Yoga can be so effective for the management of heart disease because it is a holistic health approach that takes into account all of the varied systems of the body —in yoga, the body is part of a greater whole. Yoga is also accessible to all who want to practice, no matter what their physical ability may be. And yoga’s powerful stress management tools, including learning to slow down and breathe deeply, have many beneficial effects on heart health.
Several scientific studies have now demonstrated conclusively that learning to breath deeply decreases blood pressure and slows down heart rate by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (Relaxation Response) and slowing down the sympathetic nervous system (Fight or Flight Response). And once you learn to become mindful of your breath and of how your body can feel when it is in a relaxed state as opposed to a hyper-arousal state, then conscious, healthy eating is a natural sequel of the yogic approach to health.
Finally, learning to move your body (which nourishes all the musculoskeletal, respiratory, lymphatic, and circulatory systems) will help improve heart health.
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