Is Yoga The Best Practice for Achieving Strong Circulation?

Someone from Washington reached out with an enquiry whether yoga would address his problem of poor blood circulation which was causing numbness and tingling in his extremities. I advised him to enrol via the link Online Yoga Classes in Washington forthwith and this is what I have to say about yoga and it’s impact on our circulatory system.

Our Circulatory System

The oxygenated blood from the lungs re-enters the heart and it must reach all parts of the body. The circulatory system comprises the heart, blood vessels and blood all working continuously to carry the nutrients to every cell of the body. The blood also helps in repair work and in carrying away all the waste from the cells. For the blood to surge strongly through the blood vessels we need a strong heartbeat, healthy blood vessels and a daily exercise plan.

Yoga Versus Other Systems Of Exercise

The daily exercise could be a schedule of thrice a week yoga and a three times a week cardio workout which could be long walking or jogging or aerobics or playing an active sport any of these activities which suits ones age and fitness level.

All exercise systems will give our heart a workout and keep the blood pumping strongly through the network of blood vessels, but yoga has some unique benefits over other forms of exercise.

Strong workouts in exercise systems like sports and aerobics make the blood rush down our limbs and then due to the continuous action of exercising and the heart pumping fast the de-oxygenated blood is able to travel back up from the lower extremities to the heart. But with age, people are not able to do strong aerobic workouts. In yoga we gently do inversions like shoulder stand (sarvanghasana) in which inverting the body allows us to use gravity in our favour and make de-oxygenated blood return from the feet and lower legs back to the heart. So this is a more practical way for keeping up good circulation as we age. And let me add, it’s really effective at any age.

In other forms of exercise there is a build up of ‘lactic acid’ causing fatigue, however in yoga we are taught to do deep breathing accompanying the execution of yoga postures and vinyasa which neutralizes the major amount of lactic acid build up. This is conducive to a relaxed blood flow throughout the process of exercising.

In sports there are repetitive actions, so also in running. This tires out specific muscle groups, however in yoga there is a vast range of movements such as bends, a vast number of both forward and backward bends; different twists, inversions, postures performed standing on one’s feet, down on one’s hands and feet as in downward dog, on one’s hands and knees, just on the knees, lying supine on one back and from a prone position on ones abdomen. So yoga completely overhauls the body and ensures a very strong surge of blood to every part of the body. Due to a regular practice of yoga many ailments get cured without resorting to medication.

Physical and Mental Ailments Due to Inactivity

In my journey as a yoga teacher, I have encountered people complaining about conditions such as muscle cramps, numbness and tingling, cold extremities, slow healing of wounds, edema, hair loss, and others which often stem from lack of movement and a sedentary lifestyle which cause a sluggish blood flow. There are parallel mental health disorders as well which stem from not stimulating the body sufficiently. These would be conditions like fatigue, weakness, cognitive impairment, mood changes, stress, and anxiety.

Sometimes it’s a revelation to people to understand that all these stem from weak circulation.

Usually poor circulation is our own doing, due to leading a lazy life, but weak blood circulation could often be caused by conditions such as peripheral artery disease, or other vascular issues. These can take a real toll on our body. However, once again the solution lies in adopting yoga with required modifications depending on our ailments, which gives us this huge range of stretches and exercises, leaving no part of the body unstimulated and prompting the effected body parts to begin healing and working again.

Asanas and Pranayama That Help Circulation

Once again a few examples to emphasise the role of yoga poses to improve circulation. Downward-facing dog will get the blood rushing strongly down our limbs; Vinyasas like the ‘Surya Namaskaar’work all the major muscle groups and give a strong boost to our circulation legs-up-the-wall inversion or shoulder stand will promote venous return and aid blood flow from the extremities back to the heart twists like Seated Spinal Twists will stimulate the abdominal organs, enhance digestion, and help to improve overall circulatory health.

Conscious breathing techniques like Ujjayi breathing, Kapalabhati, and Alternate Nostril Breathing are vital practices of yoga which help to calm the mind and optimize the oxygenation of the blood. With deep yogic breathing we are able to increase oxygen intake to support cardiovascular function, enhance circulation, and promote overall vitality.

Mind-Body Connection in Yoga

Yoga focuses on the interconnectedness of mind and body, so recognising the impact of mental states on physiological processes is key to improving our health. Comprehending that stress, anxiety and tension can cause blood vessels to constrict and impede circulation is a key step to begin to work on our health. When the mind-body connection is in a turbulent state, every aspect of our health is effected. However, through mindfulness practices like meditation , chanting, restorative postures, pranayama and yoga nidra, yoga cultivates relaxation responses, dilating blood vessels and promoting efficient blood flow.


Yoga is often lauded for its mental and emotional benefits, but it also exerts a profound influence on physiological processes, including circulation. Through a combination of gentle movements, controlled breathing and relaxation, yoga facilitates improved blood flow throughout the body.
Proper blood circulation ensures nutrients and oxygen are efficiently delivered to cells while waste products are effectively removed. Right now one might not know how to master the art of yoga to strengthen one’s circulation, but professionals do. Reach out and learn the same. Looking for Online Yoga Classes in Washington that can help you achieve good health with yoga? Join yoga sessions at Yoga with Sapna today!

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