January is Thyroid Awareness Month which is dedicated to thyroid patients and to all who are committed to the study and treatment of thyroid diseases worldwide. Thyroid is a small gland in our neck that produces a hormone which influences every cell, tissue, and organ in our body hence, plays a big role in helping the body to work right.
According to the American Thyroid Association, 60% of those with a thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. This is why we need a Thyroid Awareness Month to draw attention towards a variety of conditions that affect the thyroid and steps or solutions to alleviate thyroid disorder since it has now become a household name and close behind hypertension and diabetes.
Thyroid problems are believed to be higher in women than men. A stressful lifestyle is believed to be one of the leading causes of thyroid disorders hence, here are 5 Yoga asanas to stimulate the throat, prevent disorders and act as a complementary therapy for thyroid problems to cheer you up by treating it naturally.
However, it is important to check with your doctor before beginning any Yoga program. These exercises are not to be used as a replacement for any therapies or medications that you are currently undergoing but only perform them as a complementary therapy.
1. Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand Pose
Method: Lie down in the supine position. Raise your legs slowly upward and bring it to a 90-degree angle. Bring the legs towards the head by raising the buttocks. For the next step, raise the legs, abdomen and chest and try to form a straight line with your body.
Place your palms on your back for extra support and place your chin against your chest. Try and maintain the position for as long as you are comfortable. However, try to stay in this position for at least a minimum of 15 seconds.
Benefits: There are countless benefits of this pose which include stretching the shoulders and neck along with toning the legs and buttocks, stimulating the thyroid and abdominal organs, considered to be good for both hypo and hyperthyroidism patients, helping to relieve stress and reducing the symptoms of menopause.
2. Matsyasana or the Fish Pose
Method: Lie down on your back with legs straight on the floor and hands beside the thighs. Keep your palms near the shoulders and your fingers pointing towards them. Inhale, press your palms on the floor, lift your shoulders and head up and drop the top of the head on the floor.
Arch your back while keeping your hands up in namaskar mudra. Lift both of your legs at 45 degrees angle. Hold the posture for 10 seconds and release.
Benefits: This exercise has multiple benefits from stretching the chest, abs, hip flexors and neck to stimulating two important areas of the body – first is the throat chakra which relates to communication and self-expression and second is the crown chakra, on the top of your head, which is tied to wisdom and knowledge.
Precautions: Avoid this pose if you have a neck or back injury or even if you have a headache.
3. Ustrasana or camel pose
Method: Kneel know on the Yoga mat and keep your knees and feet together. Lean in the backward direction by pushing your hips in the forward direction.
Bend your head and the spine as backward and farther as possible without straining. Rest your hands on your feet, relax your body and the muscles of your back, hold onto the position for a few seconds before releasing.
Benefits: From stretching and strengthening the shoulders and back to opening up the hips and stretching deep hip flexors, Ustrasana not only improves respiration by opening up the chest but also improves digestion and elimination by expanding the abdominal region. It stimulates the thyroid gland by stretching the neck and increasing blood circulation in the gland, loosens up the vertebrae, relieves lower back pain, improves posture and reduces fat on thighs.
4. Bhujangasana or Cobra pose
Method: Lie down flat on your stomach. Rest your palms by the side of your chest, arms close to your body, elbows pointing outward. Inhale and raise your forehead, neck and shoulders.
Raise your trunk using the strength of your arms. Look upward while breathing normally. Make sure that your stomach is pressed on the floor. Hold the pose for 5 seconds. Slowly lie back flat on your stomach. Turn your head to one side and rest your arms by the side of your body.
Benefits: The reclining back-bending asana of Yoga called Bhujangasana or Cobra pose strengthens the spine, butt, butt muscles, chest, abdomen, shoulders, lungs and improves blood circulation while also releasing the stress in one’s body. It increases thyroid functioning and is helpful for people suffering from hypothyroidism since it stretches the neck and throat region.
5. Savasana/Shavasana or corpse pose
Method: Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms relaxed at your sides. Gently close your eyes while keeping your feet a comfortable distance apart in a natural position and keep your arms straight along the body but away from the torso while resting your palms facing up.
Breathe naturally, allow your body to feel heavy on the ground and focus all your attention on your toes. Then shift your attention and begin to release each part of your body, organ and cell, consciously working from the toes up to the top of your head. Bring your mind gently back to your body if it wanders.
Be sure that you do not fall asleep and relax your face, feeling your eyes drop into your sockets and the softening of your jaw. Draw your attention to the sounds around you and try to find the most distant one until you find the sound closest to you.
When you feel relaxed, exit the pose by gently bringing your awareness back to your body and wriggle your fingers and toes while still keeping your eyes closed. Draw your knees in and slowly roll over to one side in sukhasana pose. Rest there for a moment in a comfortable seated position and open your eyes gently while slowly turning your attention outwards.
Benefits: Shavasana along with deep breathing relaxes the nervous system more than any other Yoga asana and this instantly brings down the body temperature. It works well in both, hypo and hyperthyroidism and works like a power nap for hyperthyroidism patients who find it difficult to sleep at night as it relieves stress, repairs cells, relaxes the body and is also helpful in self-healing without pills for pregnant women.