All of your feelings and emotions are a result of chemical reactions taking place in the body.
These reactions are responsible for making you feel negative emotions, like anger and sadness, as well as positive emotions, from hormones like endorphins of love and happiness.
Endorphins and serotonin are two of the six main neurotransmitters produced naturally by the brain. They are responsible for regulating mood and brain chemistry. At high levels, they prevent pain and sadness, while low levels tend to inhibit positive feelings.
The pituitary gland produces endorphins, while the thyroid gland produces serotonin; production of the two chemicals is often related so that elevating endorphin levels can produce a natural rise in serotonin levels.
While both endorphins and serotonin are known for enhancing emotions, serotonin produces a milder effect, causing happiness and feelings of security. Endorphins, on the other hand, are a more intense form of pleasure, sparking more extreme feelings such as euphoria and ecstasy, through to relaxation and joy, similar to those produced by serotonin.
The amounts of endorphins and serotonin in circulation in the body are different for everyone. Research shows that these feel good ‘happy hormones’ are significantly impacted by physical activity.
Regular exercise like Bikram Yoga, not only helps keep the heart healthy and gets oxygen into the body, but it helps in the reduction of stress hormones and increases mood-enhancing chemicals (endorphins), which help us cope better with stress.
Bikram Yoga’s twenty-six posture and 2 breathing exercises systematically move fresh, oxygenated blood to one hundred percent of your body, to each organ and fiber, restoring all systems to healthy working order. Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class is designed to scientifically warm and stretch muscles, ligaments and tendons, in the specific order in which they should be stretched. The result is not only a health body, but also a health mind.
As Bikram yoga helps regulate the endocrine system, the hormone powerhouse of the body, it is the perfect activity to help reduce stress and increasing general wellbeing.
Every posture in Bikram has its benefits, each working together to re balance the body to optimum health. Below are a few of our favourites for hormone regulation along with the other benefits of these poses.
- Regulates thyroxin hormone production in the thyroid gland; flushes the pituitary, hypothalamus and thymus glands
- Helps relieve depression, memory loss
- Increases circulation to the brain and adrenal glands
- Improves flexibility of hips, ankles and last five vertebrae of the spine; cures and prevents sciatica pain
- Helps functioning of the internal abdominal organs (especially large and small intestines). Relieves constipation
- Works the pineal and thyroid glands; improves metabolism
- Helps maintain good blood sugar balance
- Improves blood circulation; improves memory; helps manic depression
- Stretches, tones and decongests the spinal column and nervous system
- Massages the pancreas, liver, gall-bladder, spleen, intestines, gonads, urinary bladder and kidneys
- Helps hyperacidity, diabetes, constipation, dyspepsia and hemorrhoids
- Helps with colds, sinus problems, migraines and the entire immune system
- Benefits the muscular, skeletal, endocrine, digestive and reproductive systems
- Opens hips and lower spine; strengthens the abdomen
- Boosts the endocrine system; regulating hormones. Beneficial for Diabetic patients
- Provides maximum relaxation; helping with stress, anemia, anxiety and sleep disorders
- Cures indigestion, constipation, IBS and flatulence
- Increases blood flow to the brain; bringing mental clarity and good memory
- Massages internal organs, lungs, heart and coronary arteries
- Stretches the spine; helps to prevent herniation
- Regulates hormones. Stimulates the central nervous system, parathyroid and thyroid glands
- Cervical spondylosis, bronchial spasms and high blood pressure
- Opens the chest; strengthens the muscles of the back and shoulders
- Produces maximum compression of the spine; relieving backaches, herniated discs; helping kypho-scolitic deformities
- Brings fresh blood to the kidneys; eliminates toxins from the body; improves memory and mental clarity
- Cures vertigo and dizziness; is good for osteoporosis, diabetes, constipation and fermentive dyspepsia
- Posture opens your body to encourage the release of trapped emotions
- Improves flexibility of the neck and spine. Trims the waist-line by stretching the abdomen and fat cell storage
- Nurtures the nervous system and regulates hormones. Brings blood to the brain; regulating the thalamus and hypothalamus
- Stretches the entire spine from top to bottom, also improves neck and shoulder flexibility
- Keeps the chest cavity flexible; improving bone density and balance
- Beneficial for low mood or depression, diabetes, colds, sinus problems, throat diseases, headaches and insomnia
- Stimulates all glands and organs.
Bikram Yoga is designed to systematically work the entire body. The complete sequence practiced regularly will improve wellbeing and as a result enhance that ‘happy hormone’ high we all love.