Stay Heart Healthy

Stay Heart Healthy

A yoga practice provides countless benefits to your overall health. By dedicating a few hours a
week to your practice, you will feel calmer and more balanced both physically and mentally. A
synopsis of yoga and cardiovascular disease, published in the European Journal of Preventative
Cardiology, proposes that yoga can help lower heart disease. A study showed that people who
took yoga classes found improvements to their heart health. Participants lost an average of five
pounds, took five points off their blood pressure and lowered their levels of LDL cholesterol by
12 points.

The Om Factor

Along with its many health benefits, yoga can help open your heart physically and emotionally.
By adding these heart-opening poses to your weekly yoga practice, you can help your heart stay
healthy and strong.

Bow Pose or Dhanurasana

Begin this pose by lying on your belly with your hands alongside your torso, palms facing
upward. Exhale and bend your knees, bringing your heels towards your buttocks. Reach back
with your hands and hold your ankles. Inhale and strongly lift your heels away from your
buttocks while lifting your thighs away from the floor. As you continue to lift your heels and
thighs higher, press your shoulder blades firmly against your back to give a nice heart-opener.

Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana

Lie flat and stretch your legs back with tops of the feet on the floor. Spread your hands on the
floor under your shoulders. Inhale and straighten your arms to lift the chest off the floor. Firm
your shoulder blades against your back and press your thighs into the floor.

Cow Pose or Bitilasana

Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Keep your knees directly below your hips
and your wrists, elbows and shoulders perpendicular to the floor. On an inhale, lift your sitting
bones and chest toward the ceiling, letting your belly sink toward the floor. Lift your head and
look straight forward. On an exhale, come back to the neutral tabletop position on your hands
and knees.

Ways to Keep You and Your Family Heart Healthy

February is American Heart Month and the perfect time to encourage your family to join you in
making heart-healthy decisions. Here are a few lifestyle changes you can incorporate to create
long-lasting habits.

Exercise Together

It is so much more fun to move as a family! Make time in your schedule for exercise that is all
inclusive. Maybe that is a yoga class in the afternoon or a nice walk after dinner.

Plan Healthy Meals for the Week

Making time to plan out healthy food options is a great way to save time, monitor your habits
and stay on a healthy track.

We hope that these tips have been helpful for you and will be beneficial in promoting daily
heart-healthy habits in your life.

Jennifer Baker

Jenny Baker is the Content Marketing Specialist for Asheville Yoga Center and found her passion for health and wellness early on in life. Aside from writing, Jenny enjoys traveling the world, cooking and being physically active. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied Journalism and found her love for writing.