Download video: Yoga for Hormones / Endocrine -Namaste Yoga 199 Benefits of Yoga Series Hormones Endocrine System
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Props Needed: bolster, 2 blocks
Yoga Asanas/Postures: Supta Baddha Konasana/reclined bound angle pose over bolster, Windshield wiper legs, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana/Supported Bridge Pose), Chakki Chalanasana/moving the grinding wheel, Pineal Gland Kriya, Prasarita Padottanasana/Wide-legged standing forward fold, Ardha Dhanurasana/Half Bow Pose, Matsyasana/Fish Pose, Ardha Matsyendrasana/half lord of the fishes pose, Alternate Nostril Breathing/nadi sodhana
Namaste Yoga 199 Benefits of Yoga Series: Hormones/Endocrine System Intermediate Class
Your endocrine system secretes hormones directly into your bloodstream. Your endocrine glands run through the central channel of your body balancing your chemical makeup. As many of you know if any of your hormones are off a bit, it can throw off your whole being physically, emotionally, and mentally. You've heard that quote, "I love it when my brain chemicals and hormones are just right and I can actually just enjoy life."
Starting from the base of your spine you have the sex glands, the testes for men and the ovaries for women. Moving up to the area of your solar plexus are the adrenals and the pancreas. At your heart center is your thymus and your artial heart glands. At your throat are your thyroid and parathyroid. And at your third eye are your pineal gland and pituitary gland.
In women the sex glands are two almond-shaped ovaries located roughly in the middle of the pelvic cavity. The ovaries secrete estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone create women's female sexual characteristics and influence behaviour. For men their testes secrete androgens, testosterone, androsterone stimulate and maintain sexual characteristics and influence behaviour.
Many people have heard about adrenal glands because of adrenal fatigue. Your adrenals sit on top of your kidneys at the base of your ribs on the back of your body. The main part of your adrenal glands activate your fight or flight response through epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine. This increases your blood pressure and respiration and gets your muscles ready for action, not to mention slow down your digestion.
Your pancreas is a 6-inch long tongue-shaped gland. If you put one hand slightly above your navel and another around the left side of your waist, this is basically where your pancreas sits. Your pancreas produces insulin and glucagon. Insulin lowers your blood sugar levels by increasing the transport of glucose across cell membranes (especially your liver and muscle cells) therefore giving your body energy. Glucagon raises your blood sugar levels. The pancreas produces about a liter of pancreatic enzymes which are delivered to the duodenum through ducts for the digestion of food.
Your artial heart also secretes hormones to regulate body fluids. Your thymus gland sits behind your sternum on top of your heart. It is extremely important for your immunity.
Your thyroid sits at the base of your neck. Your thyroid gland has a tremendous effect on your body's metabolic rate. Your parathyroid sits right behind the upper and lower part of your thyroid. It controls the levels of calcium and the concentration of phosphate in your body.
Your pituitary gland is a small pea-sized gland that is connected by a stalk to the hypothalamus. It lies behind your nasal cavity, slightly in front of the midline of your head. Your pituitary gland controls blood pressure, some aspects of pregnancy and childbirth including breast milk production, sex organ function in both males and females, thyroid gland function, conversion of food into energy (metabolism), water regulation in your body, water balance by your kidneys, temperature regulation, and pain relief.
Your pineal gland is located slightly behind and above your pituitary gland. The pineal gland is affected by exposure to light and so helps with your sleep/wake cycle. It is responsible for secreting melatonin which helps you to sleep at night.
Resource: Yoga Mind, Body and Spirit by Donna Farhi