Healthy Heart Yoga Series
The Healthy Heart Yoga Series is an ongoing series of 90 minute therapeutic yoga classes. Students are guided through gentle yoga postures and movements. The class learns several highly effective yogic breathing practices, referred to as pranayama in traditional yoga. Other motor sensory practices, with roots in yogic tradition are shared. These include such things as of mudra, Yoga Nidra, and guided and mindfulness meditation.
The main goal of the Healthy Heart series is to reduce blood pressure and to gradually reestablish balance within the circulatory system. Each week specific themes relevant to controlling hypertension as well as overall health are introduced. Some examples of the themes are: the importance of relaxation in lowering of blood pressure, reducing levels of stress, and the long-term value of breathing better.
Our circulatory system is one of the most important in relation to body awareness. It is directly linked to our thoughts, feelings and perceptions of our world, and of all the things that happen to us in our lives.
Blood pressure is our circulatory system’s response to what is happening both in our environment and within the realm of our thoughts and feelings. When there is a need for more energy to meet a perceived challenge, blood pressure and heart rate go up to provide the oxygen and nutrients to meet this challenge. When the perceived need or challenge has passed, blood pressure and heart rate go down to normal, resting levels. The circulatory system depends on these rest periods to stay healthy.
If we are in a chronic state of “high alert”, blood pressure tends to stay elevated and hypertension can occur due to being in that state of constant alert. The body will continue to work to ensure you have enough energy to meet challenges.
From your body’s perspective, hypertension is a way of helping your body because constantly raising and lowering blood pressure requires energy. If you are constantly sending messages to your body that it needs more energy, it “helps” by keeping blood pressure elevated as a way to conserve energy.
By becoming more aware of what your body needs, you know when you are on high alert and can relax consciously.