Improper functioning of the thyroid gland can lead to two conditions: Hypothyroid or underactive thyroid, and Hyperthyroid or overactive thyroid. Though not fatal, the symptoms of thyroid problems can disrupt normal life. The symptoms adversely affect health in the form of bodyache, tiredness, depression, irritation, weight gain or loss, irregular heart rate, sleep disorder, poor digestion etc.
If practised on a regular basis, the following yoga poses are particularly beneficial in thyroid.
Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
- Lie down flat on a yoga mat with your arms stretched on the side.
- Lift your legs up in the air at 90° without bending the knees.
- Place your palms under your buttocks.
- Breathe normally and with the support of the hands lift the hip and lower back up.
- Slowly walk your hands from lower back towards the ribs.
- Try to keep elbows at shoulder width.
- With feet and knees together further push yourself up till you rest on your shoulder.
- Lift the legs up straight.
- Point the feet towards the ceiling.
- Stay in the position for a while.
- To return, drop the legs beyond the head. Place the hands on the side and slowly uncurl your body.
- Initially it will be difficult to reach the position. If you wish, take the support of the wall. But make sure that you rest on the shoulder with legs stretched up.
Shoulder Stand is highly recommended in thyroid diseases. Along with the thyroid glands, it also stimulates the pituitary and hypothalamus glands by exerting pressure on them and flushing them with fresh blood. It strengthens the upper body, abdomen, legs, shoulder and heart. It provides relief from respiratory problems, constipation, insomnia and menopausal symptoms and calms the nervous system and brains thus relieving stress.
Plough Pose (Halasana)
- Reach to the Shoulder Stand position.
- Without a jerk bend from the hip joint.
- With the toes, touch the floor over the head.
- Remove the hands supporting the back and keep your arms straight on the side.
- Rest on the shoulder and keep your back straight, perpendicular to the floor.
- Keep your legs stretched and feet joint.
- Stay in the pose for a while.
- Breathe normally.
- To return, slowly lift your legs, and uncurl your spine.
Plough pose, like Shoulder Stand is an excellent pose to stimulate the thyroid, pituitary and hypothalamus glands.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
- Lie down on your back.
- Place the hands beside you with palms facing down.
- Bend the legs from the knees, keeping your feet hip width apart.
- Feet should be flat on the floor and as near to buttocks as possible.
- While inhaling, lift your whole back up, away from the floor.
- Push your chest towards the chin.
- Weight should be supported by the shoulder, feet and arms.
- Keep the thighs parallel to floor.
- Stay in the pose and breathe normally.
- Slowly release your back and straighten the legs to return.
Bridge Pose stimulates the thyroid glands thus helping to restore its health. It stretches and strengthens the back, hips, thighs, neck, chest and spines. It calms and relaxes the brain, improves blood circulation, and relieves stress, depression, fatigue and anxiety. It provides respite from hypertension, insomnia, digestive problems, menopausal symptoms, asthma, sinusitis and osteoporosis.
Cat Pose (Marjariasana)
- Take the position by coming to your fours like a cat.
- Keep the arms, back and thighs stretched.
- Keep the hands and thighs perpendicular to the floor and back parallel.
- Look in the front.
- Inhale and raise your head to view the ceiling.
- Pull your abdomen down and raise your tailbone upwards.
- Feel the back relax and hold in the pose.
- Follow this with a counter pose.
- Exhale and release the head to bring your chin near the chest.
- Curl your spine up towards the ceiling and pull the tailbone down.
- Hold in the pose for a while.
- Return to the normal table top position.
Cat Pose stretches and releases the tension of the spine, back muscles, abdomen, neck, legs and arms. It improves blood circulation, increases flexibility of the spine, improves the digestive system and relaxes mind and body.
Ocean sounds or Victorious breath (Ujjayi Pranayama)
- Sit comfortably in Yogic pose or Easy pose.
- Breathe in and out deeply from the nostrils.
- Constrict the throat while breathing so that it forms a long and thin passage for air.
- Your breathing will produce an audible, whispering sound of the ocean.
- Practice the breathing for 5-10 minutes without any variation in the breathing technique.
Ujjayi Pranayama is beneficial for both the thyroid disease- Hyperthyroid and Hypothyroid. It is advisable to practice it initially under an expert guide.
Yoga thrives to maintain the desired balance. Yoga therapy for the thyroid problem helps to stimulate the glands-the hypothalamus, pituitary, and thyroid; thus assisting them to function at the optimal level and soothes the symptoms caused by the hormone imbalance.