Located at the heart chakra, the thymus has been getting a lot of my attention recently. Since I discovered its uncanny relevance for the meaning of the heart chakra I have been looking into the little thing, and thought I could share some of my findings.
Thymus gets its name from the Greek “thymus” which means courage. The herb thyme was named for it, and has the medicinal properties of being anti-fungal and anti inflammatory. You can look it up and see it has many other medicinal properties with have to do with fighting of invaders, and caring for the health of the body – skin, lungs, and intestines.
So how does the thymus, located just above and sort of on top of the heart, relate to this concept of courage? The heart chakra, where they thymus is located, is associated with love, acceptance, relationship to others, and determining who we accept and welcome as well as what. Interestingly, the thymus actually is one of the places where T-cells (T is for Thymus!) are generated and so the thymus is integral to the immune system. If we think of the immune system as the system which decides what can come into our system and what will be fought off, we can see an amazing correlation to the heart chakra.
The thymus is actually pretty strange. It really works during ones youth and around the end of puberty, the thymus actually begins to change and dissolve into becoming a fatty tissue. Usually by age 40 or so, there is no discernible thymus left, though the fatty tissue (adipose tissue) is still possibly capable of providing some support to the immune function. To me, this interesting and strange aspect can tell us something about how important it is to consider who we interact with and how early in life, because this can often set the theme for later in life. While there is still some ability to change course later, it can be more difficult. This can also speak to the heart chakra’s value as self esteem. Having love for ourselves to make decisions that are good for us can afford us a healthier system physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Today, take some time to think on the heart chakra and the thymus. Even if you no longer have the thymus proper, but have adipose tissue, what remains is a strong immune system and the yoga practice that can help you make good use of it.
Yoga Pose of the Day: Cobra into Up-ward Facing Dog
Yogic Concept of the Day: The heart is the seat of all my caring, sharing, and protection. I am free to take in what will be good for me, and leave the rest.