Hypothalamus, Pituitary Gland and Metabolism
Brain structures like hypothalamus, pituitary gland and pineal gland are providing complex functions at the interface between biology and psychology, between chemical and electrical activities on one hand, and thoughts, emotions, motivations and maybe even consciousness on the other hand. Some of these structures include nervous as well as glandular tissue.
In yogic theory, they are part of what is described phenomenologically by the system of chakras (vortices, energy centres) and nadis (channels). Although the name “limbic,” coming from the Latin word for the border, limbus, was meant to describe the boundary between the cerebral hemispheres and the brainstem, it is also a functional border between body and mind.
Practise with me
With our kriya this week, we want to work on the hypothalamus by way of rhythm of breath, inner vibration of mantra, and movement of the head (usually up and down, providing rhythmic changes in the circulation of fluids and pressure in the head). The hypothalamus controls things like body temperature, hunger, important aspects of parenting and attachment behaviours, thirst, fatigue, sleep, and circadian (sleep-wake) rhythms. Read more
We complement with two segmented pranayama exercises, one to stimulate the pituitary gland with rhythmic gentle hyperventilation, and one to balance the metabolism and the two hemispheres of the brain. The latter exercise promises also to bring about mental peace and tranquillity. It clears the subconsciousness, elevates the conscious mind, and makes us sensitive by giving the pituitary gland positive impulsation: