Written by Staša Mišić
The thyroid gland is an important gland that influences the metabolic processes in the human body.
When there is an excess secretion of thyroid hormones it is called hyperthyroidism and when it under secretes the hormones it is called hypothyroidism. Another issue related to the thyroid is the enlargement of the thyroid gland called the Goitre. These are the most common problems related to thyroid though there are a few more like Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’s disease, and even thyroid cancer. Most thyroid conditions can be treated or prevented by practicing certain Asanas regularly to make the thyroid gland function effectively.
The common symptoms that you may experience if you have a thyroid disorder:
Hypothyroidism: trouble sleeping tiredness and fatigue, feeling cold, weight gain, poor concentration, dry skin and hair, depression, frequent, heavy periods joint and muscle pain
Hyperthyroidism: endless energy, unexplained weight loss, heat intolerance, anxiety or nervousness, rapid heartbeat, hand tremors, excessive sweating, difficulty sleeping (insomnia), and changes in appetite.
Along with the yoga practice, one needs to avoid certain foods if diagnosed with thyroid. Fruits and vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, peaches, strawberries, peanuts, and soya. Stress can also be a contributing factor so do activities that help to reduce stress like meditation, listening to music, exercising, etc.
Nadi Sodana and Sitkari
Practicing Ujjayi pranayama helps with hypothyroidism.
When doing the practice always focus on the throat region while breathing both during Asanas and Pranayama.
Special thanks to Usha Lakshmi, the main faculty of HSTY and yoga therapeutic teacher, who created the original text and supervised this modified version.