If unsightly spidery and swollen veins (varicose veins) are starting to appear on your limbs, it is a cause for concern. Is there a solution? Yes, all you have to do is perform certain yoga poses to treat varicose veins. In this article, we discuss what varicose veins are, their health implications, and the 7 best yoga poses that help treat this condition. Keep reading to know more!
In This Article
What Are Varicose Veins?
If you sit for long hours or frequently walk in high heels, or if you are obese or experience hormonal fluctuations, then you are prone to varicose veins. The affected veins are large, swollen, and clearly visible under your discolored skin. They usually look like a bluish bruise and may be painful too. Varicose veins are rampant among women and are a common occurrence during pregnancy.
Usually, the walls of our blood vessels comprise of smooth muscles and connective tissues. The blood vessels pump blood and nutrients to each part of our body, including the limbs. In our legs, strong veins work against gravity to push the blood back to our heart. This is known as the venous pump. When the veins are incompetent, they are unable to send the blood back. Excess blood pools in pockets inside the veins and causes swelling, leading to varicose veins. When the blood clots, it poses a major risk. The clot could travel from the vessels to the heart or the brain, causing an instant stroke.
Yoga For Varicose Veins – How Does It Help
Can yoga cure varicose veins? For starters, yoga can alleviate the pain caused by the pressure. When you suffer from varicose veins, the recommended poses are usually leg elevation poses. This helps the accumulated lymph and blood to drain into the heart. Also, the pressure is eased. The relaxation that yoga imparts prevents worsening of the condition. Overall, your condition is improved, and the limb movement is enhanced.
7 Yoga Poses That Help With Varicose Veins
Also Known As – Mountain Pose
Benefits – This is one of the most basic yoga asanas, and it helps you achieve the right body alignment. As you practice it, it keeps your legs toned. It also strengthens the knees, thighs, and ankles. While all your muscles work rigorously to maintain the posture, the stress in your limbs is released, thereby alleviating the pressure.
How To Do It – Stand erect, placing your feet slightly apart. Allow your hands to hang alongside your body. Firm your thigh muscles, but do not harden the lower part of the abdomen. Strengthen the inner arches of the ankles, and feel the energy pass from your feet, coming up all the way to your head. Look up and breathe. Feel the stretch in your body as you hold the pose for a few seconds and then release.
To know more about this asana, click here: Tadasana
Also Known As – Padahastasana, Hasta Padasana, Standing Forward Bend
Benefits – This asana enhances the circulation of blood throughout the body. It gives your legs a good stretch, especially the thighs and calves, which are the likely spots of varicose veins. The regular practice of this asana reduces the pain in the legs.
How To Do It – Stand straight and place your hands on your hips. Inhale. Then, bend your hip as you exhale. Your hands must be placed on the floor beside your feet. The feet must be parallel to each other. Push your torso forward as you extend the stretch and lift the tailbone. Hold for a few seconds and release.
To know more about this asana, click here: Uttanasana
Also Known As – Naukasana, Boat Pose
Benefits – When you practice this asana, your legs are elevated. Hence, the pools of blood and lymph flow upwards. The pressure on the veins is instantly reduced. The few seconds of suspension builds strength and allows you to fight the pain.
How To Do It – Sit in Dandasana. Then, lift your legs off the ground. When you manage to balance, lift your hands off the floor, and stretch them out in front of you. Work towards creating a ‘V’ with your upper and lower body. Breathe long and deep. Release.
To know more about this asana, click here: Navasana
4. Viparita Karani
Also Known As – Legs Up The Wall
Benefit – This asana is extremely relaxing for your legs. Fatigued legs benefit a lot from it. It enhances blood circulation and flushes out toxins and other products. The stress in the legs is released, and pressure is reduced. This greatly helps the cause of varicose veins.
How To Do It – Sit across a wall and gently raise your legs up the wall. Lie down and stretch out your arms to the sides, making sure your palms are facing upwards. Once you are comfortable, close your eyes and breathe. Release after a few minutes.
To know more about this asana, click here: Viparita Karani
Also Known As – Supported Shoulder Stand
Benefits – The Shoulder Stand is a full body inversion, where your body works against gravity. The blood circulation in the body is enhanced, and the pools of lymph and blood drain into the heart. This asana is also very relaxing for the legs. All in all, it works extremely well in defense against varicose veins.
How To Do It – Lie down in the Shavasana. Lift your legs up as you support your hips with your palms. Shift the body weight on the shoulders, and lift your upper body too as your head and upper back remains on the floor. Hold for a few seconds and release.
To know more about this asana, click here: Sarvangasana
Also Known As – Fish Pose
Benefits – The Matsyasana is one of the best yoga poses for varicose veins treatment. It works on many systems collectively. It stretches your feet and legs and relieves stress and cramps. Your legs are relaxed, and the blood flow throughout the body is regulated.
How To Do It – Lie on your back, and cross your legs in the Padmasana. You could also keep your legs stretched out while practicing this pose. Gently curve your back such that your head rests on your crown. Feel the curve in the upper back and neck. Hold for a few seconds and release.
Also Known As – Wind Relieving Pose
Benefits – This asana moves around the stagnant lymph and venous blood. It also relieves cramps and fatigue from the legs. It helps loosen the muscles and joints in the hips and knees. This asana is said to prevent venous thrombosis in those who have sedentary lifestyles.
How To Do It – Lie flat on the floor with your back on the ground. Fold your knees and hug them. Lift your head off the floor, and bring your nose in between your knees. Hold the pose for a few seconds as you breathe deeply, and then release.
To know more about this asana, click here: Pawanmuktasana
Varicose veins are common among women, especially those with obesity, pregnancy, hormonal imbalances, etc. Fortunately, the above-discussed yoga poses to treat varicose veins are highly effective. They help improve blood circulation throughout the body, activate calves and thighs where this condition is commonly spotted, direct stagnant lymph and blood towards the upper body to release pressure and tension the legs. If you have planned to go for surgery for varicose veins, take a step back and give it a shot at these asanas. Be persistent in your efforts, and you will soon see this condition improve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are squats good for varicose veins?
No. Strenuous exercises like squats may only worsen the condition of your varicose veins.
How long does it take for varicose veins to disappear?
It may take 3 to 4 months for varicose veins to disappear.
Is cardio good for varicose veins?
Regular, low-impact cardio may reduce the appearance and symptoms of varicose veins.
Is walking on a treadmill good for varicose veins?
Yes. Walking on a treadmill is a low-impact workout and may decrease the pressure on your varicose veins.