Yoga breathing and relaxation could lower blood pressure

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In a study from the University of Connecticut, scientists found yoga practice that emphasizes mental relaxation and breathing techniques can have as much of a beneficial impact on high blood pressure as aerobic exercise.

They did a meta-regression analysis of 49 yoga studies done between 1983 and 2018 that examined specific characteristics of the participants, individual studies, and yoga techniques.

Results showed that yoga practice emphasizing mental relaxation and breathing techniques, along with physical movement, provides the largest reductions in blood pressure.

The team found that among people with high blood pressure, yoga practice that emphasized both mental relaxation and breathing techniques can result in blood pressure reductions as large as 11/6 mmHg, which is equal to or exceeds those reported for aerobic exercise training.

Where yoga practices did not emphasize breathing techniques and mental relaxation, blood pressure reductions were found to be 6/3 mmHg.

The study highlights the potential for yoga as an alternative antihypertensive therapy, particularly for those unable or unwilling to perform aerobic exercise.

The team says they are not telling people to use yoga to substitute for aerobic exercise.

Aerobic exercise is the gold standard for lifestyle therapy of high blood pressure. But yoga provides an additional option that can be just as effective.

While yoga shows promise in assisting with blood pressure control, the team is quick to point out the need for additional research to directly compare blood pressure response to yoga and aerobic exercise.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about a common cause of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and tea compounds that could reduce your blood pressure.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about how to keep high blood pressure in check, and results showing this common food may improve your blood pressure, blood sugar.

The study was conducted by Yin Wu et al and published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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