Yoga and Health
Swami Adhyatmananda

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Varicose veins are veins, which have gone weak, have lengthened and have swollen. Sometimes one cuts a joke and calls these veins as “Vanity veins”. When the valves of the deep veins become incompetent, the veins situated in the legs get weak and blow out. Varicose veins are now a day caused by the effects of fancy eatables and drinks of the present day besides the mode of life and the method in which one lives has an effect on this problem. However, for the general information, it can at least be said that it is good to be aware so that problem of varicose veins does not start. Once the devil of this disease takes hold it may be possible to arrest the pain caused but it is impossible to completely eliminate the disease. That is why it is said that it is better to remain aware and alert from the beginning instead of treating the disease after the disease takes hold. This disease is not otherwise serious and there is no danger to life through this disease. Perhaps the unfortunate part of this disease is that people are not properly and fully aware about the treatment of varicose veins.

One should remember here that it is not necessary that all the veins that you find in the leg may be varicose veins. On the contrary those persons who are very healthy and composed, having strong muscles and who are at least playing various games can also get varicose veins. Such veins of the sportsman are known as Athletic veins.

The people who as a result of business or profession, have to remain standing for the whole day or those who have mainly to go on walking, who have not to sit at all, the veins of such people get little dilated than necessary because of the higher pressure of blood in these veins. When we suffer drought in our country municipality had reduced the size of water supply line and connections tapped there from. In short, where in a locality, main water line was of 4” diameter the same was reduced to 3” or 2”. In such a situation, it was bad luck of the country that there used to be such people who bribed the workers to convert their main connection from 1” to 4”. Under such circumstances those who had got 1” or ½” connection reduced from 4” did not even get water supply at all.

We can thus understand that when the veins in certain part of the body become widened the other part of the body gets lesser or improper and irregular supply of blood. We know that as a result of defect in the valves of the heart or irregular pressure and flow of blood from the heart to artery the flow gets affected, in the same way in the imbalance in the working area of the arteries and veins, because of the improper and undesirable changes, the working capacity of the heart gets affected.

In the case of ladies, irregular menses, pregnancy or repeated delivery as well as very quick deliveries, and miscarriages, including the menopause time, it is very much possible that the varicose veins may result. Some ladies deliver six-seven or eight children over a very short period and they take salt less diet in some months thereby the efficiency of the body which had already been insufficient, results in varicose veins, because of insufficient nutrition. They also suffer from dilatation of the heart and even after so many treatments such ladies have very short life span.

People who work in lime, kilns, cupola or in iron ore foundry or those who work in cement company where cement is produced by wet process, have to work for whole day standing opposite the burner, go on remaining standing at one and the same place continuously for eight hours. Because of the effect of heat of the kilns they get blood supply from the heart without any proper control in the leg.

Under such circumstances, initially the enemy enters in silently and quietly the varicose veins and as a result of which sudden heart failure cannot be ruled out.

There are people who lead imbalanced life, the nutritive elements in the food are missing, they have such problem in life which are insolvable and besides these, they have hormonal disturbance due to which the valves of the veins become weak and inefficient or the walls of veins become weak. Such veins are called varicose veins in the first stage. If proper care is not taken at this primary stage, or if one is careless, then the disease gets worst and enters the second stage. This stage results in blood clotting in the veins.

Even if the normal veins get dilatation, then firm and beautiful build of the body gets ugly look. It also results in various diseases from time to time. Getting itching, allergy and such other disease can also result. The most common and well-known symptoms are: untimely, at any improper age, without any exertion, one feels tired. Besides there may be too much of itching, legs feel heavy and shooting pain is felt in the legs. People who have such ailment get pain in the leg to an unbearable degree. Besides in the summer or before the menses in case of ladies or pregnant women get varicose veins, which results in instability of control of blood circulation because of the concentration of blood hormones the walls of the veins, become weak and loose. Big changes in the pain of varicose veins result in final days of pregnancy and before the delivery because the uterus widens.

