Lower Blood Pressure with Iyengar Yoga

One third have deadly blood pressure, but few know it

One out of three adult Australians have high blood pressure. Around the world, its directly linked to more than 8.5 million deaths each year. See the best yoga for blood pressure. You’ll also find out which yoga is best for high blood pressure. In addition, you’ll see the best yoga poses for high blood pressure, Iyengar yoga for high blood pressure, how to use Iyengar yoga asanas for high blood pressure, and discussion of which yoga asanas for high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is the largest contributor to coronary heart disease.

For people with high blood pressure, there are often no symptoms or signs. That means they can have high blood pressure, yet feel well. So, it can sneak up on you, especially when you are constantly stressed.

For instance, nearly three quarters of those who had measured their high blood pressure, did not realise it.

Women have almost as much high blood pressure problems as men. It’s not just a male problem.

So, here’s the answer if you’re considering which yoga is good for high blood pressure? Iyengar yoga is best for blood pressure because of the focus on proper use of props, and precise set-up, to do key poses proven to reduce blood pressure, and have them work better.

Another common question and response is which yoga asanas for high blood pressure? The best yoga asanas are restorative yoga poses, where head is lower than the heart, and chin is tucked in to help the baroreceptor reflex, vagus nerve use, and parasympathetic response. See some examples below, plus more about your parasympathetic nervous system, and vagus nerve.

Plus, we also explain more background, and point to the studies that show these answers.

what type of yoga is best for high blood pressure

Stress increases your heart rate and blood pressure.

Studies show yoga helps with blood pressure issues

Yoga can help you avoid reaching a situation where you need medication.

According to a extensive meta study of various other studies, yoga is “an effective intervention for reducing blood pressure.”

Another meta study of yogic approaches, including pranayama, found yoga is effective for hypertension and pre-hypertension. It concluded.

“Yoga therapy can be used and recommended in prehypertensive population and can be beneficial in reducing the chances of developing hypertension or cardiovascular diseases.”

So, if you’re already on blood pressure medication, yoga can also help mange or improve your condition. But, should regularly check your blood pressure, and tell your teacher if you already have high blood pressure.

In particular, come to a class with Christine Lalor, Flametree’s accredited Senior Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist. Plus, consider doing restorative yoga, or gentle yoga, or both.

As you can see in the diagram below, there are many excellent reasons to avoid or reduce blood pressure and hypertension.

which yoga is good for high blood pressure

The many complications from blood pressure is further reason to take all precautions you can to avoid it, or manage it to the best of your ability. But, which yoga is good for high blood pressure? 

How to lower blood pressure with yoga

Among other things, the version of a supported bridge pose (setu bandha sarvangasana) in the picture reduces blood pressure, hypertension, and stress.

Like most yoga poses, it does it by targeting internal features of your body.

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Among the best of Iyengar yoga asanas for high blood pressure

best yoga for high blood pressure

This supported Bridge pose, with a highish bolster prop underneath, is regularly done in Iyengar yoga. Among other things, the regular use of this type of restorative yoga pose is why it’s the best yoga for blood pressure. Such restorative yoga, driven by props, is a key reason to use Iyengar yoga for high blood pressure.

In this case, bridge pose targets the so-called baroreceptors situated in your neck and upper chest.

The supported bridge pose, as in the picture, is one of several poses that help to reduce blood pressure.

In the process, they impact the “valves” in our body called baroreceptors. They are in the arteries on either side of the neck. It’s shown in the next diagram.

The word “baro” means pressure. The baroreceptors are arterial sites which are sensitive to changes in blood pressure in the neck.

Their function is to keep pressure from getting too high as blood enters the brain so that virtually the same amount of blood (and therefore oxygen) is maintained in the brain at all times.

The neck position in these types of yoga poses stimulates the baroreceptors which therefore register too much blood pressure in the neck arteries.

The nervous system responds to this information by lowering systemic blood pressure. See the diagram below.

A slightly more advanced of the Iyengar yoga asanas for high blood pressure

iyengar yoga asanas for high blood pressure

Iyengar yoga asanas for high blood pressure are essentially any that have the head lower than the heart. But those that tuck in the neck are especially good at targeting the baroreceptor reflex.

It is another good example of how particular yoga poses work on your internal body to give you healthier outcomes.

At the same time, yoga also gets you more fit, flexible, and de-stressed.

In the supported bridge pose, such as in the picture, Iyengar yoga uses props like a bolster or block, so we can stay a long time. Bolsters, folded blankets or firm pillows will all do a similar job.

Tests show that a hold of 8-10 minutes works best.

But, as mentioned, whether or not there is a family history of hypertension, it’s also a good idea for everyone over 35 to have their blood pressure checked periodically by a health professional.

Which yoga is best for high blood pressure?

Those targeting this baroreceptor reflex.

iyengar yoga for high blood pressure & asanas

Quick summary of how baroreceptors work with blood pressure, and heart rate.

