Yoga has many health benefits, and one is that there are many yoga poses to help circulation in hands and feet. In general, improving blood circulation throughout your body will improve circulation to the hands and feet. However, there are also some specific poses that increase blood flow specifically to the body's extremities.
One of the strongest benefits of doing yoga is the overall improvement in circulation. The focus on proper breathing during practice increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood.
Headstands and other inverted postures relax the sympathetic nervous system, increasing blood flow by relaxing the muscles surrounding sympathetic veins. An increase in the blood flow, in turn, improves performance because of the oxygen carried in the blood.
Oxygen is not only important for muscles; it's also vital for the brain to carry out all its functions. In addition, all of the internal organs improve when they are provided with an increased amount of oxygen. For this reason, improved circulation is an all-around health benefit of yoga.
The hands and feet are often targets when yoga practitioners want to improve their circulation. Although you may not be aware of whether your brain is getting enough oxygen or not, it is very easy to tell if your feet and hands are getting enough blood: cold hands and feet usually indicate that one's health could be improved by increasing blood circulation within the body.
Yoga Poses to Help Circulation in Hands and Feet
In general, forward bends and inverted poses all help improve blood circulation in the body. The following are some specific yoga poses to try.
This pose is the queen of all inverted poses: The Headstand. Several other inverted poses can help improve your circulation. However, if you are physically capable of doing a headstand, tackle it, because it provides the most dramatic results. It may seem that this pose will only improve circulation to your head, but the pose actually improves circulation throughout the entire body.
Attempting headstands should be done with assistance the first few times. You can also practice against a wall for better support. If you do not attend yoga classes, get a partner to work with so that you can help each other.
A caution: some people should never attempt headstands, including pregnant women. Check with your doctor about practicing headstands if you have a particular health condition.
Known as Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose, this is a much easier way to get your feet above the rest of your body. It's done by lying on your back and placing your legs against a wall, perpendicular to the floor. Again, this may seem counterintuitive in the sense that your feet are high above your heart. However, performing this pose regularly will increase the circulation of blood to your hands and feet because it is one of the poses in which the head is down. All of the postures with the head down are great yoga poses to help circulation in hands and feet because of the effect that they have on blood pressure sensors in the body. These poses relax muscles surrounding veins in the hands and feet, which allows more blood to flow through the veins.
This seated forward bend, also called Head-to-Knee Pose, improves circulation to the legs, and by extension, the feet, as well as the core of the body.
- Sit with both legs stretched out in front your body, with your back straight.
- Bend your left leg and place the sole of your left foot on the inside of your right thigh, with your left knee out to the side, as close to the ground as it naturally comes.
- Now, bend forward and grasp as far as you can, whether it's the right knee, calf, or foot.
- Without straining, relax into the pose.
Practice the above yoga poses to help circulation in hands and feet. Or, now that you understand the principles of inverted or forward-bending poses, try some of those postures as well.