Yogic ways of managing ‘Hypertension’

Hypertension, also known as High Blood Pressure, seldom causes any symptoms. But over time, the excessive force and friction of blood pushing against the inner walls of arteries can damage blood vessels. The biggest threat may be to your heart and the brain.

The normal adult blood pressure is 120 mm Hg when the heart beats (systolic) and 80 mm Hg when the heart relaxes (diastolic). When the systolic blood pressure is equal to or above 140 mm Hg and /or a diastolic blood pressure equal to or above 90 mm Hg, then it is generally said to be hypertensive.

If left uncontrolled, hypertension can lead to a heart attack, enlargement of the heart and eventually heart failure. Blood vessels may develop bulges and weak spots that make them more likely to clog and burst. The pressure in blood vessels can cause blood to leak out into the brain and cause a stroke. It can also lead to kidney failure, blindness and cognitive impairment.

The Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy briefs about the condition, its causes and management through healthy lifestyle regimens and specific Yogic practices in an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material on the topic.

The health guide prescribes the following life style practices to management High Blood pressure:-

n  Reduce salt intake to less than 5 g of salt per day (just under a tea spoon).

n  Avoid fried foods and cold drinks

n  Reduce intake of salt content foods such as pickles, chutneys, papads, salted nuts, chips etc.

n  Consume more of fresh fruits and vegetables.

n  Eat Foods rich in potassium and antioxidants like Citrus fruits, Banana, Papaya, Tomatoes, Grains, Cereals, Potatoes, Green leafy vegetables.

n  Reduce saturated and total fat intake

n  Avoid consumption of alcohol.

n  Regular physical activity at least 30 minutes a day

n  Maintain normal weight; every 5 kg of weight loss can reduce systolic blood pressure by 2 to 10 points

n  Stop smoking and use of tobacco products.

n  Manage stress in a healthy way

The specific Yoga practices prescribed by the health guide includes:-

Kriyas – Jalneti, Sutraneti

 ‘Neti’ refers to the yogic system of body cleansing techniques and intended to mainly clean the nasal air passages.  ‘Jalneti‘ is a technique to clean the nasal path by removing mucous and blockages, if any. It involves pouring water in one nostril and flushing it out through the other. It cleans the sinuses and keeps the respiratory tract clear of dirt and toxins.

In Sutraneti, a length of thin wet string or thin surgical tubing is carefully and gently inserted through the nose and into the mouth. The end is then pulled out of the mouth. Then by holding both ends, the string is alternately pulled in and out of the nose and the sinuses. It is an advanced form of Yogic nasal cleansing and requires an experienced teacher.


Tadasana(Mountain pose), Katichakrasana(Standing spinal twist pose) , Konasana (Angle pose), Uttanapadasana (Raised leg posture), Pavanamuktasana (Wind-relieving pose), Vajrasana (Adamantine Pose), Ushtrasana (Camel pose), Shashankasana (Hare Pose) , Bhujangasana (Cobra pose), Gomukhasana (Cow Face pose), Vakrasana (Half spinal twisted pose) and Shavasana (Corpse pose).

It also prescribes the practice Pranayama and Meditation.

However, the institutes clarifies that the purpose of the guide is to make patients aware of the Yogi Treatment techniques and the treatment should be taken under the guidance of an experienced & Qualified Yoga Practitioner.

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