The Thyroids and Yoga

The thyroids are a part of the endocrine system and are located at the neck. They are glands that secrete hormones to regulate the metabolism, growth and development of the body. When they are not working correctly, hormonal imbalances can affect physical and psychological well-being.

When your thyroid produces too much hormone, it is called hyperthyroidism. When it doesn't make enough, it is called hypothyroidism. Both can be brought on by stress.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism include:

  • restlessness

  • nervousness

  • racing heart

  • irritability

  • increased sweating

  • shaking

  • anxiety

  • trouble sleeping

  • thin skin

  • brittle hair and nails

  • muscle weakness

  • weight loss

  • bulging eyes (in Graves' disease)

In hypothyroidism, symptoms can include:

  • fatigue

  • dry skin

  • increased sensitivity to cold

  • memory problems

  • constipation

  • depression

  • weight gain

  • weakness

  • slow heart rate

  • coma

In yoga, we can look at the chakras to help bring balance to the Thyroids by focussing on the throat chakra, vishuddi chakra.

Vishuddi chakra is the purification centre and is known as the fountain of youth. By awakening this chakra, diseases can be reversed, and an older person can once again become young.

We can awaken this chakra using jalandhara bandha (throat lock), vipareeta karani asana (legs up the wall) and ujjayi pranayama (psychic breath).

Through yin yoga, we can activate the parasympathetic nervous system to bring us into a calm state of being. Here we can utilise legs up the wall, ujjayi breath and throat lock where appropriate.

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