Yoga for thyroid: Asanas to improve thyroid health, reduce PCOD or PCOS symptoms | Health

For the uninitiated, thyroid hormones maintains key functions such as metabolism rate in body, heart functions, digestive functions, muscle health, brain development, bone health etc. Thyroid problems are believed to be higher in women than men and a stressful lifestyle is believed to be one of the leading causes of thyroid disorders.

Thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of our neck that produces a hormone which influences every cell, tissue and organ in our body hence, it plays a big role in helping the body to work right. On the other hand, one of the most widespread conditions that impact women’s endocrine systems is polycystic ovarian syndrome and a disorder known as PCOD causes the ovaries to develop numerous tiny cysts.

Cysts develop and the ovary enlarges when there is a shift in the regular menstrual cycle and the level of androgen and oestrogen hormones in the body starts to rise. Some PCOD patients will have excessive facial and body hair as well as weight due to these hormones but occult PCOD is a disorder when people don’t show the typical symptoms however, an ultrasound to diagnose the ovaries will reveal the presence of PCOD.

While individual symptoms may vary, the majority of these start as soon as a woman starts her period and in addition to irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovarian syndrome is also characterised by acne, anxiety, melancholy, weight gain and infertility. In an interview with HT Lifestyle this Thyroid Awareness Month 2023, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar insisted that Yoga has a healing impact on the body and encouraged to try out the following poses to enhance thyroid function or improve thyroid health and reduce PCOD or PCOS symptoms:

1. Ustrasana

Method – Kneel on the yoga mat in and lay your hands on your hips. While straightening your arms, arch your back and slip your palms over your feet. Maintain a neutral position for your neck rather than flexing or straining it. Hold this position for a few breaths. Exhale fully and return gradually to the starting position. Pull your hands back and place them on your hips as you stand up tall.

2. Matsyasana

Method – Lie on your back on the yoga mat, breathing in while you push your elbows and forearms firmly into the floor or ground or lift your head and shoulders with your hands. Next, elevate your upper body and push your shoulder blade to your back when you inhale (upper torso). Keep your head elevated above the floor or ground. Attempt to set your crown portion on the ground. For added comfort, you can also extend your legs or flex your knees.

3. Halasana

Method – Lie on your back with your palms on the floor beside you. Lift your legs up 90 degrees with the help of your abdominal muscles. Press your palms firmly into the floor and lower your legs back behind your head. Support your lower back with your palms as needed.

4. Sarvangasana

Method – Lie on your back with your arms at your side. Gently raise your legs off the ground so that they are parallel to it and your feet are facing the sky. Gradually raise your back and pelvis off the ground. For support, place your palms on your back. Make an effort to coordinate your feet, legs, shoulders, and pelvis. Direct your attention to your feet.

Word of Advice – Practitioners with wrist, neck or shoulder issues should refrain from performing this asana. Women must refrain from performing this asana during menstruation or pregnancy. Practitioners who are suffering from enlarged thyroid, liver or spleen, cervical spondylitis, slipped disc and high blood pressure or other heart ailments must refrain from performing this asana.

5. Prasarita Padottanasana

Method – Repeat for up to three sets, maintaining each position for 30 seconds. Spread your feet out wide with the tips pointing inward. Keep your knees straight. Extend your hands out to hold your big toes.

6. Paschimottanasana – Seated forward bend

Method – Start by sitting down. Stretch your legs out in front of you. You can keep your knees slightly bent. Inhale, raising your arms to the sky. Maintaining a straight spine. Exhaling, bending forward at the hip. Positioning your upper body on your lower body. Holding the posture for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat up to three times.

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar highlighted, “Yoga asanas and pranayama exercises like Bhastrika and Anulom Vilom calm the body and mind. This soothing impact reduces tension, which lowers the body’s level of the stress chemicals. Yoga encourages weight loss while controlling the effects of PCOS-related weight gain. This stimulates metabolism and blood flow to the brain, reestablishing hormonal equilibrium. The likelihood of conception and fertility are both increased by Yoga.”