There are different types of thyroid disorders–two of the most common being Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism or under active thyroid is a condition wherein the thyroid gland does not produce adequate amount of the thyroxin hormone. Hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid is where the thyroid gland produces excessive amount of thyroxin hormones.
Some of the signs of thyroid disorders include:
- Excess weight gain or weight loss
- Mood swings
- Pain in the joints and muscles
- Sleeping problems
- Water retention
Very often thyroid disorders occur due to an underlying health condition. While conventional medicine has remedies for both types, yoga can be used to manage thyroid. Thyroid disorders can also occur due to excessive stress and Yoga can help alleviate stress and anxiety to a great extent. Do bear in mind that yoga only alleviates the symptoms of the condition and speeds up the recovery process, it cannot cure the condition.
Some of the other benefits of yoga include:
- Massaging and stimulating the thyroid gland
- Improving circulation all over the body
- Reducing stiffness
Strengthening the neck, torso and shoulders
Below are a few of the poses in yoga for thyroid disorders.
1. Massaging the front of the neck: Rub your hands together, till they become hot. Now wipe down the neck with your right hand from chin to the bottom of the throat. Use alternate hand and wipe down your neck again. Also massage the front of the throat including the thyroid and parathyroid glands. Do it at least five times with each hand.
2. Massaging the web: Warm your hands and press the fleshy area between your thumb and your index finger. It is near to the index finger but you should massage around the area until you find the most painful point. Massage in a circular motion until the pain disappears or you can’t take it any more.
Benefits: Practicing both these subtle kriyas will improve your power of speech, increase self-confidence and improve your heart rate. It is also good for thyroid and parathyroid glands.
3. Chin lock (Jalandhara Bandha): Sit in the same mudra as above. Now close your eyes and take a slow deep breath and hold it. Now bend your neck forward a little and drop your chin to your chest. Hold this position, for as long as it is comfortable for you. Then slowly bring your chin up and breathe out through your nose. Relax for few seconds and repeat the same kriya 10 times.
Precautions: People suffering from cervical spondylitis, heart problems and high blood pressure should avoid this kriya.
4. Om mantra: The word dhyan has been derived from the Sanskrit grammar Dheya Dhatu, which means to think, to meditate and to concentrate.
Procedure: For practicing ‘OM MANTRA’ sit in the Lotus Pose (Padmasana) or Easy/Decent/Pleasant Pose (Sukhasana). Close your eyes and bring both your hands in Psychic gesture of knowledge (Gyan Mudra) and touch the tip of your thumb to the tip of your index finger. Your back and neck should be straight and mind clear. Keep still and relax all your muscles. Take deep breath and without a pause say “OM”. Concentrate on saying “OM”. At the start practice it for five minutes and then increase it from 20 to 25 minutes.
Benefits and Affects: This cures high blood pressure, tension, constipation, gas, indigestion, mental tension, heart (attack) ailments, sedate habits and anger in individual. By practicing OM mantra, the problems of stammering are also cured, and pronunciation and speech improves. In this kriya, the thinking process comes to a halt and the mind is given complete rest. By this, the knowledge sector is opened up and the individual starts knowing himself. The chanting of OM mantra improves the internal brightness as you breathe in and out.
Note: Slowly, by keeping your eyes open, you will become habitual in chanting this mantra, and then practice it with your eyes closed and keep your hands in Gyan Mudra. Remember this as you connect with your inner soul and mind and try to listen to your eternal vibe.
5. Right-nostril breathing (Surya Bhedi Pranayam): Sit down in padamasana or sukhasana keeping the neck and spine erect and close your eyes gently. Now make pranayam mudra (placing the forefinger of the right hand in the root of thumb, close the left nostril with the ring finger). Inhale deeply, through the right nostril so that its impact is felt from the toe to the top of the crown. Now close the right nostril with the thumb and exhale very slowly through the left nostril and relax. This is one round of Surya bhedi pranayama. To begin with, five rounds are enough. Increase the rounds gradually.
Benefits: It heals ailments of throat, tongue and voice. It warms our body and destroys intestinal worms, removes the impurities of blood and cures skin disease. The gastric fire is also augmented.
Precautions: People suffering from high blood pressure should avoid this pranayama. Patients of heart and asthma should practice this pranayama under the guidance of a yoga guru.
6. Corpse pose (Shavasana): Lie flat on your back with your legs straight out before you with a distance of your shoulders between them. Toes should be turned outward as far as possible. Let the fingers curl up slightly. The head and the spine should be in a straight line. Relax the whole body and stop all physical movement. Close your eyes gently. Now mentally, follow your breathing and allow it to become rhythmic and relaxed.
Benefits: This asana relaxes the whole psycho-physiological system. This asana is very good for stress management in the body, reducing the body’s energy loss, lowering the respiration and pulse rule, and resting the whole system. This asana is also known as mritasana.