The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped endocrine gland in your neck that regulates functions of energy use such as metabolism and body temperature. According to the U.S. Office of Women’s Health, 27,000,000 Americans suffer from thyroid problems, the majority of them women. Most thyroid imbalances are categorized as hyperthyroid (overactive) or hypothyroid (underactive). Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction include low energy, weight gain or loss, excessive or lack of appetite, feeling too hot or too cold, constipation, muscle weakness, insomnia, depression, and dry skin. The thyroid’s function is dependent upon the delicate and complex relationship between all of the endocrine glands and the nervous system. This communication is disturbed by prolonged stress, poor diet, inactivity, and other challenges of our modern-day lifestyles.
Healing any imbalance begins with activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Specific breath work and restorative yoga poses are powerful activators of this branch of the nervous system, also known as “the resting and digesting nervous system.“ In addition, regular practice of asanas (poses) that improve circulation to the throat area, as well as the rest of the organs, are specific to improving thyroid function. This includes supported twists and inversions, as well as asanas that open the throat area or place gentle pressure on the thyroid gland.
Heal your Thyroid with Yoga
by Nishtha Jane Kappy with Zoreh Afsarzadeh