This story was originally published on YOGANONYMOUS.
Between my one-on-one clients and my Skype sessions, there is one question that comes up in my office over and over and over again. Even after going through the diet and the supplements, everyone wants to know: “What can I do right now (to help my hormones)?”
Over the course of years (by years, I mean the 13 that I’ve been in practice—eeeeks where has the time gone?), I’ve come up with one simple habit that can make all the difference in your hormones.
A Bit of Background Before We Start
When the “h-word” comes up, it’s really tempting to put all the attention on the thyroid gland. Some may say the thyroid’s a movie star of sorts when it comes to the endocrine system for two reasons:
1. It’s easy to test.
By test, I mean that blood tests are routinely used to check thyroid status, even if they’re not foolproof.
2. It’s easy to treat.
There are meds that are easily prescribed to deal with thyroid concerns even though the meds might not be the answer for you. Even with this sort of “star power,” you need to understand that your thyroid is not your endocrine system.
Ahem….did you get that? Your thyroid is NOT your endocrine system.
In fact, there are eight glands in all that make up your endocrine system and four that are the big players. I call them the Four Corners of Your Endocrine House. They are the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, and the ovaries in childbearing women or the pancreas in menopausal ladies. If you want to be the master of your “Endocrine House,” then all four of these glands need to be communicating in a healthy way. In particular, the relationship between the adrenal glands and thyroid is muy importante (note: too much cortisol depresses thyroid function in a snap).
Get Your Legs Up The Wall
Getting your legs up the wall has many benefits:
- Calms the mind (Can I have an hallelujah?)
- Adrenals have the chance to rest and recalibrate so that they can communicate with your thyroid gland better (muy importante, remember?)
- Takes pressure off the venous return (that’s fancy speak for “it helps varicose veins”…high five!)
- The heart has to pump stronger to get the blood back up the legs (so you’re sort of exercising while you’re resting…very cool!). This is not one of those it-sounds-too-good-to-be-true tips. Trust me on this; it works.
Here’s what to do:
Set the stage: Make sure that you’re in a quiet place and you’ve got at least 10 minutes. You’re going to want to be able to close your eyes and deeply relax. Legs Up the Wall doesn’t have the same effect if you’re chatting away on the phone or flipping through messages.
Step 1: Lay on your back with your hips about 6 to 12 inches away from the wall. Tip: Bend your knees and put your feet on the wall. If your thighs are at a right angle to your back, then your hips will be the perfect distance from the wall.
Step 2: Straighten your legs up the wall, so that your heels are making contact. Keep your knees straight and your legs relaxed.
Step 3: Place a pillow under your head. You should feel really comfy here.
Step 4: Close your eyes and breathe. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart.
Step 5: Bring your awareness to your breath. Inhale for a count of 2 and exhale for a count of 4.
Step 6: “Hang out” here with your eyes closed for 10 minutes. Breathe in the adrenal love.
Photo courtesy of Benevolent Midwifery and Amelia Wright.
Kristin Savory, LAc: helps women heal their thyroids and balance their hormones so they can live their most vibrant lives. She does this naturally through acupuncture and the wisdom of whole-food nutrition. Hop on her newsletter by clicking here and find delicious Recipes to Heal Your Thyroid and learn the first steps towards Balancing Your Hormones Naturally.
This story was originally published on YOGANONYMOUS. YOGANONYMOUS is an open platform that provides teachers, studios, event promoters, and bloggers a place to interact with the community at large. See more at yoganonymous.com.