Kick the morning fatigue and start your day with this thyroid-healing yoga routine.
It feels fantastic to wake up energized and ready to take on the day, but if you are one of the 20 million Americans suffering from thyroid disease, then you know that this isn’t always so easy. (1)
Whether you have an overactive or underactive thyroid, it directly affects your metabolism – which lowers your energy levels. Fortunately, yoga is proven to improve thyroid health, and can help you feel balanced, energized, and ready to tackle your day. (2)
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Yoga works to energize the body and mind and balance thyroid health in a few different ways. First, dynamic forms of yoga like Vinyasa and Hatha yoga work by connecting movement to your breath, which has an energizing effect. Certain yoga postures, like camel or Jalandhara Bandha, compress and stimulate the thyroid gland to increase circulation, bringing fresh, oxygenated blood into the gland and to carry stagnant blood away. Lastly, yogic breathing practices like Ujjayi help to massage and stimulate the throat reflex, activating the thyroid gland.
This 10-minute yoga flow strings together the best poses and breathing techniques for a healthy thyroid. Practice this routine every morning to start your day feeling fresh, energized, and ready to take on your day. You’ll need one yoga block or a pillow.
Supported Hero’s Pose with Ujjayi Breathing | 8 breaths
Start with this breathing exercise that balances thyroid hormone secretion while reconnecting your body and mind.
- Start on your hands and knees. Put a yoga block on medium height between your heels and sit back on it.
- Lift your chest upright and sit up tall. Place your palms face up in your lap and seal your lips. Rest the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth so that you feel a slight constriction in the back of your throat. Close your eyes.
- Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of four. Then exhale slowly through your nose for a count of four. The back of your throat should feel textured as you exhale.
- Repeat for eight full breaths.
Jalandhara Bandha | 2 reps
Tucking your chin helps to compress and stimulate the thyroid gland.
- Stay in your supported hero’s pose with your palms face up in your lap.
- Inhale to lift your chest up towards the sky. Then tilt your chin down slightly and bring it back in towards your neck to feel a “locked” sensation. Hold for four slow breaths, then release on an inhale.
- Repeat one more time.
Standing Backbend | 5 breaths
This yoga pose opens up the chest and throat, lengthening and stimulating the thyroid gland.
- Stand up with your feet hip-width distance apart. Place your palms on your lower back and engage your abs. Keep a slight bend in your knees.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together and inhale to lift your chest up towards the sky to come into a gentle backbend. Make sure to lift out of your lower back so that you don’t feel any compression.
- Tilt your chin up and back towards the sky to feel the throat open and lengthen. Hold for five slow breaths.
Standing Forward Fold | 8 breaths
Going upside down helps to bring fresh blood flow to the head and thyroid gland.
- Continue standing with your feet hip-width distance apart.
- Bring a big bend into your knees and fold forward with a flat back, bringing your fingertips to the ground.
- Shift the weight slightly towards your toes and let everything hang heavy. Hold for eight slow breaths, then slowly rise back up on an inhale.
Modified Crescent Backbend | 8 breaths per side
Energize your body by opening up the chest and throat, stretching and stimulating the thyroid gland.
- Find a high plank position and step your right foot between your hands. Lower your left knee to the ground.
- Walk your hands up onto your right thigh to upright your chest. Engage your abs and tilt your tailbone down slightly.
- Reach your arms up overhead and bring your palms to touch. Bend your elbows and bring your thumbs behind the nape of your neck.
- Inhale to lift up and back through your chest. Tilt your chin up slightly to open the throat and hold for eight breaths. Switch sides.
Downward Facing Dog | 8 breaths
This inversion energizes all of your muscles while bringing fresh blood towards the throat.
- Start in a high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists.
- Inhale, then exhale to pike your hips up towards the sky to come into a downward facing dog.
- Engage your abs and lift up through your hips, keeping your spine nice and straight. Gaze towards your belly button and hold for eight breaths.
Leg Lock Pose | 5 breaths per side
Tone your abs, energize your body, and stimulate your thyroid – all in one pose.
- Lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest.
- Clasp the top of your right shin and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, tucking your chin to your chest. Straighten your left leg out in front of you, keeping it lifted off the ground.
- Inhale deeply, then exhale to switch legs, bringing your left knee to your chest and straightening the right leg out in front of you.
- Continue alternating for a total of five breaths on each side.
Camel Pose | 5 breaths
Energize your body and mind by opening your heart and throat.
- Kneel on your mat with your knees hip-width distance apart or wider. Place your hands on your lower back.
- Engage your abs and thighs, then inhale to press into your lower back as you lift up through your chest.
- Keep your neck long as you open up the throat and gaze up towards the sky. If this feels like too much in your neck, keep your chin closer to your chest.
- Hold for five breaths, then slowly release into tabletop to get ready for the next pose.
Rabbit | 5 breaths
Follow Camel with this counterpose that compresses and stimulates the thyroid.
- From a tabletop position, bring your legs together and sit your hips back on your heels. Lower your forehead to the ground and reach your hands back towards your heels.
- Turn your palms face down on your heels, and then lift your head up and tuck your chin to your chest, resting the crown of your head on the ground.
- Hold onto your heels as you lift your hips up towards the sky. Make sure not to put weight on your head and keep the chin tucked in.
- Hold for five breaths.
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