Yoga Asanas to treat Thyroid problems


Yoga Asanas are considered to be an effective natural remedy for dealing with Thyroid disorders. It can help in keeping the thyroid gland healthy and regulate metabolism.  A study stated that 6 months of intense yoga helped individuals with hypothyroidism and reduced their need for Thyroxine medication. Below are some easy to do Asanas which will help to relieve Thyroid problem:

  • 1) Warm up with Neck - Neck sideways, neck up down, neck rotation - These warm ups will stretch and strengthen the neck. Light exercises like these can reduce strain and lead to stronger muscles, which are more resistant to fatigue and pain.

  • How To Do:
    • Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. 
    • Neck up down - Move neck up and down till the count of 10.
    • Neck Sideways- Move Neck from Centre to shoulder and do this in both sides. Continue for 10 Reps.
    • Neck Rotation- Rotate the neck clockwise slowly, say for 2-3 rotations; inhale as you take your neck up & exhale as you take it down. Similarly, do the same in anticlockwise motion.

  • 2) Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand & Halasana or Plough - It is the most recommended posture for Thyroid. These are inversions which reverse the circulation of blood & Halasana also helps in the calcium absorption by stimulating the parathyroid gland. The two Asanas should be done in continuation (starting with Savangasana, followed by Halasana) for good results.

  • How to Do :
    • Lie comfortably on your back with your head placed on the mat.
    • Bend your knees & set you heels close to the sitting bones.
    • Place hands on the sides, palms spread wide.
    • Connect to the core, drawing the navel to the spine.
    • With one fluid motion, draw knees into the chest and lift the hips off the floor.
    • Support your lower back with your hands. All the weight should be on the shoulders..
    • Inhale and lift the bent knees towards the ceiling, pressing the heels up. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds, gradually add 10 seconds everyday or so until you can comfortably hold for 3-4 minutes. Breath normally & try to relax your mind.
    • To come down, exhale, bend your knees,and roll back torso slowly onto the floor.
    • Relax in Shavasana.
  • 3) Halasana or Plough Pose
    One can move to this pose from the shoulder stand or Sarvangasana.
  • How to Do:
  • From shoulder stand, exhale & hinge at the hip joints to slowly lower your toes to the floor beyond your head.
  • As much as possible, keep the torso perpendicular to the floor and legs fully extended. 
  • The feet should be lowered to a height where the spine can remain relaxed.
  • From shoulder stand, exhale & hinge at the hip joints to slowly lower your toes to the floor beyond your head.
  • As much as possible, keep the torso perpendicular to the floor and legs fully extended. 
  • The feet should be lowered to a height where the spine can remain relaxed.

  • 4) Matsya Asan or the Fish Pose - It helps to regulate hypothyroidism by stretching the throat and neck and increasing blood circulation. It also improves spinal health.

  • How to Do:
    • Lie down on the floor, with legs placed together and hands placed besides your body.
    • Place your palms under your hips such that the palms are facing the ground.
    • Arch your upper body backwards.  Now, bring the elbows  close to your waist.
    • Support your body’s weight using your elbows. Breathe in and lift your chest up such that your head is also lifted, and your crown touches the floor.
    • Hold this asana for as long as you can while breathing evenly.
    • Exhale and release the position, lifting your head first, and then dropping your chest to the ground. Untangle your legs and relax.

Note: Avoid Matsyasana if you have high blood pressure, spondylitis or suffer from a migraine.

5) Janu Sirsasana (Head to knee pose) - This seated forward bend helps calm the nervous system, reduce stress and anxiety as it helps increase flexibility in hip joints.

  • How to Do:
    • Sit straight with the legs stretched out, keeping both the feet together.
    • Bend the left leg and bring the left heel close to your right inner thigh, as much as you can comfortably. 
    • Inhale and place hands on top of the right knee. 
    • Exhale and slowly begin to bend forward, sliding the hands down the right leg. If possible, grab your right foot or toes.
    • Retain the final position for a few seconds or as long as you feel comfortable, breathing normally.
    • To return, inhale and lift the head, release the hands and bring them back in upright position.
    • Take 3 long and deep breaths. Practice again by interchanging the position of the legs.
  • 6) Kapalbhati Pranayama - This is an effective ancient Yoga practice, which is a powerful breathing technique.  In Sanskrit, kapalbhati means shining of the skull. The powerful & rhythmic exhalation generates heat in the body which helps in flushing out the toxins from the body. It is a method of purification, and also a great detoxifying technique.

  • How to Do:
    • Sit in Sukhasana or in a comfortable position where in your spine is straight.
    • Rest your hands on your knees, palms facing up.
    • Inhale through both nostrils deeply.
    • Contract your lower belly or use your hands to gently press on this area, forcing out the breath in a short burst.
    • As you quickly release the contraction, your inhalation should be automatic and passive and your focus should be on exhaling.
    • Begin slowly, aiming for 55-60 contractions per minute. Gradually quicken the pace.

  • 7) Anulom Vilom - It also known as the alternate breathing technique, is excellent for respiratory problems and asthma. It facilitates proper functioning of the lungs, mitigates stress, lifts up your mood and keeps stress at bay. It balances left and right side and hence hormones are balanced.

  • How to Do:
    • Sit in Padmasana and rest your hands on the knees.
    • Close the right nostril with the right thumb. Inhale slowly through the left nostril, say to a count of 4, this will fill your lungs with air.
    • Close both the nostrils and retain the inhaled air for 5-8 seconds.
    • Remove your thumb from your right nostril, as you remove your thumb from right nostril just exhale slowly & fully.
    • Ideally the ratio of inhale-retain-exhale should be 1:4:2; so if you have inhaled to the count of 4, try to retain till a count of 16(initially maybe difficult, so try with whatever you can) & exhale slowly till the count of 8.
    • When you exhale(from right) use your ring & small finger to close your left nostril & after inhaling with the right nostril and close it with thumb then exhale(from left). Repeat this process for 5-10 minutes, with retention as mentioned above, after each inhalation.
    • A check point here is that you begin this pranayama from the left nostril & end it also from the left nostril.
    • Be focused and concentrate on your breathing, keeping head & spine straight.