Hormonal imbalance treatment can be a mind field of information. Causes, symptoms, tests, diagnosis and treatment for hormonal imbalance are all out there. Which procedure is best for you? It can be tricky to establish the most effective way to balance your hormones. From our own personal experience and research, we find yoga beneficial for taming those out of whack hormones. In this article, we take a look at the most effective yoga poses for creating that inner calm and balancing your hormones. We are also going to dive into all the juicy nourishment yoga can give your body. Yoga! We love it! As do thousands of other people for a multitude of reasons.
What Are Hormones
Your body has an excellent chemical messenger system going on. All of your feelings and emotions are a result of chemical reactions taking place in the body. Your endocrine system orchestrates the entire functioning of your body. It is made up of hormones which functions range from energy levels to growth and development to metabolism to sexual enjoyment. Your endocrine system produces the correct amount of chemicals and sends these chemicals through your bloodstream to give messages to your tissues and organs.
Causes of Hormonal Imbalance
Sometimes due to day to day living and many different health conditions such as; diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, stress, medications, eating disorders, injury etc. your hormones may become imbalanced. Naturally, your hormones fluctuate at different stages of your life such as during puberty, menopause and pregnancy. Keeping your hormones balanced may at times be challenging.
Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance may occur in both men, women and children. Imbalanced hormones can cause a variety of symptoms including; weight gain, fatigue, joint pain, acne, sweating, depression, decreased sex drive, fine or brittle hair, dry skin, anxiety, nervousness or irritability. Some of these symptoms can at times be completely debilitating.
Hormonal Imbalance Treatment
There are many different medications available including hormone replacement therapy, testosterone therapy, anti-androgen medications, and other medications. Some are effective, and some have side effects. There are also some nutrients and herbs that can support various hormone issues. Working closely with your healthcare professional, as always, is essential. Understanding what is causing your imbalanced hormones is also necessary. There are also many natural therapies and nutritional supplements which give many people enormous relief. Not many natural treatments are backed by science. There is little evidence suggesting some of these ancient remedies may be more effective than hormone therapy. However, there are many ladies thrilled to be experiencing the bliss of natural remedies, especially yogis.
Yoga is terrific for supporting the balancing your hormones, we will get into yoga later. As well as yoga, fill your life with a variety of healthy habits to help balance your hormones including:
- Healthy diet & dietary phasing (as explained in the 131 Method)
- Daily exercise
- Increase foods to nourish your hormones
- Remove foods which whack your hormones out of balance
- Heal your gut
- Reduce inflammation
- Lose weight, if you need to (which is usually the side effect of doing the other things on this list)
- Fill your life with happiness and laughter
- Stress relief
Why Stress Relief Is So Important
Physical and mental stress, especially chronic stress seems to be one of the major underlying causes of imbalanced hormones. Our daily lives today can often be full of meetings, deadlines, bills to pay, places to go and people to see. It causes us to obtain the ‘toughen up and get on with it’ mentality which isn’t always the best solution. This stiff upper lip and high resilience can often cause us not to appreciate the amount of stress we are suffering until imbalances, especially hormone imbalances and sometimes other health conditions occur.
Develop more kindness towards yourself and others. Consideration, compassion and positive emotions practised regularly throughout your day, every day will create an inner cushion from the burdens of stress and has been shown to improve physical health and depression (1). Respecting what causes you to stress and remove if possible. Often this isn’t possible, so it is imperative to practice stress relieving technique daily. There is nothing more effective than yoga for stress relief. A regular yoga practice addresses stress, anxiety and tension (2). Specific yoga poses can help balance your hormones.
Yoga For Balancing Hormones
Yoga focuses on breathing which has a beneficial, stimulating effect on your endocrine system (3). If you are not a fellow yogi, don’t be daunted by not being able to touch your toes. Merely being on your yoga mat and practicing some yoga breathing will help balance your hormones. If you have tried yoga and didn’t like it, we invite you to try another style of yoga or yoga teacher until you find a style of yoga which ignites your soul, helps you tune in and listen to your body. During menopause, yoga can be particularly soothing and beneficial (4).
