Did you know that, in the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst adult men, women, and most racial and ethnic groups?
Studies show that one person dies every 36 seconds due to heart disease.
The truth is, for most people, heart disease in all its forms is preventable by adopting a healthy eating lifestyle, moderate exercise, and better forms of self-care. And gone are the days when vigorous exercise accompanied by jacked up heart rates are the only types of physical activity that help prevent or reverse heart disease.
Yoga is good for your heart too.
Increasingly, doctors (particularly cardiologists) are recognizing that the benefits of yoga for your heart are very real.
Because globally, heart disease kills upwards of 17 million people a year worldwide, I wanted to create a yoga class for heart health on MyYogaTeacher! The class is called Heart Diseases – How to Reverse or Avoid Them With Yoga.
If you’re not a member of MyYogaTeacher yet, you should definitely check it out! When you sign up for your 2-week free trial, you get access to every single group class MYT has to offer! There are over 35 varying types of classes taught by amazing instructors from the birthplace of yoga, India.
In the meantime, let’s talk about how yoga for heart health can help prevent or reverse heart disease.
It’s common knowledge that fried foods, food high in sugar, and excessively eating food high in fat and bad cholesterol, and not eating enough clean, whole foods is bad for your heart.
Research has also shown over and over again the effects of unmanaged high blood pressure, high cortisol levels, and high glucose levels on our heart.
Inflammation in the body also causes heart disease. And inflammation comes from excessive amounts of sugar, salt, cortisol, and cholesterol.
You know what else studies are repeatedly showing?
That yoga helps prevent and even reverse heart disease. It helps combat the damage we do to our bodies when we eat terribly and don’t move our bodies enough. Yoga literally boosts heart health.
Check this out. Yoga:
>> Reduces cortisol levels that accompany stress and bad eating habits
>> Decreases blood pressure
>> Improves cholesterol levels
>> Reduces inflammation in the whole body
All of which reduces your chances of having a stroke, heart attack, or coronary artery disease.
Not that we’re encouraging you to start or continue eating an unhealthy diet or that emotional, mindless, and stress eating are ok for your body. But when you’re not eating well, you’re super stressed, or having a generally bad day, yoga protects your heart.
Whether you need to lose weight or not, yoga for your heart helps you lose or maintain your weight.
We’re not knocking vigorous, heart-pounding-in-your-chest, sweating bullets forms of exercise. We’re just saying not only is it not necessary if you don’t want to do it or like to do it, it’s not always safe for everyone.
Some people need a gentler form of exercise that’s safe but still strengthens, tones, promotes flexibility, and helps them manage their weight.
Weight loss and management is important to heart health. Excess weight, particularly around the midsection, is dangerously unhealthy. Obesity increases the risk of heart disease because fat collects on and around vital organs, including your heart.
Yoga for heart health is a perfect way to address weight gain, weight management, and overall physical fitness. There are many types of yoga, such as hatha yoga, ashtanga yoga, and power yoga, that do increase your heart rate and are quite vigorous without being hard on your body.
Prevent or reverse the effects of heart disease with a consistent regular yoga practice!
I think it’s safe to say that worldwide stress levels have increased over the past 1.5 years, but even before COVID, stress was becoming its own sort of pandemic. Particularly in the Western part of the world.
Let’s look at how stress affects your heart.
Stress responses release adrenaline and cortisol which trigger inflammation in the body and around the heart.
Stress restricts the blood flow around the heart due to the constriction of blood vessels.
Stress contributes to high blood pressure, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Stress literally lowers the good cholesterol in your body.
Over time, continued mismanagement of stress in your life can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, and a whole host of other heart conditions.
On the other hand, yoga is notorious for reducing stress levels and helping people keep their stress levels down. This not only promotes better mental and emotional health, yoga improves heart health and your entire body. Here’s how. By:
>> Increasing levels of feel good chemicals like serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins.
>> Bringing more self awareness to how you’re feeling, why, and how to better manage stressful situations
>> Dilating blood vessels, which improves circulation to your heart and organs.
>> Improving oxygen levels, which calms your central nervous system.
>> Helping you become more present and grounded, which promotes calmness.
Not to mention, worry, anxiety, and depression often follow a cardiac event. If you’ve already suffered from a heart related problem or already have some form of heart disease that causes you stress and worry, a regular yoga practice is a good avenue for you!
Our hearts are the most vital organ in our body! It works continuously from before we’re even born until the day we die. Nonstop. Day and night. It’s not a muscle we really think about until it doesn’t work right. We need to take care of it.
A consistent, regular yoga practice can prevent heart disease that isn’t genetic or hereditary. Yoga really can reverse the effects of heart disease too.
You just have to show up!
I’d love to have you in my class, Heart Disease – How to Avoid/Reverse Them With Yoga. In our sessions, you’ll learn how to avoid or manage things like heart attacks, strokes, angina, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease.
If you’re not a member of MyYogaTeacher yet, I encourage you to grab your 2-week free trial here and check it out! No credit card required. Just sign up and come. We are a community of people from all walks of life, all different backgrounds, and you’ll meet people from other parts of the world. All while creating a harmonious mind, body, and spirit!
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