Yoga to Manage Hypothyroidism and Prevent Weight Gain
half of the estimated 27 million Americans with Thyroid
disease remain undiagnosed,
according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
Hypothyroidism refers to the lack of thyroid hormones in the blood.
Thyroid problems and the presence of antibodies against the thyroid (which
predict hypothyroidism) are more common in women, and increase with age.
Depending on your risk profile, your doctor may recommend a thyroid-stimulating
hormone (TSH) blood test. TSH is released by the pituitary gland; when the
thyroid bogs down, the pituitary releases more TSH. If you have normal levels of
TSH, your test score will be from 0.4 to 2.5. Between 2.5 and 4 means you are at
risk for hypothyroidism, and should be retested within a year. Above 4 means you
have a mild case. Doctors used to resist treating patients in this category
(clinical hypothyroidism starts at 10).
Treating such patients with diet
modification and exercise can
help prevent cardiovascular
disease by reducing bad, LDL and
the risk of hardened arteries while improving Waist-to-hip
Ratio and increasing energy. So
if your symptoms led to a TSH test and you scored higher than 4, you and your
doctor should discuss treatment.
Exercise is an important factor in the treatment of hypothyroidism. Exercise
increases tissue sensitivity to the thyroid hormone and stimulates thyroid gland
secretion. This is especially true in people who are dieting; this is because
when dieting the metabolic rate decreases but exercise prevents this decline. An
exercise regime of between 15-20 minutes per day will be beneficial with
hypothyroidism. This exercise needs to be strenuous enough to raise the
heartbeat, an exercise such as walking, swimming, running and cycling.
Yoga can be of tremendous help to regulate the under-active thyroid gland. There
are specific Yoga
poses which helps to massage
endocrine glands and regulate their functions.
The Asanas for Low Thyroid
To start with, lie flat on the floor. The arms should rest along the
sides, palms downwards. Exhale once, bend the knees, and bring them up
towards the chin till the thighs press the stomach. Breathe normally.
Now, exhale and supporting the buttocks with the hands, raise the trunk
till it becomes perpendicular to the floor. Now, your body will be supported
by the back of the head, the neck, the shoulder and
the backs of the arms up to the elbows. To push the trunk into the vertical
position, you will need to gradually move the hands towards the waist. The
head continues to rest on the floor, so that the trunk also becomes
perpendicular to the head. Once it is correctly perpendicular, the chin will
touch the chest.
Now, raise the legs and
make them vertical, in line with the trunk, with the toes pointing upwards.
Breathe evenly, calmly and easily. Stay in the pose for a few minutes and
feel the good it is doing you.
To release the pose, gently move the legs downwards, release the hands
and let the body become flat again. You may also bring the legs down so that
the knees approach the ears, and then gradually bring the legs down. Be
gentle on your body. Never apply excessive stress. To start with, practice
the initial position, drawing the knees towards the chin.
Release the pose gently.
on your stomach. Bend knees, hold the ankles. Pull your hands and push with
your legs, knees together, till the trunk forms an arch with only the
stomach on the ground. Look up.
After releasing the posture lie for a while in Shavasana.
Sit with legs folded backwards, heels apart, knees and toes together.
Adjust your hips between the heels (Vajrasana).
Slowly raise your arms over the head.
While exhaling, slowly bend forward and stretch your palms on the floor
with abdomen pressing
against the thighs.
Then bring your face downwards and touch the floor with the forehead
without raising the buttocks. Inhaling slowly, return to an upright
position, reversing the process
down on your back with your legs straight and your feet together. Place your
hands, palms down, underneath your thighs.
Pressing down on your elbows, inhale and arch your back. Drop your head
back so that the top of your head is on the floor, but your weight should
rest on your elbows. Exhale. Breathe deeply while in the position, keeping
your legs and lower torso relaxed. To come out of the pose, lift your head
and place it gently back down, then release the arms.
Start by kneeling on the floor and cross your ankles at the back. If you
have a knee injury, you could perform the simhasana (lion
pose) by sitting down and folding your legs. Your back needs to be
upright with your hands resting on the thighs
After this, inhale deeply through your nose and then exhale with your
mouth opened wide and tongue extending outwards.
While exhaling, you should make a distinctive “ha” sound, resembling the
roar of a lion, such that the breath passes over the back of your throat.
You should also ensure to fix your gaze at the spot between the eyebrows or
at the top of your nose.
Repeat this at least 10 times consecutively for maximum benefits. While
returning back to the original position, take your tongue in and breathe
up onto your knees. Take padding under your knees if they are sensitive.
Draw your hands up the side of your body as you start to open your
Reach your hands back one at a time to grasp your heels.
Bring your hips forward so that they are over your knees.
Let your head come back, opening your throat.
It is the foundation of proper breathing and one of the most commonly
practiced yoga breathing techniques.
Inhale gently allowing the air to pass into the body with ease and no
Exhale make a sound with the mouth closed that sounds like "hhhhha".
Make the sound the same throughout the exhalation. This will indicate the
same amount of air leaves the lungs throughout the exhalation. An uneven
sound usually indicates an unsteady nervous system. This will smoothen out
Resistance created by the sound slows down the breathing rate and creates a
back pressure that helps keep the airways open.
Note : The Yoga poses referred here should only be used as alternative
treatment and not as a substitute to medicine.
Dated 09 August 2012