6 Yoga Poses for Thyroid
Yoga has been used for managing various lifestyle disorders and diseases. The myriad benefits of yoga have been known all over the world and yoga has become increasingly popular as a complementary treatment for many disorders, including thyroid functioning. Thyroid is a small gland in the throat that secretes a hormone which affects metabolism, body temperature and growth. Also, a person suffering from a thyroid disorder invariably also suffers from poor mental health along with poor physical health. Stress is one of the leading causes of thyroid problems and yoga’s effectiveness in providing relief from stress, anxiety and muscle pain is well known. Hence yoga can be an effective tool to manage thyroid disorders.
Today we are going to discuss some yoga poses which stimulate the thyroid gland in the throat as well as improve circulation and strengthen the neck. These yoga poses can help balance overactive or underactive thyroid functioning. The asanas can also help prevent thyroid disorders when practised regularly. While most of these poses are easy to try at home on your favourite yoga mat, remember to respect your body’s limits and stay in these poses for only as long as you are comfortable. Also, please remember that yoga is just a complimentary line of treatment and it is not advisable to stop any medications or current line of treatment without consulting your doctor.1) Supported Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana
This is the most highly recommended pose for managing thyroid. It is an inversion which stimulates blood flow to the glands in the upper body. Also, in this pose the chin is tucked into the chest which also stimulates thyroid functioning.
First, lie down flat on the back. Place a folded towel or blanket under the shoulders to support them. Bring the shoulders to the edge of the towel while resting the head on the mat. Place the arms on either side with palms facing down. Breathe in and lift legs up at a right angle. Then breathe out and lift legs up, pushing up onto the shoulders. Push hands into the lower back to support the hips. Keep the stomach pulled in, so the core stays strong. Hold the body and legs in a straight line up from the shoulders. Keep the chin tucked into the chest. Breathe deeply three times and then lower the legs back down slowly, keeping the core engaged.
2) Plow Pose or Halasana
The plow pose also stimulates the thyroid gland in a similar fashion as the shoulder stand does.
Start by lying flat on your back with your arms alongside your body and your palms facing down. Then press your arms and back into the floor for support. Inhale and lift your legs up to ninety degrees. Slowly exhale and bring your legs over your head. Bring your hands to your lower back to support your body. Keep your fingers pointing up toward your hips. You can use a yoga block under your feet if your feet don’t touch the floor. If it’s comfortable and your feet are supported, you can bring your arms alongside your body or interlace your fingers in front of your hips. You may also bring your arms overhead. Release the pose by bringing your arms on the floor alongside your body. Slowly inhale to lift your legs up and realign your spine along the floor. Exhale to lower your legs to the floor.3)Fish Pose or Matsyasana
In this pose, the arch of the back increases blood flow in the thyroid gland which stimulates the neck and releases any tension present. This pose is also easier than the plow pose or shoulder stand and perfect for beginners.
Sit down with the legs extended in front of you. Place the hands on the mat behind with your fingers tucked under your buttocks. Then lower the elbows to the mat and lean backwards. Make sure to align the shoulders with the elbows. Then gently drop the head back as far as it feels comfortable, with the eventual aim of touching the crown of the head on the mat. Keep your chest up and open. (Imagine a string is pulling it up to the sky). Breathe deeply three times. Then slowly lift the head up and release the arms to come out of the position.4) Camel pose or Ustrasana
Camel pose gives a strong neck extension which stimulates the thyroid gland and increases circulation to the area.
Start by sitting on your knees with your feet extended behind you. Keep your knees, hips, and shoulders in one line. Place your hands at the base of your spine with your fingers facing down. Draw your elbows in toward each other and open your chest. Keep pressing your thighs and hips forward as you slowly bend back. Let your head drop back but only if it’s comfortable. If you feel supported you can reach back to hold your ankles. Bring your hands back to your lower back before lifting up to release the pose. Relax in a child’s pose or downward facing dog after this pose to relieve any tension in your lower back.5) Legs-Up-the-Wall or Viparita Karani
This is a passive pose that is suitable for everyone. It doesn’t put any pressure on the neck and is a restorative inversion. Its main function is to maintain and restore balance. This pose is very effective to reduce stress which is a leading cause of thyroid imbalance.
For this pose, use a folded blanket or firm pillow underneath your hips for support. Sit with your right side against the wall. Then lift your legs up along the wall at the same time as you lie back. Your buttocks can be right up against the wall or a few inches away. Experiment to find the height and distance that works for you. Soften your throat as you relax your neck and chin. You can keep your arms alongside your body or in any comfortable position. Remain in this position for up to 20 minutes. Release the pose by pushing yourself away from the wall.6) Corpse Pose or Shavasana
Shavasana is a great pose for complete relaxation. It may seem easy at first but staying in stillness for a stretch of time can be challenging. Shavasana along with deep breathing relaxes the nervous system more than any other yoga asana and therefore instantly brings down body temperature. It acts as a power nap and helps in repairing cells, relaxing, reducing stress and also in self healing.
For this pose, lie flat on your back with your feet at hip-width apart and toes spread out to the side. Extend your arms away from the body with your palms facing up. Place your head, neck, and spine in one line. Allow yourself to relax completely and let go of any tension in the body. Breathe naturally, allow your body to feel heavy on the ground and focus all your attention on your toes. Then shift your attention and begin to release each part of your body, organ and cell, consciously working from the toes up to the top of your head. Bring your mind gently back to your body if it wanders. Be sure that you do not fall asleep and relax your face, feeling your eyes drop into your sockets and the softening of your jaw. Exit the pose by gently bringing your awareness back to your body and wiggle your fingers and toes while keeping your eyes closed. Draw your knees in and slowly roll over to one side in sukhasana pose. Rest there for a moment in a comfortable seated position and open your eyes gently while slowly turning your attention outwards.
We are sure practicing these asanas on a regular basis can definitely help in managing your thyroid symptoms and if you are not suffering from thyroid, then these can act as a preventative measure. If you are looking for more inspiration to start working out at home, visit our blog on our website here.
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