Can Yoga Reduce High Blood Pressure?

Yoga has been around for ages. 

But it’s only in the last few decades or so, that there’s been extensive research on the science of yoga. 

There’s been a special focus on the different types of modern yoga and how they help to prevent certain diseases. 

Not surprisingly, scientists have also studied the effects of yoga on hypertension or high blood pressure. 

And what did they find? 

Well, yoga does seem to have benefits that may lower blood pressure, when practiced regularly. 

So in this video, I’m going to share with you how yoga regulates blood pressure and what are the things to know before you join a yoga class to manage your high blood pressure.

Does Yoga Lower Blood Pressure?

Any form of physical activity, whether it’s walking, biking or doing any sport, has been found to help reduce high blood pressure. 

As yoga involves physical movements, it’s no surprise that it should also have a positive effect on blood pressure levels. 

Interestingly, yoga doesn’t stop at just physical movement. 

Yoga is an age-old practice that, when done under the right supervision and guidance, can have a positive impact on your mind and your soul.

Yoga involves deep breathing techniques, also called pranayama, which helps you to destress and find inner peace. 

The physical activity of yoga, combined with it’s breathing exercises can help to regulate or normalize your blood pressure.

How Does Yoga Lower High Blood Pressure?


To understand this, let’s break down hypertension into some of the most common causes, and see how yoga helps to rectify them.

Stress

The incessant stress of today’s hectic lifestyle is a common reason behind blood pressure rising. 

Yoga calms your mind and soothes your nerves, helping you to destress. 

This eventually brings the blood pressure down.

Obesity

Hypertension is commonly seen in those who are overweight. 

Yoga’s specific exercises that focus on physical movement can help you to burn more calories, which helps you to reduce your weight, thus lowering blood pressure.

Inability to Rest and Sleep

When your body doesn’t get enough sleep day in and day out, it can cause physical stress and result in high blood pressure. 

Yoga helps you wind down and regulates your body’s sleep cycle.

High Heart Rate

A high heart heart and other cardiovascular issues can be a contributing factor to  high blood pressure. 

Yoga soothes the heart by teaching you breathing exercises that slow down your heart rate. 

This, in turn, has a positive impact on your heart health and can lower your blood pressure.

Poor Mental Health

Yes, the mind plays a role in hypertension, too. 

If you have too many negative thoughts, worries and anxieties racing around in your mind, it could contribute to an increase in your blood pressure. 

Yoga balances your mind with your body to help manage and even reduce your anxieties, worries and stresses to create a harmonious environment, which contributes to maintaining a stable blood pressure.

What are the Studies to Prove Yoga Lowers High Blood Pressure?

A 2011 study looked at a group of people with hypertension with no prior yoga experience. 

They were asked to follow a 12-week Lyengar yoga protocol, which helped to lower the participants blood pressure.

Another study in 2016 showed that practicing Hatha yoga for 12 weeks alone caused blood pressure to drop to lower levels as compared to other methods of controlling hypertension. 

In 2019, there was another study published by the American Heart Association that specifically focused on hot yoga and its ability to lower high blood pressure.

Hot yoga is a type of yoga that is done under very hot and humid conditions. 

The study concluded that those with stage 1 hypertension can benefit from this particular kind of yoga. 

The study showed that after 12 weeks of doing hot yoga, the average systolic blood pressure dropped from an average 126 at the study’s start to 121, a 5 point drop. 

The participants average diastolic pressure also decreased from 82 to 79, a 3 point drop. 

So research has shown that doing hot yoga lowers high blood pressure.

What Type of Yoga Best Lowers High Blood Pressure?


Those who’ve been doing yoga to lower high blood pressure have said that Hatha yoga is the best type of yoga for dealing with hypertension. 

There are many types or versions of Hatha yoga, though. 

Which one should you go for?

Look for trainers specializing in Lyengar yoga. 

This type of yoga is a holistic approach that deals with all three physical aspects of yoga, which are, movement, breath, and meditation. 

Other types, such as Vinyasa yoga, and Restorative yoga, can also be effective, provided you practice them regularly.

Another benefit of doing hot yoga is that it’s been known to flush out toxins from your body.

It has the same benefits of sitting in a sauna.

It detoxifies your body and can reduce your blood pressure.

What are the Best Yoga Poses for Lowering High Blood Pressure?

Although you should work on a full-body yoga regimen for maximum benefits, some yoga poses can be more effective in lowering blood pressure than others. 

Here are 3 such poses or “asanas” as they’re called in yoga.

Downward Facing Dog

Bend on your arms and knees. 

Straighten your arms and legs. 

Slowly lift your pelvis while maintaining your arms and legs straight. 

Your head and shoulders should go between your straightened arms as you look down. 

Think of it as a pose in which you look like an inverted V.

Standing Forward Bend

Stand with your feet slightly apart. 

Bend forward as much as you can. 

Hold your ankles with your hands with elbows apart.

Posterior Stretch

Sit upright and straighten your legs to the front. 

Bend forward and try to hold your toes with your hands.

What are Some Warnings for People Using Yoga to Reduce High Blood Pressure?

Not every yoga pose can benefit hypertension. 

Some can even worsen it. 

Poses that require your head to be lower than your heart, such as complete inversions, should be avoided. 

These types of poses carry the risk of allowing the blood to gush into your head quickly, further raising your blood pressure.

Certain kinds of pranayama are very fast-paced and should also be avoided. 

These can dramatically increase your heart rate and cause your blood pressure to rise. 

Most importantly, yoga should be practiced under the guidance of a trained professional. 

And even then, if a pose doesn’t feel right, you need to stop it immediately and move on to a more comfortable asana.

What are Some Other Benefits of Yoga for Your Overall Health?

Apart from reducing blood pressure and improving heart health, yoga has numerous other health benefits, too. 

Yoga teaches you to be mindful and find inner balance. 


Yoga helps with pain management as well as building muscle strength. 

Yoga improves your gut health and your overall immune system. 

Yoga makes your body flexible and helps you become more energetic. 

And lastly, yoga enhances your mood and fills your life with positivity.

The century-old practice of yoga has been studied extensively over the years.

Just recently, it’s been found to help lower high blood pressure. 

Significant improvements have been noticed in people who practice yoga regularly.

Yoga works great for destressing your mind and calming your nerves. 

Its therapeutic effects on your entire body and mind enable it to increase your immune system and help fight off some illnesses, including lowering your blood pressure.

So, take advantage of this age-old wisdom to try and lower your blood pressure numbers naturally. 

Just keep in mind that it’s always best to practice yoga under proper guidance as certain poses and techniques can harm your hypertension instead of healing it. 

Regular practice of yoga can manage not just your blood pressure, but also improve your overall quality of life.

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