"Circle of Willis" by Kaitlin Walsh (republished with permission)
The Circle of Willis is made up of five arteries. This arrangement of interconnected vascular channels is a back-up system. If any one of of the major vessels to the brain gets blocked, blood can still perfuse the entire brain by travelling through it. This protects brain function, the senses and motor responses.
The major highways for all sensory input and motor output are the cranial nerves. There are precisely twelve pairs of cranial nerves connected to the brain and backed up by the Circle of Willis. Your anatomy is not the only ode to the number 12.
“When you play the 12-string guitar, you spend half your life tuning the instrument and the other half playing it out of tune”
// Pete Seeger
Whether you realise it or not, you play the 12-string guitar. The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac; The Twelve Houses; The Twelve Chakras. These are all energetic aspects of your being that integrate to establish your sense of reality.
Integration requires the transformation of energy between layers of consciousness. According to Ayurveda, all transformation takes place in the melting pot of molten lava.
In the world of Pitta, there is an abundance of water and fire elements. Pitta is that molten lava. You can get the full low down on Pitta dosha here.
Pitta is your red blood cells, which carry oxygen around your body. Oxygen is ignition (you have an internal flame too, you know). Pitta is also all the liquids in the body that have metabolic role.
Metabolism is transformation embodied. These liquids include digestive fluids to break down and take in food. Thank your salivary glands, liver, stomach and pancreas.
Pitta fluids also include the liquid bath (transcellular fluid) that smaller chemical signals in your body and brain travel through. These chemicals fine tune your emotional centre.
In terms of mass we are only talking around 3.5%.
You Pittas produce (slightly) more.
But even a little more makes a BIG difference.
Pitta does not have the same solid form as Kapha. It connects the physical aspect of playing your instrument to the higher vibration of sound and emotional experience of the song. Pitta is more subtle than Kapha, so we need to be more delicate when re-balancing it.
Think of it like adjusting the tuning pegs. An instrument in tune is adapted to sound right playing with other instruments.
If YOU are in tune, your interpersonal and intrapersonal realities are aligned. They, in turn, align to the collective consciousness.
Pitta out of balance is the sound of misalignment. Sometimes it is a little off, sometimes it is a cutting screech. Either way it causes the niggling unease of boiling blood.
It is impossible to have an instrument tuned to every song. Tuning is a lifelong endeavour. Tune on.
MA // Modern Ayurvedic TM
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