One of the most important functions in the body is circulation of blood. This supplies blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the brain and other organs. Good circulation promotes healthy skin, cell growth, energy, and cognitive ability. Poor circulation may cause numbness, dizziness, nerve damage, tissue damage, and other issues. Learn more about how yoga can help increase blood circulation and lead to better overall health.
Legs Up the Wall
Yogis praise a passive inverted pose for its use of gravity to stimulate blood circulation and rejuvenate the body. This inversion encourages venous return and allows the heart to slow down. To get started, try these tips:
- Start in seated pose on the floor next to a wall with your legs running parallel to the wall. In one motion, swivel the body so your legs go up the wall and the upper body is perpendicular and straight on the floor. Allow your arms to relax by your side or hands on the navel. Flex feet and remain in this pose for up to 15 minutes. Exit gently by rolling to one side.
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
This pose increases blood circulation by bending back as you open your chest and shoulders to allow your head to dangle back. To get started in this pose, try:
- Kneeling on floor with knees hip-width apart. Place palms on the upper buttocks with fingers pointing down.
- Inhale and move your pelvis forward while leaning the upper body and head back. Spend a few seconds getting used to this stretch in the thighs.
- If you feel ready, exhale and reach your right hand back up and cup the heel of your right foot. Do this on the left side. Press pelvis forward and round the sound. Relax the head back and hold for 30 seconds. If this is too much strain, use a wall as a prop.
Upward Bow Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
This therapeutic pose helps the circulatory system as it rejuvenates the cells and allows blood to flow through arms, legs, spine, and brain. How to start:
- Lie on your back and bend your knees
- Plant feet hip-width apart with heels close to the butt
- Bend elbows and place hands on the floor beside your ears with fingers pointing toward your shoulders
- Press into the floor with your hands and raise your head and shoulders off the floor
- Exhale and rest crown of your head on the floor
- Press into the floor with hands and straighten arms as you inhale and lift your head off the floor
Before trying yoga poses, it is important to make sure you get approval from a treating physician. It can be helpful but certain poses may be challenging or strain the neck and back. Be sure to visit a studio and people who practice helping with proper alignment to avoid possible injury.
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