Heal the Heart As we live in the 21st century with busy schedules and time-bound lifestyles, we are constantly running and chasing. We tend to not have time for ourselves, but rather, spend more time under pressure and stress. But little do we realise that this type of lifestyle could be detrimental to our health. Our heart is a giant pump, which allows us to live healthy. But from the 31% of cardiovascular diseases worldwide, 85% are due to heart attacks and strokes. The main cause of this is stress and the lifestyle we live. Little do we realise that something as simple as a few Yogasanas can help cardiovascular disease. Let’s not take the risk of putting our healthy heart at stake by practicing some yogic techniques! Note: if you have a heart condition, please speak to your doctor before trying any of these postures. 1. Virabhadrasana (The Warrior Pose) This is a beautiful asana to keep the heart rate in control. A simple asana, which makes you feel like warrior, can also strengthen the heart with a warrior spirit! Start by spreading your feet by 3-4 feet distance apart. Turn your left foot in about 15 degrees and the right foot out 90 degrees. Inhale and raise your arms up to the shoulder level. Slowly exhale and bend your right knee such that you thigh is parallel to the ground, making sure your left leg is straight. Hold this position for 6-8 breaths. To release, inhale, slowly straightening the right knee and face your feet towards the front. Then repeat on the other side. 2. Setu Bandhasana (The Bridge Pose) The bridge pose is beneficial for improving blood flow to the heart. This asana is not recommended for anyone that has had heart surgery or a previous cardiac event. Start in Dandasana. Slowly lie down on your back, bend the knees and hold your ankles bringing the heels as close to your hips as much as possible. Inhale and slowly lift your hips and chest off the floor. Hold the position for 6-8 breaths. To release, inhale and on the exhalation gently bring the hips and chest onto the ground. Come back to Dandasana. 3. Ustrasana (The Camel Pose) The camel pose is great for heart opening and strengthening. Practice this to make your heart healthier by the day! Start by siting in Vajrasana. Come up to your knees and legs shoulder width distance apart. Keeping your spine straight, slowly inhale and place your hands on your waist. Exhale and gently slide your hands down your hips to your thighs and go as far down as you can go. If you are comfortable bring your hand to your heels. Slowly inhale and push your chest towards the ceiling making your back concave. Hold this position for 6-8 breaths. To release inhale, hold your breath and lift yourself back up. Exhale and come back to Vajrasana. Relax in Balasana. 4. Paschimottanasana (The Seated Forward Bend) This easy seated forward fold is wonderful for heart rate reduction as it brings the head lower than the heart to moderate the heart rate. Sit in Dandasana, inhale and raise the arms straight above to head, lengthening the spine upwards. Exhale and slowly extend the trunk forward and hold your feet. Inhale and concave your back while slightly turning your head up. Exhale and bend the elbows, placing your head to your knees if possible. Hold this position for 6-8 breaths. To release, inhale and bring the arms and trunk back up. Exhale and relax your arms besides you. Yoga truly facilitates holistic healing. Here are some lifestyle tips that can help you from preventing a heart attack and reduce your risk for heart disease: · Pranayama- 10 minutes Daily · Exercise Daily · Sleep 6-8 hours each night · Healthy and Balanced Meals · Check Blood Pressure Regularly · Visit the Doctor The heart is the strongest and purest muscle of the body, yet we take it for granted. Don’t neglect your body or your heart. Make sure to nourish it with kindness and have a happy and healthy day. A fresh mind and fit body leads to an enjoyable life, so let us give our heart the love it deserves and help strengthen it through these Yogasanas.