.

7.Plan ahead: Create daily menus

You know what foods to feature in your heart-healthy diet and which ones to limit. Now it’s time to put your plans into action.

Create daily menus using the six strategies listed above. When selecting foods for each meal and snack, emphasize vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources and healthy fats, and limit salty foods. Watch your portion sizes and add variety to your menu choices.

  1. Allow yourself an occasional treat

Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. A candy bar or handful of potato chips won’t derail your heart-healthy diet. But don’t let it turn into an excuse for giving up on your healthy-eating plan.

List of some Foods that are good for your heart

1.A handful of healthy nuts such as almonds or walnuts will satisfy your hunger and help your heart.

2.Berries are full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fibre. Try blueberries, strawberries, cranberries or raspberries in cereal or yogurt.

3.Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and phytoestrogens to boost heart health. Take them in ground or milled form to reap the greatest benefit.

4.Oatmeal: the comfort-food nutrient powerhouse.

Dark beans such as kidney or black beans, are high in fibre, B-vitamins, minerals and other good stuff.

5.Try marinated cottage cheese (paneer) or tofu(soya milk paneer) in a stir-fry with fresh veggies for a heart-healthy lunch or dinner.

6.Red, yellow and orange veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers and acorn squash are packed with carotenoids, fibre and vitamins to help your heart.

7.Use spinach in sandwiches and salads instead of lettuce. Make spinach soup.

8.Fruits such as oranges, cantaloupes and papaya are rich in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fibre.

9.Tender, sweet asparagus is filled with mighty nutrients such as beta-carotene, folate and fibre, and only provide 25 calories per cup, or 5 calories per large spear.

10.Tomatoes even sun-dried varieties in winter months – provide lycopene, vitamin C and alpha- and beta-carotene.

11.Crisp, fresh broccoli florets dipped in hummus are a terrific heart-healthy snack with a whopping list of nutrients, including vitamins C and E, potassium, folate, calcium and fibre.

Yoga is the solution to all heart problems. We all practice a few asanas that can reduce the risk of heart disease. But, certain things are best avoided unless they done under strict supervision of an expert.

In your journey to prevent and even battle against existing heart diseases, find the correct expert solutions with us at Pravaah. A comprehensive yet easy & practical plan awaits you with us.

To get in touch email at sahhna@pravaahwellness.com or put a message on 7741979179.

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