Questioner: Sadhguru, these days many people are diagnosed with Thyroid problems, either hyper or hypothyroidism. Even though we are consuming iodised salt, still thyroid problems are prevalent. What is the cause of the increase in these problems. Is it stress related like diabetes and hypertension? Can we overcome these conditions with Hatha Yoga, or Kriya, or being in a consecrated space like Isha Yoga Center? What are the things we can do to come out of it?
Sadhguru: I think a whole lot of people have come out of it with Hatha Yoga practice, no question about it. Being in a consecrated place definitely adds to it. But, this pretty widespread manifestation of Thyroid imbalance – see, we must understand this. What you are calling as Thyroid… In Yoga we don’t look at the glands like that. But medically what you calling as Thyroid is that secretion within you, which is trying to calibrate your system on a daily basis. It’s just calibrating – how much digestion should happen, how much energy should be produced, how much fat should be produced, how much muscle should be built, everything. It’s trying to calibrate your physical structure.
Your physical structure is very closely related to your psychological structure
Your physical structure is very closely related to your psychological structure. Today, there is substantial evidence to show you that – if you sit here, and think of the mountain, your glandular function will happen in a certain way. If you think about a tiger, it will happen another way. You think about the ocean, it will happen another way. You think about a man or a woman, it will happen another way. Just a thought! Nothing – no contact with the mountain, no contact with tiger, no contact with man, woman or ocean. Just a thought will fluctuate the glandular function. I’m saying – that is how fine the system is. That it is trying to calibrate everything to keep you in a good place.
The problem with you is, you need a bullock cart… because you are the missing link. You need a bullock cart, but they gave you a fine spaceship. Every little thing, will do a world of things. Simply if you touch it, it will go…Waves of stuff happening in the system. Simply – if you look like this, and make one conclusion about the tree – ‘this’ will go into many varieties of chemical and other kinds of variations. Glandular functions will change.
Wherever you may be – whether you are in Mumbai, or New York, or London, wherever – just look at the situation in which you are walking. Maybe socially you have gotten used to those things. But look at the kind of atmosphere you are walking in. The number of things that are happening. None of them are conducive for this life. You might have gotten adjusted to it. Maybe now you can’t live out of those cities. That’s another matter. But, the life that you are, is not seeking that kind of atmosphere. So, the number of variations that are happening within you are not in your favour. Glandular disfunction is just one manifestation.
Another dimension of disturbance is – what kind of food is getting into you
A very highly calibrated function of… glandular function – one thing is the Thyroid. It’s easily noticeable. The first thing, your physiological and psychological parameters get thrown off, a bit. Simply because, disturbance. And, another dimension is, what’s the disturbance that’s happening from within you. Your own psychological patterns. Another dimension of disturbance is – what kind of food is getting into you. There is no way you can eat anything today which is not chemically infested. If you are eating very organic food, it’s little organic chemicals they are using. It’s come to that place. It’s very difficult to eat something that’s just grown in the wild forest – you can pluck out something and eat. That’s very very little. Not even a small percentage of people are capable of eating that anymore. It’s all from the marketplace. And what goes into the marketplace is all about more, not about what.
And, also this, in this country – all these things are gone now, don’t worry. My grandmother – everyday the vegetable seller, you know, they used to come home with a basket. Just then in the morning they would have plucked. By 7.30-8, they are at the doorstep. When they come, and she will look at this – when she wants to buy it. She won’t allow the vegetable seller to touch the vegetables. They plucked and brought it. It’s fresh, just now it’s come off the plant. But, if it has to go into the balance, or if she has to choose 1-2-3-4, like this – she won’t let them touch it. ‘You don’t touch my vegetables.’ This is not to keep bacteria away. She doesn’t want that woman or that man to touch the vegetables that her children and grandchildren will eat. She will touch it in a certain way. She will fondle it, she will caress it. She’ll look at it like this, like this, and then she will cut it and make it. Don’t think this is all funny. If all these things are missing in your life, you have to take pills to manage your glandular function.
There is no way, by popping a pill you can get it into balance
And, there is no way, by popping a pill you can get it into balance. You can suppress it. You can not get it into proper balance. No way! Because every day it’s different, every moment it’s different. This is calibration. A very active calibration that’s happening. You kill it, and just take a pill and somehow manage. You are a little dysfunctional machine. With this dysfunction – this dysfunctional machine will manifest in so many ways. And, you will only know it when you stretch it. When you are living with minimal stuff, it won’t show up. It’s like this – even if you have a flat tyre in your car, at 20km you can drive home, you know. Somethings will crack up. Something will tear up, but still you can drive. Only if you are hitting 200 kmph, then if the tyre goes flat, then you know, you fly off the road. So, that’s all it is. If all these things are taken care of well, now when you rev up your life to function at a much higher level, simply it will go. Now you rev up your life, without bringing that balance, then you see, it will freak. You will see this happening all around you, everyday.
