Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose) for Hyperthyroidism

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This is one of asana that is considered to be good for hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) patients due to intense stress. According to the American Thyroid Association, around 20 million people in US alone have some form of thyroid disorder and at least 60 percent of them are not even aware of it. The condition is believe to be higher in women than men. Hyperthyroidism is rare as compared to Hypothyroidism. Patients with hyperthyroidism usually may have sudden weight loss, difficulty in sleeping at night, sweating unusually, easily become irritated, remain anxious, nervous and quite hurried about things and some may have unusual heart beat which commonly mistaken as having a heart problem diagnosed my many wrong medical judgement.

According to book “The Path to Holistic Health” written by B.K.S. Iyengar, the Sanskit word setu means “bridge,” bandha translates as “formation,” and sarvanga means “entire body.” In this asana, the body arches to take the shape of a bridge. The chinlock in the asana calms the flow of thoughts and soothes the mind. This pose also stimulate thyroid glands.

How to come into the pose:

  1. Lie on back and you can place a rolled towel between your knees.
  2. Position your feet flat on the floor, hips distance apart and toes pointing forward.
  3. Bring your knees in closed to your hips. Remember to keep your neck still without turning your head to other side for the duration of this pose.
  4. Take a deep breath in, press the feet down and lift your hips up.
  5. Interlace your fingers underneath your back.
  6. Open your shoulders as you press out through your hands.
  7. Continue reaching your arms and lifting your pelvis off the floor.
  8. Bring awareness to your breath. Stay in this post from 30 second to 1 minute.
  9. On the next exhale, release the hands and roll down slowly, returning your hips to the mat.
  10. Hug your knees towards your chest to release your lower back. This is the counterpose of Setubandhasana.

Contraindications:

People with neck injury to avoid this pose unless under supervision of an experienced yoga teacher.

Modifications and Props:

  • Place a thick folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck.
  • Slide a block or bolster under your sacrum and rest the pelvis on block or bolster.

Another poses that helps patients with hyperthyroidism are Marjariasana (cat stretch), Shishu asana (child pose), Shavasana (corpse pose) and slow-paced Surya Namaskara with mantra chanting is known to have a calm and soothing effect.

JW – 200h YTT Jan-Apr 2016