If you are noticing a sudden increase in weight, hoarseness in voice, weakness in the muscles, puffy face, thinning of hair and fatigue throughout the day, then most probably, you my friend are suffering from a thyroid disorder, specifically Hypothyroidism. This is a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough of certain crucial hormones.
Well, over the years thyroid has become a household name and quite close behind diabetes and hypertension. Studies suggest that every third Indian is diagnosed with thyroid disorder these days.
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck, below Adam’s apple in the throat. It chiefly functions by producing essential hormones that primarily regulates the blood pressure, normalizes body temperature and heart rate and effectively manages body weight. There are basically two types of thyroid disorders: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. While the former is termed as underactive thyroid and is characterized by the thyroid gland being unable to produce enough thyroid hormones, the latter generally known as overactive thyroid occurs as a result of the butterfly gland secreting excessive hormones.
Well, while there are numerous treatment options for treating hypothyroidism, but if you prefer a way sans any side effects, then Yoga, is here as your saviour. This age-old practice may not treat the condition instantly but on performing it regularly for at least 6 months, it gradually helps manage the symptoms, regulate the secretion of hormones and thereby treat the condition successfully.
We bring you a set of yoga postures involving neck stretching exercises for improving thyroid functions gradually.
Incredible Yoga Postures For Better Functioning Of Thyroid
Sethubandhasana (Bridge Pose)
Start the posture by lying flat on your back. Now bend your knees and elbows. Place your feet flat on the floor close to the hips and your hands firmly on either side of the head. While supporting both your hands and legs on the ground, slowly try to lift your body up into the air. Hold this arching posture for 20-30 secs and slowly bring your body up into a standing pose.
The Bridge Pose is pivotal in uplifting the functions of the thyroid gland and helps in managing hypothyroidism. By stretching the neck, it enhances blood circulation in the thyroid gland and helps in regulating the hormone. It is also beneficial for asthma, subduing headaches and strengthening the muscles of the hamstrings, arms and buttocks.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):
Lie flat on your stomach and place your head on the ground. Keep both your hands on either side of your shoulders. Slowly, put pressure on your palms and lift your body from the torso while stretching your back and belly muscles. Straighten out your arms and keep your shoulder blades pressed against your back. Fix gaze at a point on the ceiling and hold this posture for about 15-30 seconds and exhale as you return to the starting position.
The Cobra Pose holds high significance in stretching the neck and throat region and hence promotes the functions of the butterfly gland. Not only does it help in clearing congestions from the body buts also strengthens the lower abdominal muscles, creates space between the adductors and reduces pain.
Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder-Stand Pose)
Lie flat on the ground with your legs laid side-by-side and both arms resting on either side of the body. Swing your legs up in such a way so that your legs, buttocks and hip is up in the air and support your body with your elbows attached to the ground. While settling into the pose, ensure that the hold your body properly keeping your legs and spine straight. Hold the pose for 30-40 secs while breathing normally. Slowly bring down your legs back to Shavasana pose and repeat 2-3 times.
Famed as the “Mother of all Poses”, the shoulder stand pose is pivotal in governing the endocrine glands. By exerting slight pressure on the thyroid gland, it extensively improves blood circulation in the area and activating stagnant hormone secretion. By releasing blood in the neck area, it nourishes the thyroid gland. It is one of the key postures to reduce stress and calm the mind and reverse hypothyroidism.
Halasana (Plough Pose):
Lying on your back, raise both legs above the stomach. Bend your body and try to extend your legs above the head to touch the ground with the toes. Hold this posture for 10-15 seconds, relax for a minute, and repeat.
The Plow Pose is quintessential for stretching and strengthening the neck muscles and thereby stimulating the thyroid gland. It also fortifies the abdominal and back muscles, regulates the secretion of hormones and relaxes the autonomous nervous system. Practicing it on a daily basis, tones the abdominal glands, and rejuvenates the entire body and mind.
Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall Pose)
Initially, sit about 3 inches from an empty wall. Lie onto the back and swing your legs upwards in such a way that the back of the thigh rests against the wall. Rest your entire back, i.e. the spinal column on the floor below and relax the arms on either side of the body or the tummy. Hold the position for 10 minutes or as long as you can and then slowly pull your leg back to the starting position.
This inverted posture is deemed as one of the most relaxing poses that is extremely beneficial for various ailments including hypothyroidism. By exerting slight pressure on the neck and throat region, this asana increases blood flow in the thyroid gland and regulates the secretion of hormones from it. Additionally, it also revitalizes the mind, diminishes fatigue, combats anxiety and cures insomnia.
After completing these poses, come back to Shavasana pose and relax your mind and body for 10 minutes. This marks the end of the yoga session.