As physical activities go, Hatha Yoga is one of the most therapeutic pursuits a person can participate in. If you compare physical Yoga techniques to walking, running, biking, weight lifting or swimming, there are holistic benefits in all of these activities. For this reason, it is wise for participants seeking only physical benefits to cross train in order to improve the physical quality of life.
Yoga for the Pituitary Gland
Does the effect of Yoga on a gland the size of a bean really make a difference? The pituitary gland, located behind the nose, secretes hormones that travel through our blood stream, controlling functions like thyroid activity, hormones, childhood growth, sex hormones, and urine production. Think of it as a computer that controls all other hormone-producing glands and determines our reactions to emotions. It even affects our ability to bond with others and to experience what we call an “instant connection” to some of the people we meet.
The pituitary is associated with the Anja Chakra, also known as the Sixth or Brow Chakra. This chakra affects our physical, mental, and spiritual growth and gives us the confidence we need to trust our intuition and become our “real” selves. People who have under-developed pituitary glands often experience feelings of loneliness and isolation from others.
Activating the Pituitary Gland with Yoga
Kundalini Yoga recommends meditation for opening the Sixth Chakra while “Yoga Journal” provides a series of poses designed to stimulate the pituitary gland. These include the following:
• King Pigeon Pose
• Upward Bow or Wheel Pose
• Handstands and Supported Handstands
• Elbow Balance Pose
For not-so-advanced students, there are simpler alternatives:
• Triangle Pose
• Child’s Pose
• Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold
• Alternate Nostril Breathing
• Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose
• Bridge Pose
• Music with binaural beats
Any Yoga pose that raises the heart above the head sends blood to the brain and stimulates the pituitary gland.
The Pituitary Gland and Spirituality
In addition to its physical functions, the pituitary gland, sometimes called the Third Eye, acts as a receiver for psychic information and intuitive impressions. It also rules our dreams and is associated with the color indigo. The mantra for this chakra is “om,” a chant used around the world to induce theta brain waves during meditation. The musical note used to activate the Brow Chakra is a high “A.”
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