Specifically, we will stimulate, activate and balance the pituitary gland, which sits right behind the eyes and is the proverbial 'Third Eye'
Modern science tells us that the pituitary is formed from both nervous tissue and from the same tissue that forms the upper palate.
When our tongue stimulates the upper palate, it stimulates the pituitary to release secretions.
Chanting mantras stimulates the upper palate and the many meridian points located there.(1)
What is Kundalini Yoga? The energy of the glandular system combines with the nervous system to become more sensitive so that the totality of the brain perceives signals and interprets them.
~ Yogi Bhajan
- Focusing on the pituitary point – the Third Eye point at the brow – activates the pituitary gland.
- The breath strongly affects the function of the pineal and the pituitary glands and the hypothalamus.
- Sound and mantra have a powerful positive effect on the glands, particularly the endocrine centers of the hypothalamus and the pituitary and pineal glands.
- Yoga increases the energy moving through particular nerve pathways. Breath of Fire particularly intensifies the movement.
- Yoga balances the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The yogic view is not necessarily to decrease the sympathetic nervous stimulation but to increase the parasympathetic response.
- As we age we lose brain cells. The interconnection between the brain cells increase through exercise, activity and challenge, which leads to robust circulation and good glandular response. We know that we generate new brain cells throughout life and that exercise such as yoga, increases this generation of cells. Researchers speculate that depression comes in part from a slowdown in the production of theses needed new cells.
- The neural pathways in patients with chronic pain become hypersensitive to pain. One way to decrease pain is to increase the amount of information traveling down a shared neural pathway, effectively diluting the pain information. Increasing physical activity, such as yoga or massage therapy produces this effect.
- Mediations that include eye focus; mudras and chanting aloud actively involve the function of the thalamus.
Suggested Yoga Exercises(6)
These primarily affect the Central Nervous System but have a secondary effect on the Peripheral Nervous System.
- Gong meditation and chanting – rhythm and sound are the best ways to access the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Cold showers create a powerful parasympathetic reflex.
- Triangle Pose
- Sat Kriya
- Exercises that involve rapidly changing hand and arm movement helps to integrate functions in different areas of the brain, as well as to move the energy along the body’s meridians.
- Pranayam: Left nostril breathing stimulates parasympathetic nervous system and the calming, intuitive, creative faculties of the brain. Right nostril breathing stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and action oriented, analytical faculties of the left hemisphere. Alternate nostril breathing balances the activity of the two hemispheres; it gives an experience of altered receptivity and readiness for action and integrates ideas into action.
I am off for some additional Spring Renewal and fresh air.
If you are in the Winston-Salem area stop in and join us at the Yoga Gallery.
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