The 7 Chakras: A Guide for Modern Yogis
Chakra No. 6: The Ajna or Third Eye Chakra
The Sixth Chakra is most commonly referred to as the “third eye” or “third eye center” because it is said to be the place where intuition, imagination and insight live in our bodies. The Sanskrit term for this chakra is “Ajna” and is translated into English as “command center” or “to command.” In this article, we learn more about our third eye center and how to balance the sixth chakra so that we are better able to tap into our natural intuition and insight.
Where is the Third Eye Chakra located?
The third eye center is located at midline (or center) of your head right between the eyebrows. Our third eye also includes the pituitary gland and frontal cortex of the brain. The pituitary gland secrets hormones and governs the function of the previous five glands of chakras 1-5. It is the “command center” gland for all of the glands and, like a guide; it oversees the functionality of these five important glands.
What is the significance of the Third Eye Chakra?
The sixth chakra’s primary intention is to connect us with our natural and divine-given abilities of intuition, insight and understanding. Our third eye center, when balanced and open, is highly skilled at recognizing patterns and it influences the areas of our mind that controls common sense, wisdom, intelligence, memory retention, dreams, spirituality and intuition. Our energy in the sixth chakra helps us to see the bigger picture of where we are going in our lives and helps us to find and connect with our truest path.
What are the elements of the Third Eye Chakra?
Color: Indigo – the color relates to self-responsibility in the context that only I can be responsible for my destiny and following my soul’s path. To follow our path we need to trust and listen to our intuition. Indigo evokes our connectedness with the universe and our unconscious self. The color helps to strengthen intuition, imagination, psychic powers and increases dream activity.
Gland: Pituitary gland
Essential Oils: To balance this chakra, use essential oils that are awakening and calming. Some examples are lemongrass, violet, juniper, pine, clary age and patchouli. Find one or a combination that opens up your forehead and supports clear vision and mental awareness.
What is it like when the Third Eye Chakra is out of balance?
An imbalance of the sixth chakra tends to show up in ways related to insight, visualization and our higher consciousness and understanding. As we looked at in our intro to chakra’s article, we learned that imbalance isn’t like a button that we turn on and off but a more subtle variation of energy in which the chakra is define as excessive (overly active) or deficient (underactive).
Characteristics that arise with an excessive imbalance of the third eye chakra exhibit in a variety of ways. Examples include hallucinations, delusions, obsessions, difficulty concentrating, nightmares, intrusive memories, and excessive fantasizing. Imagine having your insight or intuition on overdrive in a non-helpful way –that would be an excessive third eye chakra.
On the other hand, a deficient imbalance of the sixth chakra exhibits lack of imagination, difficulty visualizing, insensitivity, poor vision and memory, difficulty seeing the future, denial, skepticism, poor dream recall, and being monopolized (only can see one right way and that is the only way).
Physically, an imbalanced third eye chakra can create headaches and vision problems. I also often refer to it as the scrunched eyebrow syndrome – that expression that we humans make when we thinking or trying to understand something and then we scrunch up our forehead and between our eyebrows. Even though it is natural to do so, when we are really trying hard to see or understand, we don’t realize that we are actually closing off the energy center in our body that would help us see the big picture more clearly. Over years of doing this, we may even develop lines and a facial expression that looks a bit scrunched around our third eye area making it less and less easy to connect with our natural insight and our natural intuition.
What does it look when the Third Eye Chakra is in balance?
A balanced Ajna or third eye chakra gives us the ability to see things from a ‘higher’ viewpoint rather than purely for satisfaction of the ego or one’s material comfort. Characteristics include intuition, perception, imagination, good memory, good dream recall, ability to think symbolically and to visualize. When our third eye is balanced we have a strong sense of awareness not only of ourselves but also of others. We are keenly aware and sensitive to our surroundings and how we interact with the world around us.
What poses awaken the Third Eye Chakra?
There are many yoga poses that balance the third eye chakra and you can also bring these basic exercises into your everyday practice. Posture that assist in balancing the sixth chakra include child’s pose, rabbit, forehead to knee and corpse (savasana) with an occipital assist (hands on adjustment massaging out the forehead and between eye brows). What all these postures have in common is a compression of your forehead. You can incorporate gentle massage and compression of your forehead and eyebrows in many more postures in a class if you choose. Next time you’re on your yoga mat, try massaging your forehead into the ground in child’s pose or giving yourself a forehead massage to release tension in savasana.
What other practices heal the Third Eye Chakra?
These below practices are just a few ways you can balance your sixth chakra:
- Mantras – repeat any of these out loud or in your head
- OM, pronounced “ahh-oo-mm”
- I see all things clearly.
- I am open to the wisdom within.
- I manifest my vision.
- I believe in my soul’s path.
- Creating visual art
- Visual stimulation
- Head and face massage
- coloring and drawing art
- working with memory
- guided visualizations
- connecting image with feeling
- Gurmukh with Cathryn Michon. The 8 Human Talents, 2000
- Judith, Anodea. Wheels of Life, 1999
- Judith, Anodea. Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self, 2004
- Myss, Caroline. Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing, 1997
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Mary has completed multiple Teacher Trainings with CorePower Yoga and found great purpose and joy in sharing yoga with others. Mary loves creating thoughtful classes that provide an inspirational atmosphere for students to explore their bodies and minds. Mary is trained in power vinyasa, hatha, a restorative yoga techniques. A dancer from the age of 12, Mary specializes in vinyasa-style yoga classes that combine breathe with movement and flow like a dance.
Mary's intention is to teach people that “yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down.”