B.K.S. Iyengar yoga to prevent cardiovascular disease

The studies cited above, that use randomized controlled trial approaches, show yoga helps a significant reduction in the diastolic blood pressure risk factors.

So, this is good news with respect to improving blood flow issues, the health of blood vessels, and reducing heart attacks.

​For instance, in 2023, the American Heart Association recommended physical activity for systolic blood pressure issues, especially yoga and mindful movement.

It’s partly because yoga especially activates your parasympathetic nervous system using deep breathing exercises, and various yoga asanas such as:

  • forward bends (such as Janu sirsasana)
  • plow pose
  • corpse pose
  • shoulder stand
  • bound angle pose
  • child’s pose, or child pose
  • downward-facing dog pose (adho mukha svanasana)
  • staff pose (upright seated position)
  • butterfly pose
  • supta baddha konasana
  • Diamond Pose (Vajrasana)
  • standing poses resting crown of your head head lower than heart
  • many other yoga exercises that have your chin tucked (including those shown in this post).

In addition, stress levels reduction via yoga, and mindful eating, also assists with lifestyle changes such as weight reduction, reducing risks of other chronic diseases, and more.

​But, the key factor is the practice of yoga asana regularly.

With this in mind, Flametree yoga teachers can show you a wide range of easy pose options that are an effective way to reduce your blood pressure readings to normal levels, along with your body weight.

vagus nerve

Your vagus nerve is a key part of your parasympathetic nervous system. Yoga poses help trigger vagal responses, and blood pressure reduction.

Yogic breathing exercises to head off a silent killer

If you require significant reductions, or significant improvement, in the type of heart attack and heart failure issues mentioned, then also consider learning pranayama deep breaths.

​Pranayama is the best way to complement the yoga poses mentioned, and thereby get further benefits of yoga.

​In addition, almost all yoga poses will increase your blood circulation, and assist any medical condition where Dr McCall has found control group studies proving the effectiveness of yoga.

Best poses for blood pressure and stress

As mentioned, some of the very best yoga poses for blood pressure, are any variation of the supported bridge pose, shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana), and legs-up-the-wall pose (Viparita Karani).

On various posts on the Flametree blog, there are picture of these and other poses to help blood pressure and stress. They also have many other benefits, such as improving sleep.

These are all easy poses, that feel great each time to you do them. They’re also easy to build into your day, or into your regular yoga practice.

The key poses to use for blood pressure, as well as pranayama, have more of a focus on your parasympathetic nervous system, and vagus nerve, and thereby help reduce the impact of stress, and reduce blood pressure.

parasympathetic nervous system

Your parasympathetic nervous system, and yoga poses that focus on it, slow your heart rate, and are a key part of reducing blood pressure.

Other benefits of a less sedentary lifestyle

If you do the poses outlined, you’ll get many other benefits in addition to lowering your blood pressure level. Some are likely to include:

  • lower and upper body flexibility (as well as in your whole body)
  • weight loss
  • ​better heart health, and less risk of coronary artery disease
  • improvements in your circulatory system
  • ​strength and less pain in your lower back
  • reduction in risk of a range of health conditions

The poses outlined are generally very safe for senior citizens, especially if you at least start with Flametree’s weekly Gentle Yoga class.

Which yoga asanas for high blood pressure?

First, at least use yoga exercise, because it also de-stresses best.

Flametree Darwin

As you can see, lack of exercise is a key issue in high blood pressure. But when you exercise, choose yoga, because it works in extra ways to lower stress and blood pressure. In particular, use Iyengar yoga for high blood pressure, because of the use of props, the precise way such poses are done, and its particular effectiveness at reducing stress.

Flametree Yoga Studio

Flametree beginner classes are LIVE online, at the local time of Darwin, Australia (+9.30GMT).

The classes are all standard, introductory hatha yoga poses in the Iyengar yoga style.

The online format also allows you to get a wide range of classes than are often available locally.

There’s also many options, including Gentle Yoga, Yoga for Back (& Neck & Shoulders), and Restorative Yoga.

The restorative yoga poses are especially useful for blood pressure, and reducing stress. (The founder of Iyengar Yoga, Mr BKS Iyengar, invented restorative yoga).

At the non-beginner level, there’s extra options like Yoga For Immune System, Fifty Plus Yoga, and more advanced levels.

If you like, check out what other Flametree students have said about Flametree’s online classes.

If you’re looking for a yoga school, then please consider online yoga at Flametree.

Another version of the top Iyengar yoga asanas for high blood pressure

iyengar yoga asanas for high blood pressure

Another version of Bridge pose, using a block

Try Iyengar yoga for high blood pressure

Flame Tree beginners yoga can be started at any time, online or in-studio.

So, try Flametree’s Iyengar yoga for high blood pressure.

Plus, at beginner or non-beginner level, consider doing restorative yoga, or gentle yoga, or both.

Follow the orange links below to learn more, and get one some of best deals you’ll find.

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