Do you ever feel out of whack? Sure, you do; you’re a human. Whether you are a man or woman, you likely experience periods of time feeling moody and irritable because of crazy hormones. Fortunately, just like there are yoga poses for mental health, certain yoga asanas can also help restore your hormonal balance and get you back to feeling happy and stable. In today’s blog post, we cover three yoga poses for balancing hormones and why they are effective.
How It Works
Yoga isn’t magic – it’s just good, old-fashioned science! When it comes to your body, the endocrine system is responsible for directing hormone-producing glands to carry out almost every function in your body. These functions include promoting energy levels, growth, metabolism, and libido. If your hormones are unbalanced, you may experience headaches, skin issues, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, weight gain, and even depression.
Some yoga poses act to stimulate the hormone-producing glands that comprise your endocrine system and encourage normal, healthy function. This leads to a consistent production and distribution of the hormones responsible for different operations in your body.
A few specific poses are ideal for balancing hormones. We’ll explain each pose briefly and how to perform it.
Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)
Rabbit Pose stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands. Located in the neck, the thyroid gland is responsible for growth regulation and metabolic function. The parathyroid glands, also in the neck, control the release of calcium. Imbalanced parathyroid can lead to poor calcium distribution. This pose may also help alleviate depression.
To perform this pose, start by sitting on your heels. Extend your arms back and hold the soles of your feet. Tucking your chin inward, round forward, hinging at the hips. Let your head drop toward the floor as your forehead touches your knees. Lift your hips upward until the crown of your head rests on the floor and take five deep breaths.
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
Easy Pose encourages slow and mindful breathing which redirects errant hormonal signals. In turn, this calms the adrenal gland to reduce stress and may decrease side effects of post-partum depression.
For this pose, start by sitting on a folded blanket, at least two inches thick. Cross your legs at the shin and place your hands in your lap with palms facing up. Keeping your posture straight and pelvis relaxed, inhale and extend your chin and spin forward. Then, quickly exhale as you round your back. Repeat, following the breath, for 30 seconds.
Mudras, the position for the Pranam Mudra connection prayer, helps stimulate pituitary and pineal glands, which are responsible for overall wellbeing, growth, and sleep patterns.
Sitting in a cross-legged position or half- or full-lotus, bring palms together, thumb knuckles pressing against your sternum. Rotate your thumbs to the right, down, up to the left, and return to the center. Repeat and then switch to Gyan Mudra, which involves opening your hands, with your thumb and index fingers together (think the classic “omm” pose). Finally, press your middle fingers and thumbs together, ring fingers to the thumb, then pinky fingers to the thumb, and return index fingers and thumbs. Follow your breath and repeat this pattern for up to two minutes.
Take the time to incorporate these hormone-balancing poses into your workout every day or especially you start to feel symptoms of something just feeling “off.” For more information on how to manage hormone through yoga, give us a call.