An Indian study has shown that yoga can reduce blood pressure for people with high blood pressure by 4.5 mmHg—enough to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study was done at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi, India, and involved 60 participants divided into two groups. One group of 30, with an average age of 56 and blood pressure of 130/80, did three months of yoga sessions.
The other 30, with an average age of 52, altered their lifestyles by reducing smoking, having a better adapted diet and engaging in physical activity. Their average blood pressure at the start of the study was 127/80. After three months, blood pressure in the yoga group fell by 4.5 mmHg. It might not sound like a lot, but this is a large enough reduction to significantly lower health risks. “We know that a 2 mmHg decrease in diastolic pressure (the bottom number) can reduce the risk of coronary disease by 6% and heart attacks and transient ischemic attacks by 15%,” explains Doctor Ashutosh Angrish, cardiologist and author of the study.
The patients practiced yoga poses, breathing exercises and meditation for an hour a day while assisted by a teacher for a month. For the next two months, they continued the exercises at home. The other group showed no significant results.
Last modified: October 24, 2018