Yoga may help lower blood pressure and have other cardiovascular benefits. A review in the American Journal of Hypertension in September 2014 analyzed seven studies involving 450 people with elevated blood pressure who practiced various forms of yoga for at least eight weeks.
Yoga produced a 10-point reduction in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 6-point drop in diastolic (the bottom number) overall, with greater effects seen in people with hypertension. Then in December 2014, in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, an analysis of 37 studies concluded that yoga can modestly improve cardiovascular risk factors—notably blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and body weight. The researchers suggested that some of these benefits may result from yoga’s stress-reducing effects.