Yoga for High BP: 8 Asanas to Do & Cautionary Tips

8 Effective Yoga Poses That Will Help Lower High Blood Pressure

It is important to keep blood pressure under control for the fear of suffering a stroke or cardiac problems. Apart from medicines, going for brisk walks and practising yoga and pranayama can help you lower high blood pressure. So if you are someone who suffers from this dreaded lifestyle disease, practising these 8 yoga postures along with pranayama regularly can benefit you.

How Can Yoga Help in Reducing High Blood Pressure?

Listed below are ways in which yoga can reduce high blood pressure.

  • Practising yoga every day can help to bring down overall body mass index, resulting in reduced systolic and diastolic levels.
  • Yoga and pranayama can reduce stress hormones called cortisol which can result in high blood pressure.
  • Practising yoga regularly helps in stretching your body. This brings flexibility to the muscles, thereby reducing arterial stiffness and helps in combating high blood pressure.
  • Yoga can bring down an abnormal heart rate to normal by calming down the nerves.
  • Lower hours of sleep due to sleeplessness or insomnia can increase blood pressure. Yoga can work as a cure for that.
  • Obesity is a leading cause of high blood pressure, and it can be brought down by practising yoga regularly and a healthy diet.

Yoga Asanas for Hypertension

Here are 8 yoga asanas that you can practice daily to bring your diastolic and systolic level to normal. However, it is best to practice them under a specialist.

1. Balasana

Another name for Balasana is the ‘child’s resting’ pose. It termed as a counter asana for many yoga postures and should be done before and after any asana.

How It Benefits

This pose regulates blood circulation, and therefore is an excellent stress reliever. It also helps to relax the abdominal and lower back muscles.

How to Do

  • Kneel down and bring the big toes together.
  • Sit on the heels and separate the knees as wide as the hips.
  • Exhale and bend forward to touch your head on the ground.

Relax the arms with palms facing upwards.

child's resting pose

2. Paschimottanasana

Also known as the ‘seated forward bend’, it is one of the poses of hatha yoga and also forms a part of the Ashtanga primary series.

How It Benefits

It calms the mind, thereby curing anxiety and stress. It also helps in curbing obesity by melting the abdominal fat.

How to Do

  • Stretch both your legs in front of you and your hands upward towards the sky.
  • Then bend forward and try to touch your toes.
  • Bend further and touch the elbows to the ground by the side of the knees and touch the knees with your nose or forehead, all the while holding the toes with your hands.

seated forward bend

3. Sukhasana

Another name for it is the ‘easy’ pose. It is a meditative posture and can be practised anytime.

How It Benefits

It calms the mind and reduces stress. Since it helps in releasing stress, it aids in reducing high blood pressure.

How to Do

  • Sit up straight in a cross-legged position.
  • Open up the hips and make your spine straight.


4. Badhakonasana

This pose is also known as the ‘bound angle’ pose or bhadrasana. Like sukhasana, it is also a meditative pose.

How It Benefits

It helps relieve fatigue which also causes stress and high blood pressure. Moreover, the posture opens up the hip, groins and the knees which help to maintain the meditative pose.

How to Do

  • Sit and make your legs straight.
  • Breathe in and bring both the heels towards the pelvis and join your feet.
  • Hold the big toes of the feet with the thumb and second finger and push the heel further towards the pelvis.
  • Keep your spine straight.

bound angle pose

5. Janusirsasana

It is also known as the ‘head to knee’ pose and is a part of the Ashtanga yoga primary series.

How It Benefits

It makes your belly and the fat around your hips disappear, thereby curing obesity which is one of the major causes of high blood pressure.

How to Do

  • Sit and extend your legs straight in front of you.
  • Fold the left leg so that the foot touches the right thigh.
  • Then bend forward to touch the leg’s foot by both the hands.
  • Touch the knee of the outstretched right leg with the forehead and exhale.
  • After a few seconds, inhale and lift your head.
  • Try the same with the other leg.

head to knee pose

6. Virasana

Another name for this posture is the ‘hero’ pose. It is an easy posture and is quite similar to vajrasana, but still a bit different.

How It Benefits

It regulates good blood circulation to all parts of the body, and therefore keeps blood pressure levels in control.

How to Do

  • Kneel down and lengthen your spine.
  • Keeping your knees together, move your feet apart so that your back can rest on the ground.
  • Take deep breaths in and exhale as your hands rest on your thighs.


7. Setubandhasana

Also known as the ‘bridge’ pose, setubandhasana should be practised cautiously.

How It Benefits

It helps in losing weight through stretching of the stomach and by stimulating the thyroid glands. It also calms the nerves and cures insomnia, depression, fatigue and stress, all causes for high blood pressure.

How to Do

  • Lie on your back with your legs stretched out and palms placed firmly on the ground.
  • Then, bend your knees and pressing the soles of your feet and upper arms on the ground, push your hips up.
  • Then push your chest slowly towards the chin.
  • In case you are unable to be in that position for long, clasp your hands from behind but it should be placed firmly on the ground.

bridge pose

8. Ardhahalasana

The posture is also known as the ‘half plough’ pose.

How It Benefits

The pose reduces belly fat and strengthens core muscles. It also helps in losing overall body weight and improves blood circulation.

