Hypertension or high blood pressure is common today even among the younger population. The reasons—excessive stress levels, sedentary lifestyle, indulging in wrong foods, and extreme levels of LDL. Plus, the risk spirals up if you have a family history of high BP. There are various breathing techniques, especially yogic breathing formulas, which you can learn and practice along with your medications to lower and maintain the levels of blood pressure. These breathing techniques help detoxify your blood, pep up your immunity, and keep your rejuvenated and free of ailments.
Top 10 Breathing Exercises For High Blood Pressure:
Here are the top 10 best breathing exercises for high blood pressure and hypertension:
1. Sama Vritti – Equal Breathing:
This is a simple method and you can do it anywhere, irrespective of the time. It helps you relax and calm down, which ultimately brings down the blood pressure level.
How to Do:
- Sit on a yoga mat in a comfortable position. Choose a airy place.
- Take few soft breaths and let your body relax.
- Close your eyes and stretch out your hands, allowing them to rest on the thighs in Gyan Mudra.
- Breathe in for a count of 4.
- Breathe out for a count of 4.
This makes one round. You can slowly improve the inhalation and exhalation duration to a count of 8.
Do this just before you hit your bed as it is more beneficial.
2. Bhastrika Pranayama – Bellows Breathing:
Bhastrika in Sanskrit means the bellows. This breathing exercise looks as if you are blowing the bellows off. With a deep inhalation and exhalation pattern, it ensures that your body is flushed with adequate level of oxygen.
How to Do:
- Sit in Padmasana on the yoga mat with the spine kept erect.
- Stretch out both hands and allow resting them on your thighs.
- Lift your right hand, palms shaped into Pranayama Mudra.
- Close the right nostril with the thumb.
- Taking a deep inhalation, exhale quickly with maximum possible force via the left nostril for 10 times. If you are a beginner keep your left hand on your abdomen to ensure that your tummy movements are like that of bellows.
- With the 10th breath, inhale and then exhale deeply via left nostril.
- Repeat the same with right nostril.
- This makes one round of Bhastrika.
- Relax yourself for about 30 seconds before repeating the process. Repeat the exercise for about 5 minutes.
Tips: Make sure you do it for just 5 minutes and under the supervision of a trained yoga if you are a newbie.
3. Bhramari Pranayama – Hissing Bee Breathing:
Ease your mind with the hissing sound of a bee. It instantly curbs the surge of blood pressure levels. This breathing also eases the headaches and migraines associated with hypertension.
How to Do:
- Sit in Padmasana on the yoga mat with spine kept erect.
- Stretch out both hands and allow to rest them on your thighs.
- Place the index fingers on the cartilages of the respective ears.
- Take a deep inhalation and as you exhale, apply mild pressure on the cartilage while humming, preferably high pitched, like a bee.
- Inhale and repeat the same 7 to 10 times.
4. Kapalbhati Pranayama – Skull Cleansing Breathing:
This is one of the breathing techniques that give you countless gifts. Be it a flat abs or a smooth throat or a dip in the pressure level, you can rely on the Kapalbhati Pranayama. Do this early in the morning on an empty stomach to reap its advantages. It detoxifies your blood, freeing you from assorted ailments, including hypertension. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor as well as yoga practitioner before you start practicing this.
How to Do:
- Sit on the yoga mat in Padamasana, Sukhasana, or Vajrasana. If you have a back pain, ensure to have sufficient support to prevent it from worsening. Beginners could also support themselves against a wall to prevent the back ache triggered from the powerful exhalations.
- Close the eyes and let your hands rest in Gyan mudra.
- With the focus narrowed on to the lower abs, quickly inhale and then indulge in powerfully swift exhalations [at least 8 per a breathing cycle for a second or two]. If you are new to this breathing technique, then you could keep your palm on the tummy to withhold your focus.
- Increase the counts per cycles slowly.
- Complete the Kapalbhati breathing with a deep inhalation followed by a powerful exhalation.
This makes one round. Do 3 such round of 10 inhalations, taking a pause of 15 seconds in between.
5. Anulom Vilom Pranayam – Alternate Nostril Breathing:
This amazing breathing technique cleanses up your nervous system and improves the circulation. It is an ideal de-stress mechanism. It is also known to lower the risk associated with assorted genetic conditions, including diabetes and hypertension.
