Do you often feel cold or numb fingers and toes, swelling, weakness, or a tingling sensation in your extremities? You might have poor blood circulation, which can be caused by a number of factors, including various heart conditions, diabetes, obesity, blood clots, or diseases like Reynard’s.
The effects of poor blood circulation can impact your entire body, and while it’s most important to address the cause of low blood circulation, yoga can help keep it from getting worse. And by improving blood flow, you can increase the flow of oxygen, regulate your digestive system, and reduce inflammation in your body.
Yoga has been used for centuries for better health, and one of the ways it improves physical wellness is by increasing blood flow. Through various postures (asanas), yoga works to stretch, strengthen, twist, and compress your body to stimulate better circulation. Combined with breathing techniques (pranayama), yoga can also reduce high blood pressure and increase blood flow within your body’s tissue.
All yoga helps improve your body’s ability to circulate blood, regardless of the style or method of movement. And you don’t need to be an advanced yogi or incredibly fit to take advantage of yoga’s benefits for your circulatory system. Through a regular weekly practice of yoga, you can improve blood circulation and your overall health at the same time.
Are you ready to get started? Try the poses below to get your body moving and your blood circulating properly. You can also join an online class at MyYogaTeacher , or schedule a private session with a certified instructor who can tailor a yoga routine to your specific needs.
This pose encourages blood flow to the brain and upper body. It requires the body to be inverted, which helps to increase circulation to the head and neck.
With your hands and knees on the floor, push your hips upward until you are balancing on your hands and feet, and your body resembles an inverted “v” shape. Reach your heels toward the floor, stretching your hamstrings and activating your thighs. Keep your head between your arms, lengthening your side-body as you stretch. Stay here for several breaths.
Plow pose regulates your digestive system, strengthens the spine, and increases blood flow to your thyroid gland.
Lie on your back on a yoga mat with your arms by your side and your legs extended. Lift your legs up toward the ceiling, keeping them straight as you slowly lower them over your head. Use your hands underneath your lower back for support as you touch your feet to the floor behind your head. Once your toes are touching the ground, bring your hands out from under your lower back and place them at your sides. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds while maintaining an easy breath.
This pose helps to reverse blood flow to the heart and increases circulation to the brain. It also helps to relieve fatigue and calm the mind.
Lie down on 1-2 blankets folded underneath your shoulder blades, with the back of your head on the floor. As you inhale, lift your legs and hips, so that your body is balanced vertically from your upper arms and shoulders. Bending your arms, support your body with your hands on your lower back. Stay here for 5-10 breaths.
Standing Forward Fold improves blood flow to your legs and feet and helps to relieve tension in your back and neck muscles.
Stand at the front of your mat, feet hip distance apart. Exhale and bend forward from the waist, with your knees slightly bent and touching your hands to the floor in front of your feet. Inhale and exhale, allowing your torso to extend without rounding your back. Lengthen and soften your neck, and let the muscles of your thighs and lower back open and release any built-up tension. Hold the pose for 1-2 minutes.
This pose encourages blood flow to your digestive organs, which helps relieve gas and bloating. It also stretches your back muscles and helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Lie on your stomach with your legs extended, arms folded under your head and your chin resting on your forearms. Place your hands at the level of your chest and press down with your hands. Slightly lift your head off the mat, keeping your head and back aligned, and press your thighs together. Now, steadily pull your elbows towards your ribs and align your hands and shoulders. On a deep inhale, press your hands into the mat, curl your shoulders backward, and lift your upper body off the mat. Hold this position for a few breaths and then rest.
Your legs are an important part of your body’s overall circulation. Warrior II strengthens and compresses the muscle tissue and veins in your legs for better blood flow.
Move to the back portion of your mat and step your right foot forward. Your right toes should be pointed forward and your left (back) foot should be kept parallel with your mat. Bend your right knee at 90 degrees, taking care not to overextend. Your right knee should not move forward past your toes. With your hips evenly squared, stretch your arms out to both sides, so that your right arm extends out in front of you and your left arm behind you. Open your chest and focus on activating your legs so that you are grounded into your mat. Hold this pose for 5-6 breaths and repeat on the other side.
This half-inverted posture helps drain any excess blood from your lower extremities and relieves stress and high blood pressure.
Place a folded blanket parallel against a wall. Sit sideways in the middle of the blanket, and turn yourself toward the wall, lifting your legs up and propping them against the wall. Lay back comfortably, rest your head and neck on the floor, and fully straighten your legs. Spread your arms out to your sides with your palms facing up. Allow your chest, abdomen, and pelvis to completely relax. Breathe evenly and mindfully while holding this pose for 5-8 minutes.
Sitting with your knees bent and your feet tucked in next to your left butt cheek, inhale with your spine straight, lifting your chest. As you exhale, rotate your torso to your right. Position your right hand on the floor just slightly behind you, and rest your left hand on your right knee. On your next breath, rotate a little more as you exhale, turning your head to look over your right shoulder. Hold this pose for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
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