Top 8 Yoga Poses And Pranayama For Thyroid Problems

Yoga Asanas For Thyroid Balance

Yoga poses like shoulder stand, plow pose, fish pose, camel pose, cobra pose, bridge formation pose, shoulder-stand pose, and bow pose help balance and regulate the functioning of the thyroid gland. Ujjayi pranayama also works wonders by re-balancing metabolism and improving reflex pathways within the throat to cure thyroid imbalance.

Affecting over 12 percent of the US population at some point in their lifetime, thyroid disorders are common around the world. Any dysfunction in the butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck results in thyroid disorders. Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and goiter are some of the most prevalent forms of thyroid disease.

While yoga may not be able to instantly cure the condition, it can keep the glands healthy, regulate metabolism, and prevent further complications. In a study, 6 months of intense yoga practice helped women with hypothyroidism and reduced their need for thyroxine medication. Here’s a list of yoga asanas that effectively reduce hypothyroidism. These exercises also strengthen the muscles and reduce the effects of hypothyroidism on them. However, if you are affected by hyperthyroidism, avoid these neck-stretching asanas and opt for simpler breathing exercises like the pranayama.

1. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Sarvangasana helps in maintaining the governing system of our body, the endocrine system. This pose is believed to help individuals with hypothyroidism owing to the pressure it exerts on the gland. The thyroid receives the largest supply of blood in the body, and practicing this posture can improve its function by improving circulation and squeezing out stagnant secretions. The shoulder-stand releases blood into the neck and helps nourish the thyroid, thus alleviating hypothyroidism.

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Other Benefits

Sarvangasana is also beneficial for the functioning of the circulatory, nervous, and respiratory systems. By practicing this asana regularly, you will also be able to strengthen your muscles, increase the flexibility of the body, and prevent signs of premature aging.

Note

It is important to be careful while practicing this asana, as it can be harmful to the neck if performed incorrectly. However, sarvangasana should be avoided by those suffering from Graves’ disease or hyperthyroidism, as the pose increases the thyroid function.

How To Do Sarvangasana

2. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)

Matsyasana translates to the “fish pose.” This yoga asana arches your back such that there is increased blood circulation at the thyroid gland. The pose stretches the neck and throat, stimulates the thyroid gland, and relieves tension in the area. The inverted position of the head encourages blood flow to the thyroid and helps people with hypothyroidism.

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Other Benefits

Apart from strengthening the thyroid, matsyasana also works toward keeping the abdominal muscles and the spinal column healthy.

Note

The fish pose should always be performed after the sarvangasana as the two poses are complimentary to each other.

How To Do Matsyasana

3. Halasana (Plow Pose)

The pose resembles the Indian plow and is hence called halasana. This yoga exercise stretches the neck and stimulates the thyroid glands. Halasana should be performed by people with hypothyroidism, but not by those suffering from hyperthyroidism, as the pose facilitates the secretion of thyroid hormones.

Other Benefits

Halasana not only activates the thyroid gland but also strengthens the back muscles, tones the abdominal organs, and relaxes the autonomous nervous systems.

Note

This pose should also be avoided if you suffer from Hashimoto’s disease.

How To Do Halsana

4. Viparita Karani (Inverted Pose)

The meaning of viparita is “reverse” and karani translates to “by which.” This pose is also called legs up the wall pose. Viparita karani is a panacea for various ailments. The asana treats hypothyroidism by increasing the blood flow to the thyroid gland and regulating the thyroid function.

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Other Benefits

Another benefit of the viparita karani pose is the rejuvenating effect that it has on the mind. Hypothyroidism can make people prone to depression. It is also believed to cure insomnia, relieve stress, and fight anxiety.

How To Do Viparita Karani

5. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

Ustrasana, or the camel pose, stimulates the thyroid activity by stretching the neck and allowing blood circulation to the gland.

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Other Benefits

The camel pose also helps relieve issues of the spine and is particularly helpful for people suffering from asthma.

Note

If you have hernia or ulcers, avoid practicing the camel pose. This asana is also unsafe for anybody suffering from vertigo, arthritis, or any kind of abdominal injuries. If you are pregnant, the ustrasana should not be performed.

How To Do Ustrasana

6. Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)

Bhujangasana stretches the neck and the throat region, which helps increase the thyroid function. So it is helpful for individuals with hypothyroidism.

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Other Benefits

If you are suffering from chronic back pain or neck pain, the cobra pose will help you overcome it by strengthening and toning your muscles.

Note

If you have recently undergone abdominal surgery, avoid practicing this exercise. This asana should also be avoided if you are affected by hernia or ulcers.

How To Do Bhujangasana

7. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

An effective yoga asana for thyroid disorders, setu bandhasana, or the bridge pose, is useful for those with hypothyroidism. The pose stretches the neck, improves blood circulation at the thyroid gland, and maintains thyroid activity.

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Other Benefits

Setu bandhasana is also helpful in reducing headaches, strengthening the muscles, and treating asthma.

Note

Do not perform the setu bandhasana if you are in the final stages of pregnancy. If you have hernia or ulcers, avoid this asana.

How To Do Setu Bnadhasana

8. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

The bow pose massages the thyroid gland effectively and compels the gland to produce the required amount of hormone to control metabolism. The dhanurasana is effective in treating and reducing hypothyroidism.

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Other Benefits

Dhanurasana is good for strengthening the back, relieving menstrual pain, and reducing stress.

Note

Don’t practice the pose if you have hernia or ulcer or are pregnant. Though it helps strengthen the back, don’t practice the pose if your back pain is severe.

How To Do Dhanurasana

Other effective asanas include surya namskara, pavanamuktasana, yoga mudras, suptavajrasana, and other backward-bending asanas. Asanas like the headstand are also effective in reducing hypothyroidism, but they are difficult to perform and should be practiced only by advanced yoga practitioners.

Pranayama For Thyroid Diseases

The most effective pranayama for thyroid problems is ujjayi pranayama. It works on the throat area, reducing hyper- and hypothyroidism. Its healing effect is due to the stimulation of reflex pathways within the throat area, which in turn activates the thyroid gland. This practice also gives us direct access to the pranic and psychic network, the substructure of metabolic activity. Make sure to practice ujjayi pranayama every day, but no more than 11 times a day.

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Breathing exercises like the pranayama are safe to perform if you are suffering from hyperthyroidism.

How To Do Ujjayi Pranayama

What You Need To Remember

Although these yoga asanas are beneficial, these practices should be avoided in case of severe hyperthyroidism, physical debility, or an enlarged goiter. If you are menstruating or pregnant, consult your doctor before performing these asanas. If you have recently undergone surgery or have intense abdominal pain, do not practice the listed exercises.

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Commercial treatments for thyroid are not only expensive but can also cause side effects. These yoga poses will help you overcome thyroid naturally while strengthening your body and mind.

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