The Akhfa Latifa is one of the most important energy centres of the body
By the dawn
And by ten nights
And by the even number and the odd
And by the night when it passes,
Is there not in all that an oath sufficient for one of perception?
-- The Dawn, Surah 89, Qur’an
The thyroid gland is a beautiful butterfly-shaped gland in the neck. It is associated with Akhfa Latifa (energy centre in Muslim teachings), or the Vishuddhi chakra (in Hindu teachings).
It is one of the most important energy centres in the body, as it impacts the rate at which other energy centers work, or fail to work. Together with the thyroid gland (which produces the hormone thyroxin), it regulates every cell in your body. When this Latifa functions well, one has a more harmonious perception of life.
According to Hindu scriptures, when forces of light (Suras) were fighting the forces of darkness (Asuras) in an infinite battle, Vishnu tried to make peace by suggesting that they divide the primordial ocean (the mind and the world) into two, and divide the contents between themselves.
All was well until a hideous poison rose to the surface. Nobody wanted it. Vishnu immediately went to Shiva, who was, as usual, in deep meditation.
Shiva opened his eyes, took the poison, and drank it in one sip. The poison could not touch Shiva because he found bliss in all things, good and bad.
Hyper and hypoactive thyroid disorders of the thyroid gland seem to be very prevalent around the world these days.
Bihar School of Yoga describes the disorder as such: “The hyperthyroid individual has a fast metabolic rate, is overactive, consumes a lot of oxygen, feels very uncomfortable in hot weather, has a fast pulse, sweats profusely, and becomes anxious, irritable, and over-emotional. The hypothyroid individual exhibits the reverse.”
Most doctors only seem to treat the symptoms and the physical body, without diagnosing both the physical body and the energy body together.
My experience with the thyroid gland began with my spiritual journey. The spiritual world is competitive. Friends ask one another, when did you get your blue star? You mean, you got it before I did? Is yours deep blue or just kind of blue?
As my Latifas (chakras) began to open, I came across a woman who knew how to close down my Akhfa Latifa (thyroid gland), so that my other Latifas would slow down or dysfunction, preventing my energy body from connecting with my brain.
This is a story similar to what a great grandmother might share.
The most important thing to take away from this op-ed is that there are exercises to reactivate the thyroid gland. This Ramadan, consult with a doctor and try this exercise before getting hooked on a life of drugs.
Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) steps:
• Lie flat on the floor, relax arms and legs together.
• Use your abdominal muscles to raise your legs perpendicular to the floor. Keep your feet together and legs straight.
• Use your arms to lift your buttocks and back up from the floor until it is straight with your legs. Hold yourself in this position.
• Relax your chin and use it to gently press your chest. Don’t do this if it is too stressful.
• Point your toes to the sky.
It is best to do this once in the morning (sunrise) and once before sunset.
Hold the pose for no longer than five minutes. Beginners should be gentle with themselves and hold it for a few breaths.
Shireen Pasha is a contributor.