Correlation Between The Glands And Chakras
An interesting fact that was discovered and revealed by yogis of ancient times is that the manifestation of thoughts and emotions has a direct correlation with the body. People believe that the basic nature of the human being cannot be changed. But yogis have proven just the opposite. The yoga master can control and change the basic components of nature. Now you must be wondering, how? It is by fully understanding the connection between the body and mind.
This article explains the physiology and psycho-physiology behind the chakras and the glandular system. A key here is in understanding how the body affects the psyche. We are used to thinking about how the mind and psyche effect out emotions and physical health, but have you considered how your material life, lifestyle, diet and other very physical things have impacted your psyche?
We have conditioned ourselves to accept the present reality we perceive. When this principle is fully realized one is able to turn the tides and use the mind to effect our physical reality.
Medical science proving the ancient wisdom of the rishis
It is a well-known and proven fact that human emotion is created by the functions of the glands and their coordination between each other. Thousands of years ago, the ancient authors of the yoga shasthras had explained the effect of the secretion of hormones on the mind. In more recent times, medical science has proven the authenticity of their claims. It has been revealed that the chakras, or energy centers in the body as explained in the classical yoga texts, are related to the glands of the endocrine system. The chakras relate to various levels of consciousness, and the hormones secreted by the glands are the cause for our states of mind.
In fact, the postures, or yoga asanas, affect these glands directly by improving circulation of blood and vitality, as well as massaging and enhancing their functionality so that they are kept in balance, and well regulated.
An in depth understanding of the chakras
“Chakra” in Sanskrit means wheel. Physically is it not a wheel, but a kind of vortex or meridian point in the subtle body where the vital and mental channels cross paths. Chakras are the transformers of spirital power, stepping down the intensity of atma shakti to the various levels of our being; the psyche, mind, energy body and physical body.
The chakras can be visualized as junctions or points of light within the spinal column. According to the Yoga Shastras, there are seven chakras that manifest the human dimension. A yoga practitioner can easily observe the changes in the mind and feel the activity of the chakras with a regular spiritual practice. The impact working on your chakras has is visible through your words, deeds and actions. When complete hormonal balance is acquired, there is perfect health, homeostasis and inner peace. This is the physical definition of enlightenment. A serenely blissful, quiet and still state of the mind can also be experienced, which is rare to say the least and greatly appreciated for most all of us living in our fast paced modern societies.
The connection between the chakras and mind
- It is with the balancing of these chakras, the emotions can be controlled. Balancing means, opening or activating the chakras through yoga practice.
- The chakras are always activated, but can be considered as healthy or sick depending on how stagnated or well-circulated the flow of prana is at each one.
- Stagnated / well-flowing states of the chakras directly manifests in the character, responses or reactions of human beings.
- Every yoga asana has direct or indirect effect on at least one of these seven chakras, almost every single asana stimulates manipura chakra, the solar plexus. This is our internal reservoir of prana.
- On the bioenergetic level, we can say that the internal organs in the physical body and the glands in the endocrine system have the direct correlation with each chakra.
- The strength of the flow of prana to each chakra affects the working of each organ like the pancreas, kidney, liver, heart, etc. including the whole of the endocrine systems, as well.
- Once can heal various glands and organs by improving the flow of prana to the corresponding chakra.
- Awakening the chakras refers to the ability to sustain the kundalini shakti at that level of intensity. Each chakra is a higher frequency and it becomes increasingly more challenging to stay balanced and conserve your energy as the kundalini continues to ascend.
- Basic characteristics of the mind like hunger for power and position, lust, pride, compassion, unconditional love, creativity and talent, confidence and concentration – all these can be controlled by balancing the chakras.
- If there are any hormone levels out of balance, such as low testosterone, etc. then working with the corresponding chakras will revitalize and rejuvenate the glands in effect.
The chakras and their corresponding glands
In yoga, the dormant vital energy starts flowing from the lower region of the spine. There lies the first chakra from human being perspective.
This is also called as the “root” chakra. The reason is that this chakra is considered to be the starting point of human evolution. “Moola” is the root and “adhara” means the foundation. The mental cravings and desires for the food, sex, passion, power etc. manifest from this point.
The gland associated with this chakra is the testicles and the ovaries.
Muladhara is the ground floor level of existence where survival and reproduction are the center of importance. This is also where we connect with the planet and receive guidance from out instinctive intelligence. The testicles and ovaries produce some of the two most important hormones for men and women; testosterone and estrogen. This is the very seat of our personalities.
