You may or may not know that yoga can impact the endocrine system i.e., the glands of your body and help to regulate hormone production. Most styles of yoga have some influence on this bodily system whether you realise it or not. There are postures that you may have practised in a yoga class and heard your teacher say something along the lines of, ‘this posture helps to stimulate the thyroid…’ The great news is that if you’re a regular yoga class attendee then you’re already receiving some of the benefits yoga has to offer for your endocrine system. This isn’t always in the form of the postures either. Practising guided relaxation and breathing techniques has been proven to give our nervous system a much-needed break thus helping our hormone production. This is due to the hypothalamus linking the nervous system and the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, the queen of the glands. But there is a more efficient way to target your hormone production than your general yoga class and it’s called Hormone Yoga Therapy.
What’s the difference between yoga and yoga therapy?
Yoga is a practise of moving the body into certain postures while using the breath. It’s a practise of being present, linking the body, breath and mind. This is a very basic description of yoga and I always like to make it known that there is a lot more to it than simply bending and breathing. But on the surface, this is how most people know it. While yoga and yoga therapy are similar, yoga therapy focuses on using the techniques of yoga to manage a particular problem. This can be an injury, a long-term health condition, a spiritual or mental matter or, in the case of hormone production, working specifically with the endocrine system.
Who would Hormone Yoga therapy benefit?
Hormone Yoga Therapy can benefit both men and women although commonly it’s women who seek its therapeutic benefits. It’s good for women over 35 to practise as from 35 onwards, oestrogen production in the body begins to decrease. Hormone Yoga Therapy can help to slow this decrease down and increase the production of oestrogen as we stimulate the ovaries multiple times during the practise.
One of the main reasons why women seek the effects of Hormone Yoga Therapy is for dealing with the symptoms of the menopause. As we approach the menopause and during it, our oestrogen levels decrease causing our body to experience things such as hot flushes, dry skin, mood swings, joint pains, headaches, fatigue etc. Hormone Yoga Therapy increases our levels of oestrogen and therefore, helps to reduce the symptoms of the menopause. It’s also worth bearing in mind that there is a specific Hormone Yoga Therapy sequence for the andropause, so men do not need to feel excluded. Men can experience low levels of testosterone from their late 40s to early 50s and the andropause sequence can help to boost their levels of testosterone.
For women with symptoms of oestrogen dominance, Hormone Yoga Therapy can offer some solace. Oestrogen dominance means that the levels of oestrogen outweigh those of progesterone. This happens because of a decrease in progesterone not an increase in oestrogen. Therefore, Hormone Yoga Therapy can help to increase the levels of oestrogen (which may not be high in themselves but higher than the progesterone levels, especially if a woman is over 35) but it also focuses on balancing all hormones within the body so can help to increase progesterone levels too.
However, women younger than 35 can practise Hormone Yoga if they experience any of the following:
- polycystic ovaries
- painful periods
- irregular periods
Hormone Yoga Therapy can help to bring your whole body back into equilibrium and is about balancing the hormones, not increasing one to become dominant over the others.