Yoga for heart condition

by Tony
(PA)

Hi there. My name is Tony, and I am 18 years old. I play high school baseball and am hoping to pursue a scholarship to play in college next spring with this being my senior year. With those goals being set, I planned to have a rigorous weight lifting/agility workout lined up all through the fall/winter to prepare myself for scouts.

I recently had a change of plans. I was having terrible chest pains, and I went to my local ER. After 12 hours at the hospital, I was told it appeared I had a heart attack. After further examination, the doctors came to the conclusion that I obtained a virus that attacked the sacs around my heart. I went to a cardiologist, and I was told I can still hit baseballs, play catch and briskly walk, but I cannot jog, run, or lift weights for 6 months.

With such a sudden change of plans, I was talking to my dad and we came up with the idea of beginning a yoga program together. My leg strength and flexibility have always been a problem for me, so it seems yoga would be just the right fix for the next 6 months.

With my heart rate not being able to reach moderately high levels (levels similar to jogging or anything more strenuous than that), what type of yoga would you suggest I do to gain flexibility and maintain/build strength, all while not working my heart to vigorously? I really hope to hear back from you, for any answer
or direction would help me immensely.

Thank you so much,
Tony

Answer

1. Do Yoga Under Guidance. You can practice hatha yoga asanas and pranayama with the
permission of your doctor. Also, do not try to do yoga on your own, seek help of an experienced yoga teacher to start your yoga journey. You can include the following in your yoga sequence in consultation with your yoga teacher.
~ Simple yoga asanas
~ Yoga breathing (rhythmic deep breathing, alom vilom)
~ Relaxation (shavasana, yoga nidra)
~ Meditation

2. Doing yoga asanas at a slow pace and holding the asanas will definitely add to your flexibility and strengthen the muscles over a period of time. Gradually increase the holding time of the asanas to get more benefit.

3. In the beginning, you should take rest in shavasana after each asana for 30 seconds to one minute in order to keep heart rate low.

4. In addition, you can get complete relaxation by doing shavasana and yoga nidra at the end of your yoga sequence.

5. Practice of meditation while sitting in any of the sitting pose for meditation will also be good for you in order to reduce stress levels and get a feeling of well being.

6. You may combine brisk walk and yoga. First do brisk walk, take few minutes rest and do yoga.

Simple restorative hath yoga practice over a period of time can help you to remain in good shape as well to improve your physical and mental well being.

Hope this helps.

Namaste
Daljit

P.S. After you start doing yoga, you are welcome to share your experiences with yoga by using the comment link below. Or you may ask any additional query.

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