Not only does yoga play an important role in maintaining our health, it also has a very positive effect on our endocrine system. Due to the hectic lifestyle and ongoing stress of pandemics, people are experiencing many hormonal problems. Some of the health problems faced by both men and women are hormonal changes, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, and hormonal imbalances. Elevated cortisol levels, insulin deficiency or insulin resistance, precocious puberty and early menopause are some hormonal disorders faced by women. Therefore, it is good to know more about the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a collection of glands that release hormones directly into the bloodstream and send them to target cells.
Why is the endocrine system important to us?
The endocrine system helps maintain the body’s homeostasis. Metabolism, growth, sexual development, mental growth, mineral balance, heart rate regulation, sleep cycle setting, muscle and skeletal growth are endocrine functions.
Role of the hypothalamus: The hypothalamus is the part of the brain involved in the direct control of the endocrine system through the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus is also the center of emotions and is affected by strong emotions, smells, strong thoughts, taste, stress, and laughter.
The pituitary gland is the master gland that controls the entire endocrine system, including the pineal gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, thymus, adrenal gland, pancreas, ovary, and testis. The hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland, which releases chemicals and stimulates hormones from other endocrine glands. Therefore, it functions like the hypothalamus-pituitary-organ route.
The role of yoga in controlling the hormonal system
- Pranayama: Has a good effect on the endocrine system. Pranayama means to stretch, fix and lengthen your breath. Pranayama has two advantages. In pranayama, controlling breathing controls both the mind and body. We supply more oxygen to the lungs, which are transported to all cells in the body. Increased blood and oxygen supply to the brain and hypothalamus, thereby improving their function. Stress can interfere with the functioning of the hypothalamus, allowing you to better control stress and emotions. Pranayama improves the relationship between the hypothalamus-pituitary gland and other glands, thus balancing the entire endocrine system.
- Yog Nidra or Yogic Sleep: It’s a great way to control stress and emotions. It’s not just going to Shabasana to sleep, but waking up, controlling thoughts and sensations, replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts, relaxing and energizing the mind and body. Yoganidra improves the function of the brain, hypothalamus, and the relationship between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland and other endocrine glands.
- Yaw Pose: Like Sirsasana, standing forward bends increases blood flow to the brain, improving brain and hypothalamus function, as well as improving pituitary and pineal gland function. Harasana and shoulder stands improve thyroid and parathyroid function. Ardh Matsyendrasana and Balasana stimulate the pancreas to release insulin and glucagon from the pancreas. Setubandhasana and Bhujangasana stimulate the testes and ovaries.
We hope this article will help you improve your endocrine function and bring your mind and body to balance! Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. For more information on how yoga can help, check out Healthy Reads or attend a live session with a GOQii Play yoga specialist.
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