Thyroid issues are becoming more and more common, and yet many people still don’t know how yoga can help to support thyroid health. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the effective yoga poses to cure thyroid, as well as some poses you can try to help get started. Keep reading to learn more!
What is the thyroid gland?
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland present in the front of the neck. The main function of this gland is to control the body’s metabolism. Thyroid gland secretes T3 and T4 hormones in the body whose function is to tell the body how much energy you can use.
When the thyroid gland is not working properly, it can result in a number of health problems in your body such as weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, and more.
There are many ways in which yoga asanas can be beneficial for thyroid issues. First and foremost, know that yoga is helpful in improving overall circulation and flow of blood in different glands and organs.
A healthy thyroid gland secretes an apt amount of thyroid hormones to keep the metabolism of your body at a satisfactory rate.
When the thyroid gland starts malfunctioning due to some reason, thyroid hormones in body increases or decreases.
When the thyroid hormone is secreted in more amount the condition is called hyperthyroidism and when thyroid hormone is secreted in less amount the condition is called hypothyroidism.
This is a condition in which body produces more amount of thyroid hormones thyroxine into the body. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate body’s metabolism rate which results in more energy being used by the organs. This results in unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
- Muscle weakness/tremors
- Infrequent, scant menstrual periods
- Weight loss
- Sleep disturbances
- Enlarged thyroid gland
- Vision problems or eye irritation
- Heat sensitivity
This is a condition in which thyroid gland produces less hormone into the body. As a result, the metabolism rate slows down and body uses less energy than what is needed by the body.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Frequent, heavy menstrual periods
- Weight gain
- Dry, coarse skin and hair
- Hoarse voice
- Intolerance to cold
Women more likely to suffer from thyroid
Thyroid disease can happen to anyone and to people of any age group. However, women are more likely to suffer from this disease. About 5-9% of women get thyroid after giving birth. Other causes of thyroid are iodine deficiency, imbalanced lifestyle, stress, etc.
Effect of Yoga on the Thyroid Gland
Yoga is an effective way of curing thyroid disease. Some yoga asanas have a direct effect on the thyroid gland. When thyroid glands are constantly stimulated through these asanas, they start functioning properly.
There are yoga poses for thyroid patients that will help support the gland. These yoga asanas increases circulation in the neck and throat region. Yoga can also be helpful for chronic fatigue (which often accompanies hypothyroidism). We’ll explore all of these benefits in this blog post!
1. Griva Sanchalan Asana
This yoga pose helps thyroid gland to function better and regulates the production of thyroid hormones into the body.
You can practice this asana with ‘Om chanting’. It is more effective when practiced with ‘om’ chanting because the vibration produced during the chanting stimulates the thyroid gland.
How To Do Griva Sanchalan?
Sit straight on your mat with your legs folded. Keep your palms on your knees.
Now, take a deep breath and lift your head up, raise your chin towards the sky. keep your awareness on your throat region, you will feel stretching in this area.
Stay there for 10 counts and while exhaling, bring your head down and lock your chin with the chest. In this position, your thyroid gland gets compressed, hold the position for 10 counts.
Repeat it for five rounds. holding each inhalation and exhalation for ten counts.
After the up-down movement, you can also do the side movement of the neck.
2. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Ustrasana or camel pose is a great variation of yoga for thyroid disorders. This yoga pose massages and tones the thyroid glands. It is helpful in improving blood circulation in throat area and is also helpful in reducing stress levels.
How To Do Ustrasana?
Sit in vajrasana on the floor. Now lift your hip up and come on your knees. Your knee, hip, and shoulder should be aligned in a single line. Keep your hands on the side.
Keep your legs shoulder-width apart.
Take a deep breath in lift and your hands up, bring them together and start bending backward while exhaling.
Now hold the right ankle with the right hand and the left ankle with the left hand.
Try to bring your elbows together and open your chest. Push your hip and thigh forward to form an arch on your back.
Hang your head at the back. Try flexing your hips as much as possible to reach the maximum backward arch.
Hold the position for counts, breathing normally throughout the pose. Slowly come back to the starting position by inhaling.
