Useful Asanas and Pranayama for Heart Diseases
Asanas for Heart Diseases
Yoga is very important for maintaining a healthy body. Although exercise for a person suffering from cardiovascular diseases is generally considered taboo, yoga cannot be counted in that type of exercise. However, it is also important to note that not all postures are also suitable for heart patients. The simple exercises have been made for the heart patients. Only by knowing the name of Asana and knowing its simple method, if one practises it can probably not beneficial instead it can be harmful. Therefore it is necessary to pay special attention to this while doing yoga. Generally the best time for doing yoga is morning. Some of the asanas can be done in the evening too, as after having food one shouldn't exercise similarly yoga should also not be done after meals. But there are some asanas which can be done after having food too. Some of the asanas and their benefits are mentioned below (It should be done under the supervision of a qualified instructor only):
This asana strengthens the heart which decreases the chances of having heart disease. Beside this it increases enthusiasm, removes laziness, heaviness in stomach, decreases trembling of elderly age and increases the strength of lungs. It is a mountain pose asana.
How to do - Stand erect by keeping the feet together and let your hands hang at the respective sides of the body. Then lift the body parts one by one through the crown of the head. First stretch thighs, then lift the waist and then spine is elongated. Relax and breathe.
This asana should be avoided if a person is having headache, insomnia or low blood pressure.
This asana creates consciousness in the body. The heart becomes strong. Gas is expelled out of the stomach and belly fat is decreased. It makes body symmetrical and its characteristic is that those who are unable to stand up to do this asana, can also do it while laying down. This asana requires balance, strength, and flexibility.
How to do - Extend your arms and spread apart both the legs. Turn one of the foot at the angle of 90 degree. Bend down towards the leg which is at 90 degree to touch with the hand being one hand positioned towards the sky.
It is a Sanskrit word which means lotus seat. There is a deep connection between the heart and the mind. This is the perfect tool to stabilize the playful mind. This asana is beneficial for all those who are mentally involved or intensive thinkers. It balances all three Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha. It benefits the heart.
How to do it - Sit on a flat surface, preferably ground and bend the legs placing feet on the opposite thighs. Keep hands in the mudra of your choice and breathe deep and long.
Some people also call it as a Sarpasana as sarp and bhujang are synonyms. In Gheranda Samhita while describing it is said:
देहाग्निर्वर्द्धते नित्यं सर्वरोगविनाशनम् ।
जागर्ति भुजंगी देवी साधनात् भुजंगासनम् ।।
Dehagnirvarddhate nityan sarvarogavinashnam
Jagarati Bhujangi Devi Sadhnat Bhujangasanam
Meaning - Jatharagni is illuminated by Bhujangasana. All diseases are destroyed and Kundalini awakens from its sadhana. Apart from this, the pain due to excessive labor in females is removed. It removes Vayu pain which happens after meals. It is beneficial for people having Kapha-Pitta ailments. It strengthens the heart.
How to do it - Lie down on the stomach and slightly keep the feet apart. Now gently do the back bend and then slowly come down.
It removes the air filled in the stomach and it also decreases the fat of the stomach. This asana helps in increasing memory. Pawanmuktasana is a very beneficial posture for doctors, lawyers, professors, writers, businessmen, students or heart patients, who do more mental work.
How to do it - Press the thighs against stomach and clasp the elbows. Now bend the neck towards the knee and try to touch the chin or forehead. Keep holding the position for some time and breath normally.
6. Yoga Mudrasana
It is believed that if this asana is performed properly then it illuminates Kundalini. This asana removes diseases of stomach and intestines. It is extremely beneficial for spleen, liver and heart. It eliminates obesity and increases the mental strength.
How to do it - Make lotus pose as in Padmasana and then bring hands behind the back interlocking the fingers. Then lower the forehead without lifting the buttocks. People with severe eye conditions, diabetes and heart diseases should avoid it.
It is useful for all abdominal disorders. This asana decreases the obesity and fat also makes the heart strong. Jatharagni illuminates by this. By doing this rectus muscles of the abdomen are stretched which helps to keep stomach healthy. Digestive juice is released in intestines. With the inclusion of Bhujangasan and Shalabhasan in this posture, all benefits of these two asanas are obtained from it.
