Balancing Hormones With Yoga
When you practice yoga in balance – in alignment, with awareness and mindfulness of breath – it all contributes to balancing hormones. Rather than breaking it down to specific poses in your mind (which could give the more limited idea that only those poses help), know that the whole practice of yoga creates more harmony.
Part of what makes yoga so healing is bringing more circulation to the body, which nourishes every system including the glands which produce hormones. Also, yoga can be enormously beneficial in lowering your stress levels. This alone supports harmonious hormones, as many of our hormones are designed to react to stress.
Knowing this, there are certain poses and groups of poses that can help you find balance. For instance, backbends are great for bringing more energy and lifting your mood if you’re feeling down. Sometimes you can literally feel the serotonin rushing through when you’re doing a practice of backbends in alignment. Great happy juice boosters!
On the other hand, if one is experiencing anxiety or you’re too wound up, forward bends (done with mindful alignment) can help bring calm, as can restorative poses and rooting the femurs back toward the hamstrings to align the hips.
As an example, think of child’s pose; toes together, knees apart, hips toward the heels, arms outstretched, forehead to the mat. This pose can be very calming. Having the forehead supported brings a sense of reassurance. There is also a gentle rooting of the femurs toward the earth, and a general feeling of being grounded, all of which can help scattered energy become more focused and quiet.
Other aspects of yoga that can bring equanimity are meditation and pranayama (breathing practices). Both have more benefits than I could list here, and contribute to a life with less stress, more peace, and well being. Follow these links to more extensive articles about meditation and pranayama.
The big picture is that by doing yoga with mindful alignment, honoring the breath, and celebrating the light of the heart, you not only create more hormonal harmony, but you come into balance in more ways than could possibly be expressed in words.