Yoga Poses (Asanas) for Hypothyroidism

Yoga Poses (Asanas) for Hypothyroidism

I’ve long wanted to include an article at Hypothyroid Mom with yoga poses for hypothyroidism. I asked Dr. Savanur to include yoga poses of varying abilities including poses for beginners and more advanced poses for the yoga-lovers on my site. Consult with a qualified yoga teacher to ensure proper alignment and safe transitioning in and out of poses.

Written by Dr. Mitravinda Savanur

1.  Sarvangasana (The Shoulder Stand Pose)

Sarvangasana is widely regarded as the most ideal and effective Asana for stimulating the thyroid gland in the neck. This posture puts pressure on the thyroid gland and stimulates the secretion of thyroid hormone. If you don’t have a thyroid gland due to thyroidectomy, RAI or congenital hypothyroidism, this pose is still the “queen” of asanas benefiting the whole body.

Sarvangasana (The Shoulder Stand Pose) for Hypothyroidism

·  Lie on the back, with arms alongside the body and palms facing down

·  Inhale & lift legs to 90 degrees and slowly exhale to bring legs over the head

·  Move your hands to support your lower back

·  Lift your legs up

·  Keep the chin pressed into your chest while being in inverted position

·  Fold the legs from the knee, get the upper body down and lie on the Savasana

*Modifications: This is an advanced pose and beginners should seek the guidance of a certified yoga teacher for proper alignment. Modifications for those that are at the beginner or intermediate levels include using a stack of folded blankets under shoulders, using a wall as support and keeping your legs folded.

2.  Halasana (The Plough or Plow Pose)

This  Asana also stimulates the thyroid gland by giving compression to the region near the neck. It can also reduce stress and fatigue as it helps calm the brain to a great extent.

Halasana (The Plough or Plow Pose) for Hypothyroidism

·  Lie on back, with arms alongside body and palms facing down

·  Inhale and lift legs to 90 degrees & slowly exhale to bring legs over head

·  Move your hands to support your lower back

·  Try to touch the floor with your feet

·  Bring your arms to the floor and alongside the body to release the pose

*Modification: Rather than touch your feet to the floor, it is easier to land your toes on a chair.

3.  Matsyasana (The Fish Pose)

This Asana stimulates your thyroid gland by stretching the neck. It also provides much-needed healing for thyroid patients struggling with stiffness of joints and muscles.

Matsyasana (The Fish Pose) for Hypothyroidism

·  Lie on the back with legs extended

·  The fingers in your hand should face towards the toes

·  Press your arms to lift your body up & open up chest region to extent possible

·  While in this pose, hang your head back as much as possible

·  Release your hands and lie on your back

*Modification: Place a stack of folded blankets or yoga block underneath your head for support.

4.  Setubandhasana (The Bridge Pose)

While doing this Asana, you need to lift your hips upwards with your shoulders and head on the ground.  As a result, the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain is facilitated. Doing this Asana regularly can activate your thyroid gland and can help in reducing depression, mood swings, anxiety disorders, and other brain-related symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Setubandhasana (The Bridge Pose) for Hypothyroidism

·  Lie on your back and pull the feet towards your hips

·  Feet should remain parallel to each other

·  Inhale & lift body so that stomach faces ceiling together with hips and thighs

·  Chest and chin should be locked

·  Exhale and come down

*Modification: Place a yoga block under sacrum (bottom of spine) and rest your pelvis.

5.  Naukasana (The Boat Pose)

This Asana is believed to have a positive effect on your thyroid as well as your liver, kidneys, and intestines.

Naukasana (The Boat Pose) for Hypothyroidism

·  Sit with your legs extended on the floor

·  Slightly lean upper body back keeping the spine erect & chin towards chest

·  Balance on your tailbone and sitting bones

·  Bend your knees, lift your legs, and then straighten the knees

·  Lift your arms to make them parallel to the floor

·  Release the pose and drop the head down for a while

*Modification: If this pose is challenging, try it with knees bent and hands or tips of fingers down on floor.

6.  Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)

This pose involves a lot of stretching and compressing that helps in increasing the activity of the thyroid gland. The Cobra Pose also stimulates the abdomen improving digestion and increases the flexibility of the spine relieving lower back pain.

Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose) for Hypothyroidism

·  Lie on stomach with hands placed next to chest and just under shoulders

·  Inhale and lift your head, shoulders, chest and push your head back a bit

·  Exhale and lower the body onto the floor and relax the arms

*Tip: Find the height at which you feel comfortable and avoid straining your back.

7.  Ustrasana (The Camel Pose)

Camel pose involves a strong extension of the neck region. This works wonders towards stimulating the thyroid gland and increasing circulation to it.

Ustrasana (The Camel pose) for Hypothyroidism

·  Be on your knees with the feet extended behind

·  Support the lower back with your hands and lift neck and chest upwards

·  Press hips and thighs forward, while bending your head slowly backward

·  Release the pose and relax

8.  UrdhvaDhanurasana (The Upward Bow Pose)

This pose is believed to open up your heart and hence it gives you bundles of energy. By opening up the neck region, it also enhances the flow of energy to the thyroid gland.

