Yoga can help your body warm up before an intense workout. It helps the body refresh and rejuvenate while helping the muscles stretch and relax. Stretching also improves blood circulation which is important before a workout. These poses help increase the heart rate and affect the connective tissues as well, thus improving blood circulation in the entire body.
Inverse positions like a downward facing dog and shoulder headstands help relieve the tension from the heart and circulate blood to the brain. There are various benefits of improved blood circulation – healthy heart muscles and glowing skin are a few of them. Here are a few yoga poses you can try at home for improving blood circulation.
5 Yoga Poses to Reduce Knee Pain
1. Cat-Cow Pose
Cat-Cow Pose is helpful in various health conditions and it can also be practiced by pregnant women. It is quite safe and helps to warm up the core muscles making the muscles more flexible for childbirth.
For this pose, you will have to kneel on the floor and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart and your knees are below your hips. Inhale deeply and curve your lower back while you bring your head up, tilting your pelvis up like a "cow." Exhale deeply and bring your abdomen in, arch your spine, and bring your head and pelvis down like a "cat."
2. Downward Facing Dog Pose
This is one of the traditional yoga poses in which you bend forward. It can be restful and rejuvenating. This pose can help relieve back pain and sciatica. It helps manage imbalances and improves strength.
The pose focuses on muscles like the hamstrings, deltoids, gluteus maximus, triceps, and quadriceps. You should:
Get on all fours.
Your hands should be aligned under your wrists and your knees under your hips.
Press into your hands, tuck your toes, and lift up your knees.
Move your sitting bones slowly up toward the ceiling.
Slightly bend your knees and lengthen your spine and tailbone.
Your heels should be slightly off the ground.
Press firmly into your hands and distribute the weight on both sides of the body.
Pay attention to the position of your hips and shoulders.
Your head should be in line with your upper arms and your chin tucked in slightly.
Hold this pose for at least 1 minute.
3. Shoulder Headstand
A shoulder stand is one of the first poses that a trainer might ask you to try if you suffer from thyroid problems. It's an inversion pose and that is why it stimulates blood flow to the glands of the upper body.
It is believed that this yoga pose has a positive effect on the efficiency of the thyroid. Your chin tucked into your chest for this yoga pose is believed to benefit thyroid function.
You can try this at home by bending your elbows and placing your hands on your lower back in such a way that your fingertips point up toward the ceiling. Place your elbows on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Make sure your elbows do not splay out to the sides. When you get comfortable, slowly lift your thighs in a vertical position while keeping your knees bent.
4. Chair Pose
Chair Pose helps improve your balance and improve cardiovascular health and resilience. It primarily strengthens your core, thighs, and ankles. But it has also proved to be effective to improve posture and neck hump. Here are the steps:
Stand straight with your feet wider than hip-width apart and your arms at the sides.
Inhale and lift your arms to the height of your ears, stretch them straight, and parallel with wrists and fingers long.
Keep your shoulders down and spine neutral.
Exhale while bending your knees, keep your thighs and knees parallel. Lean your torso forward at a right angle with the tops of your thighs.
Keep your neck and head in line with your torso and arms. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
5. Locust Pose
The locust pose improves posture and is effective in situations of prolonged sitting and computer work. It may help relieve lower back pain and neck pain as well. It can counteract slouching and kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine) while strengthening your back muscles, especially the muscles supporting your spine.
Lay on your belly with your feet together and your hands reaching back, your palms should be placed down.
Try extending your big toes straight back and pressing down with all ten toenails to activate your quadriceps.
Rotate your inner thighs to broaden your lower back.
Place your hands on the mat, raise your head, chest, and your legs, leading with your inner thighs.
Roll your shoulders back and up away from the floor. Keep the back of your neck long and try lifting your sternum instead of lifting your chin.
Slowly release if you want to come out of the pose.