Location is the region below the coccyx, or the tail bone. This chakra is our center of joy, sensuality, affection and pleasure. The sense of smell is also connected with this chakra.
Swadhishtana Chakra – this is the seat – adhishtana of the self – swa.
This is the chakra connected with the reproductive organs and Adrenalin.
The glands correlating to swadisthana are the adrenal glands.
The primary characteristic of this chakra is human sexuality. Adrenalin prompts us to fight or run away. It is also experienced just as strongly when a man approaches a woman he is sexually attracted to. The woman typically feels the strongest surge of Adrenalin just before consummation.
The exact region of swadisthana is in between the sacrum and the coccyx. When compared with the lower chakra, muladhara, swadhishtana chakra manifests more good and purified mental states, along with being more proactive, more hopeful and instilling self-confidence and determination.
Excessive action and aggressiveness in actions is manifested. The stagnating tendencies of the previous chakra are overcome when the energy reaches this level, however it becomes extremely challenging to remain at this level as the sex drive is now optimized and fully active. Lust cannot be defeated head on, and sexual suppression leads to just as big of problems. As with all the other chakras and systems in the body, total health and equanimity is reached when balanced is achieved. One must therefore swing like a pendulum between sexual indulgence and suppression, until that golden balance is achieved.
Until this balance is achieved, the kundalini shakti cannot raise any further and one can not advance in their skills at working with prana, because of the large amount of vitality that is lost with undisciplined sex. It is for this aim that tantra has evolved a set of practices specifically for sexually active spiritual aspirants.
Manipura Chakra – “Mani” is the pearl and pura means the “dwelling place” or “temple”
The endocrine glands connected with this chakra are the pancreas.
The pancreas regulate your metabolism. The manipura chakra can be said to be the core of your body’s heat, your inner fire, the digestive fire, etc. If your metabolism is not balanced then you will want to focus on the yogic techniques and practices for this chakra.
As far as the evolution is concerned, this is one of the important junctions among the chakras. The region is behind the navel, in the middle of the abdomen. The solar plexus is the bioenergetic organ responsible for storing our prana. You can think of it like a battery. Not everyone is able to retain the same amount of bio-energy. Most people deplete their store of vitality every time it begins to peak. Yogis can be seen as those who have levels of vitality greater than dozens or even hundreds of average people.
The two main things that deplete our inner store of life force is lust and anger. We transcended lust at the previous chakra, however anger becomes a challenge to control at this level as one is also learning how to have a healthy self image, and manage pride. If one’s self image is poor, they are likely to get angry at themselves frequently. And to even live with a certain level of chronic self hatred. These are the sort of issues that get resolved when the kundalini rises to manipura chakra. It is said, once she has purified this center and begins to rise above it, there is no returning.
At this stage of evolution, there is a noticeable improvement to the clarity of thoughts, practical wisdom, more self-confidence and the manifestation of a complete sense of well being. One becomes far more self assured, proactive and assertive. They now have a strong presence and make great leaders.
For this reason, this chakra denotes the higher evolution of the mind. It is stepping from the lower mind, concerned only with sensory gratification, to the higher mind. The passion in the mind is converted into a stronger sense of self. Lust is replaced by discernment, a deep sense of self pride requires a higher standard than before. One is less interested in the quality of enjoyment, but more in the quality of it. Less is more.
Personal prejudices are transformed into a more universal understanding, and the attitude of the mind changes by seeing actions as service oriented. Strong bonds of friendship can be formed at this level. At this stage of evolution, true manifestation of self-awareness starts.
Anahata Chakra – “Unlimited” is the meaning.
The endocrine gland associated with this chakra is the thymus.
The thymus regulates your immune system. Anahata chakra is associated with feelings of compassion, universal and brotherly love, deep inner peace and contentment. It has been shown there is a direct relationship between the immune system and our emotional state. Studies have proven that the immune system is improved when one is experiencing states similar to compassion, empathy, hope and love.
The location of this chakra is directly back from the sternum, in the spinal column.
When the spiritualization of your mind and body reaches anahata, the richest, most altruistic and purest qualities of the human being is manifest. Mainly the qualities are expression of unconditional love in all your actions, the attitude of seeing God in others, and a genuine desire to serve others without any expectation for reward or recognition. A “heartily” attitude and motivation behind all their actions, with “selflessness”.
