Friday, February 26, 2010

Shashankashana-Yoga for Healthy Heart: Meditation Technique to deal with Cardiovascular disorders

As per the World Health Organization, cardiovascular ailments contribute to 17 million deaths annually of which about 80% deaths take place in the developing world. As per the British Heart Foundation, 34% of premature deaths in males and 25% of premature deaths in females are attributed to ischemic heart disease. Studies have reiterated the role of yoga and meditation therapy in combating anxiety and stress; however they play a crucial role in keeping the heart healthy.

A healthy Heart
Meditation and Yoga for a Healthy Heart  

The human heart is a wonderful organ, keeping us alive; and pumping day in and day out, relentlessly. This is how meditation and yoga may be beneficial,
  • Paying attention to your heart beat will motivate you to take care of yourself better, and teach you to appreciate how important the heart is, and the significance of life. Meditating on subtle body sensations like the heart beat or the pulse increases the mindfulness about your body through the day.
  • Yoga asanas dilate the blood vessels and thus help to lower the blood pressure. The postures improve circulation and overall vitality. If stress is responsible for the shooting blood pressure levels, then a regular and sustained yoga practice will definitely be fruitful. 
  • Yoga postures and meditation are preventive therapy. Along with developing the physical body, yoga helps develop psychic spaciousness, and tunes you to the subtle energies. Stay mentally present while you practice yoga. Be reflective.

 Treat Ischemic Heart Disease with Yoga: Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose

Rabbit Pose for Healthy Heart
Shashankasana or rabbit pose is an essential yoga posture which improves circulation and stimulates the heart and is vital in management of cardiovascular ailments,
  • Sit down on a yoga mat, in such a way that your buttocks rest on to your toes and the spine is erect
  • Place your palms on your lap.
  • Gently inhale, raise your arms in front of you, parallel to the floor. Then gradually bend forward, so that your forehead touches the floor, hands straight out in front of you.
  • Stretch the body and relax in to the pose.
  • Let the breathing be gentle and rhythmic. Hold the pose for some time. Then release.
This asana helps the body to become peaceful and serene, slowly down bodily activity. Additionally, it banishes mental clutter and excessive thinking, thus fighting fluctuating blood pressure levels.

A meditation technique to maintain optimum Cardiac Health

A meditation session will augment and deepen your mindfulness of your body sensations, thus making you more aware about your body’s needs and wants. It helps you to be grateful to your body, and teaches you the importance of being healthy.  
  • Sit comfortably on a cushion or a straight backed chair. Sit in a quite place where you will have 20 minutes of uninterrupted time.
  • Focus on your breath for a few moments, gently breathing in and breathing out. Let your body calm down and relax.
  • Pick a spot on your body, where you can feel the heart beat – temples, wrist, or the chest. Touch the spot lightly, and close your eyes. Focus on the spot.
  • Now gradually extend your awareness to the various arteries and veins in your body. Imagine the blood circulating through the body. Visualize the heart pumping blood. Concentrate on your body.
  • Express your gratitude to your heart, resolve to care for it better, and slowly come out of the meditation.
Precaution to take while practicing Yoga for Cardiac Problems

Though yoga is considered to be one of the most safest therapies which attempts to tune the body, there are certain precautions that are needed.
  • Start slowly and gradually. Don’t overdo yoga postures. A body which is not tuned to yoga postures may not be as agile and flexible and would take some time to adjust
  • If the blood pressure is too high, it is best to keep the head above the body and not try any of the inversion poses
  • Finally Yoga therapy when used in combination with dietary restrictions and life style modifications like reducing the consumption of alcohol and quitting smoking will have profound influence on your heart. 

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