A new small study suggests that hot yoga may indeed lower your blood pressure. The study was conducted at the cardiovascular physiology lab at Texas State University, and the research presented at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.
The researchers recruited 10 participants between the ages of 20 and 65. All of the participants had hypertension, in other words high blood pressure. None of the participants were taking blood pressure medication and none had had engaged in regular exercise for six months. Five of the participants to took 1-hour hot yoga classes three times a week. The other five had no yoga classes.
After 12 weeks, the hot yoga group’s systolic blood pressure dropped from an average of 126 at the beginning of the study to 121 after 12 weeks. Average diastolic pressure decreased from 82 to 79. Those who did not do hot yoga saw no change. Moreover, the hot yoga group also saw a lowering of perceived stress levels, while the non-yoga group did not.
According to the study author, “the results of our study start the conversation that hot yoga could be feasible and effective in terms of reducing blood pressure without medication. However, larger studies need to be done before we can say with confidence that hot yoga has a positive impact on blood pressure. Hot yoga is gaining popularity, and we’re even seeing other styles of yoga, like Vinyasa and power yoga, being offered in heated studios.”
This seems like an easy and fun strategy to attempt if you have hypertension. Why not look up yoga studios in your local area and give it a shot? It’s certainly better than being condemned to a lifetime sentence of taking pharmaceuticals.