During this time of pandemic, economic dip and – for some of us – political turmoil, it’s likely we have been experiencing stress – whether we realise it or not.
This in turn may lead to elevated blood pressure. If we ignore this, it could lead to less than desirable results. To learn more about how to regulate your blood pressure, read the previous post below.
Yoga to help reduce blood pressure.
Blog post on various things to do to help using the breath to help you lower blood pressure.
Be sure to check with your doctor first, and best to get any consistent elevated blood pressure seen to, and medicated, if need be.
Self-care, self-care, self-care!
Taking time out to look after yourself is vital. Yes, I know that:
- your boss and colleagues are making demands on you;
- your children need you to cook, clean and look after them;
- possibly, you to ensure your ageing parents need your attention;
- your spouse has asked you to do 101 things to help keep the household run smoothly;
- maybe you have side hustle commitments;
There is no time! Good news is, this little piece of yoga breath work and movement can be as short or as long as you like. Go through it once altogether and then edit it as you feel (check in with yourself – how do you feel?).
It’s like on the aeroplane when the emergency announcement tells you to put on your oxygen mask before you cater to your dependents. If you don’t take time out for yourself before you care for others, others may end up having to take time out to care for you.Me (LOL!)
So, find the time. Ten to 15 minutes every other day is totally find to begin with.
Yoga breath work / Pranayama
You may choose to sit or lie down comfortably (I usually lie down on my yoga mat – not bed). Follow the sequence below:
- Begin by noticing your body – spend about a minute or so, just experiencing the sensation of your body in either its sitting or lying form – maybe the warmth of the body, the heaviness / lightness of the body.
- Then notice the breath – just watch the breath in a non-judgmental sense – again, maybe the warmth of the breath or the length of the breath. You may also choose to count the breath.
- Next, try to even out your inhales to your exhales. Begin maybe by doing a 4-count inhale, and a 4-count exhale. When this is comfortable, you may extend the count up to eight or beyond. Please not: avoid holding your breath to accommodate the count, as breath retention does not serve you if you have high blood pressure. Remember the counting serves you, not you serve the counting.
- When you have reached a comfortable count, begin by shortening your inhales a count or so, maintaining the length of your exhales. Remain with this practice for at least a minute or longer (as long as time allows!).
- Finally, let go of all deliberation – the counting, the breath focus – and just be. When you’re ready, you can open your eyes and take a bow to your practice.
It is important you keep your focus on the breath. When thoughts other than the breath or breath deliberation come to mind, draw yourself back to the breath. Remember that this practice serves you so you can serve yourself and others better.Me (again!)
Yoga movement practice.
The short yoga sequence below is designed to help calm you down, spark some calming hormones in your body and thereby help with with lowering your blood pressure.
Spend about five breaths (approximately slightly less than a minute if your inhale is five seconds, and exhale five seconds) in every pose. Go for longer if that serves you.
Please do check with your medical practitioner if you have any contraindications prior to your movement practice.
- Child’s pose
- Cat tilts
- Modified side plank
- Gate pose
- Bolster baddhakonasana
- Chair camel
- Bridge pose
- Bolster bridge
Maintain your focus on your body, your movement and your breath in a completely non-judgmental manner. If thoughts other than these come to mind, draw yourself back to focus on these. If throughout the practice you keep thinking of all the ‘other things’ you need to do, you may find the practice causes higher blood pressure to you because your thoughts drifted elsewhere.Me (again!)
Now you know through the previous piece and this tools and tips in how to manage your blood pressure. Keep practising this at least every other day and let me know how it helps.
If you would to learn a little more, you can get my Mindful Mornings Mini-Course Free here, or take a look at my subscription below.