Sunday, 12 June 2016

Yoga for seniors - circulation

As we get older our circulation might not be as good as it was when we were younger.  Poor circulation of blood and lymph can cause low energy, varicose veins, painful fingers and toes in cold weather (Raynaud's), swelling of ankles and feet and even stress and weakened immunity.  Yoga can help in several ways.  Please see 
Flexiladiesyoga 'How yoga can help boost the circulation of blood and lymph'-
and also 40plusandalliswell 'Love your circulation'- 

The following sequence will help boost the circulation of blood and lymph
Start with a few rounds of Egyptian Salutation (please see the 'Yoga Pose Gallery'- then rest in Easy Pose, watching your breath until it returns to normal.  Come onto all 4s.

Cat/Cow (brings blood to the spine, nourishing the nerves that emerge from the spinal column which supply the entire body)- with hands directly under your shoulders, knees under hips breathe in lift your head and chest, breathe out tuck your chin, arch your back and tuck your tail bone under and continue working with your breath.  If you find your wrists are uncomfortable, you can make fists with your hands or come down onto your forearms. After several moves come back to a neutral spine.  

Puppy Pose (brings blood to the brain relieving fatigue)- from all 4s walk your hands forward keeping your hips elevated and bring your forehead to a block or to the mat.  If you find that the pose feels uncomfortable on your shoulders, bend your elbows and interlace your fingers above your head.  Hold for a few breaths then come to lying on your tummy. 

Sphinx (opens up the chest, nourishing the heart and lungs) - stretch your arms forward and press your tail bone back to lengthen your spine.  Breathe in and slide your arms back until your elbows are under your shoulders, lift your chest.  Make sure your shoulders away from your ears and have your chin level with the floor.  Hold and breathe. When you are ready press back into a Swan.

Swan - with your big toes touching, take your knees wide.  Walk your hands forward bringing your head to the mat, or to a block.  When you are ready come to standing.

Warrior 2 (works the legs strongly so that the leg muscles 'squeeze' the veins helping them return blood to the heart.  The pose also prevents varicose veins) - start by standing in the middle of your mat and take your feet wide. Turn your right foot to the right and turn the toes of the back foot in 45 degrees.  Ladies should line up front heel to back heel, men front heel to back instep.  Inhale stretch your arms out at shoulder height, exhale bend your front knee, turn to look down the fingers of your right hand.  Hold for a few breaths then breathe in straighten your front knee, breathe out turn your feet to face forward, bring your hands to your heart. Repeat second side.

Wide Leg Standing Forward Bend (encourages blood flow to the upper body, calms the mind and relives fatigue) - with your feet facing forward, bring your hands to your hips.  Breathe in lift your chest, breathe out hinge forward. If you have high blood pressure or heart problems do not have your head lower than your heart and take your hands to a block or to a chair.  Otherwise release your hands to the mat, breathe out walk your hands back and lower your head down.  Hold for 3 breaths in either position then breathe out take your hands to your hips, breathe in come up slowly.  

Legs up the Wall (encourages blood flow back to the heart and brain.  It gives your legs a rest from gravity, relieves stress and fatigue and releases healing energies) - sit with your right hip next to a wall, knees bent.  Swivel round so that your legs are against the wall.  Your arms can be by your sides or overhead.  If you have problems with high blood pressure or heart problems you may want to put your lower legs on a chair. Stay here for 5-10 minutes watching your breath. To come out of the pose roll onto your right side and stay there for a minute before coming up slowly.  

Please also see :-

'Yoga for seniors- An introduction'-

'Yoga for seniors - Posture 1'-

'Yoga for seniors - Posture 2'-

'Yoga for seniors- Improving your balance'-

Janet x 

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