Thyroid Problems? These Yoga Poses Can Help
Until recently, little was known about the thyroid gland and its affect on our health. More people are being diagnosed with having an over- or under-active thyroid and can cause many problems in the body.
What does the thyroid gland do?
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck just below the Adam’s apple. It’s part of the endocrine system, which plays a major part in many of your body’s activities.
An overactive thyroid produces too much of its hormone and can cause restlessness, shaking, increased sweating, bulging eyes, brittle hair and nails and more. An underactive thyroid can cause tiredness, dry skin, memory problems, depression and weight gain.
How does yoga help?
Thyroid problems can be enhanced by stress. Yoga is known to relieve stress and anxiety and can therefore be beneficial for those suffering from thyroid problems. Inverted yoga poses stimulate the gland and help to bring balance to thyroid activity.
Bridge (WARNING: Do not perform bridge pose if you have a neck or shoulder injury.)
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Extend your arms along the floor, palms flat.
- Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor. Exhale as you lift your hips toward the ceiling.
- Draw your tailbone toward your pubic bone, holding your buttocks off the floor. Do not squeeze your glutes or flex your buttocks.
- Roll your shoulders back and underneath your body. Clasp your hands and extend your arms along the floor beneath your pelvis. Straighten your arms as much as possible, pressing your forearms into the mat. Reach your knuckles toward your heels.
- Keep your thighs and feet parallel — do not roll to the outer edges of your feet or let your knees drop together. Press your weight evenly across all four corners of both feet. Lengthen your tailbone toward the backs of your knees.
- Hold for up to one minute. To release, unclasp your hands and place them palms-down alongside your body. Exhale as you slowly roll your spine along the floor, vertebrae by vertebrae. Allow your knees to drop together.
Upward Bow (Wheel)
- Lay on your mat with your arms on the floor beside you. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor with the heels as close to your butt as possible. Place your hands by your ears with your fingers pointing towards the top of your head.
- Exhale and use your hands to push your body up off the floor. Press your hips into the sky. Push your hands into the floor. Keep your thighs parallel to each other. Let your head hang between your hands.
- Breathe deeply as you hold the pose for three breaths.
- To come out of the pose, exhale, and bring your body slowly back down to the floor. Relax with your knees bent and your hands resting on your belly. Breathe deeply.
If you’re doing this pose for the first time, it’s fine to come to bridge and build up to performing wheel.
- Begin this pose from shoulder stand. From there, slowly bring the feet to rest behind your head. Your gaze should now be on your thighs or knees. Release the hands from supporting your lower body and place the palms face down on the floor beside you.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Over time, hold the pose 5 to 10 seconds more until you can comfortably hold the pose for 3 minutes.