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Sunday, September 19, 2021

World Hypertension Day: How yoga can be helpful to treat maternal hypertension

Practise these simple techniques by slowly keeping your awareness on your breath, and under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor.

By: Parenting Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 17, 2020 6:32:59 pm
maternal hypertension, hypertension, world hypertension day, yoga, yoga asanas, yoga asanas for health, parenting, indian express, indian express news Be an observer of your flow of thoughts by not resisting them initially and letting them flow.

By Grand Master Akshar

Pregnancy is a delicate time for both the mother as well the fetus, therefore it is advisable to stay informed about the challenges one can expect along the way, and how to prevent them.  It is recommended to get your blood pressure checked regularly to avoid the complications of Maternal Hypertension which can fall under any one of the 3 categories- Chronic hypertension, Gestational hypertension, and Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH).

The risks of high blood pressure during pregnancy include less blood flow to the placenta, leading to slow growth (intrauterine growth restriction), low birth weight or premature birth. Gestational hypertension is caused by high blood pressure before pregnancy, kidney disease, diabetes, being younger than 20 years of age or older than 40 years of age, pregnant with multiples.

It is advisable for expectant mothers to include a yoga practice into their routine. Asanas, pranayama and meditation will keep the body and mind calm, strong and prepared for the delivery process. Here are a few specific asanas, breathing and meditation practices that are beneficial and safe during pregnancy.

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Asanas

  1. Marjariasana

Formation of the posture

Urdhva Mukhi Marjari Asana

  • Get down on your knees, place palms under shoulders and knees under hips
  • Inhale, curve your spine to look up
maternal hypertension, hypertension, world hypertension day, yoga, yoga asanas, yoga asanas for health, parenting, indian express, indian express news This is the posture for Urdhva Mukhi Marjari asana.

Adho Mukhi Marjari Asana

  • Exhale, curve your spine to form an arch of the back and allow your neck to drop down
  • Focus your gaze towards your chest

Benefits

  • This asana is good for relaxation
  • It stretches back and neck muscles
  • It facilitates deep inhalation and exhalation

Breathing Methodology

  • Inhale as you look up
    • Exhale as you look down
  1. Vrikshasana
  • Begin by standing in Samasthithi
  • Lift you right leg off the floor and balance your  body weight on your left leg
  • Place your right foot on your lift inner thigh
  • Place it as close to your pelvis as possible
  • You may support your foot with your palms to bring it in place
  • After you find your balance, join your palms in Pranam Mudra at your heart chakra
  • Raise your Pranam towards the sky
  • Straighten your elbows and ensure that your head is in between your arms
  • Focus your gaze forward
  • Repeat the same with the alternate leg
  • Breathing Methodology
    Inhale and exhale normally while practicing this asana

Benefits

  • Tones and burns fat from the sides of your waist
  • Improves sense of balance
  • Strengthens thighs and calf muscles
  • Mobilizes knees
  • Reduces stiffness of shoulders
  • At the beginning of your practice, you may place the foot on the other leg’s calf muscle and slowly raise the position of your foot until you achieve the asana
  1. Baddha Konasana

Formation of the posture

  • Begin by assuming Dandasana
  • Fold your legs and bring the soles of your feet together
  • Pull your heels closer to your pelvis
  • Gently push your knees down
  • Empty air from your stomach, lean your upper body forward and place your forehead on the floor

Breathing Methodology: Exhale as you push your knees down. Inhale as you release from the posture

Benefits

  • Opens the hips
  • Mobilizes the knee caps
maternal hypertension, hypertension, world hypertension day, yoga, yoga asanas, yoga asanas for health, parenting, indian express, indian express news For the Baddha-Konasana, empty air from your stomach, lean your upper body forward and place your forehead on the floor.

Pranayama

Brahmari Pranayama

Method

  • Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana)
  • Straighten your back and close your eyes
  • Place your palms on your knees facing up (in Prapthi Mudra)
  • Place your thumbs on the ‘Tragus’, the external flap outside on your ear.
  • Place your index finger on your forehead; your middle finger on the Medial  Canthus and ring finger on the corner of your nostril
  • Inhale and fill your lungs with air
  • As you exhale, slowly make a buzzing sound like that of a bee, i.e., “mmmmmmm….”
  • Keep your mouth closed the entire time and feel the vibration of the sound  disseminate throughout your body

Duration You may begin by practicing this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.

Benefits

  • Calms the mind and rejuvenates the body
  • Increases sensitivity to tastes and fragrances
  •  Relieves stress and anxiety
  •  Makes the voice pleasant and melodious and strengthens the vocal chords
  • Treats throat uneasiness
  • Balances blood pressure
  • Improves concentration

Meditation

Swaas Dhyan

Formation

  • Sit in a comfortable posture (such as Sukhasana, Ardha Padmasana or  Padmasana)
  • Place your palms on your knees facing up (Prapthi Mudra)
  • Straighten your back and close your eyes
  • The time you take to inhale and exhale should be in a ratio of 6:6, i.e., if you inhale in six counts, you need to exhale in six counts
  • Focus on your breath entering and then leaving your nostrils as you inhale and exhale.

Be an observer of your flow of thoughts by not resisting them initially and letting them flow. Gradually, keep shifting your awareness to your breathing until you reach a point where your complete focus is on your inhalation and exhalation with your mind almost completely devoid of thoughts.

ALSO READ | Some yoga asanas to try with your child this Mother’s Day

Disha/direction: Face towards East

Benefits

  • Brings your mind to the present and makes you more aware
  • Reduces stress
  • You will experience calmness
  • Clears your mind of unwanted thoughts

Hip-openers, and gentle spine stretches help to strengthen the back keeping it supple and strong.  Yoga is even recommended by medical practitioners and experts as the best form of exercise for the expecting mother. Practise these simple techniques by slowly keeping your awareness on your breath, and under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor.

(The writer is a philanthropist, spiritual master, lifestyle coach, yoga-preneur and author)

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