Are you seeking a natural and holistic approach to support your thyroid health? Look no further than the transformative power of yoga whether it is for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
With specific yoga asanas and pranayama techniques for the thyroid, you can tap into the healing potential of this ancient practise. Whether you are dealing with an underactive or overactive thyroid or simply looking to enhance your overall wellbeing, incorporating the best yoga for thyroid into your routine can bring balance and harmony to your body and mind.
Let’s explore five simple tricks that harness the power of yoga poses for the thyroid, allowing you to embark on a journey of self-healing and revitalization. Get ready to nourish your thyroid and unlock the transformative benefits of yoga for thyroid health.
Thyroid disorders have become increasingly prevalent, affecting millions of people worldwide. Many individuals remain unaware of their condition, with a significant number of cases going undiagnosed.
The stressful nature of modern lifestyles is believed to contribute to the rise in thyroid disorders. Fortunately, there are various treatment options available, and amidst this, there is a ray of hope.
It is important to consult with your doctor to determine the specific type of thyroid disorder you may have, as different symptoms may indicate different issues, with the most common being either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. With the guidance of your healthcare provider and the transformative power of yoga, you can embark on a path of self-healing and improve your overall quality of life.
Signs of Hyperthyroidism
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, it may indicate the possibility of hypothyroidism.
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Hair thinning
- Excessive facial hair growth
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Swelling in the throat
Signs of Hyperthyroidism
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be due to the possibility of hyperthyroidism.
- Difficulty sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Increased irritability
- Excessive sweating
- Constant feeling of being rushed
It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to receive a proper diagnosis and appropriate medical guidance.
Thyroid disorders and Yoga
Yoga and meditation offer a natural approach to managing thyroid disorders. By incorporating just a few minutes of daily yoga practise, you can reduce stress, regulate thyroid function, enhance your wellbeing, and find balance in your life.
Here are the top four reasons why yoga is an excellent choice for managing thyroid problems:
- Enhancing Thyroid Function: Practising specific yoga poses including Inverted Pose, Camel Pose, and Shoulder Stand can effectively stimulate the thyroid gland, promoting its optimal functioning.
- Managing Stress Levels: Yoga is known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, which are significant factors impacting thyroid health. By practicing yoga regularly, individuals can alleviate chronic stress, which can contribute to the development and worsening of thyroid disorders.
- Enhancing Circulation: Yoga exercises improve blood circulation throughout the body, including the neck and head regions where the thyroid gland is located. Some poses can increase blood flow to the thyroid, facilitating its proper functioning.
- Hormonal Balance: Yoga practice, particularly pranayama (breathing exercises), helps regulate hormonal balance, which is vital for thyroid health. By engaging in these specific yoga practices, individuals can support the production and release of thyroid hormones, promoting overall hormonal equilibrium.
Yoga for Hypothyroidism
Yoga can be beneficial for individuals with hypothyroidism by helping to stimulate the thyroid gland and promote overall wellbeing. Here are some yoga poses that may be helpful:
Viparita Karani (Inverted Pose)
Legs up the wall is another name for this position. It can help with a variety of issues, including hypothyroidism. This stance has a calming impact on the psyche. It also aids in the reduction of stress, the treatment of sleeplessness, and the reduction of anxiety. Steps to perform an inverted pose include:
- Sit on a folded towel at the junction of the floor and wall.
- Lie down and position your legs against the wall, with the soles of your feet facing upward.
- Make sure your buttocks are a few inches away from the wall and your tailbone is on the folded towel.
- Allow your legs to rest gently against the wall, keeping your knees relaxed. You should feel a gentle stretch.
- Hold this position for 5-20 minutes, focusing on slow and controlled breathing.
Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand)
Sarvangasana, or shoulder stand, aids in the maintenance of the body’s regulating mechanism, the endocrine system. It puts a lot of strain on the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland has the most blood supply. Sarvangasana aids in the circulation of blood and the squeezing of stagnant secretions. It helps nourish the thyroid and reverse hypothyroidism by releasing blood into the neck. To perform a Sarvangasana,
- Lie on your back with your arms by your sides.
- Take a deep breath in and lift your legs up towards the ceiling.
- Keep lifting until your hips and lower back come off the ground.
- Support your lower back with your hands and keep your legs straight up towards the ceiling.
- Make sure your neck stays relaxed.
- Hold this position for 5-10 breaths, then slowly release and return to lying on your back.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
By stretching the neck and improving blood circulation in the gland, this position can also stimulate the thyroid gland. This yoga pose for thyroid relief can also help with spine difficulties. It also aids in the alleviation of asthma sufferers. If you have a hernia or ulcers, however, you should avoid this stance. The camel stance should be avoided by people who have arthritis, vertigo, or stomach injuries. Following are easy steps to do a Camel pose:
- Start by kneeling on your mat with your knees spaced apart and your hands resting on your hips.
