India is the land of yogis and therefore the origin of yoga. Data suggests that it’s dated to the Indus Valley Civilization (3300-1900BCE) and pre-Vedic India. Yoga has earned global ratification as a pioneering tool to health and wellness since the top of the19th century. Postural yoga, asanas, and pranayama are recommended by medical professionals to alleviate medical conditions. Thyroid related problems have shown improvement upon performing certain yoga asanas. We plan to provide insights into the health benefits of certain asanas that help relieve thyroid problems.
How Can Yoga Help to enhance Thyroid Function?
Thyroid disorder has become quite common over the last decade. it’s an endocrine disorder that either manifests as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism which is excess or under-production of the hormone. These hormones adversely affect metabolism in our bodies when not produced in precise quantities. Some symptoms include fatigue, weight gain or loss, change in pulse, and swelling of the neck. A stressful lifestyle may be a foundation for all diseases, and there’s a known connection between thyroid aggravation and stress. Yoga is understood to enhance thyroid function by reducing stress. The twisting, compression, and stretching that’s required for yoga asanas aids in massaging the butterfly-shaped thyroid to manage the releasing of hormones.
Best Yoga Poses for Thyroid
While yoga for thyroid cure is a wonderful complementary therapy, you should respect the limitations of your body and begin with easy poses and adjust the poses to suit your requirements. Below is a list of yoga asanas that have been known to help in dealing with thyroid problems.
1. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Yoga Pose)
This asana involves being upside down with support from the shoulder. The inversion performed in this asana helps direct blood flow to the throat. This is beneficial yoga for hypothyroid problems.
Note: This asana involves being upside down with support from the shoulder. The inversion performed in this asana helps direct blood flow to the throat. This is beneficial yoga for hypothyroid problems.
2. Halasana ( Plough Pose)
Halasana is known as the plough pose. It helps to activate the butterfly gland while strengthening the back muscles, toning abdominal glands, and relaxing the nervous system.
Note: Those affected by the autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis should not perform Halasana.
3. Viparita Karani ( legs-up-the-wall pose)
This is another type of inverted pose. Viparita Karani helps alleviate hypothyroidism by improving blood flow to the glands. It also works on the symptoms of hypothyroidism when it revitalises the mind, reduces fatigue and helps cure insomnia.
Note: This pose is not beneficial for hyperthyroidism and should be avoided by people who have excess thyroid hormone release.
4. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Matsyasan/fish pose helps to arch the BACK PORTION such that it supports increased blood circulation to the thyroid glands. It helps to regulate hypothyroidism by stretching the throat and neck. It also improves spinal health.
Note: Matsyasana should be performed immediately after Sarvangasana for maximum benefit. Avoid Matsyasana if you have high blood pressure, spondylitis or suffer from a migraine.
5. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
This asana stretches the neck and improves blood circulation. It is excellent for people who have asthma. Ustrasana is good for relieving issues of the spine as well.
Note: Remember that Ustrasana is not suggested for people with ulcers or a hernia. Pregnant women, people with arthritis and vertigo should also avoid the camel pose.
6 . Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
The bow pose known as Dhanurasana helps by massaging the thyroid gland. It is helpful to treat hypothyroidism by stimulating hormone production. This asana also helps in relieving menstrual pain, strengthening the back, and reducing stress.
Note: This asana is not advised for people with a hernia. Pregnant women are also advised not to practice Dhanurasana
7. Ujjayi Pranayama (ocean breath or hissing breath)
Pranayama is an effective way to stimulate the reflex pathways of the throat. This then regulates hormone production in the thyroid glands. It helps for hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Ujjayi pranayama opens up access to your pranic systems which are the underlying structure to metabolic activity.
Note: Pranayama can be practised by all regardless of any other condition that they have.
8. Sethu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
This asana, known as the bridge pose, is a great way to regulate thyroid hormones. The Sethubandhasana increases blood flow to the brain and helps to relax it. This indirectly helps to control hyperthyroidism. Therefore, it is a great yoga pose for hyperthyroid issues.
Note: Pregnant women should not perform Sethu Bandhasana. People with ulcers and hernia must avoid this asana too.
9. Navasana (Boat Pose)
The Navasana or the boat pose helps to stimulate the thyroid region and is beneficial for people who suffer from hypothyroidism. It is a great way to strengthen one’s core and improve spinal strength too.
Note: Pregnant ladies should not perform the Navasana. Avoid the asana if you have abdominal pain.
10. Bitilasana Marjaryasana (Cat Cow Pose)
This pose is a combination of the cat stretch and the cow pose. It is an invigorating asana which is believed to stimulate the thyroid gland. Stretching the chin into your chest and then stretching it out to expose the throat chakra is of benefit to your neck area.
Note: Pregnant women in their last trimester should not perform this asana.
11. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
The Cobra pose or Bhujangasana helps to stretch the neck and throat. It increases the production of hormones and helps people with hypothyroidism. Bhujangasana also helps relieve chronic back pain.
Note: This asana should not be performed if you have had abdominal surgery, have a hernia or ulcers.
Yoga and pranayama help you by improving your mental acuity and clearing your energies. This, in turn, helps to relieve symptoms of several ailments. However, you should not stop taking treatment as advised by your medical practitioner.