Practicing yoga regularly can be as effective as taking pills to lower down high blood pressure, a research paper presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Munich claims.
According to the new research, performing 15 minutes of yoga and breathing exercises every day can reduce blood pressure by as much as 10 percent.
The research involved 60 participants with high blood pressure. The participants were either asked to do beginner yoga poses, relaxation exercises, stretching exercises or deep breathing exercises. It was found that the yoga group saw their blood pressure fall 10 percent further over a period of three months.
Ashok Pandey, the 16-year-old boy who carried out the study as a school project, recently presented his research paper backed by the Cambridge Cardiac Care Centre in Canada at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Munich, which was attended by over 30,000 doctors.
Ashok claims that the health benefits of yoga have been known for centuries but the ancient Indian discipline has been rarely studied according to modern scientific methods.
“There isn’t really much research looking at how yoga might have this benefit,” said Ashok whose father is a cardiologist. “It’s been looked at as an unknown or as magical in some way.”
The research results are so convincing that Ashok is now working on a 500-person trial to confirm his findings with Laval University in Quebec.
He said that a large proportion of the benefit could be attributed to deep breathing.
“It is clinically relevant,” Ashok said about deep breathing. “It should not be used as a replacement for existing treatments, it’s about incorporating yoga into existing programmes.”
He added that his research results suggest yoga could be very beneficial in reducing blood pressure and deep breathing is an important notion, so, further studies on the subject should be conducted in the future.