Yoga for cholesterol control: 8 asanas to manage high cholesterol
By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 23, 2023
If you’ve been advised by your doctor to stay away from unhealthy foods due to high cholesterol, you’re likely searching for additional ways to manage your levels. Besides watching your diet, did you know that practicing yoga can also be beneficial? A 2014 study published in Sage Journals discovered that yoga can effectively improve both LDL (low-density lipoproteins) and HDL (high-density lipoproteins) cholesterol levels when compared to not exercising at all. So why not give these yoga poses for cholesterol control a try?
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Connecting Cholesterol Control and Yoga
Cholesterol issues appear to be more prevalent among women than men. In 2008, the World Health Organisation reported a global prevalence of high cholesterol among adults at 39%, with females accounting for 40% and males 37%. High cholesterol levels should not be overlooked, as they increase the risks of heart disease and stroke. WHO estimates that high cholesterol contributes to 2.6 million deaths worldwide. To maintain healthy cholesterol levels, it’s essential to make smart food choices and incorporate some form of exercise into your routine. Yoga can play a role in cholesterol control.
Yoga Poses to Manage Cholesterol Levels
Here are eight yoga asanas that can help you manage your cholesterol levels:
Stand with your feet together, stretching your entire body upward, and face your palms forward.
According to Dr. Mickey Mehta, a global leading holistic health guru and corporate life coach, this pose can improve posture and digestion, indirectly contributing to cholesterol control.
Stand with your feet wide apart and raise your arms while extending one hand to touch your toes on the other side.
Not only does this pose improve digestion, but it also stretches the sides of your body and may lower cholesterol levels.
Sit with your legs extended in front of you, then bend forward to touch your toes while maintaining a straight spine.
This asana stretches the hamstrings and stimulates the digestive system, potentially helping to control cholesterol, as suggested by the Health Shots expert.
Lie on your stomach with your palms facing up close to your chest, then lift your upper body off the floor.
The cobra pose strengthens the spine and enhances blood flow. This is vital because high cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits in your blood vessels, which eventually impede smooth blood flow and cause health problems.
5. Ardha Matsyendrasana
Sit with one leg bent and the other crossed over it, then twist your upper body to the side.
Practicing this asana can improve digestion and enhance the functioning of the liver and pancreas, potentially impacting cholesterol levels, according to the expert.
Supporting your lower back with your hands, elevate your legs and body while lying on your back.
This inversion position can activate the thyroid, which plays a role in controlling cholesterol metabolism.
7. Setu Bandhasana
Lie on your back with your legs bent, then lift your hips and chest off the floor.
The bridge posture strengthens your back and may enhance blood circulation.
8. Viparita Karani
To do this asana, sit against a wall with your legs extended upward and your torso at a 90-degree angle.
Stress, which has been linked to high cholesterol, can be alleviated with this restorative pose, as suggested by Dr. Mehta.
While incorporating these yoga asanas for cholesterol control into your routine, don’t forget to engage in activities like walking, cycling, or swimming as well. Additionally, it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommended medication to keep your cholesterol levels in check.