A small butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck, the thyroid controls numerous aspects of the endocrine and metabolic system, including your weight, energy level, fertility and blood pressure. Common thyroid diseases include hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism; a regular yoga practice that includes thyroid-specific poses may assist with treatment.
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Hyperthyroidism occurs with an overactive thyroid, where your body makes too much thyroid hormone. More women than men are affected by hyperthyroidism. Symptoms may include a rapid heartbeat, weight loss, irritability, nervousness and trouble sleeping. Calming and restorative yoga poses are often recommended for people with an overactive thyroid, which can slow down your heartbeat and aid in lowering blood pressure. Such poses may include Reclining Bound Angle pose, Bridge pose, Child’s pose and Corpse pose.
Too little thyroid hormone, or an underactive thyroid, can cause you to become easily fatigued. Other symptoms include weight gain, fertility issues, depression, thinning hair and dry skin. Yoga poses that place a bit of pressure on the neck may help to stimulate blood flow to the area and assist in balancing the hormones. Examples of poses for hypothyroidism are Shoulder Stand, Fish, Plow and King Pigeon pose.
Consult with your physician before starting a yoga practice, especially if you think you may have a health condition such as thyroid disease.