Yoga and The Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is located on the lower portion of your neck and is somewhat shaped like a butterfly. It produces hormones that are critical for metabolism, growth, and energy levels. Perhaps you have known someone who has a thyroid that is either under-active or over-active. One state (hypo-active) can result in difficulty in losing weight and feeling lethargic. The opposite extreme state (hyper-active) results in everything speeding up...and, not in a good way.

There are a myriad of catalysts that can cause a problem with the thyroid; therefore, always seek medical care from a physician if you have persistent symptoms. It is wise to blend the best of the East and the West in maintaining good health.

With that said, what does yoga do for the thyroid? Just like the philosophy, "move it or lose it", applies for all the other body parts...the same is for the thyroid gland. Thyroid problems most commonly manifest in women over the age of 50. Hormones are changing and it is likely that one is not as physically active. When parts are not moved or used often, they become smaller, weaker, and less efficient. The same is for this gland.

Yoga poses that are great for the thyroid involve compressing the chin toward the throat or lengthening the front of the neck. Bridge is a great pose for the thyroid. By pressing the chin as close as you can to the throat while in bridge, you give the gland a good compression to keep it strong. Cat/Cow are a great combination of poses when you bring the chin inward on Cat and lengthen the front of neck in Cow. Shoulderstand is another excellent pose for this gland and much more! The inversion brings more oxygenated blood to the brain and the glands in it and below it. The good dose of "extra oxygen" the brain and glands receive enables them to function better.

The practice of yoga, integrated with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can have a great influence on the overall function of the thyroid glands and all those other parts. Just make it a regular routine in your lifestyle and the results will emerge. It takes patience and persistence vs. the instant results one gets from the "delete" button on the computer. But, as the results become visible and felt within, know that a healthy and solid foundation has been set to build upon.

As you can tell from these poses, it does not take a lot of effort to work the gland. It just takes a conscious effort to show your thyroid some attention. You will be glad you did!

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