- As you breathe in, reach back with one hand to hold onto your right heel, then repeat the same movement with the left hand.
- Arch your back gently, lifting your chest upwards towards the ceiling, while keeping your head relaxed.
- Hold this position for 5-10 breaths, then slowly release and return to the kneeling position.
Setu bandhasana (Bridge pose)
Setu bandhasana, often known as the bridge posture, is a beneficial yoga for thyroid conditions, particularly hypothyroidism. It extends the neck and enhances thyroid gland blood circulation. In addition to healing asthma, lowering migraines, and strengthening muscles, this pose is beneficial. The bridge stance should be avoided by women who are nearing the end of their pregnancy. To do the bridge pose:
- Start by lying on your back.
- Bend your knees and place your feet hip-width apart on the floor, about 10-12 inches away from your pelvis. Make sure your knees and ankles are in a straight line.
- Keep your arms beside your body with your palms facing down.
- Inhale deeply and gradually lift your lower back, middle back, and upper back off the floor.
- Gently roll your shoulders and lift your chest towards your chin, keeping your chin up. Support your body weight with your shoulders, arms, and feet.
- Feel your buttocks engaging in this pose, while keeping your thighs parallel to each other and the floor.
- If desired, you can interlace your fingers and push your hands on the floor to lift your torso higher, or you can use your palms to support your back.
- Continue breathing comfortably.
- Hold the pose for about a minute or two, then exhale as you gently release and come out of the pose.
Halasana (plough pose)
The neck is stretched, and the thyroid glands are stimulated in this stance. People with hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, should avoid this stance since it promotes thyroid hormone output. This position also aids in the strengthening of stomach and back muscles, as well as the relaxation of the autonomic nervous system. Here’s how you can do the plough pose:
- Begin by assuming the Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana) position.
- Take a deep breath in and gradually lower your feet down towards your head, ensuring that your legs remain straight.
- Place your hands on the ground to support yourself and keep your neck relaxed.
- Hold this position for 5-10 breaths, then gently release and return back to the Shoulder Stand position.
Yoga for hyperthyroidism
Here are some simple yoga poses that can assist in regulating the production of thyroxine hormone and thereby helping with hyperthyroidism.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
The corpse pose is also known as Shavasana. It’s a stance that promotes profound relaxation and inner awareness. Despite the fact that this pose needs you to lie on a flat surface, it can be quite difficult. People with hyperthyroidism should take it. To go into Shavasana, follow these simple steps:
- Lie on your back without any pillows or props. Close your eyes.
- Relax your legs, letting them fall comfortably apart with your toes facing the sides.
- Place your arms alongside your body, palms facing up.
- Focus on each body part, starting from your right foot and moving upward, consciously relaxing each part.
- Breathe slowly, deeply, and gently, allowing your breath to relax you further.
- Stay in this relaxed state for about 10-20 minutes, being mindful not to fall asleep.
- When you’re ready, roll onto your right side and rest for a minute.
- Use your right hand to help you sit up into a seated position.
- Take a few deep breaths, gradually becoming aware of your surroundings and your body.
- When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes.
Sethu bandhasana (Bridge pose)
This asana, often known as the bridge pose, is beneficial for thyroid hormone regulation. Sethubandhasana helps to relax the brain by increasing blood flow to it. This indirectly aids in the management of hyperthyroidism. As a result, it’s an excellent yoga position for hyperthyroidism. Sethu Bandhasana should not be done by pregnant ladies. This asana should also be avoided by people who have ulcers or hernias.
Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Fish pose is thought to stimulate the thyroid gland, which may help balance the production of hormones in individuals with hyperthyroidism. To practise Fish Pose,
- Start by sitting on a yoga mat with your legs extended.
- Place your hands under your buttocks and lower your palms to the ground, fingers pointing towards your toes.
- As you lean back, support yourself with your forearms and elbows, opening your chest.
- If it feels comfortable, you can gently rest your head on the mat.
- To come out of the pose, lift your head, release your hands, and lie down on the mat.
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Dhanurasana stimulates the thyroid gland, which can help regulate thyroid function. It also stretches and strengthens the muscles in the neck and throat area, improving blood circulation to the thyroid gland. To do Dhanurasana,
- Lie flat on your belly with your arms resting alongside your body.
- Flex your knees and extend your arms behind you to grasp onto your ankles.
- Inhale deeply and lift your chest, legs, and head elevated, maintaining a grip on your ankles.
- Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, allowing your body to stretch and open up.
- Exhale and gently release the pose, returning to a relaxed position lying on your belly.
