The thyroid is a gland located in the lower neck that secretes hormones through the circulatory system to maintain harmony among all organs in the body. A part of the endocrine system, the thyroid controls your metabolism, regulates your body temperature, maintains energy levels, ensures healthy menstruation, and plays a key role in brain and nervous system development. During pregnancy, thyroid hormone controls fetal growth and development and plays a critical role in carrying a pregnancy to full term.
Thyroid disease is systematic; when the thyroid is not working optimally, the entire body’s functioning is affected. Those suffering from thyroid imbalance can experience debilitating fatigue, drastic mood changes, depression, and extreme highs and lows in energy levels. Inflammatory skin issues, weight fluctuation and thinning hair can also be symptoms. Hypothyroidism is when the body produces too little thyroid hormones, while hyperthyroidism affects those whose bodies produce too much thyroid hormone. While hypothyroidism is more common, both disrupt reproductive health and cause hormonal imbalances in women.
Those suffering from thyroid imbalance can often find relief with a holistic healing approach, one that incorporates yoga, meditation, nutrition, and lifestyle changes. Healthy adrenals are essential for a healthy thyroid, supporting the adrenal glands will greatly benefit thyroid health. Ailments caused by poor eating habits, stress, busy schedules, and caffeine contribute to adrenal dysfunction, which can in turn exacerbate thyroid imbalances. Eliminating some of these stressors through lifestyle changes encourages healthy adrenal functioning and a happy, active thyroid.
Yoga asana and meditation work to reduce stress levels, allowing your thyroid to thrive. The combination of shoulder stand and fish pose is an effective way to support the thyroid. In shoulder stand, the compression of the neck allows blood to be squeezed out of the thyroid, while fish pose stretches and elongates the thyroid, allowing for new blood flow to reach the gland. Any pose that offers compression or extension to the lower, front part of the neck will help bring the thyroid back to life – plow, bridge, bow and camel pose are all supportive postures that encourage optimal thyroid functioning.