I have just discovered yet another reason to begin a yoga practice if you haven’t already…yoga is helpful for thyroid problems. I was diagnosed with hypothyroid 10 years ago. That means my thyroid doesn’t function optimally. The thyroid gland produces the thyroid hormone which is responsible for metabolism. According to James Norman, MD, “The estimates vary, but approximately 10 million Americans have this common medical condition. In fact, as many as 10% of women may have some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency.” Read more about hypothyroidism here. The symptoms of low thyroid are fatigue, weakness, weight gain or inability to lose wieght, dry hair or hair loss, depression, irrability. The list goes on. If you think you may have this condition, see your physician. And start doing yoga on a regular basis.
Yoga for Hypothyroidism
By stimulating the function of the thyroid, pituitary, pineal and adrenal glands, Yoga normalizes them. It limbers and stretches the neck, as well as strengthens and tones the nervous system. Yoga stimulates the thyroid gland to work at its peak efficiency. Since the pituitary gland also gets stimulated, it helps improve their function. The compressing, stretching and twisting of the Yoga postures is believed to help to massage the endocrine organs. This regulates their function, improving blood flow and nourishing them at the cellular level. Read more here.
Here are a few poses you can do on your own:
The Shoulder Stand is the most effective yoga posture for an underactive thyroid. The Shoulder Stand reverses the normal effects of gravity and lets blood to flow from the legs and feet into the neck, where the thyroid gland is located. Yogis believe that, by sending oxygenated blood to the neck region, the thyroid is nourished and stimulated. This, in turn assists in weight loss, improves circulation and increases one’s metabolism.
Another pose for hypothyroidism is Viparita Karani, or “legs up the wall”. Lie with your hips close to a wall and your legs extended up the wall. You may want to place a folded blanket or a pillow under your hips. Stay in this restful pose for as long as you like and focus on relaxing your neck and breathing deeply and slowly.
Try also Janu Sirshasana, a seated forward bend. Sitting with one leg extended in front of you and the other leg bent, reach toward your foot. Ust a strap around your foot if you can’t quite reach. Pull your torso forward as far as you can, and then lower your head down toward your knee.
Pavanamuktasana, or knees to chest. Lie on your back and hug both knees into your chest. Draw your chin to your chest and squeeze your legs. You’re essentially rolling into a tight ball. Hold this position for 3 to 5 breaths, then extend your arms overhead, point your toes and stretch your body out long. Then, relax and breathe normally on your back for a few blissful moments.