How A Celebrity Yogi Overcame Years Of Thyroid Issues

mbg Contributor By Leigh Weingus
mbg Contributor
Leigh Weingus is a New York City based freelance journalist writing about health, wellness, feminism, entertainment, personal finance, and more. She received her bachelor’s in English and Communication from the University of California, Davis.

Photo by Alexa Gray Photography

If you've ever struggled with thyroid problems, you're probably familiar with some (or all) of these symptoms:

No matter how much coffee you drink, you have no energy. You feel a little foggy and have difficulty concentrating, and there's a stubborn 5 pounds hanging around your midsection that you just can't seem to lose.

Yep, the thyroid is a tricky gland. Luckily, yogi and thyroid-healing master Fern Olivia swung by the mbg office to give us some tips on how to naturally take care of your thyroid and get rid of these pesky symptoms for good.

Here's what she had to say.

Kick gluten to the curb.

When you have a thyroid condition, your body is out of balance. Clearly your thyroid gland is the master control center in your body. So if you're not feeling energized or able to function throughout your day or you have this nagging belly bloat or weight that just won't go away, there's a lot you can do.

We all know about diet and nutrition. It's really important to eat an alkaline diet and to eat gluten-free if you have a thyroid condition. A lot of people with thyroid conditions don't nix gluten, and that's one of the most important things you can do right away if you want to start losing weight and feeling better. The protein of gluten is gliadin, and it mimics the structure of the thyroid gland.

So if you have a thyroid imbalance, Grave's or Hashimoto's, gluten will trigger inflammation in the body. We don't want that—inflammation causes weight gain. If you don't want the weight gain, don't have the gluten.

Give your body nourishing foods, whole foods, and alive foods. That's what's going to fuel and invigorate your body.

If you're not sure what to whip up in the kitchen, you're in luck: I've created a Thyroid Yoga recipe book with super simple and gorgeous meals, drinks, and gasp—desserts—that will nourish you and bring your radiant glow back and help you to lose those last few pounds. You can find your copy here.

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Establish a daily yoga and meditation practice.

What a daily yoga and meditation practice does is rev up your immune system, your digestion, and your metabolism so you can finally feel better and lose weight.

It's really simple: In the morning, you just have to go to your yoga mat and do your breathing exercises and some yoga poses. It really helps to flush out the toxins and the stagnant energy in your body.

My favorite yoga pose for thyroid problems is wrapping the arms in eagle arms. To do this pose, reach your arms out to the side and wrap your right arm over your left, grab ahold of that left wrist, then tilt the chin over the shoulder or elbow crease.

You can do breath of fire here, seated breathing, or long, deep breathing. What this arm position does is cause you to really press and contain the energy around your thyroid and stimulate the organ so that when you release the arm you're opening stagnant energy and releasing inflammation.

I choose to do it in chair pose. You can watch the entire sequence in my class and learn even more thyroid support techniques during my upcoming Thyroid Yoga Training in LA and Australia, which is also available virtually.

If you want more energy, spend a little less time on Instagram.

When you have a thyroid condition, it's very common to not feel energized. You have brain fog and you're walking around like a zombie.

So one of the first things you can do to get energy is get a lot of sleep. Get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Get in bed before 11 p.m. if you can, turn off technology an hour before bed, and wake up in the morning between six or seven and do a meditation and breath practice and yoga practice right away.

Before you check emails or your Instagram account, devote some time to yourself. I promise that when you start your day with breath of fire and some other practices I talk about in my class, you're going to rev up your yoga practice and feel really good.

I feel foggy if I don't do them, so I know to manage my conditions holistically, this is the magic pill.

If you're looking for additional support in integrating all these practices and new lifestyle upgrades, I'd love to meet you and offer you my love and support at one of my upcoming meditation and yoga retreats or events on conscious communication and self-healing in a city near you.

You can also find out more about how I use plant-based therapeutics to self-heal in my luxury thyroid healing apothecary, Ajai Alchemy, and be sure to check out the Radiance Blend, developed specifically with your thyroid and adrenals in mind.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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