The endocrine system regulates the hormones that are directly released into the blood stream and carried to the cells. It consists of a collection of glands that helps to maintain the body’s homeostasis (balance). The functions of the endocrine glands include regulating metabolism, growth, sexual development, mineral balance, mental growth, heart rate, sleep cycle and muscular and skeletal growth.
Some practices that have a positive effect on our endocrine system including the following:
1. Pranayam – Stretching, modifying and lengthening the breath.
In pranayama, we supply more oxygen to the lungs which it then transported to every cell of the body. Essentially, pranyam improves the relationship between the hypothalamus, pituitary and other glands (and its corresponding functionalities), achieving balance in the endocrine system.
2. Yoga Nidra – Yoga sleep
Practicing this requires you to stay awake and cultivates awareness through controlling your thoughts, senses, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, relaxing and energizing the mind and body, thus improving the relationship between the glands.
3. Asana – Yogic poses
In performing asanas, depending on the poses, certain glands may be activated because of the blood flow to or the engagement of the muscles around the glands and thus, improves its functionality. For instance, in Halasana (shoulder stand), the compression in the throat would improve the efficiency of the thyroid and parathyroid gland.
How Chakras and the Glands work together
The endocrine system is so crucial because it connects to the invisible yet very present spiritual chakras and meridian lines in the body. Chakras are essentially energy centers which can influence our being at many levels including the physical and biological aspects. Disturbances in the subtle energy of the chakras can translate into physical manifestations and symptoms which are likely associated with the corresponding glands and organs.
Muladhara – Adrenal Glands
Swadhishthana – Reproductive Glands (Ovaries & Testes)
Manipura – Pancreas
Anahata – Thymus
Vishhudha – Thyroid & Parathyroid
Ajna – Pituitary
Sahasrara – Pineal
When we start to understand the basic workings of our body, we can learn to peel away layers of things that may be within us, and comprehend how we can increase our Shakti (energy) through focusing on each Chakras and their corresponding glands.