According to World Health Organisation reports, 31 per cent of the total deaths worldwide are due to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). It is extremely essential to take care of one’s heart to lead a healthy lifestyle. Among various other factors like food and lifestyle, stress is one of the biggest reasons for affecting one’s heart health. Ahead of World Heart Day, let’s take a look at how yoga and spirituality together can work as the best tools to help mitigate undue stress and worry from one’s life. ANI spoke to internationally acclaimed Yoga master, philanthropist, lifestyle coach, and author Grand Master Akshar as he explained the importance of maintaining good heart health and how yoga and exercising can help maintain a healthy heart. He said, “The heart is a vital organ that pumps blood throughout the body fuelling it. We must take care of this most important organ by exercising regularly, eating nutritious food and getting adequate sleep each night.”
“Yoga is a science that is focused on holistic wellness that uses various methods such as asanas, pranayama, meditation, mudras, chanting and more for individual well-being. You can eliminate depression, anxiety and stress, which are the biggest factors for high blood pressure and cardiovascular disorders,” added the yoga guru.
Hailing from the Himalayas, Grand Master Akshar has also trained legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, wrestling champions-sisters Geeta and Babita Phogat, International athlete – Padma Shri Awardee Bajrang Puniya, to name a few.
Talking about the benefits of yoga, he said, “Practicing yoga regularly leads to a strong body and mind. It boosts immunity, protects and strengthens your heart in the process. For heart patients, you can include the practice of Hriday Mudra along with simple asanas such as Dandasana (Staff Pose), Sukhasana (Easy Pose), Tadasana and Vrikshasana (Tree Pose). “In order to prevent the onset of any heart conditions, individuals are recommended to practice Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), and Chakrasana popularly called Wheel Pose (also known as Urdhva Dhanurasana -Upward facing Bow Pose),” added the renowned spiritual guru, Akshar.
By combining movement with breath, yoga nourishes you from within. Practising regularly at least thrice a week helps one improve aspects of their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Follow these simple asanas in your daily fitness routine. You can hold each posture for up to 30 seconds and repeat the set 3 times. Grand master Akshar also shared six easy asanas to build heart health: Sukhasana – Happy PoseSit in an upright position with both legs stretched out in Dandasana. Fold the left leg and tuck it inside the right thigh. Then fold the right leg and tuck it inside the left thigh. Place your palms on the knees. Sit erect with spine straight.
Ardha Padmasana Begin with Sukhasana, and place your right foot on your left thigh facing upwards. Push your knees to the floor, as you straighten your back. Place your palms on your knees facing upwards.Repeat the same on the other side. Padmasana Sit in Ardha Padmasana with your right foot over your left thigh. Lift your left foot and place it on your right thigh facing up. Pull your feet closer to your hips. Place your palms on your knees facing up. Repeat with the other leg. Hold your palms close to the ground, inhale and exhale.
Dandasana :Start in a seated position and stretch your legs out forward. Join your legs bringing your heels together, keep your back straight. Tighten the muscles of your pelvis, thighs and calves. Place your palms beside your hips on the floor to support your spine. Relax your shoulders. Padahasthasana Begin in Samasthithi. Exhale and gently bend your upper body down from the hips and touch your nose to your knees. Place palms on either side of feet. As a beginner, you may have to bend your knees slightly to accomplish this. With practice, slowly straighten your knees and try to touch your chest to your thighs. Maintain this final posture for 10-30 seconds with normal breathing.
Vrikshasana: Stand in Samasthithi, lift your right leg off the floor and place your right foot on your lift inner thigh. Now, balance on your left leg taking support with your palms if needed. Join your palms in Pranam Mudra at your heart chakra and lift up towards the sky. Repeat on both sides.
Meditation for a calm mind: Simple and effective meditation techniques such as Ropan Dhyan, Sthithi Dhyan, Super Power Meditation, Aarambh Dhyan, Swaas Dhyan reduce stress, and anxiety allowing for an improved ability to manage thoughts and behaviour. When you include the practice of meditation even for as little a 5-10 minutes a day, it increases coping skills, motivation, planning and problem-solving. Keep your heart happy The biggest risk factors for CVDs include tobacco use, an unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol and inadequate physical activity. Physiological factors, including high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood sugar or glucose, and high blood cholesterol can also trigger heart-related diseases. Leading a disciplined life, clean living, healthy habits and attention to your diet and sleep can make all the difference. While there are millions of people struggling to control the risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease, there are many others who remain largely unaware of the potential risk that they face. A large number of CVDs such as heart attacks and strokes can be prevented through regular health check-ups, monitoring your diet, following an exercise routine, and changing your lifestyle habits wherever necessary.
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