A review of a study into the ‘Effectiveness of Yoga for Hypertension’

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In Yoga Therapy Greece we combine the ancient yoga wisdom and the evidence informed practices suggested by research. Critically evaluating the latest and most robust research articles, we are happy to share a small summary of them hoping that you will find it interesting to read and a help to understand the effectiveness of yoga in the management of hypertension.

This robust systematic review and meta-analysis ‘Effectiveness of Yoga for Hypertension’ by Hagins et al., (2013) of 17 research articles show that yoga has significant effect on systolic blood pressure [SBP -4.17, P=0. 00002] and diastolic blood pressure [DBP -3.62, P=0.0001], compared to no treatment.

Most of the yoga interventions were incorporating at least 3 elements (postures/movements, breathing and meditation) while some had only guided meditation with breathing and without movements.  All of the participants had either hypertension or prehypertension, with other comorbidities such as obesity, metabolic syndrome and HIV. Most of them were male.

The yoga interventions varied among the 17 articles. The yoga programs took place 30 minutes twice a week for 6 weeks, for 30 minutes 3 times per week for 12 weeks, 45 minutes 5 times per week for 8 weeks, 60 minutes twice a week for 20 weeks, 60 minutes 3 times a week for 12 weeks, 60-minute practice per week for 8 weeks and 30 minutes home practice for 40 weeks and 90 minutes twice a week for 10 and for 16 weeks with 30 minutes daily home practice. Most of the interventions had a short daily home practice as we do in yoga therapy.  

The results were similar to more recent robust studies such as the following.

In Yoga Therapy Greece we have seen great results working with numerous people with hypertension. By building therapeutic relationship and through motivational interviewing we focus a lot on dysfunctional habits, empowering the individual to choose a healthier lifestyle with more physical activity and a more balanced state of mind. We focus on slow breath and relax the person-balance the nervous system through specific and personalized breathing practices, tailor made guided relaxation and yoga nidra or meditation and less in the asanas/movements for the areas that hold tension. Hypertension is very effectively addressed by personalized yoga therapy programs based on the person’s lifestyle, needs and capabilities.

https://yogatherapygreece.com/ for details of IAYT Accredited 800 hours Yoga Therapy Training, personal and group yoga therapy sessions

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