Heart Failure Awareness Week: Yoga

Emma Pestritto • 16 February 2024
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Benefits of Yoga and Heart Failure:

  • In general, yoga promotes relaxation, stress reduction, improves strength, flexibility, and balance. In addition, it has been found to support heart health, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as decreasing depression, improving quality and quantity of sleep, thus improving overall well-being.
  • Breathing exercises in yoga can be helpful for individuals who become short of breath during exercise. The breathing exercises promote relaxation and decrease anxiety. Studies have also found that the slow movements used during yoga help to strengthen the heart, decrease symptoms, improve quality of life, and may decrease mortality rates.

What Yoga Type is Best For Me?

  • There are several types of yoga, however, some types may not be appropriate for individuals with heart conditions. That is why it is very important to speak with your healthcare provider before engaging in any type of yoga.
  • Restorative yoga may be a good option. It is a relaxing method of yoga that emphasizes slow movements and relaxation. Typically, the individual uses 4-5 simple poses along with blankets and bolsters to deeply relax without needing to exert effort while holding the pose.

Important Considerations:

  • Avoid overheating and breath-holding – this makes the heart work harder
  • Use a source to help balance (such as a wall or chair) – this is helpful for individuals with low blood pressure and for those individuals who easily become lightheaded.
  • Avoid stressful classes or poses – it’s best not to engage in any activity that goes beyond your physical limitations
  • Always speak to your healthcare provider before engaging in any type of yoga

Learn More Here: Yoga

Visit the Heart Failure Awareness Week Website!