Relationship between Yoga and Hormones

ENDOEndocrine System
The endocrine system is consisted of producing glands in your body: adrenal cortex, pituitary gland, hypothalamus, pancreas, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands and testes or ovaries. These glands are often called ductless because they pass their secretions directly into the blood or lymph, instead of using secretory ducts. The chemical substances secreted by these glands are called hormones that control essential bodily functions such as growth, reactions to stress, digestion, water and fluid retention, development of secondary sex characteristics and metabolism.

According to Dinabandhu Sarley, former CEO of Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health,
“Each of the upper six chakras is associated with an endocrine gland. The recent revolution in neurobiology is the discovery that the physical and emotional bodies are directly regulated by a complex balance of these hormones and other chemicals that are also produced in the glands, including neurotransmitters (i.e., serotonin). Small changes in these chemicals have a significant impact—our emotional world is heavily dependent on how well our endocrine system is functioning, i.e., our hormone and neurotransmitter levels. Because yoga specifically tones the endocrine system, when we practice regularly we experience mood enhancement and an overall feeling of well-being.”

Practicing yoga is a way to nurture the glands and balance the hormonal secretions from the various glands. The twisting and bending positions of asanas with specific periods of time and pressure can stimulate various glands and regulate their secretions. Hence, it can moderate the bodily functioning.
Different asanas are prescribed to strengthen or regulate the secretion of different glands. In shoulder Stand, for example, the contraction of the neck muscles combined with the pressure of the chin on the chest squeezes blood out of the thyroid and parathyroid glands. In the Fish Pose which immediately follows the Shoulder stand, the glands are stretched and flooded with blood. The combination of these two poses effectively massages and stimulates these two glands, thus greatly improving their functions.

Sources:
http://www.healingfromtheheart.co.uk/69701.html
http://metamorphosischronicles.com/yogaendocrine/#sthash.J5RosCwC.dpbs

Charmaine
YTT 200 Sep – Nov 2015 Weekends (Vinyasa Flow)