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The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ which is present in the throat. It releases thyroid hormones, T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), which are essential for the functioning of the body.

Any dysfunction of the thyroid gland can either lead to hypothyroidism (reduced levels of thyroid hormone in the body) or hyperthyroidism (excess amount of thyroid hormone in the body).

Exercise and yoga can be beneficial for the maintenance of the thyroid gland and its function. 

There are certain yoga asanas which can be done in order to keep the thyroid gland healthy. Read on to know about these poses and how to do them.

  1. Sarvangasana (shoulder stand pose) for thyroid problems
  2. Halasana (Plough Pose) for thyroid problems
  3. Matsyasana (Fish Pose) for relief from thyroid problems
  4. Yoga for thyroid: Setu-asana (bridge pose)
  5. Bhujangasana (cobra pose) helps relieve thyroid problems

Sarvangasana is also known as the shoulder stand pose. This asana helps in balancing the circulatory, nervous, respiratory, digestive and endocrine systems. This asana helps in stimulating the thyroid gland while pressing the chin against the chest.

Steps:

  • Lie on your back on a flat surface like on a blanket or a yoga mat.
  • Keep your head and spine aligned while keeping the legs straight with feet together. 
  • Keep your hands beside your body, with the palms facing down.
  • Tighten your core or the abdominal muscles and with the help of your arms, try to raise your legs up in the air in a vertical direction. Make sure that your legs are straight. 
  • When the legs are straight up, slowly try to roll your buttocks and spine off the floor. You can take the support of your arms and the hands by pressing them against the floor. 
  • Now turn the palms of your hands upwards and place them behind the ribcage by bending your elbows. This would help you support your back. Make sure that the elbows are about shoulder-width apart.
  • Gently push your back forward, so that the chest presses against the chin.
  • Your final position would be when your legs would be straight in the air in a vertical direction. Your body should be in a straight line with the legs. Your shoulders, nape of the neck and the back of the head would support your body weight. The arms would provide support and stability for this position.
  • Try to stay in the final pose for as long as you feel comfortable or up to 30 seconds.
  • To get back to the original position, slide your hands down as you lower your back and buttocks till they touch the mat. Make sure your legs remain straight throughout.
  • You can slowly release the position of your hands and lower your legs even more until they touch the heels touch the mat. 
  • Place the arms on the floor beside the body with the palms down.
  • Relax for a few minutes until the respiration and heartbeat return to normal.
  • Practice this asana at least five times.

Halasana is also known as the plough pose. This asana helps in activating the thyroid gland, thus regulating the metabolic rate of the body.

Steps:

  • Lie flat on your back on a plain surface with your legs and the feet together. Keep your arms beside the body with the palms facing down. 
  • Tighten your core or the abdominal muscles and with the help of your arms, try to raise your legs up in the air. Make sure that your legs are straight. 
  • When the legs are straight up, slowly try to roll your buttocks and spine off the floor. You can take the support of your arms and the hands by pressing them against the floor. 
  • Once you are in Sarvangasana or shoulder stand pose, bend your legs from the hips to lower them.
  • The legs should be lowered enough so that your toes can touch the floor without straining the back and legs. Do not force the toes to touch the floor.
  • Now turn the palms of your hands upwards and place them behind the ribcage by bending your elbows. This would help you support your back. Make sure that the elbows are about shoulder-width apart.
  • This is the final pose. You can hold it for as long as you feel comfortable for up to 30 seconds. 
  • To get back to the starting position, lower your arms with the palms facing the floor, then slowly lower the back, buttocks and eventually the legs.
  • Use your abdominal muscles to lower your legs to the starting position.
  • Relax for a few minutes before starting the asana again.
  • You can repeat this asana five times.

Matsyasana is also known as the fish pose. This asana regulates the function of the thyroid gland and stimulates the thymus, thus boosting the immune system.

Steps:

  • Sit on a mat with your legs crossed as you do in padmasana. 
  • With the help of the hands and the elbows, slowly bend backwards so that your back touches the floor.
  • Now pull your chest slightly up. Lift your chin till the top of the head (the crown portion of the head) touches the floor.
  • If your legs are crossed in full padmasana (that is, both the feet are resting on top of the opposite thigh), use your fingers to hold the big toes of your feet. You can rest the elbows on the floor.  
  • This is the final position as the neck and the back attain the maximum arch. 
  • Close your eyes and breathe slowly for two to five minutes. 
  • To return to the initial position, lift the top of your head off the mat. Now, gently lower your head and release the toes. Then return back to the padmasana pose with the support of arms and elbows.
  • Release the legs and straighten them. Relax for two minutes before starting the asana again.
  • You can repeat this asana five times.

Setu-asana is also known as the bridge pose. This asana helps in stimulating the thyroid gland.

Steps:

  • Sit on a plain surface or a yoga mat with your legs stretched forward.
  • Now, place your palms on the floor on either side of your body. Your palms should be about 30 centimetres behind your buttocks.
  • Lean back slightly while keeping the elbows straight.
  • Balancing your weight on the palms and heels, raise your buttocks and lift your body upward.
  • Loosen your neck and let your head hang back and down. 
  • Now try to place the soles of your feet flat on the ground while keeping the legs and the arms straight. Do not bend your knees.
  • Hold this final position for as long as you feel comfortable, for up to 30 seconds.
  • To get back to the original position, lower your buttocks to the floor and relax for a few minutes.
  • Repeat this asana up to five times.

Bhujangasana is also known as the cobra pose. This asana helps in improving the breathing and stimulates the thyroid gland for its better functioning.

Steps: 

  • Lie flat on your stomach with your legs straight and feet together.
  • Place the palms of your hands on the floor below and slightly to the outer side of the shoulders.
  • Gently tilt your head back in a way that your chin is pointing forward and the back of your neck is compressed.
  • Now raise the shoulders and the rest of the trunk with the help of the arms. Then straighten your elbows and arch your back.
  • In the final position, your pelvic region, knees and top of the feet should still be touching the floor while your navel can be three centimetres above the ground. 
  • Beginners can bend their arms to get into this posture.
  • Stay in this position for as long as you feel comfortable, for up to 30 seconds.
  • To return to the original position, slowly lower your chin. Then with the help of the arms, slowly lower your trunk to the ground.
  • Then straighten your arms and relax for a few minutes.
  • Repeat this asana at least five times.
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