BENGALURU: Yoga offers one of the best preventive mechanisms when it comes to lifestyles diseases. Daily practice of a few asanas and breathing exercises can go a long way in maintaining the health of your heart and preventing a cardiac problem.Yoga has a combination of asanas and breathing techniques that have a positive effect on the respiratory system and the heart. Regular practice helps in improving lung capacity and heart rate, lower cholesterol levels, and better blood circulation. The following poses, when practiced in sequence, can rejuvenate your heart:
Stand erect and let your arms hang to the side. Bend the right knee and place your right foot on the left thigh. Ensure that the sole of your right foot is placed flat against the thigh. Balance yourself, inhale, and raise both the arms over the head, bringing them together in the ‘namaste’ mudra. Focus your attention on a distant object to help maintain the balance. Make sure your spine is erect. Inhale deeply, and with every exhalation, release the tension in your body. Gently lower your hands and release your right leg. Now repeat the same pose on the other side. This pose helps develop a firm posture and opens up your heart.
Stand straight. Keep the feet together and hands in front of the thigh. While inhaling raise the arm over the head, and bend backward from the upper back. Keep the legs and arms straight and lookup. This practice stretches the arms, chest, and abdomen and improves cardio-respiratory function.
Lie down on your stomach with your hands to the side, and make sure that your toes touch one another. Gently move your hands towards the front until they are at shoulder level. Turn your palms down and place them on the floor. Gently raise your trunk and head. Ensure that your arms are bent at the elbows at this point. Tilt your neck back while making sure that your shoulder is firm. Press your feet, thighs and hips to the floor. Stay in the position for about 15 to 20 seconds. To release, bring your hands back to the side and place your head on the ground.
The author is a senior yoga teacher, Jindal Naturecure Institute