Hormones: our cross and our salvation
We carry them with us at every stage of our lives. These small molecules, an integral part of our make-up, are our allies of every day. But really, what role do these secret substances play?
Produced by the endocrine system, these small particles are found in all organisms, both animal and plant. They are chemical mediators, carriers of information to the target organs, modifying their behaviour and interactions. Although we may not think so, they work for us with discretion. They regulate or disrupt our mood, our sexuality and our libido. They transform the child to a teenager, then adult, daughter to mother. They act on our weight and our appetite. They punctuate our days and our nights and how we adapt to stress.
Cortisol and melatonin, two additional hormones, manage our circadian rhythm, or in other words, our sleep-wake rhythm. These are the hormones that probably have the most visible actions on a daily basis. Variation of alertness, body temperature, through the growth of the hair, the production of urine and the level of growth hormone, everything is managed by these two molecules in a very subtle way.
Insulin, one of the best known hormones, handles the processing and storage of carbohydrates or sugars ingested, and assists in the production of energy for the body. Its imbalance produces diabetes, a disease, well known and very serious if not treated.
The thyroid hormone (thyroxine and the triiodothyronine), responsible for the growth and multiplication of the cells of the body, as well as protein-lipid-carbohydrate basal metabolism. Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism are two common disorders, treated by medication or surgery.
Sex hormones (oestrogen, progesterone, FSH, LDH and testosterone) as well as growth hormones are the basis of life and regulate everything related to the evolution of the body over the years, our lifeâ€™s journey.
All these hormones are looking to maintain the balance of our body and its functioning on a daily basis. They are so discreet and slow acting, that one realizes their presence more often when they are out of sync.Â Â And that is the medicine of yoga. There is nothing new with Hormone Yoga as you may find it in studios nowadays. Some believe it is a revolution but it is actually what yoga has offered through the numerous years of its history. Simply practice it with awareness, focus on the endocrine system when practicing, learn where your thyroid is located, pancreas and a couple of other glands and practice a complete yoga asanas session, add a meditation on those parts and appropriate pranayama â€“ that is the best of the â€śso calledâ€ť Hormone Yoga or Yoga for Womenâ€¦
Be careful, yoga tends to become such business for some people. The benefits of yoga have always been there (even if science has helped a little to underline some effects) so pay attention to those making you believe in new miracles. The miracle is yoga itself as it comes from a country where people believe, on a daily basis, in little miracles and thatâ€™s the beauty of it â€“ believe in Santosha!