The thyroid gland regulates body processes by secreting chemical substances called hormones which are vital to metabolism and growth. The production and secretion of hormones should be well regulated within this golf-ball-size gland. However, if the thyroid gland is disturbed or if there is an excessive thyroid hormone production, independent of thyrotropin stimulation, hypothyroidism (thyroid deficiency) or hyperthyroidism (thyroid excess) ensues.
Grand Master Akshar told HerZindagi that "in the science of Yoga asana, there are two very simple postures, regular practice of which helps stimulate your thyroid gland. Commonly known as ‘The cat-cow pose’, let’s take a step-by- step look at how to practice them. We will observe both these asanas one after another."
Urdhva Mukha Marjari Asana (Cat pose) & Adho Mukha Marjari
Asana (Cow pose)
- Sit down in kneel down position on your mat.
- Breathe, relax, inhale and exhale.
- From here, bring your hands out forward on the mat.
- Raise your pelvis up so that your trunk or torso is now parallel to the floor.
- Your knees remain as it were in thunderbolt pose, spread them out shoulder-distance apart from each other, back toes out.
- Stay firm here. Allow your upper body weight to be held by your shoulders and your palms, spread your fingers out, moderate distance between them.
- Establish a firm grip between your fingers and the mat.
- From here, take a deep inhale - look out forward, use your shoulder rotators and pull your shoulders up towards the sky. Your neck and upper back should feel the stretch.
- Arch your back in such a way that you drop your abdomen down towards the floor as much as you can.
- Your pelvis and knees are also aligned in one straight line.
- Keep pushing your neck as back as you can, hold your breath, feel the stretch on throat and neck muscles.
- See to it that your hands are still maintained in absolutely straight in one line from shoulders all way down to your wrists and palms.
- Stay here for a few counts.
- This was Urdhva Mukha Marjari Asana (Cat pose).
- Hold this posture for 5 to10 secs.
- From here, slowly exhale and bring your head down, (your journey is to get your gaze steadily to your naval centre.)
- Use your shoulder rotators in opposite direction, so that they pull your shoulders away from the floor, while your palms push into the floor.
- Now arch your back in opposite direction in such a way that you make an exaggerated hump with your back, suck your belly in, and pull your trunk up towards the sky.
- Slowly, bring your gaze to your naval, hold your breath.
- Feel the stretch across your entire body from your neck to your lower back.
- Hold this posture for 5 to10 secs or 10 counts.
- Adho Mukha Marjari Asana (Cow pose).
A minimum of 3 sets to be done, each set with minimum 5 seconds, maximum 10 seconds of hold.
The cat-cow pose, simple yet very effective asanas. With regular practice, they have the power to regulate our lifestyle into a balanced healthy life, before the onset of any type of hormonal disbalance or a thyroid disorder.
So start practicing these poses and take care of yourself. Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more on yoga for different problems.