How to do it - Lie flat on the stomach and bend the knees, then hold the ankles with hands. This will lift the thighs, bend the back and chest will press downwards (Bow pose).
These are some major asanas for keeping a healthy body. There are also some other asana which can help in different health ailments and maintain health.
- Hridya Stambhasana - As the name suggests, it is for the heart's strength. It increases the strength of the heart. Chest, neck and back diseases are destroyed by it. The person who practices this posture regularly, his arteries can never be blocked.
- Khagasana - By doing this, all diseases of the head, cervical, gout, chest and stomach are destroyed. Gas from the stomach is removed and it also relieves breathing problems. Chest becomes broader and strength of the heart increases.
- Konasana - This asana has the same benefits like Trikonasana and done in a similar way.
- Parvatasana - This eliminates looseness of the body and develops the chest.
- Vajrasana - It removes the fidgety of the mind. Blood circulation becomes proper, because of this it is beneficial for the heart. This asana can be done after half an hour of taking meals. It eliminates the air in the stomach and increases the digestive strength.
- Shayan dwipada sagarsaparsh asana - This posture strengthens the back, belly and waist becomes thin. The body experiences healthy feeling and lightness. Ideas become pure, intellect becomes intense and the heart becomes strong.
- Nabhi asana - It increases digestive strength, destroys air and stomach disorders. It is also beneficial in diseases of the brain. Chest become stronger and heart is also benefited.
- Matsyasana - This asana strengthens the whole body, the gums, chest and stomach. Removes their diseases and breathing process improves. Development of lungs occur and fat of stomach decreases. This asana removes skin diseases and is beneficial for heart.
- Janusirasana - This asana is beneficial for spleen, liver and also relieves cough asthma, and simple fever. It increases digestive strength and blood circulation. Fat of stomach decreases and skin diseases do not occur. It destroys Vata and Kapha dosha. Janusirasana is beneficial for sciatica and it is best for heart.
- Uttanpadasana - It is beneficial for all the stomach diseases and it also reduces the fat. This asana eliminates weakness of eyes and brain. Destroy the breathing and blood disorders. Eliminates the gas of stomach and increases appetite. It is beneficial for heart as well.
- Shuturmurgasana - It strengthens the hands and legs and removes back diseases. This asana is beneficial for gout and abdominal diseases also strengthens the heart.
- Gomukhasana - Practicing this asana brings cow like strength in the body. It strengthens the legs and destroys gout. Calms the mind and is beneficial for heart.
- Mandukasana - This asana provides strength to the legs and provides strength to the body. Relieves gout and removes air (Vayu) from the body. It strengthens the digestive system and heart.
- Yogasana - It eliminates the restlessness of the mind, helps in meditating. Removes laziness, disgrace and sorrow from the body. Stagnant blood speeds up and activity of the brain increases. This asana also strengthens the heart.
- Nabhi Pirhasana -This asana also enhances the digestion process by cleaning the stomach like 'Nabhi-asana'. It removes the air from stomach and strengthens the heart. Also the legs gain strength by practicing this asana.
- Padahastasana - It helps to treat diseases of waist region. This asana makes backbone more flexible which helps in removing many diseases of the body. Stomach feels lighter and it relaxes the heart.
- Supta Vajrasana - This asana helps in asthma and other breathing difficulties. Stomach feels lighter and relives abdominal problems. Chest becomes broader and relaxes the heart.
- Hansasana - The muscles of arms become stronger from this asana. It enhances the glow of the face and body becomes energized. Food gets digested quickly and it keeps pulse proper. This asana is beneficial for heart.
- Swastikasana - It as beneficial as Padmasana. This asana can be done for long time. Makes mind calm and stable and removes instability. It relaxes the heart.
- Sarvangasana - This asana illuminates Jatharagni (Digestive fire) and removes looseness of the skin. It also helps in hair fall and graying of hair. Sarvangasana is considered asana which wins over death. The narrator says that regular practice of this asana increases the strength of the body. All three doshas are balanced by this asana. It increases semen and increases cardiovascular strength. It brings back the youthness and increases the age. This asana is very beneficial for mental workers such as lawyers, doctors, professors, students, businessmen and writers etc. Sarvangasana eliminates the blood disorders and increases the strength of the body.
- Urdhva sarvangasana - Just like Sarvangasana it is very beneficial and is useful especially for heart.