UrdhvaDhanurasana (The Upward Bow Pose) for Hypothyroidism

·  Lie on your back, bend the knees, and push the heels closer towards your body

·  Put hands next to head, let elbows face ceiling and fingers point towards shoulders

·  By pressing on the feet, exhale and lift your buttocks and tailbone

·  Press your hands, lift your head, and straighten the arms

·  Allow the head to hang a little backward to release tension in the throat region

·  Release the pose and relax

*Modification: This is an advanced pose which can be intensified further with a one-legged variation.

9.  Marjaryasana-bitilasana (The Cat-Cow Pose)

This pose involves a fluid motion that is beneficial in exposing your ‘throat chakra’ and increasing blood supply to this area. It also stimulates organs in the belly like the adrenal glands which help you better respond to stress.

Marjaryasana-bitilasana (The Cat-Cow Pose) for Hypothyroidism

·  Come onto your hands and knees with wrists below shoulders and knees under hips

·  Inhale and drop belly downwards and look upwards to lengthen your neck

·  Exhale and draw the navel into the spine

·  As you lift the spine towards the ceiling, tuck your chin into the chest

·  Repeat the sequence a few times

·  Release and relax

*Modification: You can use your fists instead of hands if carpal tunnel syndrome or wrist problems are a concern.

10.  ViparitaKarani (The Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose)

This Asana is known to reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia, all common symptoms of hypothyroidism. This pose can also help relieve swelling and cramping in legs and feet.

ViparitaKarani (The Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose) for Hypothyroidism

·  Lie on your back with arms alongside the body & lift your legs along the wall

·  The buttocks should be up against the wall

·  While you lift your legs, try to hold the pose for about 5 minutes

·  Relax your chin and neck and soften the throat

·  Release the pose and relax

*Modifications: Place a stack of folded blankets or pillows under hips as well as under head. Also try moving hips further away from wall.

About Dr. Mitravinda Savanur

Dr. Mitravinda Savanur is founder of the website Diet Chart [dot] net. She has a Ph.D in Food Science and Nutrition. She is a teacher (of undergrad and postgrad students), researcher, and an author.

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About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby she lost to hypothyroidism. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.


  1. Rennu Sharrma says

    How many repetitions are required and for how long one should stay in a specific position? Please guide

  2. Are all these asanas safe to do for someone with hypertension?

  3. As a 500-hr Registered Yoga Teacher, yes those poses can be beneficial for thyroid, but I would absolutely NOT consider many of them to be beginner friendly, and there is a big potential for cervical spine (neck) injury with some of these poses unless they’re done properly with instruction by a yoga teacher. I just cringe when I see some of these, knowing that people will try them without knowing the proper way to align the neck, and how to get into and out of the poses safely. Some of the photos make my neck hurt just by looking at them! I understand the benefit of these poses, but please please seek out a qualified yoga teacher to help you before trying these at home!!!

    • Hi Andrea, Thank you for commenting. You make an important point. It may have been a bit ambitious to ask this guest writer to include poses at different levels of abilities all in one article. If you are interested in writing a guest post with yoga poses dedicated to beginners, I would welcome it at Hypothyroid Mom. Best, Dana Trentini

  4. Are these poses safe to do with disectus recti?

    • Hi Denny, These poses were not created with diastasis recti in mind. I developed diastasis recti after the births of both my sons and I know that many poses that engage the core can worsen this condition. I personally hired a professional Pilates instructor trained in postpartum and diastasic recti in NYC to be sure that I was given the best exercises for my condition which has healed since. You may want to look into hiring a yoga instructor or other fitness professional with specific training in this. Here is the woman that I went to for years and love in case you happen to liver near NYC. She lives in Montclair, NU now All the best, Dana Trentini aka Hypothyroid Mom

  5. Kerri Desjardin says

    I have been doing yoga since August . I can do some of the suggested poses but not those that would strain my back , such as upward now pose,fish pose , plowbpise and shoulder stand pose. I love yoga and am getting stronger. However no noticable change in my thyroid or weight. I attend 3 1 hour classes a week. Any suggestions? I have osteoporosis with a previous vertabra fracture. So far I have had no issues. Fingers crossed.

  6. It would be nice if these were in a video.

  7. Hey Kari,

    Just for the mind-body aspect alone, yoga is helpful for conditions such as hypothyroidism.

    But as many yogis say, only do it if it’s in your practice. There are a few poses that may not feel comfortable or safe to you personally – either slowly work up to them, practice them with modifications or skip them altogether.

    There’s a few that don’t work for me either. We are all different in terms of anatomy, flexibility and even on a day to day basis (what weeks one day may not work on another).


    Sarah (yoga teacher in training)

  8. I’m a very holistic person, and I honestly have never heard about yoga benefiting your thyroid. Just another reason to make yoga a part of my routine.

    I don’t think I’ll be able to do the Halasana pose, though. Maybe with some practice?

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