Majjā Dhātu & the Chakras
by Sheyna Haisman-Holmes
We all have heard about the chakras, yet it may be unclear what they really are. The chakras are energy centers along the spine that are also referred to as wheels of light. Their seat is in the astral and energy body and cannot be seen or physically analyzed as a material part. These energy centers are composed by the 72,000 nadis (channels) that carry prana (life force) throughout the entire body. These gathering points of the nadis that form the chakras are also where the main glands of the endocrine system reside. When the nadis aren’t flowing properly, the chakras can get blocked. Majjā dhātu (nerve and bone marrow tissue) is connected to the chakra system and is an aspect of the body that we can examine through the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for supporting brain development, metabolism, the reproductive system and more. Because the chakras and nadis are invisible to the human eye, we can look to majjā dhātu as just one pathway of many to understand our current state of health.
There are many more chakras in the body (over 100), but we usually focus on the main 7. Between these major chakras are smaller ones that connect these energy centers along the spine. The body is a big web of energy and prana, carrying communication throughout the system through the nadis. Of these 72,000 nadis there are three main ones to know. They are Ida, Pingala and Sushumna and they flow in a loop from the root chakra to the crown chakra. Ida is the left side of the body and the parasympathetic nervous system that is the feminine moon energy. Pingala is on the right side and is the sympathetic nervous system that is solar masculine energy. Sushumna nadi is down the center of the spine and is activated fully by the flow of Ida and Pingala. This channel along the spine is where Kundalini energy flows.
Let’s explore some more details on the chakras:
Sahasrāra- Crown chakra
Central channel & silver cord that runs beyond the koshas (energy sheaths)
Bliss & self realization
Ājñā- Third eye chakra
Anandamaya kosha (sheath of bliss)
Vishuddha- Throat chakra
Thyroid and parathyroid gland
Vijnanamaya kosha (sheath of intellect)
Will, communication & expression
Anāhata- Heart chakra
Jnanamaya kosha (sheath of knowledge)
Love & immunity
Manipūra- Solar plexus chakra
Manomaya kosha (sheath of mind)
Ambition, power & control
Svādhishtāna- Sacral chakra
Pranamaya kosha (sheath of vital essence)
Procreation & self ID
Mūlādhāra- Root chakra
Gonads & Ovaries
Annamaya kosha (food sheath)
Survival & groundedness
Majjā dhātu is the bone marrow and nerve tissues that fill the spaces in the body. It is present in the nervous system and is a function of communication. There are seven dhātus and majjā is number six, just after asti (bone tissue) and before shukra/artava (reproductive tissues). If there is old trauma and constricted expression or communication, it can be stored in majjā and affect its function as well as the flow of the chakras. The red bone marrow produces red blood cells, which contain hemoglobin that are responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the whole body. So, it is really important that this part of majjā and the bone marrow is well functioning. The other type of bone marrow is yellow and contains fat and connective tissues. Unresolved emotions reside in this marrow and the connective tissues of the body. This can be from past life experience as well as recent traumas.
Majjā is “I am” and physical & conscious awareness. Understanding and assimilating experiences is a type of digestion that is governed by the digestive fire in majjā. Healthy majjā provides understanding and clear perception, which allows the clarity for maintaining balance.
Majjā is responsible for the release of emotions through the tears. Tears are the byproduct of this tissue, releasing crystals of emotion. The suppression of emotions and tears can cause a blockage in the throat chakra, which in turn affects all of the endocrine glands and chakras and can cause disharmony in the body.
So when looking to majjā for some signs of disharmony, what is there to look for and notice? There may be issues with the bones and connective tissues such as osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pains. There many be problems at an endocrine gland that may reveal a blockage in that chakra. Issues can be as extreme as neurological issues all the way down to having a lack of understanding or poor communication. There are many things that we can pay attention to that will help release blockages in majjā, the nadis and chakras. A few suggestions:
-Practice nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing). This brings balance to the main nadis and allows subtle flow to extend into all the nadis, chakras and the nervous system
-Resist storing emotions that cause blockages by feeling the emotions and letting them out through tears
-Eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep
-Limit stress & conflict
May we all have a healthy internal and external flow, contributing to our optimal wellbeing :)