When it comes to health and fitness, there is nothing like yoga to take care of your many problems. One of the most common of health issues that has afflicted people across age groups is that of thyroid. The butterfly-shaped gland in the neck secretes several hormones, collectively called thyroid hormones, of which the main one is thyroxine (T4).
It is understood that if your body makes too much of thyroid hormone, you can develop a condition called ‘hyperthyroidism’, and if it makes too little, it’s called ‘hypothyroidism’.
“People with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) may suddenly feel tense and anxious. An underactive thyroid condition (hypothyroidism) may make people experience memory problems, difficulty in concentration and lack interest, among other things,” says Grand Master Akshar, a philanthropist, spiritual master, lifestyle coach, yoga-preneur and author.
This Thyroid Awareness Month, he shares with indianexpress.com three yoga asanas that can help with thyroid imbalance in the body, and the steps to perform them correctly.
Bhujang asana (cobra pose with bent knees)
This posture helps in stretching the neck region and the throat area, thereby increasing thyroid functionin, especially for people with hypothyroidism.
1. Lie down on your abdomen.
2. Place your palms below your shoulders, firmly on the ground.
3. Inhale and gently lift your upper body with the support of your palms.
4. Bend both your knees and feet towards the sky, toes pointing up with a deeper stretch.
5. Gently exhale, drop your legs behind, and lower your upper body on the floor.
Eka Pada Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (one legged bridge pose)
This is effective for hypothyroidism. It improves the blood circulation in the thyroid gland and helps maintain the endocrine system. It exerts pressure on the gland, thereby making it receive large amounts of blood and nourishment.
1. Lie on your back.
2. Fold your knees in a way that your soles (feet apart) touch the floor close to the pelvis.
3. Now inhale and squeeze your pelvis, and lift it. Make an arch upwards.
4. You can support your back with your palms to make sure you are balancing on your shoulders with the collar bone touching your chin.
5. Gently lift your right leg to the sky, keeping your knee straight.
6. Bring your right leg down and lift your left leg up.
7. Gently drop the left leg.
8. Move your hands and drop your middle body gently on the floor and extend your legs into shavasana.
Parsva Savasana (side-lying corpse pose)
Hypothyroidism, when untreated, can change how the nerves carry information to and from your brain, spinal cord, and body. This can cause peripheral neuropathy. Parsva Savasana, when practised on the right side, can gradually slow down the nervous system in an efficient manner, relaxing the body and the mind, with the heart in a superior position.
1. Lie down on your back (shavasana).
2. From shavasana shift gently to the right by placing your right arm and left arm under, supporting your head.
3. Your legs are bent slightly with knees and heels over each other.
4. Close your eyes and balance your breath.
Along with these asanas, it is also imperative that you take the right medications.