Yoga Poses and Their Benefits III: The Circulatory System
Yoga poses that enhance Blood Circulation
The Circulatory System of our body is essential to our life. Through the bloodstream, nourishment, oxygen and hormones are carried out to every cell. Also through the bloodstream, wasted and toxins are moved toward the organs of elimination. The Circulatory System is aided by the Lymphatic System.
Common causes of conditions that affect the circulatory system are high/low blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, obesity, insufficient physical activity, chronic stress, improper diet and poor digestion.
Depending on which condition one may have, the orientation of ones yoga practice should be different. For high blood pressure it is important to take a calming approach: A regular, gentle practice and adequate rest and relaxation. For low blood pressure a more invigorating approach may be helpful: Twisting, back bending, shoulder stand. But as always in Yoga we need to respect individual structural differences when it comes to designing a practice, and it is important to ask advice from a professional health care practitioner regarding what is safe and functional.
The regular practice of the following Asanas may be helpful in improving one’s blood circulation which also induces the healthy function of all the body’s internal organs:
- Standing poses – tone the heart.
- Inverted poses, like headstand, shoulder stand, plow, legs-up-the-wall, and more – since the body is erect most of the time, the lymphatic system of the legs and the muscles that help pumping the blood upward get a rest in these positions. It also helps to bring proper circulation of blood in the brain.
- Uddiyana-Bandha – this abdominal lock stimulates the diaphragm’s rise and fall which stimulates the heart.
- Horizontal poses – gives the heart and the lungs a rest.
- Bending poses – Improves the blood supply to the internal organs.