Poses to Treat Edema

Swollen body parts due to fluid retention can be a big hassle to your movements and aesthetics. Fluid retention, also known as edema, is a condition where the body system fails to remove fluids properly which causes it to be retained locally in body parts such as feet, legs, and arms, or generally throughout the whole body.

Edema can be caused by standing or sitting for too long, poor flow of blood due to clogged veins, during pregnancy and before a menstrual period in some cases. This health condition can also be triggered by other diseases such as kidney ailments, thyroid conditions, and lung diseases.

Draining the Discomfort

For hundreds of years, yoga has been well-known for its natural healing abilities. Practicing the following poses promotes better blood circulation and drainage of the excretory system which boosts the detoxification process. Strike these postures to naturally and easily relieve your edema:

Legs-Up-The-Wall (Viparita Karani)

This pose will give you great relaxation from the feet to your legs up to the pelvic region by draining the lymphatic system. It also sends back blood to the lungs and the heart, producing well-oxygenated blood cells for healthy blood circulation. This is a great way to give your legs the rest it needs after long hours of being on your feet.

To do the pose: Lay on your back next to a wall with your knees bent. After that, hug your knees as you inhale and extend your knees together as you breathe out. Then, let them rest on the wall and pull yourself closer towards them by sliding your body backward. Continue sliding until your legs are fully extended and resting on the wall. Stay on this position for a minute or for as long as desired.


Eye-of-the-Needle Pose (Sucirandhasana) 

This yoga pose releases tensions in the sciatic nerve and is a great hip opener, which promotes more space for blood circulation and boosts healing and drainage of edema. 

To do the pose: Begin by extending your legs together toward the sky. Then, place your left ankle on top of your right knee and interlace your fingers at the back of your right thigh. After that, bend your right knee and slowly pull it closer to your body as you exhale. Remember to avoid putting any stress on your knee and feel the stretch within the legs, lower back and hip region. Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths and repeat the same procedure on the other side.


Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

This is a yoga pose that mildly stretches the groin area and the legs while easing tension on the lower back. It also helps effectively drain water retention, particularly on the legs.

To do the pose: Begin by tucking your knees to your chest. Upon inhalation, hold onto the balls of your feet, making sure they are directly parallel to your knees. Then, pull them closer next to your ribcage while keeping a 90-degree angle on the knees. Hold the position for a minute or for as long as you want.

Never force your body into postures that hurt. Enjoy the journey and live in the moment. Breathe deeply and appreciate the opportunity given towards healing.