Yoga For Your Thyroid

Yoga For Your Thyroid ~ by Santa Rosa Acupuncturist Gigi Shames (Georjana Shames), LAc NHD, and yoga instructor/creative director Mesha Kussman

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the laryngeal prominence of the throat.  The thyroid gland is a key factor in your energy, mood, and metabolism.  In other words, a well-functioning thyroid is crucial to what we all consider part of “having a good day.”

You probably hear people say all the time, “Have a good day!”  But what does this or “Be well” or “Take care” truly mean in practical terms?  Generally it is not the events we experience on a daily basis, but how we perceive them, that determine our level of contentment.  Our overall health and emotional state greatly influence our personal perception of the world, and if your hormones are out of balance, so too will be your perception and reactions.

If you are experiencing tiredness, depression, cold hands and feet, hair loss, digestive disturbances, infertility, and weight gain, you might have a low thyroid condition.  If you are experiencing mania, jittery sensations, hot and sweaty extremities, anxiety, excessive menstrual bleeding, and rapid weight loss, you might have a high thyroid condition.  It is important to get your thyroid tested once per year, but unfortunately standard thyroid blood tests may not detect borderline thyroid conditions, so clinical symptoms must also be taken into account.

Fortunately, there are many natural methods of improving thyroid function.  Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are excellent for regulating the thyroid, particularly if you see a hormone-balancing specialist who deeply understands the intricacies of these complex endocrine concerns.

Cultivating a relaxing lifestyle is also quite important, in light of the fact that high stress exacerbates glandular imbalances.  How can we create a calm, peaceful lifestyle in today’s fast-paced world?

The ancient practices of yoga include gentle stretches for repose and muscular strength, combined with meditative breathing techniques.  Yoga was designed to ease mental and physical stress, and today it provides a wide spectrum of emotional and hormonal benefits to the millions of individuals who practice it worldwide.  In this post we will discuss and include photographs of yoga for the thyroid, as choreographed by myself and Los Angeles-based yoga instructor/creative director Mesha Kussman.  Remember, seek your health care practitioner’s advice before beginning any new exercise program, and one of the cardinal rules of yoga is to only do what is comfortable for you.

Begin by taking a few deep breaths.  Allow your lungs to fill completely, then exhale fully.

Cultivate the intention to nourish your thyroid.  Our goal is to relax muscle tension throughout the body and increase circulation to the throat.

Tilt the head gently from side to side.  To intensify the stretch and extension of the neck, you may raise the arm.  Continue breathing deeply.

Sit up on your knees on a soft surface, and slowly lean back to relax the throat.  Gently tightening your core muscles (the abdominals and lumbar muscles) will help you relax the upper body.  Hands can rest on the low back for extra support.  Breathe deeply.  Allow the tendons of the neck to loosen.  Notice the increased blood circulation to the neck.

Extend one leg behind you for stability, continue to tighten core muscles as you raise arms and exhale.  After a few breaths, reverse legs for bilateral balance.

Sit and cross one leg over the other and gently twist the torso.  Turn head to the side, breathe deeply.  Again, focus your breath and intention on the thyroid gland as you relax deeper into the pose.

Finally, stand with hands at your sides, then slowly extend both arms behind you and completely relax the throat.  If you live near an ocean or bay, you may have observed seabirds dry their wings just like this, opening to the sunshine and the breeze.

Thank you for your time and attention to your thyroid care, and remember you can learn more about hormone balancing at

For your in-office or telephone appointment with Gigi call (415) 233-0165.  Right now you will receive $45 off your initial treatment by mentioning this post.

Serving Santa Rosa, San Rafael, Cotati, and many other areas of Marin/Sonoma County.

[Also, you can enjoy the newest from LA-based creative director Mesha Kussman at ]

241 comments to Yoga For Your Thyroid, By Santa Rosa Acupuncturist Gigi Shames