How to Do

  • Lie down on your back with your legs straight like in shavasana.
  • Join both the legs and place your palms firmly facing the ground.
  • Inhale slowly and bring your legs up keeping your knees straight and legs perpendicular to the ground.
  • Hold your breath and stay in the position for some time.
  • Keep exhaling and bring your legs down. Relax for some time and then repeat.

half plough pose

Pranayamas to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Pranayam is a breathing technique that is inhaling and exhaling of air slowly. It calms the nerves, thereby giving relief from stress and curing hypertension. Here are five types of pranayama which are very effective on people with high blood pressure.

1. Anulom Vilom

It is a widely practised and very popular pranayama with multiple benefits.

How It Benefits

By practising this pranayama regularly, you can treat nervous disorders and lung disorders like depression, migraine, hypertension, asthma etc.

How to Do

  • Sit comfortably, with your spine straight.
  • Keep your left hand on the left knee with the palm facing upwards.
  • Keeping your eyes closed inhale slowly and deeply.
  • Then keep the right thumb on the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril.
  • Keeping the right nostril closed with the right thumb, inhale through the left nostril.
  • Press down on the left nostril with the ring finger, exhale through the right nostril.
  • This is one complete round of the pranayama. Do this eleven times every day.

2. Chandrabhedan Pranayam

It is a cooling pranayama and caters chiefly to the body and mind.

How It Benefits

It cools the body, reduces hypertension and cures heartburn and acidity.

How to Do

  • Sit straight in a comfortable position with crossed legs.
  •  Relax the shoulders and close your eyes.
  • Keeping your left hand on top of the left knee, with your right thumb close your right nostril.
  • Breathe in from the left nostril and press down on the left nostril with the index finger and the middle finger and exhale through the right nostril.
  • This is one complete round of the pranayama and the same should be repeated 15-20 times a day.

anulom vilom

3. Udgeeth Pranayam

It is basically chanting of ‘Om’ slowly following a breathing pattern. It is usually done at the end of a pranayama session.

How It Benefits

It calms the mind and can be practised as a form of meditation. It releases stress, cures insomnia, anxiety, depression and hypertension. People who forget things easily can also benefit from this pranayama.

How to Do

  • Sit comfortably, preferably with your legs crossed and a straight back.
  • Take a deep breath and exhale out while chanting “Om” as long as you can.
  • After a few chants, you will feel a vibration and a tingling feeling in your body which feels good.
  • It is usually done 3 times but you may do it 5-10 times if it feels good.

4. Sheetali Pranayama

As the name suggests, it has a cooling effect on your body and mind.

How It Benefits

Sheetali pranayama decreases the temperature of the body and this works well for the endocrine glands and the nervous system. The breathing process releases stress and lowers hypertension. It works well even for people with hyper-acidity and ulcers.

How to Do

  • Sit comfortably with a straight spine and eyes closed.
  • Place your tongue on the lower lip and roll the tongue on the sides.
  • Breathe in through the mouth as long as you can (your mouth will feel cool).
  • With your mouth closed, breathe out through the nostrils.
  • This is one complete round of the pranayama. Repeat this 5 – 15 times daily.

5. Bhramari Pranayam

Also known as the humming bee breathing technique, the Bhramari is excellent in calming the nerves in the brain and forehead region.

How It Benefits

It works great in calming your mind from agitation, frustration, anger and anxiety.

How to Do

  • Sit comfortably with legs crossed and your eyes closed.
  • Insert the index fingers into your ears.
  • Inhale slowly and exhale out by making a humming sound like that of a bee.
  • Repeat this 3-5 times.

Which Yoga Poses You Should Avoid If You Have High Blood Pressure?

Not all yoga poses are beneficial in curing high blood pressure. There are few which may have adverse effects if practised by someone suffering from hypertension. Find below two such yoga poses which a person with hypertension should avoid.

  • Headstand position should not be practised by people with hypertension because a sudden gush of the blood from the heart to the head can put pressure on the nerves and cause brain haemorrhage resulting in strokes.
  • Viparita Karani or ‘legs up the wall’ pose is a gentle pose to relax your body; however, it should be avoided by people suffering from hypertension because in this pose too, the head is at a lower level than the heart.

avoid headstands for yoga to reduce blood pressure

Cautionary Tips for High Blood Pressure

Although people practice yoga for BP control and yoga is said to be a great stress buster, a few poses can prove to be detrimental for people with hypertension. Therefore, the following are a few cautionary steps that people with high blood pressure should take while practising yoga or pranayama.

  • People who suffer from hypertension should not practice poses with head inversions like the shirshasana (Headstand pose) or adho mukha vrikshasana (Handstand pose), since in these poses the head is at a lower level than the heart. Doing this can lead to blood rushing into your head, causing pressure which may result in brain strokes.
  • People with hypertension should strictly stick to yoga for blood pressure reduction and practice them under expert guidance.
  • Yoga exercises for high blood pressure should always be done slowly and gently. Even pranayamas like kapalbhati and bhastrika should be avoided since they heat up the body and bring up your blood pressure level.

Practising yoga and pranayama should make you feel good. If in case you suffer health issues right after you start with a yoga session, stop and consult a physician. After all, yoga should be practised to help you overcome your health issues, not aggravate them.

Also Read:

Incredible Benefits of Yoga for Your Entire Family
Yoga Poses for Improving Digestive System
Yoga Asanas and Mudras to Perform for Healthy Heart

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