Shoulder stand (sarvangasana) is one of the most powerful natural healing remedies for your thyroid.
Here’s an easy routine you can do at home for 10 minutes a day to nurture your thyroid, the butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck that regulates your metabolism.
When you are stressed, your body secretes a hormone called cortisol that interferes with TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and the conversion of T4 (thyroxine) into T3 (triiodothyronine). T3 is three to five times more biologically active than T4.
The most commonly prescribed drug for low thyroid function, Synthroid (also known as Levothyroxine), is a synthetic version of T4. If you live a high stress lifestyle, your body may not be able to convert the T4 into T3 even if you are taking the medication.
Shoulderstand can heal your thyroid by increasing circulation to the gland itself and lowering the stress hormones that interfere with your thyroid function.
What you will need:
- Yoga mat
- Two yoga blankets
- Two folding chairs
Step One. Set up your yoga mat. Fold your two blankets and line up one chair on the wall with the seat facing the other chair. If you are suffering from either a hyperthyroid or hypothyroid condition, you may want to designate a space in your home where you can permanently leave you shoulderstand set up so you can go to your mat at least once a day to practice self healing through yoga.
Step Two. Lie on your back. Line up the top of your shoulders with the top of your yoga blankets. Rest your legs on the chair in front of you and grab the two legs of the chair. Enjoy feeling your calf muscles relaxing on the back of the chair. This move alone will lower your blood pressure. The two blankets take pressure off your neck vertebrae.
Step Three. Go up into bridge pose (setu bandha sarvangasana). Still holding the legs of the chair in front of you, walk your feet to the edge of the chair and lift your pelvis. Press down with your feet as you raise your tailbone to the ceiling. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to get more lift. Engage both buttock muscles evenly. Keep your feet straight ahead.
Step Four. Place your hands on your ribcage. Squeeze your elbows towards one another. Lift your legs up into shoulderstand (sarvangasana). Think of mountain pose in your legs – pull your inner groins in, activate your feet and use your legs to lift towards the ceiling, lengthening your spine. Allow your chin to rest on your chest gently squeezing your thyroid. Remember to breathe!
Step Five. Play with variations! The great yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar believed that shoulderstand is the most healing of all the yoga postures, so you want to stay upside down for as long as you are comfortable. When you are starting out, you may want to hold yourself in this position for five breaths. I like to use this set up with two chairs so that I can flow between the positions for at least 10 minutes.
Step Six. Play with an upside down split. As you press your chin towards your chest, you gently squeeze your thyroid gland. This regulates your metabolism.
Step Seven. While you are healing your thyroid gland, you will also notice that you lower your stress hormones, calm headaches, increase your digestive fire, stimulate your lymph glands, improve your circulation and take pressure off your heart. Your mind will slip into a quieter space, making this a wonderful form of meditation. Your fatigue will slip away and you find yourself feeling energized.
Step Eight. When you need to take a break, drop both of your legs onto the chair behind you into plow pose (halasana). Keep your spine straight and fold at the hips. Extend the energy down your legs.
Step Nine. Flow with your breath between plow, shoulderstand and bridge. Use each pose to refine the next pose.
Do not do this sequence if you are suffering from any of the following conditions:
- Injury to your neck vertebrae
- High blood pressure
In these cases, you can enjoy this safe and easy variation of supported shoulderstand.
What you will need:
- Two yoga bolsters
- A yoga strap
To practice the restorative version of shoulderstand, be sure to make a loop in your yoga strap and place it around your calf muscles. This will keep your legs in place so that your whole body can relax. Lie back over the two bolsters with your shoulders on the ground. Turn your palms up to open your chest. Relax for 10 minutes. It’s perfectly O.K. to fall asleep in this position. If you are new to yoga or feeling exhausted, this is a great variation to begin your natural healing for your thyroid.
As a counterpose, finish with fish pose (matsyasana), which also stimulates and heals your thyroid gland. Lying on the ground, bring your hands underneath your buttocks. Press down with your elbows. Lift and spread your chest. Fish pose opens your lungs and connects your heart and throat chakras so you can speak your deepest truth.
What is healing? Healing happens when you learn how your body works and take the steps to help it operate at a higher level.
If you would like to learn more, please contact Catherine Carrigan at 678-612-8816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.