Mudra for Thyroid
Shunya Mudra, also known as the emptiness of heaven mudra, is a mudra that diminishes the space element in the body. This Mudra can relieve ear discomfort and watery eyes, improve hearing, strengthen bones, and lessen heart disease and throat problems in just one hour. It has the potential to treat hypothyroidism and strengthen the gums. It is also claimed to open the heart chakra and assist with meditation. We know that a decrease in the element of space prevents the remaining four elements of air, water, earth, and fire from increasing, resulting in bi-dosha and tri-dosha Prakriti.
Because Shunya mudra reduces the space element, the other four components suffer as a result, and the balanced presence of these elements aids in the treatment of the bi-dosha and tri-dosha Prakriti Doshas.
This mudra can be done in a variety of positions, including sitting, lying, strolling, and standing. However, for best effects, it is recommended that you set. Simply sit on a yoga mat with your spine straight and perform shunya mudra. Breathe regularly and keep your body flexible to allow energy to flow freely throughout your body. You can sit in a chair with a straight spine and practice if you have physical limitations or joint problems.
The middle finger should be softly placed against the thumb. Applying too much pressure will stifle the flow of energy.
Before beginning the mudra practise, thoroughly wash your hands and massage them together for one minute to warm them up and activate the energy pathways.
After resolving the condition, all yoga mudras should ideally be halted. Because thyroid diseases are lifelong, try to cut down on the time once you’ve noticed a major improvement. For example, maintenance takes 16 minutes every day.
Yoga for thyroid health focuses on harmonising energy, hormone levels, flexibility, and stress relief. Both an underactive and an overactive thyroid can benefit from yoga. They are one of the most natural therapies for maintaining the health of our glands. It protects us from serious thyroid consequences such as goitre, heart disease, mental illness, and so on. Following these asanas and maintaining proper posture can aid in the treatment of thyroid problems.
Must-Know Tips for Thyroid Yoga Practise
Here are 15 essential tips to enhance your yoga practise for thyroid health:
- Begin your session with gentle movements to warm up your body.
- Prioritize yoga asanas that stretch and stimulate the neck, such as the Camel pose.
- Include poses specifically targeting the thyroid gland, such as the Shoulder Stand.
- Progress gradually, avoiding overexertion and gradually increasing intensity and duration.
- Seek guidance from a specialised yoga therapist experienced in working with thyroid issues.
- Stay adequately hydrated before and after your practise to support thyroid function.
- Pay attention to your body’s signals and discontinue any pose causing pain or discomfort.
- Adopt a balanced diet and incorporate healthy lifestyle changes to promote overall thyroid health.
- Allocate time for relaxation and meditation after your yoga session to reduce stress levels.
- Aim for regular yoga practice, ideally 3-4 times a week, for optimal results.
- Stay mindful of any changes in thyroid symptoms and consult your doctor if necessary.
- Refrain from engaging in poses that excessively strain the neck or throat, such as headstands or extreme forward bends.
- Integrate gentle neck rolls and stretches to enhance blood circulation to the thyroid gland.
- Emphasize deep, slow breathing throughout your practise to enhance oxygenation.
- Consider complementing your routine with other physical activities such as walking, running, or swimming to support your overall wellbeing.
Remember, these tips can help improve your yoga practice for thyroid health, but it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance and advice.
In what situations should individuals with thyroid conditions refrain from practicing yoga?
There are certain situations when individuals with thyroid conditions should be cautious about practicing yoga. Here are some instances to consider:
- Women should avoid practicing yoga during their menstrual cycle.
- Individuals who are experiencing high levels of stress or have an agitated mind should refrain from doing yoga until they are in a more relaxed state.
- Those with low muscle strength should exercise caution while practicing yoga and may need modifications or guidance from a qualified instructor.
- People with osteoporosis should avoid certain yoga poses that may put excessive strain on their bones and joints.
- Individuals who have pain or injuries in their knees, neck, hips, or back should be cautious about practicing yoga and may need to modify or avoid poses that exacerbate their condition.
- People with a sedentary lifestyle or a lack of physical activity should approach certain yoga poses with caution to reduce the risk of injuries.
Yoga has numerous advantages for your general health and wellbeing. It can help you feel more energized, more flexible, and less stressed. Yoga has been demonstrated to have a favourable effect on thyroid function in several studies. However, thyroid diseases are complex and require ongoing treatment, although yoga asanas such as Sarvangasana, Ustrasana, Halasana, Matsyasana, and Bhujangasana have been shown to be effective in treating hypothyroidism.
Keep in mind that these poses will not be able to treat your thyroid problem. Yoga is regarded as a supplemental treatment. It’s not meant to take the place of any therapy or medications you’re presently taking. The majority of these stances are said to stimulate the throat. They’re supposed to increase thyroid circulation and energy flow, as well as lengthen and strengthen the neck.
Always remember to respect your body’s limitations. Take it easy on yourself and be kind to yourself. You can change or edit the positions to meet your specific needs. You are not required to complete all of the positions in one sitting. You can practice a few poses throughout the day.