Relax in child’s pose.
If you are unable to hold your ankle, keep both your palms on your lower back and then try to bend backward.
This yoga pose for the thyroid has an effect on different parts of body. But you should keep your awareness on thyroid gland.
3. Bhujang Asana (Cobra Pose)
This pose stimulates the thyroid gland and helps in regulating its production of hormones.
How To Do Cobra Pose?
Lie flat on your stomach, face down on mat with your palms placed beside the shoulders.
Keep your legs together and toes touching each other, and elbows touching the sides of your body.
Now lift your head, your chest, your hands, and thighs off of the ground while inhaling deeply through your nose.
Look up towards the ceiling and feel the stretch in the neck and throat region.
Keep your legs joined together and your hands firm on the ground
Hold your breath for ten counts.
Slowly exhale and bring your body down to the floor.
Repeat it five times.
4. Sarvang Asana (Shoulder Stand)
Sarvangasana is also known as shoulder stand. If you are suffering from hypothyroidism then practicing this pose for a few minutes can help you with thyroid problems.
How To Do Sarvangasana?
Lie flat on your back with your arms by your side. Try to connect with the body and the mind.
Now take a deep breath and lift your legs up. Slowly lift your hips and spine as well until just your shoulder is on the ground.
Keep your hips and your legs up straight and support your body with your hands. It is an excellent yoga asanas for compressing the throat muscles and stimulating thyroid gland.
Your arms should be firm into the ground to keep you balanced.
Keep your head straight and gaze at your toes.
Be in this pose as long you are comfortable.
Breathe normally throughout.
Slowly come back by bending your knees. Do not lift your head up.
Lie down and relax for a few seconds in a shavasana pose.
5. Kandhrasana (Bridge Pose)
Kandhrasana or the bridge pose is a very effective yoga asanas for thyroid disorders. This helps in toning the thyroid gland and regulating its function. It can be a great pose for people suffering from thyroid problems.
How To Do Kandhrasana?
Lie flat on your back with feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart, your legs should be bent at 90 degrees.
Now place your palms on the floor beside you, fingers pointing towards the heel. Keep your arms straight.
Lift your torso and hips off of the floor until your body is parallel to the ground, toes still resting on the floor.
Your chest should be locked with the chin at the same time.
The pose is also done by putting the legs up on the wall.
Keep your head straight, bring your consciousness to the throat where your thyroid gland is.
Hold for 30 seconds. To release, exhale and lower down your back to the ground.
This pose of yoga helps in improving the absorption of calcium and potassium by thyroid gland, which reduces symptoms like weight gain or puffiness around the neck region caused due to under-active thyroid glands.
6. Matasya Asana (Fish Pose)
This is one of the best asanas of yoga for thyroid problems. The fish pose helps in stretching the neck and throat region, which in turn stimulates the gland.
How To Do Matasya Asana?
Lie flat on your back with your legs stretched out and arms by the side of your body.
Keeping rest of your body and your legs straight, press your forearms and elbows firmly against the floor.
Now inhale and lift your head and chest off from the ground. Keeping the support of your arms, hang the head back and put the crown of the head on floor.
Your scapulas will be pressing at the back.
Keep rest of the body firm into the ground.
Be in the pose as long for 10-20 breaths and slowly come down.
Now slowly lift the head, straighten the back, release your arms and bring the body and head back to the floor.
Pranayama for Thyroid
Yoga poses are great way to work on thyroid but pranayama as well is a great way to balance thyroid. Pranayama is an art and science for controlling breath or prana (life force) that exists within us.
As you inhale and exhale:
Keeping the mouth closed fold your tongue and touch the tip of your tongue with the upper palate.
Now inhale drawing the breath in from the throat.
Constrict your throat to the point that your breathing makes a rushing noise, almost like snoring.
Exhale from the nose in a controlled manner. Every time bring your tongue back to the normal position while exhaling.
Control your breath with your diaphragm.
Keep the inhalations and exhalations in an equal duration ratio.
This can be calming and balancing.
At first, it may feel like you’re not getting enough air, but the technique should become easier with practice.