Have you ever thought why do the doctors prescribe a thyroid test every time you go for a diagnosis or for merely checking your weight-related issues? It is because the thyroid is the third most prevalent condition that the Americans suffer from as per the American Thyroid Association (ATA). But breathe a sigh of relief as this article is going to give you a perfect solution to keep you in good health and that is practicing yoga for thyroid.
With the gaining popularity and benefits of yoga, many people are turning towards this magical approach for treating their condition.
As per a 2016 study, after 6 months of yoga practice, it was found that the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and cholesterol level were significantly improved(1).
So, isn’t this a better alternative than popping those harmful medicines? Read ahead as we tell you the best poses for hyper and hypothyroidism, their efficacy and much more.
Is Yoga efficient enough to treat Thyroid?
Yoga is a significant stress reliever, and in the case of thyroid, it tends to increase the flexibility in the body as well as maintains a balance between pressure and thyroid. The thyroid can be underactive or overactive, also known as Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism, respectively.
This yoga poses for thyroid can treat by maintaining the thyroid levels in your body. The main point, one should keep in mind is that Yoga cannot cure thyroid, but it can help to cope up with the thyroid imbalances. Yoga cannot replace any other treatment of thyroid but is complementary with other therapies.
How does Yoga affect Thyroid Glands?
Women of this era are very conscious of their weight gain. One of the causes of weight gain is Hyperthyroidism. An abnormal presence of thyroxine hormone can cause a lot of damages to organs as it controls the metabolism of the body. This insufficient release of thyroxine can affect the tissues and can also be a threat to life. The ways in which yoga can affect thyroid glands are –
- Yoga provides relief from fatigue and stress on the muscle aches caused due to thyroid.
- The neck region around the thyroid gland stretches and relaxes due to the thyroid issues.
Yoga for both hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism?
Yes, yoga for thyroid problems is appropriate for the treatment of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. As mentioned above, the role of yoga in the treatment of thyroid is to maintain the stability and balance of thyroxine hormone in the body. It neither lets it increase or decrease in any cases of thyroids.
Top 5 yoga poses for thyroid
In this asana, a full body workout takes place and comprises of 12 postures. You must perform each position serially and slowly. Surya Namaskar is also known as Sarvanga Sundara Asana. While practicing it, you have to stay in the posture for some time for a few breaths and then change to the next position.
Balasana is an asana where the performer must take a child’s pose. It is known to be a calming and relaxing posture that provides calmness to the mind. The soothing effect creates a drive to get relief from stress and tension. For this posture, one must sit in Vajrasana by folding the legs, where the feet touch the hips. After this, you must spread the hands on the floor and lie down resting your head on the floor while taking slow breaths.
This asana is also known as the corpse posture, as this asana resembles the state of a corpse. It provides relaxation at a deeper level which one can attain at the end after performing various asanas. It soothes the mind and gives it a calm vibe. You can stay for 5 minutes or more than 5 minutes in this posture, as it is the simplest one. You have to lie down straight by spreading your arms and legs with your face towards the roof.
In Setu Bandhasana, the focus of workout is at the neck, chest, and spine. It performs toning of the lower body. The meaning of the asana’s name is Bridge Lock or Bridge Bind, which gives rise to a posture like a bridge. It provides relief by calming the nervous system, stimulating thyroid glands, and dealing with high blood pressure too.
The position to attain in this asana is by lying down with bending legs stretched parallel to the hips. The hands should be firmly lying straight on the floor and raise the abdominal and hip part above the ground.
This asana is also known as the Cat-Cow pose. It focuses on the spine of the body. While performing it, one must lie down in supine position and place the wrists on the ground parallel to the shoulders. Similarly, bent the knees on the ground parallel to the hips.
[ Read: 12 Natural Treatments For Hypothyroidism ]
Top 5 Yoga Poses for Treating Hypothyroidism
This asana is also known as the shoulder stand and to do this posture, you must lie down straight on the floor and raise the legs upwards. Then support your spine to lift the hips and your lower body vertically in the air to provide support. It calms the mind and offers mental and emotional relief to the brain.
This asana helps in reducing the levels of anxiety and stress from the mind. It is beneficial for the people who have insomnia too. In this posture, the right foot goes to the upper end of the left thigh, and the performer bends forward to touch the toes of the left leg with both the hands.
In this asana, the posture resembles the posture of a fish, hence it’s called the fish pose. While performing this asana, the right foot is present over the left thigh, and the left foot is over the right leg, crossing each other. The upper body is bent backward on the floor by bending the head vertically upward when laid.
Viparita Karani Asana
This asana helps in balancing the hormones of thyroid glands, as well as the endocrine glands. For this position, the legs should be vertically upward when laid down straight. The hands should be present on the waist and support it to raise high, and bend it till it forms 45 degrees to the ground.
It is known as the plow pose, and it acts as a mediator to cure headaches, backache, insomnia, and infertility. Its purpose is to attain proper functioning of all the endocrine glands. For this pose, you have to bend your legs towards your head like in Sarvangasana position, and the hands should be present straight in the opposite to the bent legs over the ground.
Can Pranayam help for treating thyroid issues as well?
To deal with hypothyroidism, some of the breathing exercises like pranayama, ujjayi, Kapalbhatti and Bhastrikacan be practiced. The function of these breathing exercises is to provide a stable balance and regulation of the thyroid gland. For Pranayama in hyperthyroidism, it helps the body to prepare for meditation.
Its breathing practice can alter the mind’s emotional imbalance and provides calmness. You can perform Nadi Shodhan Pranayama, Sheetkari Pranayama and Bhramari Pranayama for hyperthyroidism. These exercises help in calming down the mind and the body and will show mutual benefits, with the practice of meditation, in yoga for thyroid.
Though Yoga does not have any side effects and is purely natural, yet a question arises -who should not perform yogic asanas? The general precautions that people with thyroid should keep in mind are –
- Do not perform Sarvangasana, if you have high BP, pregnancy, heart disease or spinal injuries.
- Do not follow Setu Bandhasana, if you suffer from any neck, back or knee injuries.
- Do not pose for Matsyasana, if you have spine and neck problems.
Yoga for thyroid issues proves that you can achieve a healthy and well-regulated thyroid system and proper balance of the thyroid, as well as endocrine hormones, just by following some asanas and breathing exercises. Performing Yoga can bring a lot of relief from stress and anxiety from the routine life and merge it with the wellness of the thyroid gland.