Yoga For Healthy Heart: 11 Effective Yoga Asanas That Will Help You Manage Cardiac Health
Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Ragiinii Sharma
Written By Prekshi Garg
on Dec 28, 2022
Last Edit Made By Prekshi Garg
on Dec 28, 2022
Our heart is one of the primary organs responsible for maintaining blood circulation and regulating the balance of oxygen and nutrients in every part of the body. Despite its crucial functions, our cardiovascular system is exposed to a lot of stress physiologically.
From risks of plaque deposition (atherosclerosis) to degenerative heart diseases, there are a lot of complications that affect heart health. Recent studies even indicate a peak rise in heart attacks and strokes in individuals under the age of 40 due to poor lifestyle choices.
Yoga plays a crucial role in not just maintaining one’s health physically but also preventing the impending doom that comes with cardiovascular complications. From boosting blood circulation to optimizing cholesterol levels, yoga for heart health is quite effective.
This article will explore the top 11 effective yoga asanas for a healthy heart that you can include in your daily routine.
How does Yoga Improve and Optimize Heart Health?
Risks of cardiovascular complications are becoming more mainstream in the current world due to poor diet, excessive stress and unhealthy lifestyle.
Practicing yoga combats the impacts of those ill habits and allows individuals to lead a long and fulfilling life, especially one that’s devoid of chronic complications.
Some of the most profound ways yoga can improve heart health are:
- Breathing-based yoga reduces and combats stress
- Yoga regulates cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar, which reduces the risks of heart disease
- Strengthens heart muscles for better heart function
- Help in burning excess calories
- Improve sleep quality, which keeps cardiovascular functions in check
An active lifestyle is crucial to maintaining both physical and physiological functions and is an essential piece in maintaining one’s heart health. If intensive workouts aren’t your jam, let us learn more about yoga and heart health.
Top 11 Yoga Asanas to Improve Heart Health
Yoga is diverse and there are hundreds of different yoga poses that target different parts of the body and improve their functions.
Some of the best yoga asanas for a healthy heart include:
1. Tadasana – Mountain Pose
Targets – Full body
Benefits – Improve posture and alignment, Boost blood circulation and Support heart health.
How to do it?
- Lay down a yoga mat on an even surface and stand on top of it, keeping your posture erect.
- Keep your feet together and gradually bring both of your palms together; interlock them.
- As you inhale, stretch your interlocked arms to the top of your head, pushing your palms facing upwards.
- Exhale and look up and stretch your neck muscles while dropping your head back on the shoulders.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds.
2. Utkatasana or The Chair Pose
Targets: Thigh, Calf, Ankle, Vertebral column
Benefits: Elongates and lengthens the back, Strengthen the core muscles, Improves blood strength.
How to do it?
- You have to start this yoga asana from the Tadasana we discussed in the last pointer.
- From there, you need to simultaneously fold your knees forward as you move your hips back, mimicking the squat position.
- As you are in the “chair position”, raise both of your arms in the air.
- You need to touch your ears with the inside of your arms and also ensure that your shoulders aren’t taut.
- Stay in this position for 10 seconds and stretch your body upwards.
- As you practice breathing, release your hands and gradually return to the initial position.
3. Uttanasana or the Standing Forward Bend
Targets: Hip, Hamstring, Calf, Knee, Thigh
Benefits: Improve muscle flexibility, Boost blood circulation, Strengthen the spine.
How to do it?
- Start by standing in a straight posture, keeping your hands on either side of your body.
- As you relax, inhale deeply and bend down forward from the hips exhaling as you do so.
- Once you have bent your upper body, place your arms on either side of your foot. If possible, you can also interlock your arms and place them on the back of the ankle.
- Focus on stretching and lifting your tailbone while keeping your body bent from the waist down.
- Stay in this position for 5-10 seconds and then return to the original position gradually.
4. Vrikshasana or the Tree Pose
Targets: Thigh, Ankle, Calf, Shoulder, Thorax, Inguinal region
Benefits: Improve neuromuscular coordination, Improve endurance, and Support heart health and functions.
How to do it?
- Vrikshasana is a balancing posture, so that’s something you have to master as you practice more of this yoga asanas for a healthy heart.
