top of page

The BBC should have asked me

How disappointing to see this BBC article perpetuate the perception that yoga, meditation, mindfulness or breath awareness is ‘a bit soft and fluffy.’ Those words dismiss the rich culture and history of yoga, meditation and the spiritual traditions that mindfulness and breath practices are indebted to. Furthermore, those words put people off accessing a practice that would put them in the driving seat of their wellbeing.

I assume the Professor, who is a UK blood pressure expert was misquoted when the word ‘dynamic’ was used to describe medicine rather than placing it with yoga and meditation. Dynamic, means constant change, activity and progress which can only describe taking one’s management of blood pressure into their own hands. Medication for blood pressure is passive. If blood pressure is habitually high or low, a prescription will force it to change. Often if a person were to stop the meds, their blood pressure will return to the previous, unmedicated level.

45 minutes of meditation!!? Can you imagine how physically demanding it would be to sit in meditation for 45 minutes? I’d need probably 2 hours of rigorous yoga to physically and mentally prepare for that kind of event. Why set the dosage so high when a few minutes would be (understandably) very challenging?

Why is it when ‘alternative’ treatments are proposed, the starting point is inaccessible? When a medicine is first prescribed, it starts at the lowest possible dose, reviewed, and then titrates up until they reach the right level. And medicine for long term conditions will always increase, because medicine becomes less effective the longer it’s taken. The body adapts. Because the body is… oh what’s the word… dynamic and constantly changing.

I suspect my blood pressure rose when I read this article with its inaccuracies. That’s what blood pressure does, it reacts and responds to our internal and external environment. To return to a natural level, I just needed to stop reading such nonsense, think about something else and elongate my exhalation for a few moments. It's not that simple in situations of chronic stress, which can be the reason for constantly high blood pressure. Collecting prescriptions in this instance seems like an incomplete intervention, don't you think?

My recommendation would be to start with 4 x 1 minute of meditation. Sprinkled throughout your day at convenient points. What's amazing about meditation is it can benefit you from the very first practice, and... the more you do it, the more effect it becomes. It’s like the people who put together these BBC articles don’t want you to feel better or take charge of your health. I do though.

I teach group classes and private yoga sessions, click here for details.


bottom of page