If you have been diagnosed with heart disease or have been identified by your doctor as having health risks associated with heart disease such as hypertension, elevated levels of cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, excess weight or obesity, diabetes, and high stress, then you may have wondered how to address some of these
Very often, in spite of our best efforts each one of those risk factors becomes an obstacle that at times feels insurmountable and can cause additional stress. We all want to be healthy and do what is best for our hearts but at times the solution can feel overwhelming and unreachable.
For example, here are some questions that may arise Where do I start? How can I reduce my high cholesterol to a healthy cholesterol level? Can I lose enough weight to help my heart? How much is enough and how many things do I have to change in order to see results? How will making these changes affect my already stressful life? Do I have the time to commit to these changes? How long is this going to take?
The answers to these questions can often feel challenging and may act as barriers to beginning the process of change. You may also be trying to follow the doctors' orders, medication changes, and lifestyle modifications, which may be bringing in the results, but often seem slow.
In so many cases, the challenge of change can become tedious and drawn out and we may find ourselves giving up the journey before we reach the destination.
However, most of us recognize the significance of the heart as it is the most important organ of the body and its efficiency directly affects the functioning of the entire body. We must realize that maintaining optimal health of the body can positively affect the heart. The more the heart is put to work, the less efficient it becomes, and the less efficiently it pumps blood – resulting in less optimal functioning of the body.
There are things that we as individuals can do that do not involve a complete overhaul of the way we live, but a gradual makeover of our lifestyles through self-examination, support, and gentle movement in addition to aerobic exercises and diet changes.
Cardiac/medical yoga is a holistically based program that incorporates psychological and physiological aspects in a supportive group environment, along with gentle and modified movements, visualizations, and mindful practices that promote a holistic approach to well being.
During this program, individuals learn the connection between the mind and body and how they can impact each other. Through this process they learn to identify stressors, and how to manage them in a holistic and gentle approach that has been found to be both helpful in reducing the risks for heart disease, and complementary to medical treatment.