It is at this level one rises above the animalistic lower mind completely. One is now interested in expanding their sense of self through service and sacrifice to others.
Everyone is a god / goddess in their own light. Serving other, starts with this attitude alone. The practitioner can influence others around him with the unconditional love in all the actions. It is contagious, and yet you don’t need to say a thing. This quality manifests through your words and actions without any specific effort.
This is the center of your intuitive intelligence. Ever heard the phrase, “listen to your heart”?
Yoga teaches that this is the starting point of the higher chakras, those with divine power. Just as all the chakras below muladhara belong to the animal realm, all the chakras below anahata are human and the ones above it are divine.
Vishudhi Chakra = “Purified or cleansed” is the meaning of vishudhi.
The thyroid is the endocrine gland connected with this chakra.
The thyroid gland secretes hormones into your blood that effect every cell in your body. These hormones help regulate things like temperature. The thyroid gland influences the functioning of all the major organs including the brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and skin. The thyroid gland can be seen as the center for discerning how to regulate all the various organs. And discernment is exactly what the vishuddhi chakra relates to as well.
Vishuddhi is the purification of knowledge. Discernment. This is where knowledge is transformed into wisdom.
The exact location of this chakra is your throat – or the vicinity of larynx. Vishuddhi chakra is the psychic center where you start receiving the quality of clairvoyance, power to influence others through your words, divinity and right understanding of universal truths. At this point, the selfless and unconditional love experienced from the lower chakras, is transformed into a universal vision of perfection. The love at anahata bears greater fruit at vishuddhi. As the kundalini shakti rises to this level, the expansion of your consciousness is accelerated.
This is the beginning of the super human states, perceptions and abilities.
Ajna Chakra – “Command” is the meaning of ajna. This is the command center.
In yoga, this is one of the most powerful and important locations in the human body.
The pituitary gland is the endocrine gland associated with this chakra. The pituitary regulates the functions of the previously mentioned glands. It can be said to be the control center. Ajna means precisely that, and correlates to having a strong mind.
Ajna is said to be beyond the five primitive elements, it is the sixth element of mind and individual consciousness. When the kundalini reaches this level one wakes up to the truth of Self. One sees that they are the creator of their own realities. This is the level of Self-realization.
Ajna, and the pituitary, is considered to be the command center for the entire activity of human thinking, speaking, acting and the automatic functions of the body. The evolutionary state at this level is just near to the final stage of evolution – the point of divine state of consciousness. First comes Self realization, and then God realization. This is the proverbial third-eye. It is the flowering of the psychic powers dormant in man. You gain intuitive powers called “siddhis”, or yogic perfections.
The psychic abilities that began at the last center reach their culmination at this center. Beyond this center, however, one leaves the psyche and enters the spiritual dimension.
The pineal is the endocrine gland associated with sahasrara chakra.
The pineal gland secretes hormones such as melatonin, which governs sleep and wakefulness. Also within the pineal gland is DMT, which is only secreted when a strong enough surge of Adrenalin breaks its defenses. When DMT is released to the brain the soul leaves the body.
Within the sahasrara chakra is a minor chakra called bindhu. The bindhu is the point between duality and non duality where immortal and infinite spirit manifests into a contracted individualized form. The pineal gland is the exact physical location of bindhu.
The crown chakra is the seventh and final chakra in the evolution of human beings. It is the source of cosmic consciousness, which is later transformed into the various frequencies of bioenergy in the body. Previously one realized individual soul, the jivanatman. Here at sahasrara one realizes the cosmic soul, Paramatman.
It has been said that this is not really a chakra. In order to understand this mystery let us consider the previous example of electrical transformers. If the chakras are the transformers reducing the charge of pure cosmic energy, then sahasrara is the core of the nuclear reactor at the power plant. It is the source.
At sahasrara you enjoy an unbroken unity with the divinity within. Man becomes one with God. Mind is still like the calm still sea without any waves, perfectly tranquil and equanimous. This is the stage where all the yogic practices bear the supreme. Many have stated that the bindhu manifests as a blusih white dot in their vision, and from that dot manifests their chosen form of divinity. This is the highest reward of a lifetime of spiritual practice. The meaning of yoga – “to unite with” is accomplished at this stage. You are beyond the body, mind, intellect, ego and all other physical and mental limitations. You are united with your chosen god or goddess. The jeevatma (individual consciousness) is merged with the paramatma (universal consciousness).