Yoga is an effective form of exercise that promotes flexibility and relaxation. Various studies confirm that certain yoga poses can reduce bloating, improve posture, and relieve back pain. Yoga can improve your flexibility and range of motion, and it may even aid with the management of varicose veins. Although yoga is not a cure, the various poses may relieve soreness and swelling in the legs that result from varicose veins.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins that are generally benign. For many people, varicose veins have no symptoms and they are merely a cosmetic concern. In some cases, they can cause aching pain and discomfort, which can indicate an underlying circulatory issue. Basically varicose veins result because of a failure in the one-way valves inside the veins. Instead of pumping blood in one direction toward the heart, the failed valves cause blood to leak backwards. That creates a pooling of blood and causes veins to bulge.
Although the exact cause is unknown, varicose veins primarily result due to hereditary factors. If they run in your family, you have a higher chance of developing them. Another risk factor is if you work in a profession that requires you to stand all day, especially if you don’t move much. And while yoga cannot cure the problem, the relaxation that these poses provide may prevent the condition from worsening. You may even enhance limb movement! Read on to learn how to do the yoga poses.
Standing Forward Bend
This pose works to enhance blood flow throughout the entire body. It works to stretch the hamstrings and calves, which are likely spots of varicose veins. To do the stretch, stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. On an exhale, hinge at the hips to bend forward and reach your hands toward the ground. If you can touch the ground, then great, but you can always rest your hands on your shins if you cannot touch the floor. You can also grab your elbows and simply hang in the stretch. Hold this position for about 10 seconds and then release.
Legs Up The Wall
Legs up the wall is highly beneficial for fatigued legs because it enhances blood circulation and aims to flush out toxins from the lower extremities. This pose is very simple and helps relieve pressure in the calves, which is great for people with varicose veins. Sit up straight with your right shoulder touching the wall. In a fluid motion, roll onto your back and swing your legs up the walls, planting your arms on the ground to the sides for support. Scoot your butt as close to the wall as possible. Breathe deeply in this pose for as long as you want, ideally 30 seconds minimum.
Mountain pose is one of the most basic yoga poses, but that doesn’t mean that you can breeze through it. This pose helps you achieve proper alignment and works to strengthen the knees, thighs, and ankles. Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart and tighten your core and thigh muscles. Strengthen the inner arches of the ankles and feel the energy pass from your feet all the way up to your head. Breathe deeply and direct your gaze forward. Hold this pose for five deep breaths and then release.
Some say that Fish pose is one of the best poses for people with varicose veins. The reason for that is because it works on various systems at the same time, stretching your feet and legs to relieve stress and cramps. By relaxing the legs, you regulate blood flow throughout the body. Lie flat on your back and extend your legs out. Create a gentle curve in your back to rest the crown of your head on the mat. Support yourself with your elbows and forearms on the ground right beside you. If this is uncomfortable, place a long pillow or bolster along your spine and relax on this pose that way. Hold for 10 seconds and then release.
Wind Relieving Pose
This pose aims to move stagnant lymph and venous blood. It may also relieve cramps or fatigue in the legs by loosening the muscles and joints in the hips and knees. Lie flat on your back and draw your knees to your chest. Lift your head off the ground and grab the outsides of your shins with your hands, aiming to bring your forehead to your knees. Hold this pose for five deep breaths and then release.