In the last couple of years yoga has become widely accepted and used as a form of exercise and relaxation. You can’t walk down the street without seeing at least one yoga studio or place that offers yoga classes and you probably know at least one person (possibly more) that does yoga and has invited you to join them. Granted, yoga may not be for everyone, but if you suffer from any sort of thyroid condition, you may want to consider trying it out.
While it may have just become popular within the last few years, the techniques of yoga have been speculated to date back to the fifth century. Originating as an Indian practice, yoga focuses on three aspects: exercise, breathing, and meditation. The focus on exercise is due to the body being viewed as the instrument that allows us to be involved in the world and must be treated with great care. Yoga focuses on breathing because of the understanding that breath is the source of life. Finally, focusing on meditation allows for healing for the stress of everyday life.
You’re probably thinking, “That sounds wonderful, but how does that help my thyroid symptoms?” Besides the relief of stress and anxiety which is beneficial to everyone, it is also thought to stimulate the thyroid gland by increasing blood flow to the neck and opening the chest and neck to increase hormone flow. However, more research is necessary to back up this claim. Yoga can also help by improving circulation throughout the body (which can be compromised in certain thyroid conditions), reduce stiffness, strengthen the neck, shoulders, and torso, as well as massaging/stimulating the thyroid gland. The other potential benefits of yoga include possible relief from fatigue due to the energizing poses, as well as weight loss. Certain forms of yoga are done in a heated room (usually between 95 and 110 degrees F),referred to as Hot Yoga, and these can help burn a lot of calories. However, if that doesn’t sound appealing to you, normal yoga allows you to build muscle which can help burn calories as well (just not as much).
Before running out to find your nearest yoga studio, there are a few things to consider. It is important to discuss these with your doctor and don’t use yoga as a substitute for any sort of medication. Another thing to point out is that not all positions are considered good for individuals with thyroid dysfunction. Here are a few that seem to be beneficial to those with a thyroid condition;
- Shoulder Stand
- Inverted Pose
- Fish Pose
- Cat Stretch
- Fast-paced Sun Salutation
- One-legged Forward Bend
- Plow Pose
- And more!
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, why not try yoga? It is fun and beneficial! Have you tried yoga for your thyroid issue? Let us know how it has worked for you!