The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland present in the throat area. The gland secretes a bunch of hormones (including thyroxine T4) together known as thyroid hormones. Too much or too less secretion of hormones leads to conditions affecting metabolism, growth, body temperature etc. For children, a proper functioning thyroid is necessary as it impacts their brain development. Although it is important to consult a doctor if you’re affected with hypo or hyperthyroidism; but apart from your medication, yoga is one such thing which can help you fight the condition. Consistent practice of yoga for a long time can also eliminate the need for medication. Here are the seven yoga poses you must practice to balance thyroid hormone secretion.
1. Halasana or Plow Pose
Halasana is one of those asanas which put a great amount of stress on the neck and the throat region. This is why it is very beneficial for people suffering from hypothyroidism as it stimulates the thyroid gland as well as the pituitary gland leading to the secretion of thyroid hormone. Since halasana promotes the release of the hormone, it should not be practised by those suffering from hyperthyroidism.
How to do?
Step 1: Lie on a flat surface in supine position keeping hands straight with palms facing towards the surface.
Step 2: Keeping the hands firm on the floor, push the posterior part of the body up. Turning the back, push the legs behind the head.
Step 3: Try touching your toes on the floor and remain in this position for some time.
Other Benefits Of Halasana
- The asana is very beneficial for the back. It not only provides a good stretch to the back but also helps in getting rid of chronic back pain.
- It also stretches the spine such that blood flow to the spine increases. This strengthens the nervous system.
- The asana stimulates the digestive system and helps in providing relief from problems like constipation, poor bowel movements and gas pains.
- It also provides relief from menopause symptoms.
- Halasana should be avoided if there is any head, back or neck injury; in problems like high blood pressure, slipped disc and spondylitis.
- Pregnant women are recommended to avoid this asana.
- Halasana puts a lot of pressure on the cervical spine, much more as compared to other asanas. Hence if not done properly, the asana can lead to serious injuries.
2. Sarvangasana or Shoulder stand
Considered as the queen of asanas, Sarvangasana should definitely be practised by people suffering from problems related to the thyroid gland. The asana puts pressure on the gland and stimulates it for the secretion of thyroid hormone.
How to do?
Step 1: Lie straight on your back with palms facing down.
Step 2: Keeping the hands firm on the ground, push the lower region of your body up by twisting your back. Hold the back with your hands keeping the elbows on the ground.
Step 3: Try to straighten the body, resting the weight on your neck and elbows.
Step 4: To come back to the resting position, gently turn your legs and lower your knees towards the forehead. Slowly bring back the hands to the initial position and then bring the legs back to the ground.
Other Benefits Of Sarvangasana
- Sarvangasana is one of the best asanas to practice for people suffering from hair related problems like premature greying of hair and acute hair fall.
- It helps in fighting cardiovascular disorders by promoting better circulation of blood.
- It provides a soothing effect to the nervous system and helps in fighting anxiety, stress and depression.
- The asana should not be performed by people with an injured neck, back or head; those suffering from high blood pressure, cervical spondylosis and spinal problems.
- Pregnant and menstruating women must avoid this asana.
3. Matsyasana or Fish Pose
Matsyasana, described in the 17th-century text Gheranda Samhita is called fish pose as the body is shaped like a fish. The asana is especially recommended for people suffering from hypothyroidism as it enhances the blood flow to the thyroid gland and helps in stimulating it.
How to do?
Step 1: Lie down on a flat surface with arms close to the body.
Step 2: If you can cross the legs in padmasana, otherwise let them be straight.
Step 3: With the help of your elbows, push the ground and lift up your chest until the crown of your head touches the ground.
Step 4: Keep your hands on the thighs and hold the asana for some time before coming back to the original position.
Other Benefits Of Matsyasana
- Neck and shoulders are the places where stress builds up the most, especially in people doing desk jobs and in students. Matsyasana helps in relieving this stress and inducing freshness.
- Matsyasana boosts the flow of blood through the lungs and helps in the proper functioning of the respiratory system.
- The asana is recommended for women facing menstrual cramps as it enhances blood flow to the pelvic region and stimulates the abdomen.
- It helps in the treatment of cervical spondylitis.
- The asana should be done slowly, especially while going into and coming out of the position as there is a risk of neck and spine injury.
- People suffering from migraine, peptic ulcers, variable blood pressure and neck and back injury must avoid the asana.
4. Setu bandhasana
Setu bandhasana is one of the best asanas for imbalanced thyroid. It helps in directing blood towards pituitary, pineal, thyroid and adrenal glands; thus helps in maintaining the hormonal balance of the body.
How to do?
