We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Benefits of Yoga for Thyroid Health?

By B. Koch
Updated Feb 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Although it cannot cure a thyroid disorder, practicing yoga for thyroid health can help to manage it. It is recommended for individuals with both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Some yoga poses can be used to stimulate an underactive thyroid gland, while others can be used to help to cope with the symptoms of an overactive thyroid.

The thyroid consists of two glands that are located next to the throat, between the larynx and the trachea. It secretes the thyroxine and triiodothyronine hormones that are involved in the body’s metabolism. An overactive or underactive thyroid can result in problems such as weight loss or gain, lethargy, anxiety, or high or low body temperature.

There is some evidence that practicing yoga may be helpful for those experiencing thyroid problems. Certain yoga positions, especially those including chin locks, in which the chin is pressed to the chest, put pressure on the neck, pushing blood from the thyroid. When the chin lock is released, fresh, oxygenated blood refills the thyroid and circulates around the gland. Positions involving chin locks can help to stimulate an underactive thyroid gland, a condition called hypothyroidism.

Inversion poses are also helpful, especially for those with an underactive thyroid. These poses include back bends, shoulder stands, and hand stands. They raise the heart above the head and also put the head into the chin lock position.

One pose suggested for yoga for thyroid health is the bridge pose. The bridge involves a shoulder stand that raises the hips off the ground and puts the head into a chin lock while raising the heart off the ground. A more advanced pose that requires a chin lock is the plow pose, in which the legs and hips are pulled over the head.

Some believe that chanting or certain types of breathing involved in yoga can aid the thyroid. For example, making the “om” sound vibrates the vocal chords, stimulating the thyroid. Ujjayi, also known as ocean breath or victorious breath, is a type of breathing recommended for those with thyroid problems. It involves long, deep breaths taken in through the nose while the throat is contracted, creating long, thin breath. The friction created by the air passing through the tightened throat should create an audible hissing sound, after which the air is exhaled very slowly.

Individuals experiencing an overactive thyroid may have increased problems with stress and anxiety. Practicing yoga for thyroid health can reduce stress levels. In the case of hyperthyroidism, positions that stimulate the thyroid should be avoided, while poses that rest the mind and body should be practiced. Mild, restorative poses such as the goddess pose or the legs-up-wall pose can help to manage the stress and anxiety associated with hyperthyroidism.

Although practicing yoga for thyroid health can be beneficial to many, a doctor should be consulted before beginning any yoga routine. For those experiencing severe thyroid conditions, some believe that practicing more advanced poses, such as the plow pose, may cause more harm than good. Also, it is important to consult a professional yoga instructor before attempting poses independently, as performing poses incorrectly can cause physical harm.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By fBoyle — On Apr 02, 2014

@burcinc-- You may not realize it but I'm sure that yoga is benefiting you.

Yoga is not a cure for thyroid problems and it cannot treat the underlying conditions causing the thyroid to function abnormally. It is simply a lifestyle that can help you manage the symptoms.

For example, one of the major side effects of an under-active thyroid is depression. Yoga can help fight depression because physical activity causes the body to produce serotonin-- the happiness hormone. Yoga is also relaxing, especially when it is done in nature. It is a form of meditation that relieves mental tension in addition to physical tension.

So even though you might not be aware of all the ways that yoga is benefiting you, I suggest that you continue with it. And I hope that you will get well soon.

By burcinc — On Apr 01, 2014

I have an under-active thyroid and I've been doing the recommended yoga asanas every day since several months. But there has been no improvement in my thyroid symptoms.

By candyquilt — On Apr 01, 2014

There is one another yoga posture that is very beneficial for thyroid disease. I don't recall the name but it involves lifting both legs of the floor and supporting the hip with the shoulders and arms. After the legs are straight above, they are bent forward over the head. The goal is to touch the floor with the feet behind the head but it's okay if the feet do not reach. Just like the bridge pose, this posture also results in a chin lock and activates the thyroid gland. So it is good for those with hypothyroidism.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.