How to Do:
- Sit on the mat in Sukhasana, Padmasana, or Vajrasana. Relax your hands by resting them on the thighs, palms on the rest, and fingers shaped into Gyan Mudra.
- Lift the right hand and shape your palm into Pranayama Mudra.
- With the right thumb, close your right nostril.
- Using the left nostril, take a deep, powerful inhalation.
- Now close the left nostril and exhale via the right nostril.
- Now keeping the left nostril closed, inhale powerfully and deeply via your right nostril.
- Close the right nostril and exhale via your left nostril.
- This counts as one round of Anuloma Viloma Pranayama.
- Repeat for 20 times to begin with. Improve the count over the time.
6. Seetkari Pranayama:
This is one of the best bets to keep your elevating blood pressure levels under control. It also helps in beating the stress levels, preventing a spike in blood pressure.
How to Do:
Sit on the mat in Padmasana or Sukhasana.
1. Keep your spine and neck erect while subtly tilting your head backward to allow the spine to be in alignment with the back of the head.
2. Close the eyes and let the hands rest on the knees.
3. Take 5 inhalations and exhalations via nose to calm yourself.
4. Open up the lips and let the teeth come in contact.
5. Take a slow, deep inhalation through the teeth in such a way that the air passing through makes a hiss.
6. Close the mouth and exhale slowly via the nose.
7. This makes one round of Seethakari.
8. Begin with 10 repetitions, increasing the count to 50 over the time.
7. Sheetali Pranayama – The Cooling Breathing:
Sheetali in Sanskrit means cooling down and this breathing technique in fact does just that. It is quite akin to Seetkari Pranayama and helps in combating hypertension effectively. It eases your stress levels, keeps anxieties at bay, and ensure that you are in good health.
How to Do:
- Sit in Padmasana or Sukhasana, spine erect while your shoulders and arms are relaxed.
- Breath normally, focus on the breath that flows to the nose tip. This will allow you to concentrate better.
- Stick your tongue out and then roll its tip inward like a U. The tip should touch the tongue.
- Inhale deeply via the tongue.
- As you finish inhaling, lower your chin and allow touching your chest and holding the Jalandhara Bandha for about 8 seconds. Make sure that you are not overstrained – you should feel out of breath and fainting.
- Lift your chin, close your right nostril using your right thumb.
- Exhale slowly and entirely via the left nostril.
- This makes one round. Do 5 such rounds.
- Once you complete the five rounds, breathe normally and relax.
8. Chandra Bhedi Pranayama:
This pranayama cools your body down completely, undoing the damages stress has done to you.
How to Do:
- Sit down in Padmasana or Sukhasana. Alternatively, you can even lie down on your right.
- Using your right thumb, close the right nostril entirely.
- Using the ring and small fingers close your left nose partially.
- Inhale deeply via the left nostril and close it completely.
- Open the right nostril and exhale.
This makes one round. Do 10 such rounds to ease the stress and pressure levels.
9. Thirty Second Deep Breathing Exercise:
A study conducted in Japan revealed that this breathing technique has the potential to lower and maintain the levels of blood pressure.
How to Do:
- Sit down in a comfortable position in a silent area, back erect.
- Inhale and exhale 6 times in 30 seconds, with each breathing spaced out at 5 seconds.
- This makes one round. You can do 3 such rounds.
10. Left Nostril Deep Abdominal Breathing:
This is one the basic breathing techniques that is often advised for controlling high levels of blood pressures. It is also called the belly breathing.
How to Do:
1. Sit on the mat in a comfortable position with your right hand resting on the abdomen just beneath the rib cage.
2. Your left hand should be placed on the chest.
3. Now, slowly take a deep inhalation via the nose, keeping the chest unmoved. You will become correct when you feel the tummy is pushing your hands.
4. Hold the breath for a count of 10.
5. Slowly exhale.
This makes one round. Do 10 such times to kick away the stress and associated troubles including hypertension. Once you master the art, you can stop placing the hands on the abdomen and chest.
So, these are the 10 breathing techniques for those suffering from hypertension and high blood pressure. However, it is ideal to consult your physician before you indulge in these exercises to avoid unwanted complications.
Are you prone to high blood pressure? What do you do to keep the blood pressure level under control? Share your views and experiences in the comment section.