“Heart disease is far and away the No. 1 killer of Americans, claiming more lives than anything else, including all forms of cancer combined. And despite the perception that heart disease is what happens to older men, the reality is that more women die of heart disease than men. The numbers are stark: While 1 of every 30 female deaths is from breast cancer, 1 in 3 is from heart disease.” (Nancy Brown, CEO,American Heart Association, Huffington Post)
Wow! Those are frightening statistics! So, what do these statistics have to do with yoga?
Research shows that yoga can benefit one’s cardiac health! According to Harvard Health Publication, “Hatha yoga’s path to balancing the mind and the body involves three interconnected threads: physical postures called “asanas,” controlled breathing, and calming the mind through relaxation and meditation. The three work together. How could this improve cardiovascular health? Getting into the various postures during a yoga session gently exercises the muscles. Anything that works your muscles is good for your heart and blood vessels. Activity also helps muscles become more sensitive to insulin, which is important for controlling blood sugar. The deep-breathing exercises help slow the breathing rate. Taking fewer but deeper breaths each minute temporarily lowers blood pressure and calms the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for generating stress hormones. The postures and deep breathing offer a kind of physical meditation that focuses and clears the mind. Meditation and the mindfulness of yoga have both been shown to help people with cardiovascular disease.” (Read the entire article here.)
We could not have said it better ourselves! But wait, there’s more!
“Chronic emotional stress makes plaque build up twice as fast in the coronary arteries that feed the heart. Stress also causes the coronary arteries to constrict, reducing blood flow to the heart. It makes the platelets stickier and more likely to form blood clots that may precipitate a heart attack.Yoga is perhaps the most effective stress-reduction method ever invented.” This comes from Dean Ornish, MD, founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute (as quoted in Yoga Journal).
How is yoga helping you with your heart health? Let yoga and Sunrise Yoga Studio help you find a healthy heart journey. And remember, today, February 7th is National Wear Red Day in support of heart health! See you in the red!