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Many people suffer with poor leg and foot circulation as a result of disease (like diabetes) or nerve impingement and muscle stiffness.
But serious diseases aside, most of us are unknowingly impacted by the dangers of poor circulation because we sit for long periods of time and get too little exercise. And that’s a surefire way to shorten your lifespan.
In today’s video, yoga teacher Lauren Golen will teach you how to relax by staying in the moment, take you through a terrific yoga warm-up, and teach you the “Hero Pose” to help loosen the hips and improve circulation in the legs. This nice routine will improve your circulation, increase your range of motion and reduce stiffness. Enjoy!
Quiet the mind
One of the original aims of yoga was a spiritual practice or a mind-body practice to help quiet the mind, relax the body and become one with the universe. That is, to pull away from the distractions of life and the “monkey mind” our thoughts create. Yet today many practice it solely as a physical activity, like they would Pilates or a spin class. If you return to its roots, a deeper yoga practice can have far-reaching benefits.
One of the reasons yoga has become more physical and less spiritual in its widespread practice in the West is because of the difficulty of teaching and learning how to “quiet the mind” and “sit with one’s self.”
Well, the point of yoga is that the person joins with herself and the moment in the process of doing the postures and stretches. They give the mind and the body something different and unusual from our daily life to focus on. Stretching is also beneficial for healthy blood pressure.
It is a great awareness practice because once you realize your mind has wandered or is dwelling on something other than yoga, you simply return your attention and focus to the practice at hand. Try to do this for a few moments before beginning the yoga warm-up exercise.
Before beginning the Hero Pose you’ll do a short yoga warm-up by sitting back onto your heels. Intertwine your fingers and bring your hands under your chin.
Inhale as you rise up onto your knees while raising your elbows up toward the ceiling on either side of your cheeks. Exhale as you return to the seated kneel position. While exhaling, open your mouth nice and wide and make a sound. Do about six of these.
Adjust your kneeling position by touching your knees together and moving your feet apart, as shown on the video. Sit back so you are seated between your heels, butt touching the floor, if you are able.
Sit upright with hands on your knees. (If this is too difficult you can use your hands in front for balance and sit back as far as you can). Pull your chin in and focus your vision on a single spot; toward your knees or at the tip of your nose, for example.
Inhale five times with your mouth closed. Lengthen your spine with each inhalation and allow the hips to relax down with each exhalation. Do this for a few minutes; as long as it feels good and you feel relaxed.
When done come back to all fours and slowly turn to your side and sit on your butt with legs extended forward to allow the blood to return to the lower legs.
Sit with your spine upright and hold your arms outstretched with palms up. Take a few breaths and relax before standing back up.
Take time for yourself…
As Lauren tells you at the end of the video, please make sure you take/make time for yourself each day. Find a moment to just breathe and relax and settle the mind and emotions. Believe it or not, much of the tension and tightness we feel in our bodies, and the resulting circulation and nerve impingement issue, are related to stress and tension held in the body. Care for yourself and feel a whole lot better.
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