Yoga for High Blood Pressure – Do’s and Don’ts for Yoga Teachers

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure remains a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure and kidney disease in Western societies. One in three Americans suffers from hypertension, according to the CDC, and only about half of those have it under control. Millions of others, including many who turn up in yoga classes, have dangerously high blood pressure, but don’t know it. People on hypertension medication often experience side effects, which can undermine their quality of life, and lead many to skip doses.

A growing number of studies suggest that yoga offers an excellent complement to conventional medical treatment for high blood pressure. In one study, for example, practicing yoga just two to three times a week was associated with a greater drop in blood pressure than eating a special diet aimed at lowering blood pressure. Other studies (as well as the experience of yoga therapists) suggest that yoga can help some people lower their dose of high blood pressure drugs or even get off BP medications entirely (under their doctors’ guidance).

How does yoga affect blood pressure? Are there specific yoga practices that are particularly helpful to help regulate blood pressure? And for yoga teachers working with students with high blood pressure, are there contraindicated practices or any precautions to be aware of?

In this 2-part online course, Dr. Timothy McCall discusses the benefits of yoga for high blood pressure, summarizes the scientific data, and explores some of the do’s and don’ts for yoga teachers working with students with high blood pressure — whether diagnosed or not. He discusses how to plan practices for students with high blood pressure, including those with limited yoga experience and mobility, and embraces the full palette of yogic tools including asana, pranayama, and meditation. Timothy’s perspective is holistic, considering all aspects of mind, body and spirit. He incorporates western medicine as well as Ayurvedic perspectives.

What You Will Learn

  • The problem of blood pressure and why you need to pay attention to the condition—in yourself and/or students
  • The yogic and Ayurvedic perspective on high blood pressure, including the role of stress, breathing and posture, as well as imbalanced doshas
  • Types of blood pressure medications, and how to adjust the yoga practice in light of common side effects (such as lightheadedness when standing)
  • The pathways through which yoga can help control blood pressure
  • When general yoga classes may be contraindicated for people with hypertension
  • Which postures and other practices are often beneficial for people with hypertension and which should be avoided
  • How to put together a balanced yoga practice for people with hypertension
  • Key modifications to keep in mind for people with limited mobility or generalized health issues

This Course Also Includes:

  • 30 Minute Guided Yoga Practice with Dr. McCall: Enjoy a special 30 minute guided audio yoga practice for high blood pressure with Dr. McCall illustrating some of the practice principles covered in the course.
  • Recordings of Both Sessions: Yours to keep. It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get the recordings of both sessions (MP3 – downloadable and MP4 – streaming online), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of Both Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.

This course qualifies for 2.5 CEs with Yoga Alliance.

Timothy McCall, M.D. is a board-certified internist, the medical editor of Yoga Journal and the author of the bestselling Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing (Bantam).

$127/ Lifetime Access

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