Our bodies are a mind blowingly intricate internal ecosystem, and regulating that entire system are our hormones. Serving as messengers in charge of coordinating and controlling our body, it’s no wonder that even the slightest imbalance can throw us totally off. When you’re feeling all out of whack, getting on your yoga mat could be one of the best things to do!
Signs your hormones are out of balance
Feeling high as a kite one day and grumpy or low the next? Our emotions are hugely impacted by the complex chemical process going on behind the scenes, as hormones pass throughout our body. And it’s not just our moods, the signals sent by hormones are responsible for our sleep, energy level, sex drive, fertility, growth and more.
We’re all impacted by hormonal fluctuations and changes to some extent, but some of us may notice it more or be more dramatically affected. If you’re a woman, the chances are you’re already very familiar with the natural monthly fluctuations that your body goes through hormonally. If you’re experiencing mood changes or increased stress levels that you can’t link to external circumstances, there may be hormonal factors at play.
Other more physical symptoms of an imbalance to your hormones could be headaches, unexplained weight changes, difficulty sleeping, skin problems, sensitivity to heat and cold, changes in blood pressure or heart rate and fatigue.
The science bit: ways yoga helps hormone balance
- Balancing endocrine function: Through asanas, which add and also release pressure from glands around the body, yoga has a stimulating effect on the endocrine system, working to regulate hormone secretions.
- Stimulates the pituitary gland: The king of all glands, the pituitary, produces the hormones that then power the other glands, as well as releasing nerve soothing endorphins.
- Mood boost: Yoga has been found to be more effective as a stress buster than other forms of exercise, by boosting gamma-aminobutyric acid levels (low levels are linked to depression and anxiety).
- Elevating oestrogen: By helping the body to release the right amount of oestrogen into your system, it can better regulate the menstrual cycle and relieve symptoms of PMS.
- Improve menstrual abnormalities: It’s not just the physical asanas of yoga which help to heal the body. Research found that the practicing Yoga Nidra helped patients with hormonal imbalances like hypomenorrhoea, dysmenorrhea, oligomenorrhoea, menorrhagia and metrorrhagia.
- Better thyroid health: If you’ve got either an overactive or under-active thyroid, throat stimulating postures (like shoulder stand and plow pose) may improve circulation and energy flow to the thyroid, which is responsible for your metabolism (amongst other things).
Kate Worthington - Blossom Yoga Wear Brand Ambassador.
There’s no need to be a slave to your hormones. You can take control and keep yourself beautifully balanced by popping on your yoga pants and running through your favourite yoga sequence, for a natural relief from hormone related symptoms!