Yoga entails more than black stretchy pants and planks. It’s an Eastern practice that goes back thousands of years, an exercise of body, mind, and spirit. In the West, it’s become a trendy form of exercise that for many is employed only for its low-impact stretching aspect.
What you may not realize is that there are many thousands—arguably millions—of yoga poses from which you can choose to target different parts of your body to address specific health concerns. Poses run from easy to advanced, so they’re good for every age and shape.
Is Yoga for Real?
Absolutely! Yoga is effective for relieving many common health complaints, including:
- back pain
- stiff knees
- facial wrinkles and eye bags
- heart health
- anxiety and depression
- abdominal strength and tone
- neck pain
- and more!
All About the Thyroid
Your thyroid lives in the front of your neck, producing hormones that regulate your metabolism and affect every organ in your body. Thyroid hormones are also important for bones and heart function. (1)
About twenty-seven million Americans have thyroid disease and even more have low thyroid function.
Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction include:
- dry skin
- slow pulse
- waxy, inflamed skin
- dry, brittle hair
- low libido
- difficulty concentrating
- low metabolism and weight gain.
A number of environmental factors can take their toll on the thyroid. It’s a very resilient gland but certain triggers can contribute to the risk of autoimmune thyroid disease. Much of compromised thyroid function comes from autoimmunity; a genetic disposition to thyroid problems can be activated by certain environmental factors.
These factors include (2):
- certain medications (e.g., lithium, amiodarone, interferon α, interleukin 2, campath-1h, and highly active anti-retroviral therapy, prednisone)
- chronic infections
- iodine deficiency
- environmental toxins (e.g., pollutants in the air)
If your thyroid isn’t working as well as it should, yoga is a great place to start!