Yoga for Adrenal Fatigue, Ashtanga Yoga for Adrenal Health
Ashtanga Yoga for Adrenal health
Adrenal glands are two triangular cap like structures, sitting on the head of each kidney within the abdominal cavity. Adrenal glands along with other hormone secreting glands in the body constitute the endocrine system. Each of these glands has an outer covering known as the cortex and an inner core known as the medulla. The cortex secretes chemical substances, hormones, which are crucial to the life of the individual; cortisol (which regulates the metabolism of the body and helps respond to the external stressors), and aldosterone which regulates the pressure at which the blood circulates within the body. The inner medulla of the adrenal glands secrete adrenalin which is not vital to the life of the individual but helps in preparing the body for reacting to stress. The reaction of the body to stress under the impact of adrenalin is also known as its fight or flight response.
In general the hormones which are produced inside the adrenal glands are all steroids with cholesterol as the raw material. Glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids are the two groups of hormones which are released in the cortex of the adrenal glands. Cortisol comes under glucocorticoids the release of which is triggered by the hypothalamus in the form of a messenger chemical, corticotrophin, to the Pituitary gland which relays another messenger hormone, corticotropic , to the adrenal glands to begin the production of cortisol. Cortisol is also known as hydrocortisone, which facilitates the conversion of fat, carbohydrates and proteins into energy required for handling the stress response. Cortisol also aids with running the functions of the heart , and the blood pressure which depends on the pace of the functioning of the heart itself.
Aldosterone, also released in the cortex comes under mineralocorticoids. It maintains the optimal levels of salt and water within the blood for maintaining the optimal pressure in the flow of the blood. The production of aldosterone is regulated by the action of the kidneys on the adrenal glands. Adrenal cortex releases small amount s of certain sex hormones as well. Another companion of cortisol, corticosterone, helps by boosting the bodies defense mechanism, immune system, and thus subdues any inflammatory reactions due to external pathogenic invasions. Epinephrine also known as adrenaline, is the hormone released in the medulla of the adrenal glands whenever an external threat presents itself. Adrenaline prepare the body to fight or to take a flight from the stressful situation by increasing the heart rate, pumping more blood into the muscles -for immediate action, and in the brain for faster thinking and related reaction. The level of blood sugar, it being the fuel for these processes to take place, are also pumped up as more quantity of glycogen stored in the liver is converted to glucose under the impact of adrenaline.
Norepinephrine is another hormone which is released in the medulla along with adrenaline, it functions in conjunction with adrenaline itself but too much of it can result in high blood pressure as the blood vessels become hard and narrow under its impact. The impact of adrenalin is short term whereas the reactions generated in the body by the action of cortisol last longer.
Yoga for Adrenal Glands
Learning to handle stress can take off a lot of pressure from the immune system which can keep it healthy and well-tuned for long. Research has proved the stress relieving effects of adrenal yoga which includes focus of the mind, relaxation, movements with a purpose and breathing with awareness . Yoga asanas are physical poses which bend, twist, ot stretch the various parts of the body which brings freshly gushing blood to the organ systems , reinvigorating them in the process. Yoga asanas, pranayamas and meditative practices which for the part of Ashtanga yoga for adrenal health help relieve the nervous system of the need to constantly remain in the defense mode , these yoga practices calms the mind and the web of nerves associated with it. The yoga pranayama exercise the breath to become steadier, slower, and lighter which in turn nudges the mind to peace and tranquility. There is a separate set of yoga techniques which help in relieving mental and physical stress. Regular practice of yoga for adrenal glands closes off the sympathetic area , defence response, in the hypothalamus region of the brain which is also responsible for expressing one’s emotions. Studies have found that regular practice of yoga for adrenal glands deactivates the areas of the hypothalamus which are responsible for generating emotions like fear, rage, and anger. Yoga is an apt answer to the question –how to activate the adrenal glands? as regular practice of yoga for adrenal glands lowers the heart rate, anxiety levels, blood pressure, and stress on the cardiac system.
Yoga reduces the production of cortisol by inhibiting the triggers for the same in the hypothalamus, this decrease the stress response of the body. Overworked adrenal glands lead to the symptoms which are collectively known as adrenal fatigue. Yoga poses for adrenalin fatigue help reduce the stress levels in the body which provides some resting time to the adrenal glands stress response. A destressed adrenal can better take care of its constructive functions like regulating the salt and water balance in the body. Fatigued adrenal glands are unable to make enough cortisol for fighting the stress response , thus the body stays stressed, lethargic, and sluggish. Yoga exercises for adrenal fatigue help activate the glands which produces the cortisol at optimal levels keeping the ill effects of its overproduction at bay.