Struggling with imbalanced hormones can be a toughie, especially if you have a ton of life responsibilities pressing down on you. Feeling low for days, constant headaches, and low stamina are all signs of hormonal imbalance. If you’ve experienced any of them lately, it might be time to get those hormones back on track. Of course, get some tests done before you start panicking over something that is a mere possibility. When you do find some anomaly in the hormone levels, read this article for some yoga postures that’ll help you restore them.
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice, which aims at refining your physical, mental, and spiritual health through a series of body postures and exercises. Each yoga posture activates or simulates one or many hormone-producing glands along with vital body organs. The endocrine system is responsible for controlling hormone levels in the body. It is a set of glands that regulate many bodily processes like metabolism, growth, reproduction, and sexual functions.
With the correct technique and a well-structured approach, you can use yoga as a way of restoring your hormone levels. Such a form of yoga goes by the name of Yin Yoga and is highly popular among people dealing with the symptoms mentioned above. Read on to find out seven best yoga postures you should start practicing at home.
Cat and Cow Pose
The cat and cow pose is relatively simple to perform. Start by kneeling on the ground, with your legs spread to your hip’s width. Form a bridge by supporting your upper body using your hands. Next, arch your back forwards, extend your neck and hold for a few seconds, and pull it backward gradually. Hold for a few seconds, and rest. The sole purpose of this posture is to activate the adrenal glands situated right above the kidneys. Moreover, extending your neck stimulates the thyroid gland, which is responsible for the production of growth hormones.
You can comfortably rest in child’s pose, as goes by the name. To get into the child’s pose, begin by kneeling on your yoga mat, get your big toes to touch each other. Bring your hips closer to your legs and pull your upper body in the forward direction. Let your head rest on your yoga mat or a block (as per your comfort). Stretch your arms forward and hold for at least two minutes. Repeat by pulling your arms back till the palm of your hands are right next to your knees. These stretches will enhance blood flow in the crown of your head and improve the functioning of the pituitary gland in the brain.
(via Yoga Asanas)
A pose that targets the thyroid, the rabbit pose is an intense one. Begin this as soon as you end the child’s pose by getting a firm grasp of your heels. Start a roll towards your head, something similar to performing a somersault. This pose would lead to refreshing blood flow to your head and throat equally. Due to the intensive nature of this pose, you should hold it for a maximum of five to ten slow breaths and gradually ease out into a resting position.
(via Linda Gryparic)
This pose is one of the best stress-busting poses. The caterpillar fold is undoubtedly going to clear your head after a tiring day. Moreover, it will lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels in your body. Cortisol is a threat to the proper functioning of the endocrine system, as it messes with your brain and causes malfunctioning of the pituitary gland that controls the whole endocrine system.
The caterpillar pose is a graded one. The basics of the caterpillar fold start at extending your legs and pulling your upper body forward. Towards the end, you rest your head on a block or a set of blocks as per your comfort. Gradually, you remove the blocks and let the spine bend naturally. The lower you sink, the better you’ll be de-stressed.
(via Creativity Flow Yoga)
If you walked from one place to the other and walked almost the whole day, the waterfall pose might be the relief you need. If not, it’s perfect for bringing your hormones back on track. The waterfall pose requires you to fling your legs up and hold them vertically. Your hands should be next to your body and not under your hips to provide support.
You’ll gradually feel weightlessness in your legs, which will provide you with tremendous relief. It will stretch your spine and stimulate your brain, the controller of the endocrine system. You can perform this pose against a wall.
The wheel pose is simply the beginning of a well-performed cartwheel, i.e., the whole body is arched into a semi-circle. Initiate this pose by lying flat on your mat, placing your hands beside your head, with palms facing down. Simultaneously, pull your knees back such that they form a right angle with the ground.
With all the strength you can summon, push your body up with your limb strength. Hold for twenty seconds and repeat about eight to ten times. This pose activates the adrenal glands located in the lower abdominal region.
(via Yoga Journal)
The headstand is one of the toughest yoga poses that exist, mainly due to the extreme level of balance required to maintain it. Additionally, the entire blood flow goes directly to your brain, and holding it for long periods may lead to dizziness. However, with regular practice and persistence, you can gradually increase the duration you hold the pose.
The headstand begins by tucking yourself into the child’s pose. Post this, you exhale sharply and bring your feet up, maintaining the knees at your chest level. You slowly extend your legs upwards, straightening them out as you do so. Voila, you’re performing the headstand. Remember that stretching your legs is the most crucial part of the headstand as it prevents the sinking of your skeletal system downwards.
Restorative yoga is an easy, fun, and a natural way of balancing your hormones. Along with that, you possess improved flexibility and a relaxed state of mind. If your joints ache while performing any of the poses, you can try out Indica strains as a pre-exercise supplement to ease the pain.