Unsightly varicose veins are something many of us want to conceal, or better yet cure. Standing on your feet for hours, wearing heels, pregnancy, genetics, obesity, and wearing skin-tight clothing are just a few of the many reasons they appear. Yoga can very much improve, prevent, and in some cases heal this visual weakness in the walls of the blood-vessels, by reducing the pressure of blood pooled or clotted in our veins.
Here are three postures you should add to your workout immediately:
Garudasana, Or Eagle Pose
Added Benefits: Flushes toxins out of your kidneys, tones your legs, improves balance, heightens flexibility by opening up the 14 largest joints in your body, improves blood circulation, and last but not the least, increases your sexual drive.
Step 1: Stand with your feet together, heels and toes touching. Inhale, lift your arms up over your head and bring your palms together.
Step 2: Now swing your right arm under your left arm and cross your arms together, twisting them like Twizzlers.
Step 3: Attempt to join your palms together (thumbs towards your face and little fingers facing outward). If your shoulders don’t permit the motion, grab the shoulder on the opposite sides.
Step 4: Now sit your hips down halfway, as if backing down into a chair. Straighten your spine by placing your weight back on your heels and lifting your chest up.
Step 5: Next, lift your right leg and bring it over your left leg, crossing and twisting them together as tightly as possible, aiming to bring your right toes around your left calf muscle.
Step 6: Adjust your body (knees to the right/left, upper body to the right/left, so your hands, elbows, knees and toes all line up. If you feel that your foot is unwrapping, try sitting down lower.
Step 7: If you are losing your balance, lift your upper body back again, placing weight back in the heels. Step 8: Hold for five breaths, rest, and repeat on the other side.
Sarvangasana, Or Shoulder Stand
Added Benefits: Strengthens the arms, shoulders and the heart, improves the functioning of the digestive system and thyroid gland, and nourishes the brain. Beginners and those suffering from high blood pressure could consider using a pillow or a rolled-up towel, and a wall for support.
Step 1: Lie on your back. Keep your legs together.
Step 2: Now raise your legs over your head (high on shoulders), and simultaneously support your lower back with your hands, bringing in the elbows as close to one another as possible. Make sure you are supporting your weight with your shoulders and upper arms and not your neck.
Step 3: Slowly straighten your legs up towards the sky, legs tightly contracted and toes pointed to create one straight line.
Step 4: Gaze at your navel and lock your throat (touch your chin to your chest). Hold for 10 breaths and slowly exit with control.
Supta Padangusthasana, Or Reclining Big Toe Pose
Added Benefits: Helps relieve arthritis pain in the hips and knees, is a wonderful stretch for your hamstrings, calves, and inner thighs, and also helps reduce lower backaches. Those who aren’t very flexible or have high blood pressure can consider using a belt or rope, and a pillow or rolled-up towel for support.
Caution: Do not attempt this asana if you are suffering from a hamstring tear, have diarrhea, or are pregnant.
Step 1: Lie on your back and lift your right leg up.
Step 2: Bend your right knee and grab your right big toe with your thumb, index, and middle finger.
Step 3: Now slowly straighten your right leg and flex your foot.
Step 4: Inhale deeply, then exhale as you lift your head off the floor and attempt to touch your chin to your right knee. Gaze at your big toe.
Step 5: Now press down on your left hip so both butt cheeks are flat on the floor. Hold for five breaths
Step 6: Now, rotate your leg to the far right, opening up the groin, and change your gaze over your left shoulder. Hold for five breaths.
Step 7: Bring the right leg back to the center and hold the heel with both hands (legs extended and toes flexed). Gaze at the big toe as your pull the leg in as much as possible. Hold for five breaths.
Step 8: Slowly exit the pose and repeat on the left side.
Try these yoga poses everyday religiously, and slowly increase the intensity as you get comfortable with the stretches. Also, be sure to supplement your practice with a good diet inclusive of vitamins C and E, along with natural antioxidants.