Happy Monday! I can’t tell you how blessed I am to have amazing guests on every Monday! Today Kayla is going to be talking about Hormones, Sugar & Yoga today. Here’s Kayla:
Let’s face it. We have all fell prey to our cravings – sometimes a little more than other times. When we feel a little more out of balanced, perhaps in H.A.L.T, it’s easier for us to reach for sugar than it is for us to opt for veggies. If the acronym isn’t ringing a bell, I’ll give you a refresher but you should most definitely check out my first blog post about it.
But, let’s rewind a second to touch on the physical reactions in our body that would allow us to be out of balance.
Our hormones are chemical messengers produced by our glands that carry messages throughout our body to regulate our physiological systems and behavior. Below is a list of symptoms that may indicate when you may be experiencing hormonal imbalances:
– Mood Swings
– Weight gain
In order to balance hormones, many people turn to alternative methods sugh as pills or surgery, without realizing that it can be as simple as yoga. Certain yoga poses compress and decompress our glands, which help to stimulate and balance our hormones.
Have I mentioned that yoga is magic?
Sugar, or carbs, produces a thing called serotonin, which creates this “feel-good” feeling when consumed. Just like sugar, yoga produces serotonin as well, thus creating the same “feel-good” feeling. Voila.
If practiced regularly, the cravings will begin to subside since you are receiving the same “feel-good” serotonin in your body. The more you practice, the more your body naturally feels good, happy and well balanced on it’s own. And, because you want that feeling to continue, you begin to nourish your body with whole and healthy foods.
So, what if you are craving a chocolate chip cookie now and cant make it to a yoga class? No problem! You don’t need to practice an hour of yoga in order to feel the amazing effects of yoga.
Below are four postures to do at home to help regulate hormones and cut those sugar cravings!
– Have a seat on your heels, knees together.
– Swing your arms behind you, grab your heels with your thumbs facing toward outside walls.
– Fold forward; round your spine to start, chin into your chest.
– Place the crown of your head on the ground – work towards a forehead to knee connection.
– Lift your hips off your heels; really pull on your knees to remove the weight from the top of your head.
– Hold for 3-5 breathes.
* Nourishes the nervous system and regulates hormones. Brings blood to the brain; regulating the thalamus and hypothalamus.
* Great for low mood or depression, diabetes, colds, and insomnia.
* Stimulates glands and organs.
– Come to standing on your knees; knees hip width distance apart. Option to place toes to the ground for more support.
– Place your hands to your low back, fingers face down.
– Squeeze elbows in toward center.
– Send your gaze overhead and push your hips forward over your knees.
– Keep your spine long; remove any wrinkles from your neck.
– Option to reach for heels as long as your neck is nice and long.
* Regulates hormones. Balances the central nervous system, parathyroid and thyroid glands
* Brings fresh blood to the kidneys; eliminates toxins from the body; improves memory and mental clarity.
* Good for diabetes and promotes digestion.
* Opens your body to encourage the release of trapped emotions.
Wide Legged Forward Fold
– Step your legs far apart.
– Parallel your feet to the outside edges of your mat.
– Extend your arms wide like wings.
– Hinge forward; reach for the outside edges of your feet, ankles, or calves.
– Shift weight into your toes; hips over heels.
– Work to bring your forehead to the ground instead of the crown of your head.
– Flat and neutral spine.
– Hold 3-5 breathes.
*Stimulates the Thyroid, helps relieve depression, increases circulation to brain and adrenal glands.
– Start from your knees.
– Place the crown of your head on the ground and cup/grasp around the back of your head with your hands.
– Squeeze your elbows in closer toward your mid-line.
– Pike your hips and straighten your legs.
– Lift one leg up toward the sky and using your core, lift the other one to meet.
– Place the majority of your weight in your forearms and not the top of your head.
– Hug your core in toward your spine to hold you in place.
CAUTION: try this under supervision first. Always know that you can use a wall to support you as well.
* Calms down the mind and increases blood flow.
* Stimulates pituitary glad and therefore is beneficial for the thyroid, heart and lungs.