One of the biggest battle for most people is ‘Weight Loss’. 90 % of the people are stressed and spend sleepless nights over not losing weight. The question in most individual’s mind is despite doing exercise and eating right why is it that I am unable to lose weight or maintain it?
Healthy foods, controlled portion sizes, regular exercise and peaceful sleep — these are the ingredients for losing weight.
One of the reason for not being able to lose weight could also be –Hypothyroidism, a condition where your thyroid gland function is impaired. Underactive thyroid gland plays a vital role in affecting the weight reduction journey.
It’s difficult for someone with hypothyroidism to lose or maintain a healthy weight balance as T3, the active thyroid hormone is low. T3 is a powerful hormone that regulates the body’s metabolism. The most important thing you can do for weight loss and for your overall health —is to get proper treatment for your hypothyroidism.
Losing weight is never easy, but, people can control it and shouldn’t struggle to lose weight. However, making a few dietary changes and regular exercise or Yoga may help in weight loss.
Here are some of the important yoga asanas which boosts the function of your thyroid gland and helps in weight loss.
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It is a Mudra.Viprit means: reverse and karni means “by which”. Viparitakarni helps to balance the functioning of thyroid and eases the complication caused by hypoactive thyroid. This is also one of the important Asanas for thyroid disorder. This can be done for 2minutes maximum.It is also called as half shoulder stand.
Lie down on your back. Arms alongside of the body. As you inhale bend your knees and raise the legs and buttocks. Bring the palms under your hips to support the buttocks. Elbows remain on the floor. Straighten the legs vertically upwards. Relax the muscles of feet, legs, and hips. Shoulder and neck relaxed on the mat. Breathe normal. Remain in the position for few seconds and gradually increase it to 1-2min. Exhale, bend the knees towards your forehead and slowly lower the buttocks and legs and return to the starting position.
Limitation: Avoid with High BP and dizziness
2. SETUBHANDASANA (BRIDGE POSE)
This asana provides appropriate stretch on the back and suitable massage to the neck. It helps to regulate the functions of thyroid gland thereby helpful in releasing thyroxin hormone.This can be done for 2-3 min maximum.
Lie flat on your back with arms at your sides, palms down. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Keep your feet hip width apart, parallel to each other, and as close to the buttocks as possible. Simultaneously, press your upper arms and feet into the floor and begin lifting your hips towards the ceiling. Try to distribute your weight equally on the inside and outside of your feet.
Now, move your breastbone towards your chin, keeping your chin lifted only slightly as not to flatten the back of the neck. Firm your tailbone in towards the pubis and move your pubis slightly towards the belly. In order to keep the lower back extended, keep the knees over the ankles, perpendicular to the floor. Your buttocks should be firm, but not clasped.
Lift your hips as high as you are able without breaking position. If you are having trouble holding posture, you can clasp your hands behind your back and firm you arms into the floor, shoulder blades shifted down along the spine. Hold this pose for 5 to 15 breaths.
To come out of Bridge Pose, release on an exhalation, rolling your spine slowly down onto the floor.
Limitations: Avoid doing this pose if you are suffering from neck and back injuries.
3. MATSYASANA (Fish pose):
Matsya means fish, in the final pose, the asana take the form of fish. Hence the name is Matsyasana. Matsyasana provides adequate stretching to the neck region thereby stimulate the thyroid gland. It increases blood supply to trunk and neck region.
This can be done for 1-2 minute maximum
Sit in Padmasana, lean back,using elbow and arms to help balance yourself, until your had rest comfortably on the mat and your body forms a low arc. Use a low cushion for comfort at first, if necessary. Now extend your arms and grasp your toes on either side. Breathe normal. Rest till you can hold the posture. Exhale using the support of elbow come to the original position.
Limitations: Knee joint problems, piles, dislocation of knee joints.
4. USTRASANA (Camel pose): This can be done maximum for 2 minutes.
Method: This asana also give stretch to the neck.
Assume a sitting posture as in kneeling. Support the body on the toes and knees and gradually lean backward, after having fixed the arms from behind, the palms to the ground, the fingers pointing outward and the thumbs towards the toes. Keep arms straight then slowly life the pelvis while taking in the breath. Press the body above the waist slowly both outward and upward, throwing the neck downward. Breathe normal. Exhaling slowly come back to original position.
