08 July, 2011
Yoga Exercises for the Thyroid
Yoga exercises for the thyroid anatomically focus on the throat and neck area. The largest neck gland is the thyroid and it is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism. Certain yoga postures position the body to stimulate the throat area or apply pressure on the thyroid area at the front of the neck using breath and movement connection.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, or Bridge pose, stimulates the thyroid and stretches the neck, chest and spine. In Bridge pose, the throat is slightly compressed, which stimulates the upper chest and throat area. To practice the posture, lie on your back and place the arms alongside the torso, with palms pressed into the ground. Bend your knees, separate the legs hip distance and plant the soles of the feet close to the buttocks. Inhale and press down through the feet. Raise the hip points toward the ceiling. Gently flatten the neck and keep the chin down so your gaze is straight down your mid-line. Stay in the pose for five breaths and release the hips back to meet the ground. Repeat three to four times.
Sarvangasana, or Supported Shoulderstand pose, increases blood supply to the thyroid and parathyroid glands because of the tight chin compression. Shoulderstand is an inversion where the weight of the body rests on the shoulders and upper arms. To come into the pose, lie on your back. For beginners to yoga, slide a folded blanket under your upper back and shoulders in order to take the strain off of your cervical spine. Bend your knees and draw them into your chest. Walk your shoulders underneath the body and align the pelvis in line with the shoulders. Bend the elbows and place the hands at the base of the spine or sacrum for support. Straighten the legs. Stay in Shoulderstand for 10 breaths.
The anatomical focus of Halasana, or Plow pose, is the thyroid gland. From Shoulderstand, release the toes toward the ground behind your head. Or, for beginners, position your head close to a wall, and release your toes onto the wall at a height that is comfortable for you. Extend the arms straight in the opposite direction of the feet and interlace the fingers. Activate the thigh muscles, keep the legs as straight as possible and keep the torso perpendicular to the ground. Stay in plow pose for 10 breaths and release from the posture by bending the knees and slowly rolling onto your back.
- yoga pose image by chinatiger from Fotolia.com