Hormones are chemical substances our bodies produce in minute quantities for various life processes.
They are effective physical growth behavior and moods. In a nutshell, our hormones shape us a great deal as a person and a biological entity. Hormonal imbalance is caused when the body produces more or less amount of hormones.
Hormonal balance is integral to a healthy body and a healthy mind alike. The fluctuations in their levels can be due to both medical reasons and lifestyle reasons.
Even if on medications, it is often prescribed by physicians to indulge in physical activities for healthy bodily functions. Yoga, an ancient form of exercise and meditation from India offers a lot of postures targeting specific sites in our body to regulate hormones.
6 yoga to regulate hormones
The most effective, easy, and the best yoga exercises to regulate hormones are-
- Mandukasana (Frog Pose) for diabetes
- Vakrasana (Half Twisted Spine Pose) for diabetes
- Naukasana (Boat Pose) for PCOS
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) for PCOS
- Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) for PCOS, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, menstrual cramps
- Pashchimottasana (Front Bend Pose) thyroid and parathyroid gland related disorders
1. Mandukasana (Frog’s pose)
Manduka is a Sanskrit word meaning frog. It is a set of asanas wherein the final pose mimics the posture of a frog, thus its name and is one of the best yoga poses for hormonal imbalance.
Regular practice of Mandukasana gives you relief from diabetes and other digestive disorders by exerting pressure on the abdomen region. Studies have proven that the frog pose improves insulin production in the body.
It helps tone muscles of the shoulder and abdomen and stretches knee and ankle joints.
2. Vakrasana (Half Spinal Twist Pose)
In Sanskrit, ‘vakra’ means to twist. The correct way to practice this yogic asana is to sit on a mat and twist the upper body without moving the lower part.
The practice of vakrasana stimulates the abdominal organs, making it beneficial for diabetic patients. This asana improves overall gut health and helps relieve back pain as well.
3. Naukasana (Boat Pose)
Naukasana or a boat pose is another seated exercise. To go into this pose, one has to push their upper body and pull their lower body at the same time to form a V or a boat-like shape.
Other than strengthening the core muscles, boat pose is extremely helpful for women suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS. It is believed to enhance ovarian functions which can relieve women suffering from ovarian disorders.
4. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
As the English name suggests, ‘bhujang’ is the Sanskrit word for a snake. Cobra pose is the seventh pose of Suryanamaskar or the sun salutation.
Bhujangasana improves blood circulation in the pelvic region, thus regulating the menstrual cycle. Regular practice helps relieve the symptoms of PCOS and improves fertility. It also stretches the neck and throat region, thereby increasing thyroid functioning, critical to people suffering from hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
Dhanurasana is a stretching exercise. Going in the posture requires flexibility of the spine. It is best to hold in this position for better results.
One of the best poses to help bowel movement, dhanurasana also stimulates the reproductive organs, thereby helping in any condition related to the female reproductive system. It is also beneficial in relieving menstrual cramps and stiffness.
It helps in controlling metabolism by massaging the thyroid gland, regulating the amount of hormone released by it. This makes it very effective for reversing the condition of hypothyroidism.
6. Pashchimottasana (Forward Bend Pose)
The word ‘Pashchimottasana’ can be broken down into ‘pashchim,’ meaning west or the back of the body, and ‘uttana’ meaning stretching. The practitioner bends forward, holding one’s toes, attempting to rest their head on their knees.
This exercise helps in treating reproductive problems, increasing blood flow to various organs. The forward bending stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands strongly recommended for people suffering from thyroid gland diseases.
The best yoga exercises for hormonal imbalance which is the main cause of acne and pimples can be teamed with these breathing exercises for better results.
Pranayama or breathing control helps release stress, control anxiety, regulate body temperature, helps balance doshas, improve sleep cycle, etc.
Three effective pranayama exercises are:
- Surya Bhedan Pranayama (Right Nostril Breathing);
- Nadishodhan Pranayama (Alternated Breathing);
- Sheetali, Sitkari Pranayama (Cooling breath).
Surya Bhedan Pranayama
The right Nostril (Pingala Nadi) is associated with the sun; therefore the name suggests breathing in (inhalation) through the right nostril and breathing out (exhalation) through the left nostril.
With regular practice of surya bhedan pranayama, one can balance any of the three doshas in the body. This exercise heats the body and but is not suitable for people suffering from hypertension or anxiety.
Nadishodhan Pranayama (Alternated Breathing)
Nadishodhan (nadi: nostril, shodhan: purification) is alternate breathing through the left (Ida Nadi) and right nostrils (Pingala Nadi). Left nostril breathing has a cooling effect on the body and right nostril breathing heats it. Breathing alternately helps the body strike a balanced temperature.
Its benefits include:
- Flushing out of toxins and blood purification
- Lowered level of stress and anxiety
- All the organ systems (endocrine, digestive, excretory, reproductive, nervous, respiratory, circulatory) experience and improved functioning
Sheetali, Sitkari Pranayama (Cooling Breath)
These are two different pranayamas that help lower body temperature.
Sheetali pranayama requires you to roll your tongue and breathe in slowly through your mouth and breathe out through your nose
Sitkari pranayama requires is breathing through the mouth but with teeth lightly closed together.
It helps cool the body, during hot weather or a hot flush, reduces emotional flares, balances the endocrine system, and helps purify the blood.
Yoga works on the simple principle of treating the root cause of the problem. Its aim is not to provide instant relief or superficial solutions but give a long-lasting and concrete cure to the problem.
Yoga, even though effective requires dedication and regular practice. We cannot expect overnight results for such persistent issues. Unlike a quick fix, yoga teaches us patience and the importance of persistent efforts.
In the end, it is important to remember that these lifestyle changes are only meant to supplement your existing medical treatment. We advise you to not quit your medications to be replaced entirely with these exercises.