- Start with an erect posture, keeping your arms on either side of your body.
- From there, you have to bend and fold your right knee and lift the folded leg towards the inner side of your thigh.
- You need to place the underside of your foot on the inside of your inner thigh and maintain your balance while standing on one leg.
- Raise your arms from the side of your body and join them over your head to form Namaste.
- As you do this, practice deep breathing as you inhale and exhale.
- As you exhale, bring your hands down and put your right foot on the ground and return to the initial position.
- You can then change to the left leg and repeat this asana 5-10 times.
5. Padangusthasana or the Big Toe Pose
Targets: Thigh, Hamstring, Calf
Benefits: Relieves stress and anxiety, Improves calm and relaxation, Improves blood circulation and Boosts digestion.
How to do it?
- A lot similar to Uttanasana, you have to start with an erect posture, standing on top of a yoga mat.
- Place your hands on the hips and inhale deeply as you stand straight.
- Suck in your belly and relax your head, neck, and shoulder.
- Bend and fold your body from the waist and place your palms on either side of your foot on the ground.
- If your hamstrings are too stiff and you are feeling pain, fold your knees slightly to relieve that tautness.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds and return to the initial position as you exhale.
6. Chakrasana or the Wheel Pose
Targets: Back, Vertebral Column, Leg, Abdominal muscles, Arms, Waist, Buttocks
Benefits: Stretches the chest muscles, Improves spinal flexibility, Boosts heart function and Reduces blockages in the blood vessels.
How to do it?
- Amidst all the different best yoga asanas for heart patients, Chakrasana is the most difficult to master. You need to do it under the guidance of a trained professional.
- Start by laying down a thick yoga mat on an even surface and lying down on it.
- Bend your knees, keeping your feet planted flat on the ground. Press down firmly on the ground with your feet.
- Take your hands and place your hands right by your shoulders in a way so that the fingers are pointing towards the shoulders.
- As you put pressure on your hands and feet, lift your upper body off the ground.
- Simultaneously, place the crown of your head on the yoga mat for support.
- As you press into your inner thighs, feet, and pelvis, exert maximum pressure and lift your body to form a curved wheel structure, lifting your head along with your abdomen as well.
- Find a stable position and hold that position for 5-10 seconds, ensuring that you aren’t putting excess strain on the neck or shoulders.
- Once done, exhale and gradually bring your body down to the ground and relax.
7. Sarvangasana or the Shoulder Stand
Targets: Shoulder, Neck
Benefits: Improve blood circulation, Improve digestion, Improve balance and posture.
How to do it?
- Like Chakrasana, we’d recommend you do this yoga asana with a professional by your side. It takes a little time to master, so until you do, it is better to have someone support your posture.
- Start by lying down on top of a thick yoga mat, keeping your arms on either side of your body.
- As you prepare yourself for the asana, lift your legs, buttocks, and hip simultaneously in one swift motion. You have to lift it high enough so your legs are pointing toward the ceiling.
- For support, take your palms and place them on your lower back, keeping your elbows flat on the ground.
- You might experience a wobbly posture initially, so have someone hold your legs in a stable position and stay in that position for 5-10 seconds.
- As you exhale, bring your legs, hip, and buttocks down on the yoga mat and relax your body.
8. Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Downward Facing Dog Pose
Targets: Legs, Arms
Benefits: Strengthen the back, Relieve back pain, Improve blood circulation, Improve posture.
How to do it?
- For this, you need to start on being on all your fours.
- Strategically place your palms under your shoulder and your knees right under your hips.
- Gradually lift your hips off the ground while pushing back on the heels until you form an inverted V with respect to the ground.
- Stretch your arms and limbs as much as possible to form a straight posture while you hollow out your abdominal region.
- Hold this posture for 5-10 seconds and gradually return to the initial position.
9. Halasana or the Plough Pose
Targets: Vertebral Column, Shoulder
Benefits: Stretches your spine, Tones the back muscles, Improves muscle mobility, Boost blood circulation.
How to do it?
- Perfecting this yoga pose can take some time, so we’d recommend that you start with a professional yoga practitioner by your side.
- Start by laying down a yoga mat and then lie down on it, placing your arms by the side of your body.
- Inhale and lift both of your legs together to form a right angle with the ground.
