Yoga for Hormonal Balance
Hormones are essential for every activity of life! This includes the processes of digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and mood control. Many hormones, such as neurotransmitters, are active in more than one physical process. These chemical messengers play a vital role in optimal health and well-being.
Chakras are energy centers located within the human body that influence our being at many levels, including the physical/biological levels. You have probably heard about chakras from your yoga instructor or possibly during an energy healing session. Chakras are energy centers that are a part of our human energy shell or body (also known as the human aura) and act like informational routers that receive and transmit energy. Their functions are very intricate as this energy system communicates with the body via biological systems, mainly endocrine glands and the nervous system (hormones are part of your endocrine system). This communication helps keep the body balanced and healthy.
This hormonal and energetic information makes it possible for us to interact with the surrounding environment (energy-informational field) and people. We all get some energy from the food we eat, but our food consumption cannot cover all the energy frequencies we need to survive every day. If we consider the entire spectrum of energy frequencies the human body needs to thrive and survive, then there must be other sources of energy that exist within us. For instance, when the throat chakra is blocked, you may experience sore throat, neck pain, or laryngitis. Similarly, when the heart chakra is out-of-sorts, high blood pressure and heart-related problems can arise.
Modern literature from both the Western and Eastern cultures highlights the connection between each of the primary chakras and the endocrine and nervous systems, as well as the organs.
Here are three yoga poses you can practice daily for hormonal health:
Tree pose: root chakra (1st chakra) establishes balance and grounding and is connected to the reproductive glands (testes in men; ovaries in women); controls sexual development and secretes sex hormones.
Cat/Cow pose: sacral chakra (2nd) promotes creativity in the world of our relationships; tied to the adrenal glands; regulates the immune system and metabolism.
Cobra pose: heart chakra (4th); opens us to the greater possibilities (letting your guard down) connected to the thymus gland; regulates the immune system.
Other chakras include the solar plexus (3rd: pancreas; regulates metabolism); throat chakra (5th: thyroid gland; regulates body temperature and metabolism); third eye chakra (6th: pituitary gland; produces hormones and governs the function of the previous five glands); crown chakra (7th: pineal gland; regulates biological cycles, including sleep).
Having balanced hormones promotes a healthy, vibrant, and happy life, and practicing yoga supports hormonal balance.
Nicole Turcotte is a clinical nutritionist, certified yoga instructor, and consultant for Preventive Medicine Centers in Palm Springs (760) 320.4292.
Sources: 1) Gupta MK. Healing through Reiki. India: Pustak Mahal; 1998. 120 p; 2) Sui CK. Miracles Through Pranic Healing. 2nd ed. USA: Blue Dolphin Publishing, Incorporated; 2000. 390 p.; 3) Apte, Vaman Shivram (1965). The Practical Sanskrit Dictionary (fourth revised & enlarged ed.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 81-208-0567-4; 4) Saraswati, Swami Sivananda, MD (1953–2001). Kundalini Yoga. Tehri-Garhwal, India: Divine Life Society. ISBN 81-7052-052-5.; 5) Shyam Sundar Goswami, Layayoga: The Definitive Guide to the Chakras and Kundalini, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980; 6) Anodea Judith Eastern Body Western Mind: Psychology And The Chakra System As A Path To The Self. Berkeley, California, USA: Celestial Arts Publishing. ISBN 0-89087-815-3; 7) Florin Lowndes, ‘Enlivening the Chakra of the Heart: The Fundamental Spiritual Exercises of Rudolf Steiner’ ISBN 1-85584-053-7, first English edition 1998 from the original German edition of 1996, comparing ‘traditional’ chakra teaching, and that of C.W.Leadbeater, with that of Rudolf Steiner; 8) Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques. ISBN978-I-55643-885-1