Step 1: Lie down on a flat surface keeping some distance between the legs.
Step 2: Place the feet flat on the floor by bending your knees. Try holding your ankles with your hands. If you are unable to, keep the hands rested on the floor, pulling them towards the feet.
Step 3: Keeping the feet and shoulders rested, raise the rest of the body, pushing the chest and the abdomen outwards.
Step 4: Remain in the pose for a while and then come back to the original position.
Other Benefits Of Setu bandhasana
- It is an excellent asana to resolve all back problems. It provides a good stretch to the back and helps in relieving the stress in back muscles. It also provides relief from chronic backaches.
- The asana directs blood towards the brain and provides relief from stress, anxiety and depression. It also helps in increasing the cognitive power of the brain.
- Setu bandhasana also provides a stretch to the stomach, thus massaging the stomach organs and helps in keeping digestive system related problems at bay.
- People with neck, shoulder and back injuries must practice the asana carefully.
- Don’t stretch beyond your body’s limit otherwise, you can end up with a sprained neck.
- While doing the pose, do not twist your neck sideward to avoid injury.
5. Naukasana or Boat Pose
If you are having issues with thyroid, practising Naukasana regularly will surely help you. It puts pressure on the throat and neck region and helps in stimulating the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
How to do?
Step 1: Lie down on a flat surface with feet together and arms by your side.
Step 2: Inhale deeply and while exhaling lift up your legs and chest balancing the body on your hips. Try to keep your legs and spine at 45 degrees from the floor.
Step 3: Stretch your arms towards the legs parallel to the floor.
Step 4: Remain in the position for some time and come back to the original position. Repeat the asana for 4-5 times.
Other Benefits Of Naukasana
- Naukasana is excellent for the abdominal region. It helps in toning the abdomen muscles and shedding any extra fat. It also improves the functioning of the digestive system.
- The asana stimulates kidney, pancreas and liver resulting in a healthier functioning body.
- It also helps in curing a displaced naval.
- Do not put too much strain on the body.
- Pregnant and menstruating women must practice the asana carefully.
- People suffering from migraine, joint pain, peptic ulcers, heart disorders or injuries in the spine or neck must either avoid the asana or practice it with the help of a Yoga trainer.
6. Chakrasana or Wheel Pose
Also known as Urdhva Dhanurasana or Upward facing bow pose, chakrasana helps in enhancing physical and mental well being. The asana is especially known to be beneficial for people experiencing symptoms of thyroid hormone imbalance. The asana helps in stimulating the pituitary which signals the thyroid glands to secrete thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
How to do?
Step 1: Lie down on a flat surface. Bend your knees, bringing the feet closer to the hips. There must be some space between the feet.
Step 2: Lift up your hands, placing them near your head with fingers pointing towards the feet.
Step 3: Slowly lift your body up putting greater pressure on your feet than your hands. Lift up the head as well and push the abdomen outwards so that the body takes a wheel-like shape.
Step 4: Remain in the pose for some time, after which carefully bring back your head and then rest of your body back to the surface.
Other Benefits Of Chakrasana
- Chakrasana stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and helps in reducing the symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress.
- It helps in enhancing the flexibility of the back and is especially beneficial for children who wish to improve their height as the asana helps in elongating the spine.
- It strengthens the bones of the body and reduces the chances of osteoporosis.
- The asana should not be practised in case of neck, back, head or wrist injuries.
- Women should not practice chakrasana during pregnancy.
- Chakrasana is not a beginner’s asana and hence should be practised after learning other preparatory asanas.
7. Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
In Bhujangasana, the body takes the shape of a cobra with a raised hood. Hence sometimes, it is also known as Serpent Pose. Bhujangasana is one of the asanas in Surya Namaskar and provides a good stretch to the throat region, which is why it is highly recommended for people facing issues in the functioning of their thyroid gland.
How to do?
Step 1: Lie down on your stomach on a flat surface.
Step 2: Create a distance of a few inches in between your legs and rest your hands on the ground beside your chest.
Step 3: While inhaling, gently lift the posterior part of the body with the help of your hands. Push your chest out and stretch the back only as much as possible.
Step 4: While exhaling, slowly come back to the original position.
Other benefits of Bhujangasana
- Bhujangasana is beneficial for the respiratory system as it opens the chest cavity. It helps in providing relief from problems like asthma.
- It is helpful in reducing backaches.
- The asana provides a good stretch to the spine and improves blood circulation in this region which is beneficial for the nervous system.
- While arching the spine, do not apply too much force and do not lift your body with a jerk to avoid any fatal injury.
- People suffering from tuberculosis, hernia and peptic ulcers must refrain from practising the asana.
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