Limitations: Those who have undergone any recent operation at the chest or abdomen, people with hernia problems, severe hypertension and low back must be cautious.
5. SARVANGASANA (Shoulder stand pose): Sarvangasana is the most important pose to stimulate thyroid gland and control thyroxin. This is the most effective yoga pose where blood flow from legs to head region due to its inverted condition thereby helps in curing of thyroid. This can be done maximum for 3 minutes.
Lie flat on the back with the feet together, the arms by the sides, and palms flat on the ground.Using the arms as levers, raise the legs and back to a vertical position.
Bend the elbows and use the arms as props to steady the back by pressing it with the palms.The trunk and legs should extend straight up, forming a right angle with the neck, the chest pressing against the chin.
Limitations: Excess obesity, Myopia, severe spinal problems, pregnancy.
6. SIMHASANA: Simhasana or the Lion Pose resembles a squatting lion in the final pose. In Sanskrit, ‘Simha’ means ‘Lion’ and ‘asana’ means ‘pose. It is an excellent pose for thyroid gland.
Sit in the kneeling position or Vajrasana. Move the knees apart so that they make almost a right angle between them.Tuck your palms, under your thighs. The palms should face downwards and point towards the body. An alternate way is to keep the palms on the knees stretched and spread wide apart.
Bend forward slightly, resting the weight of the body on the arms.Now, tilt the head backwards. Keep the eyes wide open. Open your mouth and draw the tongue forward and downwards as much as you can.
Gaze at the space between the eyebrows with eyes wide open. This is called Bhrumadhya Drishti. In Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, an alternate gaze for the eyes is given as Nasikagra Drishti or gazing at the tip of the nose.
Breathe normally and deeply in this position. During exhalation make a sound ‘ahhh…’, to imitate the breathing of a lion with tongue outside. You may also roar like a lion, few times in this position. Relax your muscles in the back, abdomen and chest in the final position.
Remain in this final position for as long as comfortable.In some variations, the tongue can also be moved from side to side making the sound ‘ahhh…’
Limitations: For those with weak knee or ankle joints, this asana should be practiced with caution.
This can be practiced for maximum 3 minutes.
Diet is equally important and utmost care should be paid to it. I have herewith chalked out diet tips which is a mix of yogic and modern diet.
Yogic Diet tips for thyroid disorders
- Diet with high fiber content should be taken.
- Avoid excess eating of fats and carbohydrates.
- Give more and more thrust on green and leafy vegetables.
- Focus on eating seasonal fruits.
- Ginger greatly enhances thyroid function. Chew ginger or have ginger tea.
- Black walnut contains iodine, which nourishes the thyroid gland.
- Foods like curd, fish, meat, eggs, radish, and oatmeal contain good amount of iodine. So take these foods regularly to control thyroid problems
- It is recommended that you have Gomutra (Cow urine):Its anti-inflammatory, Anti- Bacterial, antibiotic and antimicrobial. It acts as an antidote. 10-15drops can be taken on an empty stomach in the morning. It works best if taken with Ashwagandha.
- Bask in Sun: take sunlight /sun bath between 7am -8am.
- Have 1 tbsp cold pressed virgin Coconut oil. It improves the function of thyroid hormone
- Take foods such as carrots, pumpkin, sprouts, spinach, wheat grass seaweeds because of its iodine content.
Thyroid diet prevention & precaution
- Cruciferous veggies can be eaten in limited quantity and should be cooked.Non veg foods such as fish —healthy omega 3 fatty acids present in oily fishes like salmon, tuna, sardines can be eaten. Even eggs are healthy protein rich options to be taken in meals.
- Spicy foods should by far be avoided as they are tamasic and interferes with keeping the mind calm and in a balance state which is very necessary to deal emotionally with the people having thyroid.
- Refined and Preserved foods should be avoided to keep the weight in check.
- Caffiene should be avoided because it hampers the healing properties of thyroid medications.
Begin with these yoga practices and maintain your thyroid hormones function and achieve a successful weight loss. Bring on a “new you” with these yoga Asanas.
Please Note: Sarvangasana and Vipritkarni needs to practice under guidance.