Fall is my favorite season, and I love the crisp fall air and the changing of the leaves. And as much as I love the change of the seasons, it does involve some changes that I am not so prepared for, and one of those is my ever present cold hands and feet! There are times when it seems as though i just cannot get them to warm up, and moving in and out of different temperatured environments does not always help with this issue.
Yoga, of course offers wonderful was to improve and increase circulation in the body, both in the times that we are actively practicing and beyond. As yoga seeks to deepen our awareness and connection within the body, it can bring us into focus of our our areas of need. Some causes of poor circulation are out of our control through yoga, and others should (of course) be treated by our medical health care providers.
For those issues that are not the direct result of a medical issue that are unchanging, yoga offers a number of options of boosting circulation. Deep breathing exercises, such as Ujjayi breath, can provide increased blood flow, and an increase in oxygenated blood to the body. This increased blood flow also provides heat and connection to our being! We have in other parts of this blog discussed breath practices which build heat, those are beautiful ways to add increased circulation as well.
In an asana practice, movements that flow together with the breath are great ways to move blood through the body, adding that additional warmth. These flows do not have to be vigorous (though there are days where that is absolutely what we want/need), flows that are slow and mindful are ways to connect to that increased build of heat and warmth in the body.
Additionally, certain asanas allow for a change in circulation, which is a great way to cleanse through the circulatory system. This would be through any form of inversion. When we allow the change in the orientation of the heart, and how the blood is flowing through the body, we offer a cleansing of areas where blood may have pooled, and offer a slight challenge to the circulatory system to continue to perform its function in this new space, for whatever duration we are spending there. A beautiful challenge indeed.
Spend sometime seeing how you can warm up your body, or change about your flow today 🙂