According to yoga energy and chakra teachers, inverted poses including; headstand, handstand and shoulder stand are all beneficial for your thyroid, heart, hormones and lungs. Headstand, in particular, is known for balancing hormones. Forward bending poses such as; downward facing dog, seated forward fold and child’s pose helps alleviate stress, anxiety and fatigue, rejuvenate your kidneys, thyroid, thymus and pancreas, also balances your hormones. Hip openers and wide-angle poses nourish your reproductive area.
Yoga Poses For Hormone Imbalance
Try to incorporate a daily practice or frequency appropriate for you of yoga. Half an hour every day will nourish your body, and most find gives excellent results for strength, flexibility and mindset. Ideally, try to practice for an hour a day. Focus on continually deepening your breath and channelling your inner ‘om’ right to your inner core. You will be fit, flexible and be supporting your hormones in no time. Yoga is a journey of self-improvement, not judgement. Appreciate where your body is at and allow your breath to move your body and deepen your poses. Find a qualified yoga teacher to guide you or indulge in Yogaglo. An online app we have loved for years. Yogaglo offers over three thousand yoga classes of various styles, for all different levels and eight classes specifically on hormone balancing. Here are a few of our favorite yoga poses for balancing your hormones.
Butterfly – Titali Asana
Releases stress from the hips and useful for strengthening the pelvic floor and adrenals.
Camel – Ustrasana
According to yogi teachings, this pose nourishes the thyroid and parathyroid glands. These glands are major players of your endocrine system.
Cat – Marjariasana
Aimed for balancing your ovaries. Creates space in the area of the lower spine and pelvic area.
Cobra – Bhujangasana
Supports and massages your two adrenal glands helping you cope with stress and release tension.
Cow Face – Gomukhasana
B.K.S. Iyengar says Gomukhasana “makes the leg muscles elastic.” Gomukhasana is often practiced as in this photo and also sitting upright with the arm version of this pose. The arm version of this pose will additionally open your shoulders and expand your chest. This pose still challenges us. Although we have practiced yoga for years, you will often hear us sigh with frustration in this pose. With some deep, intense yoga breathing, we move through the challenges this pose gives us. Acknowledging, accepting, managing and releasing tightness and frustration with our breath is one of the wonders of yoga. A life lesson to be taken off the mat, don’t you think?
As busy working people, coping with daily stresses of life and some of us sitting at our desk all day, we could all benefit from practicing this pose. Gomukhasana stretches the armpits and backs of the upper arms and opens the chest, excellent for anyone at their desk all day. Also a fantastic pose for stretching your outer hips and thighs, which often become tight from our day to day living, working out, sitting for long periods of time, or running.
Eagle – Garudasana
Strengthens and tones the muscles and nerves of your legs, loosens your joints in the legs, relieves sciatica in the legs, stretches the shoulders and teaches balance and focus.
Easy pose – Sukhasana
Opens the hips and stimulates your beloved adrenal glands.
Hero Pose – Virasana I, II
Strengthens your pelvic muscles, knees and ankle joints, and stimulates blood flow to the reproductive organs. Virasana is said to help with the symptoms of menopause.
Inverted Legs I, II & III – Viparita Karani
Fantastic for many symptoms of hormonal imbalance including anxiety, headache, insomnia, migraine, mild depression, menstrual cramps, premenstrual syndrome, and menopause.
Rabbit Pose – Sasangasana
Said to support the thyroid and the parathyroid glands. A balanced parathyroid gland controls the distribution of calcium. Calcium, among other things, is a calming nutrient.
Seated Forward Bend or Paschimottanasana
Stretches the back of your entire body; helps to open your hips; strengthens your Agni (digestive fire) and creates a state of inner calm (5).
Sitting Head To Knee Forward Bend – Janu Sirsasana
A calming post suggested to assist with the symptoms of menopause including; anxiety, fatigue, headache and menstrual discomfort.
Lifeless Body – Savasana
Relaxes your entire body, rests and resets your nervous system, quietens your mind. Develops concentration and awareness and aids in relieving insomnia (6).
Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Stimulates and tones the sexual organs, encourages deep and full breathing.
Incorporating these yoga poses into your daily yoga practice (or anytime) can be an influential part of your hormonal imbalance treatment. Some of these poses are not recommended while you are pregnant. Check with your yoga teacher for any individual modifications. You might also like to try other popular methods including; meditation, massage, gratitude and mindfulness throughout your day.
Here’s to happy and healthy hormones! Let us know your thoughts below.