The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located at the base of the throat between your Adam’s apple and collarbone. It is the control center for your endocrine system, producing hormones that regulate your metabolism and energy conversion, your immune system, and cellular and organ health. When you suffer from hypothyroidism, the thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones. You experience fatigue, brain fog and mild depression, among other symptoms. Practicing yoga may aid in alleviating these symptoms.
Certain yoga poses stimulate the thyroid through oxygenation and increased blood flow. Yoga also relieves stress, a factor that may interfere with proper thyroid function. Include these poses in your yoga session to aid in controlling symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Start and end your yoga sessions with deep breathing exercises or a postural awareness pose.
The lotus position or other meditative position works to increase your the oxygen to your lungs and blood, stimulating thyroid activity.
The bridge pose strengthens your spine and releases tension in the neck, shoulders and back. As you raise your hips, the resulting inversion moves blood toward the neck, increasing circulation to the thyroid gland. Moving your knees slightly forward when your hips are raised stretches your spine and neck, bringing your thyroid in alignment within the throat.
Downward Facing Dog Pose
This pose improves blood circulation to the thyroid gland and prepares your body for the shoulder stand, considered to be one of the most effective poses for thyroid health. During this pose, your spine is upside down so it decompresses naturally, opening up the path to your neck and so to your thyroid gland. The inverted position brings oxygenated blood to the thyroid and encourages alignment between the gland and the spine.
Shoulder Stand Pose
A difficult pose to master, the shoulder stand is also the most invigorating for the thyroid. It brings richly oxygenated blood to the thyroid, stimulates the immune system and relieves tension not only in the neck and shoulders but throughout the body as well. The inverted pose revitalizes the nervous system and circulatory system, resulting in increased blood flow and demand for hormone release. Your thyroid then receives richly oxygenated blood from the inversion and is stimulated into hormone production.
As you curve your body upward and tilt your head back in this pose, your body sends oxygenated blood to your neck and so to your thyroid gland. The movements open up your throat, allowing the thyroid to “stretch” and realign to the rest of your body. Follow the shoulder stand with the fish pose to optimize the two poses effect on your thyroid.
Hypothyroidism is a serious medical condition. Consult with your physician if you suspect you have a thyroid disorder. Including certain poses in your yoga session may aid in relieving symptoms but you may also need medication to treat the disorder. The practice of yoga may improve thyroid function and relieve symptoms of hypothyroidism, but thyroid disease cannot be cured, only treated and managed.
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