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Move to the Beat of Your Heart & Breath: Yoga for Heart Health

Move to the Beat of Your Heart Breath Yoga for Heart Health
February is American Heart Month to raise awareness about heart disease, a disease especially prevalent amongst women. The American Heart Association states, “With the right information, education and care, heart disease can be treated, prevented, and even ended.”

Heart disease is much more common among women and takes more lives than all cancer combined. According to the CDC, heart disease kills 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men each year. Through a healthy diet, regular exercise, mindful living and truly caring for the body, heart disease can be greatly prevented.

For many of us, physical inactivity is common and exercise can feel a bit intimidating or overwhelming, especially after a long day of work. But you don’t have to run a marathon to keep your heart healthy! There are many forms of physical activity that get the blood pumping and keep the heart healthy and happy!

Yoga is a great low-impact, but effective, form of exercise that can get the heart pumping and strengthen the mind/body connection through the breath. When you move with the breath and the beat of your heart, you circulate blood through the body with mindful intention.

After reading these benefits, you’ll have no excuse to not join a yoga studio or try it at home!

Circulation - Circulating the blood has many benefits for overall health. The heart loves to work, it was made for it! When the blood is pumping fast and hard through the body, it is reoxygenated. This is like a breath of fresh air for cells, tissues, muscles, organs and everything inbetween. This also strengthens the heart muscle because it is working hard to keep the flow of oxygen rich blood moving.

Recommended exercise: Shoulder spin. This simple stretch will relieve tension in the shoulders, chest, and upper back which will also get the blood flowing to those areas. You can do this at work throughout the day or anytime you feel you could use a gentle stretch.

Stress Reduction - If the mind is stressed, the body is stressed. Almost all stress-relief techniques involve mindful breathing, and the very basis of yoga is aligning the body with the breath and entering a state of moving meditation. Yoga promotes living in the moment and washing away anything that is not happening on the mat. It also becomes easier to enter that peaceful space within as the mind/body connection is strengthened.

Recommended exercise: Mindful breathing. Take a few minutes each day to simply focus on the sensation of breathing. Abdominal breathing with ignite the fire within your belly and calm all your senses.

Lower Blood Pressure - According to results found in a scientific study by PubMed Health, yoga was proven to slightly reduce hypertension in patients (both men and women) who included it in their exercise routine compared to those who had exercise routines without yoga. While the direct medical link is not quite clear, what is obvious is that yoga improves overall physical fitness and reduces stress to assist in the reduction of hypertension.

Recommended exercise: Restorative yoga. This gentle yoga practice will focus on different areas of the body that hold stress and tension and can greatly improve flexibility.

Sense of Community - The old adage, “strength in numbers” applies to more than just safety. When we gather and commiserate, there is a sense of support and heightened strength that is hard to beat. Going to a yoga class or gathering your tribe to practice yoga at home or in a park strengthens our bonds to each other and ourselves. This kind of gathering connects us from a place in the heart and the love is shared. When we feel this love exchange, the energetic healing is remarkable.

Recommended group: Solar Body Community. If you feel it jives with you, join the Solar Body Community Facebook group to share your story, connect with others in the CYE community and find the energetic support that will help you thrive!

We can all agree that the statistics of heart disease are unacceptable. We must end this and we must take mindful action to better our health and lives. Take the first step, and grab someone’s hand to bring them with you, on the path to better heart health.

For the entire month of February, we will be sharing important facts and prevention of heart disease, so stay tuned! Please share these articles with the women and men in your life. Let’s fight this disease together!

Please share your thoughts and experience with us in the comments below.

Written by Morgan Garza
Morgan is a free spirit, world traveler and a lover of light. She loves to write about and research our inner healing power to help people realize their true potential. An avid practicer of yoga and meditation, Morgan is continuously evolving. She encourages all of us to follow our dreams by taking that first step into the unknown and truly practices what she preaches.
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