A new study presented at the 68th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India (CSI) has revealed that yoga could be the answer to reducing blood pressure in patients with prehypertension.

Without a lifestyle change, people with prehypertension — or blood pressure between 120-139 mmHg — are likely to develop hypertension. Both prehypertension and high blood pressure increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

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Researchers examined 60 patients with hypertension but no other serious health issues to understand the impact of hatha yoga on blood pressure, according to Medical XPress. They were randomized into two groups of 30 in order to assess the effect of three months of yoga plus a conventional lifestyle change.

Participants were both men and women, and the average age of participants was 56 years in the yoga group and 52 years in the control group. The practice included stretching exercises, breath control and meditation.

Results showed that in the yoga group, blood pressure significantly decreased by approximately 4.5 mmHg. Meanwhile, those in the control group did not show any significant changes.

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"Yoga is a part of traditional Indian culture, and has shown clear benefit in cases of prehypertension,” said Dr. Shirish Hiremath, CSI President Elect and Chairman of the CSI 2016 Scientific Committee, according to Medical XPress.

“Easy to practice and can be adapted by masses and is also very economical, yoga can go a long way in improving the overall health of the country, as hypertension is affecting a large number of young Indians. Yoga can turn out to be just the correct answer for people at risk," he explained.

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