Practicing Adrenal Yoga for AFS Recovery – Part 1

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM

Adrenal yoga will help with stressExercise is a very important aspect in the sphere of our overall health. When we are experiencing extreme fatigue, however, it may not always be possible to undertake the rigorous exercise that you may think you need. It is in these types of situations where adrenal yoga should be considered as a good alternative to traditional aerobic exercise.

Whenever you are experiencing an extreme level of fatigue, it is important to be very careful in regards to the types of exercises you undertake. The body, in a weak state, is very susceptible to a myriad of problems. One can easily experience overexertion, low blood sugar levels, dizziness, and even blurry vision. If you experience any of those symptoms while exercising, the best thing that you can do is to stop immediately and seek out a professional opinion to learn why those things are happening. It is very common for people to overexert themselves when they are highly stressed and experiencing Adrenal Fatigue (AF).

Yoga and AFS

Yoga as a form of exercise is known to be great for providing recovery and can also help people cope with stressful circumstances without experiencing increasingly negative reactions. There are many forms of yoga. Some can make adrenal fatigue worse (such as hot yoga), while others are much more gentle (such as adrenal yoga). There are many facets of yoga. For the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on the physical aspects, but it should not be discounted that the mental training that yoga provides can often be very helpful. Adrenal yoga is a great way to help you recover from AF because of its gentle approach.

A brief overview of the adrenal glands is important to understand how adrenal yoga can help you. There are two separate parts to the adrenal gland; the first of which is known as the adrenal medulla which secretes adrenaline and noradrenaline. There are several different purposes for these hormones to be released but a few main tasks are maintaining heart rate, increasing oxygen flow to the muscles, and raising your blood pressure.

The second part of the adrenal gland that is important to understand is called the adrenal cortex. The purpose of the adrenal cortex is to produce and release cortisol, among other hormones, which has several different effects on the body. Cortisol is a very powerful hormone; it is released when the body is under threat (or perceived threat) and it readies the “fight or flight” response in the body. It also suppresses inflammation and the immune system – so there are risks of having high cortisol levels over time. When the body is unable to keep up with the demand for certain hormones, such as cortisol, it often enters a state of AF from which there needs to be recovery.

Adrenal Yoga Exercise

Adrenal yoga is not as simple as just picking up any old yoga book and choosing a few exercises at random. There are specific movements that can benefit an already exhausted body and help you on the road to recovery from AF or Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).

Adrenal yoga & its benefitsA simple adrenal yoga exercise that we will be discussing today is known as “corpse pose”. This is one of the simplest poses and has many benefits in its practice. First you need to lie flat on your back and stretch out your legs so that they are in a position that is mid-line with your torso. Once you’ve done this, raise your head so that your neck is fully extended and make sure that it is centered by visualizing your ears equidistant from your shoulders. Once all of these things are in line, make sure that your arms are turned out with your palms facing up and relax.

You can become disarmed within seconds and spend a minimum of five minutes or more focusing on relaxing everything in your body. This type of centering will help you to reduce stress and take a little bit of time to yourself during very stressful times. Something that adrenal yoga is meant to do is not only treat symptoms, but to become a practice that helps you keep symptoms at bay.

Not all people have the ability to exercise because of various health problems that may or may not be related to AFS. This is something that everyone should consider before diving into a new protocol of exercise. If you are in a state of extreme exhaustion, it could very possibly be the best thing to get some rest and take some time to yourself. It is up to you to make sure you are choosing safe methods of therapy for your own body. If you think there are excessive risks involved with anything you are considering for exercise, such as adrenal yoga, then it is recommended that you seek out professional advice.

Read Part 2

© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

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