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Hypertension and Yoga

Seven patients suffering from hypertension were used in this study. Subjects learned transcendental meditation (T.M.), were seen weekly, and took their own blood pressure several times daily. After 12 weeks of T.M. six subjects showed psychological changes and reduced anxiety scores. Six subjects also showed significant reductions in home and four in clinic blood-pressures. Six months later four subjects continued to derive psychological benefit and two showed significant blood-pressure reductions attributable to T.M. at home and clinic.
-- Blackwell, B., Bloomfield, S., Gartside, P., Robinson, A., Hanenson, I., Magenheim, Nidich, S., and Zigler, R. (1976). Transcendental meditation in hypertension. Individual response patterns. Lancet 1, 223-226.

A study was conducted in seven previously untrained male adults who underwent a combination of yogic exercises, daily for one hour, over a period of four months. These findings suggest that yoga induces a state of blood hypocoagulability suggesting positive effects of yoga on prevention of cardiovascular and thrombotic disorders.
-- Chohan, I. S., Nayar, H. S., Thomas, P., and Geetha, N. S. (1984). Influence of yoga on blood coagulation. Thrombosis & Haemostasis 51, 196-197.

Studied physiological variables in 40 men (aged 16-46 yrs) before and after yoga-based isometric relaxation technique and supine rest. Assessments of autonomic parameters included oxygen consumption, breath rate, and breath volume. There was a significant decrease in breath rate after yoga and in finger plethysmogram after supine rest.
-- Vempati,-R-P; Telles,-Shirley (1999). Yoga based isometric relaxation versus supine rest: A study of oxygen consumption, breath rate and volume and autonomic measures. Journal-of-Indian-Psychology 17, 46-52.

Two yoga practices, one combining "calming and stimulating" measures and the other, a "calming" technique, were compared. There was a significant decrease in the amount of oxygen consumed and in breath rate and an increase in breath volume after both types of sessions. However, the magnitude of change on all 3 measures was greater after the calming and stimulating session: Oxygen consumption decreased 32% compared with 10%; breath rate decreased 18% versus 15%; and breath volume increased 29% versus 16%. These results support the idea that a combination of yoga postures interspersed with relaxation reduces arousal more than relaxation alone does.
-- Telles S. Reddy SK. Nagendra HR. (2000). Oxygen consumption and respiration following two yoga relaxation techniques. Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback 25, 221-7.

Yoga Information || Heart Disease Center

last update: April 2009

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