Located in the middle of the brain, behind what is commonly referred to as the third eye, lies the pineal gland. This interesting part of the brain is the subject of much research lately. I hope you’ll find some of this interesting and even useful information.
The third eye, long considered to be the seat of intuition, inner knowing, and self-reflection. It is said to awaken when one comes to puberty, and to help us form a sense of who we are in connection to others, to gain a sense of the archetypal self, what role we play in life, and to gain a sense of ourselves as connected to others, rather than as separate and alone.
The pineal gland is about the size of rice in a human, and is responsible for producing melatonin, a serotonin-related hormone which helps to regulate sleep and seasonal functions. It receives sympathetic as well as parasympathetic innervation, which means it can be affected by conscious as well as unconscious stress patterns and functioning of the nervous system. It is frequently found to be calcified in humans, which is the subject of much debate and concern. These calcium deposits have been linked to aging, among other problems. The list of possible problems is worth a little research. Currently, there are many who believe that increased uptake (ingestion) in fluoride may be the cause of many problems. Since there are differences in opinion on this, it may be a good area for personal research.
There have been studies of the psychadellic chemical known as DMT, which is naturally produced in the pineal gland. This research has found that the chemical compound is linked to near-death experiences and other experiences of seeming spaciousness, as well as a sense of connection with the universe. They have found that those who were given doses of DMT generally felt a sense of interconnectedness and a linkage with the universe and God. This area of the brain is one of the areas of research for the sense of spirituality and is of interest religious circles.
Recent research published in the Journal of Pineal Research indicates they are finding strong connections between pineal function and cardiac health (specifically related to melatonin), as well as blue lights in people’s homes affecting sleep patterns. Limiting light near bedtime may be more helpful to people with difficulty sleeping that previously thought. The most interesting articles of research all seem to be regarding the anti-cancer functions of melatonin, and how it seems to be truly supportive in the fight against breast cancer. It also is showing promising results with regard to keeping brain health and resisting alzheimers.
Recently, I began to share Brahmari, humming breath, in the yoga classes I teach in town. This breath causes a vibration which is thought to stimulate the pineal gland, and is considered to be one of the most helpful forms of pranayama (breathing work) to use before bedtime. But we can see that there may be many other benefits we have not yet heard about .
Yoga Pose of the Day: Simple Seated position for Brahmari (Black Bee Breath)
Yogic Concept of the Day: Being conscious of light and caring for my nervous system can promote well-being in ways I may not know. Hummmmmm…