“Cardiovascular disease” is the name given to any of a number of diseases that affect the heart itself and/or the vascular system, especially the blood vessels leading to and from the heart. Apart from congenital heart diseases, in which the person is born with the heart disease, the most common types of acquired heart disease are coronary artery disease (CAD) and congestive heart failure (CHF). CAD and CHF are caused by high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity and hereditary factors.

Some of the symptoms of heart diseases are pain in the chest, shortness of breath, palpitations, swelling of feet or legs, weakness and cyanosis (skin turning a blue colour). However, it is important to know that often a person can have a heart disease and not feel sick.

Instructions

Step 1: Bhujangasana

  • Lie flat on the stomach with legs straight, feet together and soles of the feet facing upward
  • Place the palms of the hands flat on the floor, below and slightly to the side of the shoulders
  • The fingers should be together and pointing forward
  • The arms should be positioned so that the elbows point backward and are close to the sides of the body
  • Rest the forehead on the floor and close the eyes
  • Relax the whole body, especially the lower back
  • Slowly raise the head, neck and shoulders
  • Straightening the elbows, raise the trunk as high as possible
  • Use the back muscles more than the arm muscles (Be aware of using the back muscle first while starting to raise the trunk. Then use the arm muscle to raise the trunk further and arch the back)
  • Tilt the head backward, so that the chin points forward and the back of the neck is gently compressed
  • In the final position, the pubic bone remains in contact with the floor and the navel is raised a maximum of 3 cm (if the navel is raised too high, the bend tends to be in the knees and not in the back)
  • The arms may or may not be straight
  • Hold the final position for 60 seconds
  • To return to the starting position, slowly bring the head forward, release the upper back by bending the arms. Lower the navel, chest, shoulders and finally the forehead to the floor
  • Relax the lower back muscles

Step 2: In Bhujangasana, Uddiyana Bandha

  • Get into Bhujangasana
  • Exhale completely
  • Without inhaling, contract the bowels equably above and below the navel towards the back, so that the abdominal viscera may touch the back
  • Hold as long as possible judiciously
  • Release the pose while inhaling slowly and rest the forehead on the ground
  • Do this for 21 times

Step 3: In Bhujangasana, Jalandhar Bandha

  • Get into Bhujangasana
  • Inhale fully
  • Place the chin on the chest and contract the throat
  • Hold as long as possible judiciously
  • Release the pose and the throat lock while exhaling slowly
  • Rest with the forehead on the ground for a moment
  • Do this 21 times

Step 4: Bhadrasana

  • Bring the sole of the feet together, and place the heels crosswise under the genitals
  • Take hold of the toes with the hands
  • Fix the gaze on the tip of the nose
  • Stay in this posture for 3 minutes

Step 5: In Bhadrasana, Sheethali Pranayama

  • Continue to sit in Bhadrasana
  • Close the eyes and relax the whole body
  • Extend the tongue outside the mouth and roll the sides of the tongue up so that it forms a tube
  • Inhale slowly through the tongue and fill the abdomen slowly
  • At the end of inhalation, roll the tongue in, close the mouth swallow the whole air and retain
  • Exhale slowly through the nose
  • Do this 21 times

Step 6: In Bhadrasana, Sheetkari Pranayama

  • Press the lower and upper teeth together and separate the lips as much as comfortable
  • Breathe in slowly through the gaps of the teeth
  • Listen slowly to the sound of the breath as the air is being drawn in
  • Close the mouth at the end of the inhalation
  • Hold as long as you can
  • Exhale slowly through the nose
  • Do this 21 times

Kriya Given by Nithyananda on 3rd November, 2011, in Bidadi Ashram, Bangalore, India

For more kriyas, please visit www.nithyananda.org/nithya-kriyas