Remember how I told y’all that I have Graves Disease and my thyroid went hyper again a few months after the baby? Since that post, I was given permission by my endocrinologist to stop the antithyroid medication as my hormones had leveled out. That was December. It’s now June, and I haven’t had any freak outs since then. Whew!
I had to get my blood work done in prep for my next appointment, and it reminded me that I hadn’t gotten around to posting about what benefits yoga can have on maintaining a healthy thyroid. So here we go!
5 poses for thyroid health
1. Shoulder stand (sarvangasana). The chin lock position compresses the thyroid and parathyroid glands in the neck region to help squeeze and encourage the blood to move along. By being inverted, a lot of blood is being sent directly to the neck area. I like to think of it as massaging the thyroid gland tissues and increasing circulation.
The same benefits will apply to variations on shoulder stand, like plow posture.
2. Fish posture (matsyasana). The opening of the throat in fish posture is believed to also encourage movement of blood and regulate hormone production in the thyroid. It also helps that matsyasana strengthens the neck and shoulders, activating the muscles to get more blood moving in the area.
3. Ujjayi breath. While it isn’t a pose, ujjayi breathing actively uses the muscles in the throat to control the breath. Anything to get oxygen and blood to the region!
4. Camel (ustrasana). Like with fish posture, camel requires some neck strength to get into and out of the posture – just from a kneeling position upright rather than supine.
5. Bridge pose (setu bandhasana). While bridge pose isn’t as intense as shoulder stand, it also offers the benefits of squeezing the thyroid gland. A great way to flush out the old and encourage fresh blood to the neck area.
Whenever these postures come up in a class, I always manage to stay in them for a couple extra breaths. I can’t say for sure that these postures “fix” anything having to do with my thyroid, but I kind of have the philosophy that it doesn’t hurt to try. I am very thankful that my thyroid has been calm since the meds brought things back to normal levels. And hey, I’m building some much needed neck muscles in the process through these postures.