It can be difficult for consumers to manage their blood pressure, but a new study conducted by researchers from the American Heart Association (AHA) could provide an interesting avenue for people to do just that.
The study revealed that practicing hot yoga, a type of yoga where the room is set to around 105 degrees Fahreinheit, could help consumers lower their blood pressure.
“The findings are very preliminary at this point, yet they’re somewhat promising in terms of unveiling yet another unique way to lower blood pressure in adults without the use of medications,” said researcher Stacy Hunter, PhD. “Hot yoga is gaining popularity, and we’re even seeing other styles of yoga, like Vinyasa and power yoga, being offered in heated studios.”
The researchers conducted a small study to assess how hot yoga would affect consumers’ blood pressure. The team had 10 participants, all of whom either had hypertension or elevated blood pressure, were between the ages of 20 and 65, and were not regularly exercising or actively treating their condition..
While half of the participants served as a control group, the other half engaged in tri-weekly hot yoga classes, after which the researchers were able to assess their blood pressure and other ways the classes affected the participants both mentally and physically.
Though the participants in the control group remained consistent in their blood pressure readings over time, the hot yoga did make a difference in the blood pressure readings of the five active participants. The researchers saw a drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure over the course of the 12 weeks of hot yoga, and these participants also reported feeling less stressed after those sessions.
Because of the smaller nature of this study, the researchers want to do more work to determine if hot yoga can benefit consumers’ blood pressure readings over time, though they are pleased with these early findings.
“The results of our study start the conversation that hot yoga could be feasible and effective in terms of reducing blood pressure without medication,” said Dr. Hunter. “However, larger studies need to be done before we can say with confidence that hot yoga has a positive impact on blood pressure.”