World Heart Day, observed on September 29 globally, serves as a vital platform to increase awareness regarding cardiovascular disease and the significance of maintaining heart health. In 2020, an alarming 20.5 million individuals succumbed to cardiovascular diseases, making it the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Consequently, raising awareness about this disease is imperative to encourage preventive measures. Yoga, renowned for its numerous health benefits, offers a holistic approach to addressing various health issues, including heart health.
According to the World Heart Federation (WHF), cardiovascular disease (CVD) encompasses a range of conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels. It results from a combination of socio-economic, behavioral, and environmental factors such as high blood pressure, unhealthy diet, high cholesterol, diabetes, air pollution, obesity, tobacco use, kidney disease, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, and stress. Factors like family history, ethnic background, sex, and age also influence one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Achieving and maintaining heart health involves a multifaceted approach, encompassing aspects such as diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management. Striking the right balance in these areas is crucial for heart well-being. Specifically, heart-opening yoga poses can play a pivotal role in managing cholesterol levels and enhancing cardiovascular health. These poses help expand the chest and promote overall well-being.
Let’s explore some heart-opening yoga poses that aid in preventing cholesterol buildup and blockages:
SETU BANDHASANA (BRIDGE POSE)
This pose involves lying on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart. By lifting your hips off the floor while keeping your feet and shoulders grounded, you can stretch the chest and enhance blood circulation.
USTRASANA (CAMEL POSE)
Kneeling with knees hip-width apart and hands on your lower back, lean back while keeping your chest lifted and hips aligned over your knees. This deep stretch benefits the chest and abdomen.
BHUJANGASANA (COBRA POSE)
While lying face down with palms under your shoulders, inhale and slowly lift your upper body off the ground. Ensure that your lower body and pelvis remain on the ground, as this pose strengthens the back and opens up the chest.
These heart-opening yoga poses are valuable tools in promoting heart health and mitigating the risks associated with cardiovascular disease. Incorporating them into your fitness routine can contribute to a healthier heart and overall well-being.
( for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice)