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Yoga poses to fight low blood pressure

Last updated on: August 06, 2013 19:35 IST

Photographs: Shameem Akhtar Shameem Akhtar

Simple tips to fight stress and treat low blood pressure naturally.

Low blood pressure can be as pernicious as high blood pressure. It can cause more overt trouble, since its victims suffer from dizziness, a sense of fatigue, weakness, disorientation. Often, in associative emotional state, those suffering from low blood pressure may also suffer from depression and/or anxiety attacks.

It can be disturbing because people with low blood pressure may suffer symptoms such as dizziness when they stand up or move suddenly, lack of endurance, sensitivity to cold and heat, or may make one faint if one has to be on one's feet for too long.

Causes for low blood pressure include an unhealthy diet (with high glycemic foods that interfere with the blood sugar by releasing glucose too fast into the blood), irregular eating habits, high stress or inability to handle it effectively, lack of good nutrients including iron and medication for high blood pressure.

A person suffering from low blood pressure may, along with asana practice, require to introduce certain life-style habits: more meals with low glycemic index foods (that release sugar more slowly in the blood) and with shorter gaps between meals, good sleep and healthy eating habit, stress-busting strategies such as meditation or absorbing hobbies.

When using yoga to fight low blood pressure, certain details need to be remembered: you need to be regular, do the poses in a dynamic fashion (instead of doing static ones), phase your learning till your body acquires the stamina for more challenging poses, and include pranayama and meditation as a large part of the practice.

Shameem Akthar, yogacharya trained with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, suggests five yoga practices to help cope with this ailment.

1. Druta Utkatasana (Dynamic squat pose)

Stand with feet a foot apart. Toes should point ahead. Hold arms at shoulder level, fingers pointed ahead. Inhale, going up on toes. Exhaling, lower your hips so they rest on the heels (or do half way if body is very stiff). Tilt back to ensure you are not leaning ahead. Then, inhale, stand up. This is one round. Repeat continuously five to ten rounds, on the toes. To release from pose, inhale, standing up on toes. Exhaling, lower the heels back. Lower arms.


Is useful in blood sugar control and maintaining blood pressure. May be used in treating other chronic ailment too. Tones the body overall, improves mental stamina and sense of balance.

Yoga poses to fight low blood pressure

Photographs: Shameem Akhtar

Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation)

The Surya Namaskar series is recommended strongly for managing low blood pressure. The 12-part series of poses (Yoga: Saluting health with the Surya Namaskar) should be used as warm-up for your asana practice.

In case of lack of time, this series may be done as stand-alone. The standing crescent pose (the second in the series) is likely to cause a slight dizziness initially, and so must be done with care, with the neck not thrown back too much. Awareness must be maintained at the feet to ensure balance.


It offers relief in most ailments, is a cleansing and fortifying practice.

Yoga poses to fight low blood pressure

Photographs: Shameem Akhtar

Kapalabhati Pranayama (Hyperventilating breathing practice)

Sit cross-legged, with hands in mudra (yogic hand gesture) of your choice. Inhale and exhale deeply a few times. Then inhale deeply, and begin to hyperventilate, in repetitive exhalations of about 30 initially (you may increase it to 60 and above, after regular practice).

Stop to catch a few deep breaths. This is one round. Do up to three rounds. Remember not to scrunch the face while exhaling. Also, do not stress too much about inhalation: it is automatic and is being done, though the apparent focus is on exhalation.


Helps boost immunity and clears the mind, relieves stress, and up the metabolism and blood pressure in a robust fashion.

Yoga poses to fight low blood pressure

Photographs: Shameem Akhtar

Dwipada Supta Pawanmuktasana (Double legged lying energy release pose)

Lie on your back. Fold both legs at your knees. Inhale. Exhaling, hug knees to the chest as shown. Then rock forward and backward, inhaling as you draw yourself up and exhaling as you lower your back to the ground. It must be a rolling motion.

The knees must remain close to the hips. Initially do ten times. With regular practice increase it to 30 rounds.


It is a cure-all pose, controlling and preventing chronic ailments. It gently squeezes the fat-storing liver to release fat. It hits on psychosomatic trigger points, including your adrenals at the back to relieve stress or other emotional triggers in binge eating.

Yoga poses to fight low blood pressure

Photographs: Shameem Akhtar

Prithvi Mudra (Earth hand gesture)

Sit meditatively, eyes shut. Touch tip of ring finger to thumb tip. Do for each hand. Hold for minimum five minutes.


Helps manage low blood pressure. Increases the earth element, helps you feel grounded, relieves stress and anxiety. Helps control excessive body heat, dryness of hair, skin and eyes.

Relieves other drying or inflammatory conditions like arthritis, brittle nails, ulcers, hyperthyroidism.