Using therapeutic yoga poses involves primarily those that open the chest and shoulders. These poses are usually those that are standing or bending, and they should be held for extended periods of time with slow, deep breathing to allow for more oxygen intake. Standing and bending poses also help tone cardiac muscle. The mountain pose, the tree pose, and the cat stretch pose can be used therapeutically to greatly benefit circulation and help to prevent the onset or further development of heart disease.
By engaging in such poses as the sun salutation, savasana (corpse pose), locust, and lotus, Yoga practitioners with heart problems will diminish both the systolic and diastolic pressure of the blood pumping to and from the heart muscle. This is a direct correlation with significantly reduced blood pressure levels. Hypertensive Yoga students will become and feel much more relaxed in every day life. Their heart muscles will be under much less tension and in a less tightened state during pumping action.