So, to invest that much into our lives… Well, you can’t leave your city and go and live in the jungle. You can’t leave the atmospheres and go away. At least you must equip yourself so that those things don’t have too much impact on you. It will anyway have impact. But how much, is the question. How much impact? At least within your home, surround yourself with some plants. If there is no space, fill your room. This is going to have some freaky bedrooms! Open up half the roof. Oh! But there is another floor above, Sadhguru! Ok, open up the damn walls, so that some sunlight comes into you. Yes! Not everything is closed and just one air-conditioner is going burrr…. all the time. This is one thing, the reverberations around you are freaking this body completely. All the time burrr…
At least within your home, surround yourself with some plants
Particularly, when I’m outside the country, particularly in United States…. Even in Europe it’s little better. In United States, all the time, something is buzzing. Endlessly. When I come here, it’s like… you know, just a… which makes you alive. Everything is buzzing, you are like …[low]. Most people are not conscious of it, but it’s happening to them. The very fact that they are sleeping 8 hours a day is just that. That they are not living in their natural habitat. They are trying to protect themselves by sleeping.
So, to protect yourself from disease, to protect yourself from mental illnesses, to protect yourself from all kinds of imbalances – you sleep 8-10 hours a day. This is half your life. You are dead! Death is always a good fix. But that’s not the fix we are looking for. We are looking for a life fix. Not an end fix. If you end something, it is fixed, isn’t it? Isn’t it? Fixed or no? But not the way we want. We want to be here, alive, and be fully fixed. So, if this has to happen – you can. I know you may look freaky. Even I will think you are freaky. But you can bring some plant life into a place where you sleep.
When you walk, you must be conscious of everything that is alive
When you walk, you must always be conscious of the life, other than human life. Most people are not even conscious of the human beings. So, I’m reminding you, you must be conscious of everything that is alive – a tree, a plant, a blade of grass, a grasshopper hopping, and the people that you don’t like are passing by. All kinds of things. You must be alive to everything. No need to do – oh, I love the tree! You don’t have to love the tree. You have to be nourished by it. That’s the only way to live. You like it or not, it’s nourishing you right now. Consciously if you do it, everything will work better. Something as simple as being alive to everything around you, indiscriminately – may regularise your Thyroid problems! Of course, morning Hatha Yoga is there, Kriyas are there, all these things will definitely help. And powerfully consecrated spaces are there. Many things.
One of the main reasons is – human beings are becoming less and less active as technology grows. In a day, on an average – average human being – how much activity, physical activity they used to perform in the past, previous generations of people, and how much physical activity all of us are performing right now is abysmally low. With such a low level of activity, keeping the balance in the system is difficult. So, little imbalance – don’t go to bed. If you feel little imbalance, you must jump into activity. Wherever activity is happening with some vigour, and joy – you must jump into that activity and do more and more of it, if you are feeling sick. Really. Because some moment you go back [sleep or rest], you are empowering that. Well, if you are very ill, that’s a different thing. But otherwise, you must – we are talking about essentially glandular dysfunction of various kinds.
Activity is a simple solution for everything
Activity is a simple solution for everything. And don’t make activity – for those of you in New York, I’m telling you – don’t make activity… You have that health band on your thing… 10 steps… 12 steps… Don’t do this. That’s not the way to do activity. You may get more sick by doing that. Simply, joyfully doing something. Being joyfully alive… Activity is – if you do not know how to sit here and be exuberantly alive, just go and play, play a game. Run a run, simply. Just imitate the grasshopper when you are walking. Try! Why not, you never did this? This is the problem with you. When you go now, I want to see you – because you are going to walk on the grass. You better go like a grasshopper. You will see, how much aliveness will happen with you.
Essentially, your fundamental problem is, you have become bloody serious about your life. So, we have to again remind you – you will die anyway. Don’t be so serious about it. Because, it will get over in no time. You must loosen the grip. Now, if you loosen the grip, that last scene can be different. Otherwise people see you [dead]. That’s a great thing that happened to you! You loosened the grip. Now itself if you loosen the grip, you will see, life will happen wonderfully well for you.