The third eye chakra is our centre of mystical intuition and insight. It is our sixth chakra and is located in the centre of the head, level with the centre of the eyebrows.
Ajna (the most common Sanskrit name), is the chakra of intuition, self-realization, inspiration and imagination. The energy of this chakra allows us to see and understand the inner and outer worlds. When open, the third eye chakra connects us to the present moment and can deepen spiritual connection as well as provide wisdom and insight.
Key elements of the third eye chakra
- Sanskrit name: Ajna – meaning ‘perceive’, ‘command’ or ‘beyond wisdom’.
- Physical Body: The third eye is located in the centre of the head, level with the middle of the eyebrows. It is associated with the pineal gland, a small gland situated deep in the brain which secretes melatonin that regulates the body’s internal clock influencing circadian rhythms and reproductive hormones.
- Emotional Body: The sixth chakra is associated with mystical visions, clairvoyance, the ability to observe chakras and auras, precognition and out-of-body experiences. It is where we develop an impersonal mind and detach from physical and mental illusions. This is where we can transcend thoughts, worries and fears to know our souls deeply from within.
- Mental Body: The third eye holds a unique combination of facts, fears, personal experiences and memories that are active within the energy of the mental body. When stimulated, both hemispheres of the brain work together and help us transcend dualistic thinking.
- Affirmations for the third eye chakra: “I can see clearly and know what I need to thrive in the world in which I wish to live. I see my true nature and honor myself. I can accept reality and appreciate the world around me.”
- Quality: The third eye chakra is associated with light.
- Colour: Indigo
- Crystals and stones: Purple and violet crystals, such as amethyst and purple sapphire, can help to balance this chakra.
Signs of imbalance
As we’ve learned in previous chakra articles (see below), stress in any layer of the body (physical, mental, emotional and energetic) can cause you to stagnate, slow down or go into overdrive.
An imbalanced ajna chakra is evident in an unwillingness to look within and unpack fears. We may fear acknowledging the truth which clouds our reasoning, we can be afraid of criticism and what others think of us, we might fear our shadow side and the unknown.
An underactive ajna may lead to confusion, lacking focus or purpose, and depression. An overactive ajna, can invoke hallucinations and dissociation from the physical world.
Questions for the third eye chakra:
- Are you aware of your truth?
- Can you see clearly (externally and internally)?
- How is your connection with the etheric realm and intuitive abilities – do you see auras?
- Are you willing to stand up for what you believe and manifest dreams into reality?
- Do you know your purpose?
How to balance your third eye chakra
The third eye heightens our spiritual awareness of movement and change, our knowing that there is a time for endings as well as beginnings. It is having the ability to release old thought patterns and embrace the new. It is ceasing to fear the unknown. There are things you can do on and off the mat to strike an equilibrium.
EkhartYoga members can practice in class with Marlene Smits
Yoga poses for Ajna chakra
Working on the physical brow space through asana is a beautiful step to help clear the third eye. When we work on the body, tightness and stagnation present in the body will come to the surface automatically. If we can find the patience and the wisdom to just sit with it, watch it without judgment and understand the deeper lessons, meanings and connections of all that arises and then consciously let it go, we find freedom. Balance this energy centre with these targeted yoga poses:
- Plough Pose
- Downward Dog
- Lotus Pose
- Child’s Pose
- Legs Up the Wall
Chantra mantras or sound vibrations
Om is the Kundalini bija mantra. Chanting OM (pronounced AUM), works on the vibrational frequency of the third eye chakra. Use the breath – breathe in and as you breathe out vibrate the sound OM. This mantra is very powerful and signifies the essence of the ultimate reality.
Mudra for the sixth chakra: Gyan Mudra (Wisdom Mudra)
In a comfortable seated position, sit up tall. The mudra of wisdom and knowledge cultivates a sense of clarity and insight and works to open and balance the third eye chakra. To form this mudra, bring the tips of the thumb and first finger to touch.
Meditations for Ajna chakra
Light is the quality of the third eye chakra. Discover the infinite within, and know that it is one with all outside of you. Visualize light during your relaxation or meditation — perhaps as a glowing orb in the space between your brows. With your eyes closed, imagine the radiance. Let it expand and contract. Send it out toward your imagined horizon line. Draw it into the centre of your brain. Let the light fill your head, your body, the space surrounding you.
Trataka, or candle gazing, is another way to amplify the light within
Bring the colour indigo into your meditation. Chant the sound OM. Meditate on the space between your eyes, visualizing your breath as a cooling indigo ball of light – illuminating your vision, both inside and out.
Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu! (may all beings be happy and free).
Read more about the Chakras
- Introduction to the chakras
- Muladhara or Root Chakra
- Svadhisthana or Sacral Chakra
- Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra
- Anahata or Heart Chakra
- Vishuddha or Throat Chakra
- Anja or Third Eye Chakra