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Nourishing Life: you, your thyroid and yoga

Post Published: 28 February 2011
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Category: Column, Nourishing Life, Thyroid Nutrition and Health, Yoga Class for Your Thyroid
This post currently has 11 responses. Leave a comment

Disclaimer: I LOVE yoga. I have loved yoga from the first time I stepped on my mat. I was a size 6x when I had my first yoga class. I had trouble getting on and off the floor. Since that first class a few short years ago, I have practiced regularly. I believe without a doubt that yoga led to my total life transformation – including my hypothyroidism.

Consider yourself warned.

Yoga comes from the word “yoke” which means to ‘bring together.’  And it does just that. Yoga unites our mind, body and spirit.  Originating in India, yoga dates back over 5,000 years. Many people practice yoga for growth and transformation – this is my reason for practice. Yoga has unfolded so many things about myself and my life – it is like peeling away the layers of onion. And I am the onion.

Some people practice yoga for the physical benefits, of which there are many: reduced cortisol levels, lower heart rate, reduce anxiety and improvement of health conditions (just to name a few). I do not believe there is a right or wrong reason that someone finds their way to the yoga mat. What’s important is that you’re there. On your mat.

Working your shit out.

So how does yoga help your thyroid?  Yoga helps your thyroid in many ways. There are particular poses that physiologically help your thyroid – fish and boat pose for example. But that is a limited view of the benefits of yoga.

Yoga can help your thyroid because yoga can help you.

Yoga is not a band aid. Yoga is not a superhero in a cape that comes to your thyroid’s rescue. What yoga is (to me) is a quiet and gentle practice with ripple effects that work their way into your mind, body and spirit. You start to question your thinking. You start to question what you are putting in your body. Yoga supports your mind/body/spirit and brings them into union. I believe it is this union of mind, body, spirit that best helps our thyroid.

Because thyroid disease affects more than our physical body – it affects everything.

It took alot of courage for me to try yoga. I was a very big person. I was limited in my mobility. It was a risk – personal and somewhat physical. But it was a risk I was willing to take. And I have never, ever regretted it. There were of course steps I took to ensure I found the right yoga and right teacher – and I’ll share these secrets and many more all month long here on Nourishing Life. It’s yoga month!

Have you ever wanted to try yoga, but were too afraid? I understand. I was there too. For the month of March we are going to explore together how we can start a yoga practice to support ourselves and our thyroid.  We’re going to be discussing all things yoga! From yoga styles, to finding the right teacher, to avoiding death by breast (and other curvy yoga dilemmas) and more!

Please leave a comment below and tell me what about your yoga experiences. Or if you want to but haven’t yet tried yoga – I’d love to hear why.  Let’s get it all out there on the table so you can start to reap the benefits of a regular yoga practice.

Yoga is for every body – including you!


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11 Responses to “Nourishing Life: you, your thyroid and yoga”

  1. Amanda says:

    I have only practiced yoga at home. I had a “video tape” that I followed, [omg, this is so old it is embarrassing] Ali MacGraw – Yoga Mind & Body. I really enjoy it, but don’t get/take he time to practice enough. This year I am working towards several goals, one of which is to create space that I can do yoga on a more regular basis.

    It is perfect timing for you to be here, and discussing yoga. I need more input and encouragement. Taking a class is just not within my budget, so any tips are greatly appreciated.

    • JenniferSaunders says:

      Hi Amanda! Thank you so much for sharing your yoga experiences. I will definitely include tips on setting up a home practice. If anything else comes up for you re: yoga please share!

  2. Monica says:

    Greetings Jennifer,

    I am thrilled you are contributing to DT and I feel a kinship towards you already!!!

    I tried many different styles of yoga on and off the past, oh, 20 years or so but it wasn’t until October of 2009, about 6 weeks after a TT, that I found a yoga studio that opened up in my neighborhood which is now my second home. The first time I walked in the studio I knew it was a perfect fit. I usually have feelings of solace and peace after practicing yoga.

    There is no doubt that yoga has kept my physical body supple and mental state alert. The calmness that permeates in and around me after a class is addicting … so much so that I will be starting a teacher training/mentoring program in a few weeks so I can learn what I can and share what I learn.

    My suggestion for any beginners would be to find an introduction to yoga class that offers instruction once a week for a month. Once you familiarize yourself with the proper alignment, stance, etc. then practicing at home, whether with a video or on your own, you will lessen the chance of injuring yourself.

    Namaste,
    ☮ ♥

    • JenniferSaunders says:

      Hi Monica! Thank you so much for the warm welcome – very much appreciated. First of all congratulations on yoga teacher training! YTT is an amazing experience. I look forward to seeing your comments on thoughts as we discuss yoga each week on Nourishing Life for the month of March. ~ Namaste

  3. AnnMarie says:

    Hi Jen!,

    Thank you for sharing. It really helps keep me grounded in the positive. I also am a big person and it is not easy for me to get up and down from the floor. Still it is people like you and others that inspire me to keep doing it. Amanda… I am also working on many goals and am on a budget myself right now. I wish you success in all your efforts and Hope that you can find even a corner of your home that you can call your own 🙂

  4. Denise says:

    My partner has been going to yoga for a while as her time to herself and I have never thought about it before. But reading your column has inspired me so I have just joined the gym at work as I am now feeling that I can push myself a bit more and perhaps gain more energy that way since nothing else seems to be helping. I have booked for a course starting in a month that gives a triple whammy of yoga, tai-chi and pilates all rolled into one and hoping that this gets me back on the road to fitness. Thanks for the inspiration and looking forward to reading more.
    Denise

  5. Erin says:

    I am in love with yoga! I’m looking forward to the discussions this month as I feel practicing yoga has changed my brain, body and spirit too. Taking the time to practice does wonders for my mental and emotional health. Thanks for this post, Jen – so exciting!

    • JenniferSaunders says:

      Erin – you’re right about the mental health boost yoga gives! Its easy to focus on the physical but our mental health benefits ALOT from yoga.

  6. Karen says:

    I used to practice yoga pretty often. I stopped and now I’m not sure where to pick up again. I have osteoporosis in the spine- L4 and L5 and I need to find out which poses are not recommended for that. I love the way yoga made me feel. I walked so much taller and straighter then. I’ll be watching for more columns on it this month. Thank you

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