If you say you’re experiencing any sort of aches and pains, someone is likely to tell you about the benefits of yoga. It’s not just a fad — yoga has several benefits for your overall health. Did you know that it can also help your veins? If you have severe varicose veins, it’s best to seek treatment from a specialist like the vascular physicians in The Villages at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center. But if you’re looking for an option to prevent poor vein health, yoga can help.
Stretching and Toning the Legs
Varicose veins are formed when vein valves can no longer circulate blood upward through the leg. You can help improve this circulation by gently stretching your legs and toning your calves. These two poses can help stretch and strengthen your legs:
- Paschimottanasana: For this pose, sit on the floor with your legs straight forward in front of you, feet flexed. Slowly move your torso forward toward your legs until you feel a gentle stretch, being careful not to push yourself far enough to strain your muscles.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana: Also known as downward-facing dog, this popular pose both stretches and strengthens your legs. Start out on your hands and knees, making sure your hands are shoulder-width apart and pointing straight forward. Press through your palms, tuck your toes, and lift your knees off the floor to bring your body into an “A” shape.
Benefits of Inverted Poses
Inverted poses lift your feet above your heart, causing the blood to flow naturally through the leg. Please note: these poses are best for people who have been doing yoga for a long time. Be sure to seek help from a teacher before attempting these poses.
- Viparita karani: Also known as “legs up the wall,” this is the easiest inverted pose and safest for newcomers. Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides, then raise your legs up to a 90-degree angle.
- Salamba Sarvangasana: As a shoulder stand, this pose is more complex than the previous and should be practiced with the help of a teacher. When on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. Then, push your legs and hips off the floor to bring your knees to your face. Lift your hips, raising your torso as you bend your elbows and place your hands on your lower back. Keep your elbows straight as you lift your thighs, raise your tailbone, and straighten your legs.
- Sirsasana: This headstand is the most difficult inverted pose. With your elbows shoulder-width apart, gather your hands and place them on the ground, with your pinkies resting on the ground. Place your head lightly into your hands, tuck your toes, and lift your hips. When you feel ready, walk your knees close to your elbows and then lift your heels to your butt, one leg at a time. When you feel stable, you can reach your feet straight up.
After all of this hard work, it’s important to take a moment to relax. This will help your body avoid any strain from your practice. Savasana, or corpse pose, is typically used to relax. Lie on your back with your legs straight and your hands resting palms-up at your sides. Spend a few moments here to relax — and remember to breathe!
Out of the many yoga poses, those that tone calves and increase blood flow are generally best for your vascular health. You can talk to a yoga teacher to see what poses may be best for you. And consider seeking a specialist if yoga doesn’t offer enough benefits for your veins. You can schedule a consultation with the vascular physicians in The Villages at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center by calling 407-545-3385 or 352-658-5547.