- Tad Asana - This increases blood circulation in the body along with this, it relaxes the body. Due to simplicity of this asana, it is not harmful in any disease condition. Tad asana is very beneficial for heart.
- Shavasana - This is a state of complete rest of the body. This is done in the end. This asana along with being easy is beneficial as well. Similarly like Tad asana this asana also helps in relaxation of the body. It relaxes both mind and the body. While doing this asana, one should keep his mind free from all kinds of thoughts means he should become like a dead body. All parts of the body must be kept calm in this asana. It also removes body’s tension. This relaxes heart and is beneficial for it.
Pranayama Beneficial for the Heart Diseases
Like Yoga, Pranayama is also beneficial for the heart. As it is necessary to learn yoga from a well-trained person, similarly it is best to learn Pranayama from a well-trained person. Just inspiring and expiring the air through nose is not Pranayama. For heart diseases Pranayama is very beneficial. In various Yoga literature like Hathyog Pradipika and Gheranda Sanhita, 6 types of Pranayama are described, that are:
सूर्यभेदन उज्जायी सीताकारी शीतली तथा ।
भस्त्रिका भ्रामरी मुच्छों प्लाविनीत्यद कुम्भकाः ।।
Suryabhedan ujjayi sitakari sheetali tatha
Bhastrika Bhramri muchhon plavinityad kumbhaka
Benefits of these 6 Pranayamas are given as follow:
- Suryabhedan - This Pranayama gives body heat and increases the digestive power. The blood vessels and respiratory tract gets clear and body gets energized. It also destroys Vata dosha and gives feeling of happiness. Calms mind and body. This asana is beneficial in the winter season.
- Ujaayi - This simple Pranayama is very beneficial. You can do this anytime, walking, sitting, writing or lying down. It calms the body’s heat and increases digestive fire. Stomach remains clear and Kapha dosha do not affect. Appetite increases and body becomes taut. This Pranayama should be necessarily done in summer season as it has cooling effect and hence very beneficial in this season. It pacifies imbalanced Pitta dosha and increases appetite. Ujjayi Pranayama removes laziness and sleepiness and provides energy to the body.
- Sheetali - It relieves all kind of fever and destroy diseases of the stomach.
- Bhastrika - This asana increases digestive fire. It is beneficial for Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha. Bhastrika strengthens the blood vessels and the respiratory tract and relieves their problems. It strengthens the heart.
- Bhramri - It relieves heaviness of the head and cleanses nose which eventually helps in proper respiration. This Pranayama increases the mindfulness and decreases the instability. Subconscious state of mind also becomes more stable. Blood vessels and skin diseases are resolved from it and digestion becomes better which energizes the body.
- Plavini - Body feels lighter and digestion also improves as stomach remains clear. Vayu diseases are destroyed and stomach becomes flat and chest broadens. Once it is practiced well, a man can swim like a lotus flower in water.
If we take an insight in these Pranayamas then we will see that all these help in preventing the heart disease or factors that cause heart disease. Everyone who is having a heart disease should learn these Pranayama from a trained person and then practice it in the daily life. Similarly it should be done in Yoga. A person should never go for them without learning it properly from the trained person as it can prove to be harmful if done in a wrong way.
It is said that: योगः कर्मसु कौशलम् (Yoga karmsu kaushalam).
Means - Perfection in work is Yoga. Hence to get skilled in this, one have to learn it from a trained person to be perfect in it.
How to do Pranayam - Pranayama Breathing Exercises by Dr. Vikram Chauhan
Some Tips to Remain Healthy
- Intake of food and water should be according to nature’s rules.
- Avoid intake of refined salt, refined oil, refined sugar, and refined flour.
- Do not stop natural things like feces, urine, thirst, laughter, tear, semen, hunger, sneezing, vomiting and sleep.
- Do not use Aluminium utensils. Earthen utensils are best.
- Use more of ground grains and peeled pulses.
- Have faith and belief in God.
- Take wholesome food only and avoid junk food.
- Let the food digest. Do not drink water immediately after or with food. Drink water only after one or one and half hour of food.
- Drink 2-3 glasses of lukewarm water after waking up in the morning.
- Do not drink chilled or iced water.
- Drink water only while sitting and sip by sip.
- Take once a complete meal and do not eat after small intervals.