In all these situations the best exercise to prevent varicose veins is walking. That is why our elders used to say “Walk long, live long” but one should also remember that anything in excess is bad. It is good to walk long distances but those whose body is not efficient if they go on walking, such people can also be a prone to this problem of varicose veins. Sadhus and Sadhvis following Jain religion do not stay in one village for more than three days; they leave the place, what should be the reason? After a short walk go a little more distance and take rest. This practice may be continued for eight months and during monsoon one has to stay for four months in the same village. The scientific purpose of this habit is “Samatvam Yoga Uchyate”. The life should be well balanced. The dealings should be balanced. Food as well as movements should also be balanced.

Walking results in creating muscle pressure and relax­ation of the muscles, thereby the blood circulation and control is well maintained. Similarly, practice of Yogasana, results in good health of body and mind. The practice of Shirshasana and Srvangasana helps blood circulation very well. Even then as we have observed earlier either long walks or practice of Yogasanas do not remove the defect of varicose veins, once we have got them. Of course it is possible to arrest the further deterioration. But the great danger is the collection of blood in one spots that clotting of blood. Blood clotting can occur m any part of the vein and the clot can move with the circulation of the blood. It can clot in the leg but it can also clot in the vein pertaining to heart or lungs as well as brain. Condition created at that movement is pitiable and if on such occurrence, quick medical aid or surgical aid is not available it becomes impossible for the patient to be saved. By regular practice of Yogasana and Pranayama it is possible to save oneself from such irreparable situation but once you are affected, emergent proper medical treatment has to be taken and under such circumstances no Yogic exercise should be undertaken unless the doctor advises. If one falls a prey to such a situation, the same can be controlled by (1) reassurance (2) support elastic stockings (3) operation (4) sclerotherapy.

Use of elastic stockings prevents further deterioration but this is not an instrument for cure of the disease.

Normally the problem starts from the ankles of the leg, hence stocking or bandage should be applied on the leg. One must put on stocking capable of applying 75 % pressure on the leg muscles and 50 % pressure on the thighs; of 100 % pressure is applied on the ankles by stocking.

If vein is to be operated upon the patient has to be anaesthetized. If the big vein is to be operated upon, that, if sclerotherapy is to perform, a 3% solution of sodium teradysil sulphate, is normally used. Under such conditions laser treatment is not of much help.

Those people who have to remain standing for a longer time or have to walk long distances should keep a pillow under their feet instead of under the head. One may lie down on the ground, raise the legs and support them on a cot or sofa; this way the advantages of Uttanpadasana can be ob­tained. We can also save ourselves from becoming a prone to varicose veins it we perform flexibility exercises, where we have to sit with our legs extended on the ground, push the thumb and fingers of the legs in front as well as press them backward. In the same way the whole part of the leg including sole is to be pressed in front as well as pulled backwards the leg has to be moved in a circular motion both on the right and the left, keeping the leg on the heel. Give circular motion to leg also, and while laying on the ground the body lower down from the buttocks has to be raised and cycling motion is to be performed. Beside all the above flexibility exercises one should practice Uttanapadasana (Ekpada-uttanpadasana, Dwipada-uttanpadasana), Ardhapavana-muktasana, Pavana­muktasana, Naukasana, Urdhvamukh, paschimottanasana, Dhanurasana, Chakrasana, Viparitakarani mudra, Sarvangasana and Shirasana. One has also to perform Bhramari Pranayama and Omkar recitation also.

By sitting in posture of meditation for meditating as well as performing Shavasana, not only renders relaxation to the legs but the whole body gets relaxed. That is the reason why for Jain saints who have to walk long distances a rule is compulsorily applied that they must daily perform Pratikrama, Samayika, and Kayotsarga. This process the ebb caused in the energy of physical relaxation can make up mental compo­sure and internal forces up with rejuvenated oxygen supply a tide of vitality can be brought in.

Ardhapavanmuktasana  (Fig-63)


Naukasana (Fig-64)


Pavanamuktasana (Fig—65)


paschimottanasana (Fig-.66) 


It is more essential to ensure that disease does not enter the body rather than to arrange a treatment after the disease strikes. That is the reason why Lord Shree Krishna tells in Gita that “Whatever little you do should be regularly done”. Thereby one can avert big crises in the life.

“Swalpmapyasya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat”




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