During my work with National Kale Day over the past year, I’ve met some really inspiring people. I love to share their stories and pass on their knowledge about diet, exercise and healing to our community of healthy lifestylers!
This year I met Fern Langham, YT, AADP — renowned for her artful approach to healing that combines wisdom from her extensive training in yoga, meditation, nutrition and holistic health. Fern is also the founder of Thyroid.Yoga™, so enjoy this Q&A with her and learn about her amazing journey.
JI: Tell us a little bit about thyroid yoga and how/why you started your program.
After living with hypothyroidism for over 10 years, trying every pharma drug in the book, and feeling at the mercy of traditional medicine, I had enough. A biomedical engineer by education and a natural researcher, I decided to take my health into my own hands. I studied everything that involved healing Hashimoto’s Hypothyroditis within holistic health, yoga, meditation, and self-care rituals. Years later, using the tools of ancient healing wisdom, I am no longer waking up feeling puffy, congested, stuck, bloated, and foggy, and I am finally glowing, feeling empowered, and living a life I absolutely adore.
I created Thyroid.Yoga™ to empower women who have experienced the discomfort and struggle of trying to understand how to align their thyroid health with the vibrant health they wish to see for themselves.
Women who desire to find balance and vibrancy in their bodies, who have tried everything, who are sick of taking tests upon tests and receiving lack of clarity, who still feel frequent puffiness and fogginess and want to feel home in their bodies again. Women who may fear speaking their truth or demanding self-respect in their relationships and careers. Women who know that deep within their hearts, there is a voice and a light that must be expressed.
JI: Why do people, especially women struggle with thyroid health?
Two main reasons.
1) Our bodies are being hit with so many chemicals and toxins that weren’t here generations ago. Parabens, carcinogens, heavy metals, and GMOs are all bombarding our bodies — and our immune and lymphatic system can’t keep up!
Add adrenal fatigue into the mix, which is affecting so many more women today because we have an unbelievable amount of added stress to be wonder women, plus poor eating habits as a child have caught up to us and have weakened our digestive system to a point where we see food allergies pop up all over the place. Our bodies are in survival mode, just fighting to find a little bit of balance.
Plus, years of oral contraception have thrown our hormones out of their natural rhythm, and we are finally just seeing now how altering our hormones for years was not really a smart choice. Our thyroid is the major control center in our bodies — so clearly when we are so out of whack due to the stress placed upon us by our environment, work, and toxins that have taken over our endocrine system, we just can’t keep up.
2) Many women have the fear of communicating their needs and desires, feel unheard at work or in their relationships, or feel afraid to do what they really love and express themselves creatively.
I have noticed in my practice that many women have manifested thyroid conditions because of a long pattern of not speaking up or feeling blocked creatively. Are you experiencing something similar? Have your physical symptoms slightly improved with nutrition, lifestyle shifts, or medication, but you just can’t seem to feel 100% better?
Now can you recognize any areas of struggle in your life where you’ve been unable to speak your ideas and truth without being judged, shamed or criticized? Do you find yourself allowing others to speak without expressing your voice because you are afraid of what they may say or how they may perceive you?
We are approaching a major shift in global consciousness, one where we are beginning to speak our empowered truth about our intuition, our gifts, and our needs. Thyroid conditions have been showing up more and more frequently because we are being called upon to raise our consciousness and become leaders in this world. Our bodies are literally saying “Hey, this blockage here, I’m sick of you not being true to you, I want you to finally speak up and be your powerful self!” and it’s about time we listen!
JI: Can you share an easy yoga move that helps to activate or improve thyroid health?
Garudasana (eagle’s pose) with breath of fire is a powerful asana combined with pranayama.
Also known as Yoga breathing techniques, pranayama is important to support your entire glandular system because it provides the energy needed by your body while also enhancing the oxygen intake. Specifically, breath of fire flushes your lymphatic system, massages your internal organs, and releases toxins and deposits from your lungs, mucous lining, and blood vessels, which essentially moves the stagnant energy out of your body. Doing breath of fire with this arm variation will flush your thyroid and support balance of your entire glandular system.
- Extend both arms out in front of you, then cross your left arm over your right. Bend your elbows and back your forearms up toward one another until your hands touch, or take one palm around the opposite wrist. Lift that structure up in front of your face, rest your chin on your left upper arm, then breathe with breath of fire, short sharp inhales and exhales of equal length, with vigor.
- Then repeat with the opposite arm on top
- Duration: 3 minutes each side
JI: In your experience, what is the one small change people can make to improve the health of the thyroid?
Oh, being committed to a daily practice is the gamechanger, 100%!
Self-discipline is required to get over dis-ease, and you need to be dedicated to showing up for yourself every single morning — and yes, that means before checking instagram or emails. I’ve worked with hundreds of clients, and I have witnessed those who find the most success are those who commit to the daily practice!
It’s as simple as going to bed a half hour earlier and waking up a half hour earlier every morning. It doesn’t have to be hard! We make excuses, but truly, it’s so easy to wake up and do 3 minutes of cat/cow, 3 minutes of breath of fire, and some simple poses to cleanse your lymphatic system. Once you get moving, it’s actually really fun and starts to feel good that you’ll look forward to it because you know how awesome your day will be afterward with this new burst of energy and clarity! Your weight will finally be what you want it to be and your cravings will subside… it’s really incredible!
JI: Tell us more about your courses and retreats!
In addition to my events and classes in LA and around the world, I currently offer a one-on-one mentorship program for those looking to dramatically improve the quality of their life. I work with women with hyper, hypo, Graves, Hashimoto’s, and those who had their thyroid removed. The underlying component of all my courses and mentorships is a daily self-care ritual, which involves a yoga, movement, and breathwork practice uniquely designed for your unique needs and concerns.
I also have created a group course designed to help highly motivated men and women to connect to their intuition and feel fearless in manifesting their desires. Over 8-weeks, together with my partner Tina Paymaster, we guide our community in creating a balanced, healthy and fulfilling life with purpose — all while having the support of a conscious, high-vibe tribe who “gets it” and is is COMMITTED to their success! You can learn that here…
Several of the women that I have mentored have taken their health to whole new heights and are now starting to integrate the Thyroid.Yoga™ method into their own coaching practices. I love empowering women to thrive in all aspects of their lives!
JI: Anything else you want to share?
The journey to self-healing is not easy.
In order to truly heal, I believe we must engage in deep introspection on the emotional and energetics behind why our immune systems were weakened in the first place, or why we held on to the stagnation in our glandular systems. Whoa. I totally get that this can be scary — it sure was for me!
But it doesn’t have to be for you –- in fact, it can be exciting and fun, and that’s why I’m here! I wish someone was here to walk me through my journey when I couldn’t get myself out of bed because my body was just so weak, or to show me how to get rid of the daily brain fog, congestion and puffiness. Or to get rid of the “looks pregnant but not really pregnant” uncomfortable belly bloat. Or how to get my period back after it had vanished for two years! That’s precisely why I’m doing this work!
I welcome you to join me at Thyroid.Yoga and learn more about my unique approach to supporting the health of your thyroid — and how you can finally step out of survival mode and into the beautiful life you were meant to live! I warmly welcome you to connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and share your story via [email protected].
If you would like to work with Fern — get un-stuck, finally feel ah-mazing in your body, and get crystal clear in your mind — she is offering a complimentary guided meditation to empower you to live your most radiant, healthy life, download yours and make this the year of magnificent you!