Yoga Exercise for Varicose Veins

June 28th, 2010

Yoga exercise is beneficial for everyone, as we all know. Here are a few very simple yoga exercises which will benefit people with varicose veins.
The first category of  yoga exercise  for varicose veins  is the one which improves circulation. Improved circulation will help those sore veins.
The second category is the inverted posture: Inverted postures help drain old blood out of the legs, enabling new blood to nourish the veins. This exercise has the effect of relieving those  tired and aching legs. The inverted posture also benefits the brain and the thyroid, as it causes more blood to reach the head area.

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We will begin our exercise programme with some very  simple yoga exercises which almost anyone can do.

Day One: The first exercise which you will learn, ‘the simple leg raising exercise’,  will help your cicirculation, and give your legs a small opportunity to rest, as well.
The Simple Leg Raising Exercise:  This  exercise, believe it or not, has the combined effects of stimulating the circulation AND draining old blood from the legs. It is great for preventing constipation. It can be done at any time during the day, but it is a good one to do just before you go to bed, followed by the next listed here, the ‘simple inverted posture’. For preventing constipation, try to do the leg raising  exercise as soon as you get up. These take so little time – the benefits are so great for the little time spent in doing them.
Just lie on the floor, hands beside the body on the floor.  Breathe in a long, slow, deep breath. Hold the breath, and as you do, lift the legs up slowly until they are perpendicular to the body, upright, with the toes pointing towards the ceiling.
Hold the legs in this upright position, while you breath out slowly.  Slowly take another breath in and out while you keep the legs up with the toes pointing towards the ceiling.
Take another slow breath in, filling the lungs completely. Hold the breath as you slowly lower the legs to the floor.
Breathe  out again while your legs are lying relaxed on the floor. Take another breath in and out. Then take a deep breath in again, and hold the breath while you repeat the precedure of lifting the legs slowly up until the toes point to the sky.
Release the breath again, while you hold the legs in this position. Another breath in, and out. Then another breath in which you hold while the legs move down slowly to the floor again.
Repeat a third time. Then relax on the floor, breathing normally. Watch the breath as you lie relaxed on the floor, and feel the effect of having done this exercise.

Simple Leg Clasping Exercise:  This is another good one to prevent constipation, as it massages the stomach area. This also aids digestion. The legs benefit too, as they are drawn up with the knees getting applied pressure as you do so. Lie on the floor.  Draw the knees up towards the chest. Clasp the hands around the knees. Breathe in a deep breath. As you breathe out, pull the knees towards the chest, tugging the legs towards you. Release the pressure on the knees as you breathe in again, relaxing the pose a little, but keeping the hands clasped around the knees.  Breathing out, pull the legs inward towards the chest again. Hold for a second, then breathe in as you let the knees move outward again. Repeat for up to five rounds.

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Rest.

Easy Knee Massage:  After you have done the above exercise, whilst you are still lying on the floor, or on your bed, you can give some gentle massage to the knees, using only the legs. Draw the knees upward off the floor. Just gently rub the inside of one knee against the other for half a minute. Put the legs down. Repeat. Then stop. This simple exercise will benefit your legs if you perform it at least once a day. You can do it even while you are in bed before sleeping, if you haven’t already done your exercises..

Simple Inverted Posture for Varicose Veins:
Lie close to a wall, close enough to touch the wall with your feet, with your knees bent.
Now place your legs up the wall. About two or three feet up the wall is a good height. Simply rest there, with your feet touching the wall. The wall holds the weight of your feet. Lie there for ten to twenty minutes, doing your yoga breathing. Imagine the tummy rising and falling with each breath, even if it is not moving much in this position. This exercise is also good for chest ailments, and asthma. Stop doing the exercise when it becomes uncomfortable, or if you are short of breath.

YOGA NIDRA , or the ‘Yoga of Sleep’ is beneficial for treating varicose veins.  It is also excellent for destressing the body, and ridding feelings of anxiety, so these are very good reasons to do this exercise. People with varicose veins often have high blood pressure and high levels of stress which contribute to health problems. This is the very exercise to relieve these symptoms. This exercise could follow the inverted posture above. For instructions on how to do yoga nidra, see merrilyn’s post entitled:  ‘yoga nidra’. Also see merrilyn’s post entitled ‘Yoga Breath and Sleeping Well’

Day Two: So – now you have done two simple yoga exercises, and maybe you have even done Yoga Nidra.Stimulating Circulation – Churning the Mill:  This exercise  most definitely belongs to the stimulating category. Churning the Mill is also great for massaging the intestines, which helps prevent constipation. Constipation is one of the main causes of varicose veins, and must be avoided if you are to improve those veins and prevent the condition from worsening.  Perform Churning the Mill as soon as you get up, before the above two exercises, if you are able. It can be done at any time really, but it should always be done before the gentle exercises of your routine. Always perform Churning the Mill before Yoga Nidra.

Sit on the floor with your legs spread apart. Clasp the hands together. Breathe out, as you stretch out as far as you can over your left leg, without straining. Now, holding the clasped hands together, move the hands across to the right leg, reaching towards the foot. Breathing in, bring the clasped hands up along the leg, top the top of the thigh. Lean the body back back as you do so. Keep the arms straight if you can, for the whole of the exercise. The idea is that you bend backwards slightly as you draw the clasped hands up the legs, so that you keep the arms straight. Breathe out as you take the clasped hands back down the left leg towards the left foot. Breathe in as you bring the hands along the right leg, upwards towards the right thigh.

The lean backwards is important, as this brings the stomach muscles into play. This stimulates circulation whilst it  massages the stomach area.

Continue the exercise. Begin with five rounds, or do only one or two if you find it difficult. Change the direction to perform the same amount of rounds going the opposite way. Build up your practice slowly so that you can do ten rounds  each way.

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