- As you exhale, lift your hips off the floor, keeping your legs joined, and move the legs over and to the back of your head.
- Keep your hands on the ground, placing the palms facing towards the ground. This also helps you maintain optimal support. If you aren’t stable in your position, you can keep your hands interlocked for extra support and stability.
- Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, depending on your endurance.
- Once done, exhale and return your legs back to the ground and relax before repeating 5-10 times more.
10. Paschimottanasana or the Seated Forward Pose
Targets: Hamstring, Shoulder, Vertebral Column
Benefits: Improve spine mobility, Improve overall flexibility, Reduce anxiety and Boost blood circulation.
How to do it?
- This is one of the easiest yoga poses to master as a beginner. Not only does it improve heart health, but the yoga pose also effectively calms down the mind and boosts overall immunity.
- Start by sitting down on your yoga mat, keeping your legs stretched forward.
- Bend down from your waist and fold yourself so your chest is resting on top of your thighs.
- Keep your arms by the side of your legs, keeping them stretched forward.
- You need to keep your abdominals taut during this yoga.
- Don’t overstretch and only bend your body as much as you can. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and return to the initial seated position.
11. Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose
Targets: Abdomen, Shoulder, Vertebral Column, Thorax, Lungs
Benefits: Improve blood circulation, Stretches the spine, Improves digestion.
How to do it?
- If you are struggling with stress that’s affecting your heart health, practicing this yoga can alleviate those symptoms.
- Start by laying down on your stomach over your yoga mat.
- Keep your legs stretched and place your foot so that the underside is facing up towards the ceiling.
- Place your elbows on the side of your abdomen and lift your upper half of the body, especially around the chest off the ground.
- Hold yourself up in the air by placing your palms in front for support.
- Hold this position for 5-10 seconds or more depending on your endurance.
- These are the top 11 yoga asanas for heart health that improves blood circulation, improve physiological functions and enable you to live an overall healthy life.
Besides Yoga or dietary changes, making routine Heart Screening a part of your life is equally essential, as it helps you track every beat and make informed decisions for a healthy beating.
Top Heart Tests For Heart Health:
- Ensure comprehensive heart assessment
- Helps with early detection of heart disease risk factors
- Allow you to start the treatment or take proactive measures in time
- Minimize potential complications to a possible extent
- Evaluate your heart health on multiple parameters
- Detect risk factors or abnormalities, if any
- Help you keep track of heart health for a healthy heart
- Ensures extensive cardiovascular evaluation
- Analyze overall health and identify potential health risks
- Offer peace of mind for those looking for cardiovascular assessment
High-Sensitivity Troponin I (hs-cTnI) Test:
- Helps with early detection of cardiac injury
- Allows accurate diagnosis of heart attacks
- Provide more precise information about cardiac injury
- Ensure early diagnosis leads to faster treatment or improved outcomes
- Mainly recommended for patients with diabetes
- Assesses risks related to heart health or heart failure
- Diagnose and evaluate heart conditions
- Measure cholesterol levels and assess your risk of heart disease
- Identify cholesterol problems early, enabling timely intervention for reducing the risk of heart diseases
- The test ensures comprehensive heart assessment by measuring cholesterol and triglyceride in the blood.
The choice of test may vary for every individual, depending on their risk factors, age, gender, medical history, current health status, symptoms (if any), and more. So, consult your healthcare practitioner and get tested with Redcliffe Labs today.
Which yoga asana is good for the heart?
There are multiple yoga asanas that are good for the heart. Besides the 11 we have mentioned in this article, you can also explore more like Halasana, Sirshasana, Viparita Karani, etc.
How to strengthen the heart through yoga?
If you want to improve your heart’s vitality and function with yoga, engage in the asanas that improve blood circulation, improve muscle flexibility and also optimize cholesterol levels and weight.
How can I improve my heart at home?
Besides yoga, eating healthy, managing stress and quitting unhealthy habits can drastically improve heart function at home.
Our heart health heavily relies on the choices we make every day. If you wish to live a long and fulfilling life, paying close attention to what you eat and the kind of lifestyle you lead is crucial. We hope the article explains why yoga is good for heart health and why you should include at least 3-5 yoga asanas in your exercise routine each day.