John Hopkins Medicine on the Yoga-Heart Connection

John Hopkins Medicine on the Yoga-Heart Connection

The Yoga-Heart Connection

A growing body of research from Johns Hopkins shows that practicing yoga can lower stress and help those recovering from heart events. Now may be the time to take up this gentle form of exercise.

Exercise that revs up your heart rate isn’t the only kind of physical activity that can help prevent or manage heart disease. The calming exercise of yoga is good for the heart, too.

“A large number of studies show that yoga benefits many aspects of cardiovascular health,” says Hugh Calkins, M.D., director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Johns Hopkins. “There’s been a major shift in the last five years or so in the number of cardiologists and other professionals recognizing that these benefits are real.”

Yoga is a mind-body activity that involves moving through a series of body poses and breathing exercises that can improve strength, flexibility, balance and relaxation. Dozens of different formats, or practices, such as hatha, anusara, ashtanga and many others, emphasize different focuses, such as toning, strength training or meditation.

Care Hospital launches ‘Cardiac Rehabilitation with Yoga’

Care Hospitals in Hyderabad, India has launched a ‘Cardiac Rehabilitation with Yoga’ program for patients with heart ailments, a statement on Tuesday said. Chairman of Care Group of Hospitals, Dr. M Somaraju said that cardiac rehabilitation was an important recovery step for patients with coronary heart disease, angina, recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery, stent placement or other heart conditions.

Read more here.

International Yoga Day 2017: Yoga Asanas That Can Boost Heart Health

With more and more people adopting yoga as a way of life, the ancient Indian practice of physical exercise is gaining popularity across the globe. It not only works to stretch your muscles, but also boosts mental health as well as the functions of the heart, stomach and other internal organs. According to a study conducted by Harvard experts, yoga can be as effective as cycling or brisk walking in reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. It has been found to be beneficial in managing and improving the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and can be a 'potentially effective therapy' for cardiovascular health.

Heart disease is a growing health concern, with many Indians suffering heart attack or stroke. Blame it on lifestyle habits and lack of physical activities, but preventive measures must be taken well ahead of time. There has been enough evidence to prove that exercise in any form is great to boost your physical and mental health and especially heart health. And for those of you who hate hitting the gym, yoga could be the best way to start.

Click here to learn about some yoga asanas that are said to boost heart health.


The Truth About 7 Big Yoga Claims

Claim: Yoga Can Help Prevent Heart Disease
True. Wait a minute. Yoga isn’t cardio, but it helps prevents heart disease? Sure does, just not the way you’d expect. While the exact mechanisms through which yoga helps aren’t understood, The Science of Yoga points to dozens of studies from around the world that show yoga lowers some of the most common risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and atherosclerosis.

Read more about the promises that your yoga practice can truly deliver on here.

Star Trainer Bob Harper Is Adding Yoga to His Heart-Attack Recovery Plan

After suffering a severe heart attack in February, The Biggest Loser host and trainer Bob Harper is on the road to recovery.

Bob Harper has made some major changes to his lifestyle since suffering a heart attack earlier this year. Along with adhering to a strict Mediterranean dietThe Biggest Losertrainer is also branching out when it comes to his workouts.

Harper, who credits CrossFit for helping him get into the best shape of his life, recently took to Instagram and shared a photo of himself hitting up an early morning yoga session. "Woke up early ready for another yoga class," the 51-year-old captioned the post. "Feeling good."


The American Heart Association on Yoga and Heart Health

Yoga could boost heart health!

The history of yoga stretches back as far as ancient India, when people practiced it to increase their tranquility and spiritual insight. Today, many Americans enjoy it to help them relax and increase their flexibility — and may even improve their heart health.

6 Heart-Health Benefits of Yoga, 6 of 6

A six-part series from by Ashley Welch and reviewed by Michael Cutler, DO, PhD.

Heart Health Benefit #6: Yoga May Soothe an Irregular Heart Beat

Atrial fibrillation, or afib, is an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by rapid and irregular beating that can lead to stroke and other complications. According to small study of 49 participants published in March 2013 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, practicing yoga was linked to a drop in the number of episodes experienced by patients who have atrial fibrillation — to half the number they had before the trial. Yoga practitioners also had lower heart rates and blood pressure following yoga sessions. Though more research is needed to confirm a connection, Dr. Ostfeld says, “There may be some potential for yoga to help in the treatment of people with atrial fibrillation to reduce the number of episodes they have.”

Read more here.

6 Heart-Health Benefits of Yoga, 5 of 6

A six-part series from by Ashley Welch and reviewed by Michael Cutler, DO, PhD.

Heart Health Benefit #5: Yoga May Improve Aerobic Capacity

Practicing yoga is associated with improved cardiovascular endurance and quality of life in African-American patients with heart failure, according to a small study published in April 2010 in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Researchers enrolled 40 patients with heart failure in an at-home exercise program, adding to their usual medical care. Some of the participants also received 16 yoga therapy sessions over the course of 8 to 10 weeks. At the end of the program, those who included yoga in their routines had a 22 percent improvement in aerobic capacity. Yoga also led to improved flexibility, decreased heart inflammation, and improved quality-of-life scores.

Read more here.

6 Heart-Health Benefits of Yoga, 4 of 6

A six-part series from by Ashley Welch and reviewed by Michael Cutler, DO, PhD.

Heart Health Benefit #4: Yoga May Lower Your Blood Pressure

Yoga may play a role in managing hypertension, according to a review of studies published in the American Journal of Hypertension in 2014. Compared to people who did not exercise, those who participated in a yoga routine for at least eight weeks saw a slight drop in blood pressure. “I would suspect the benefit of yoga here is a combination of improving physical fitness and stress reduction,” says Robert Ostfeld, MD, founder and director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Medical Center and associate professor of clinical medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, both in the Bronx, New York.

Read more here.

6 Heart-Health Benefits of Yoga, 3 of 6

A six-part series from by Ashley Welch and reviewed by Michael Cutler, DO, PhD.

Heart Health Benefit #3: Yoga Helps You Manage Stress

While researchers haven't determined exactly how stress contributes to heart disease, stress can lead to an increase in behaviors and other factors that elevate heart disease risk. These include smoking, physical inactivity, overeating, and high blood pressure.

Yoga can also play a significant role in reducing stress and related issues. A Canadian study showed improvement in anxiety, depression, and quality-of-life scores in women awaiting a stressful medical procedure following a six-week yoga program. “Most stress-relief techniques involve some attention to breathing,” says Joel Kahn, MD, a cardiologist at the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and author of The Whole Heart Solution. “One of the essential focuses of all styles of yoga is awareness of the breath and being more mindful," he says. "So either explicit or implicit attention to stress reduction is inherent in almost all yoga classes.”

Read more here.