What is your third eye chakra? Known in Sanskrit as Ajna chakra, the third eye chakra, according to Samkhya philosophy, is represented by the element mahat, or maha tattva. It’s important to note here that according to yoga and Samkhya philosophy, the earth elements are only four of many elements that make up our experience not commonly taught in the west. Mahat is a concept that can be manifested through all matter, energy, and light. If you’re interested in learning about the elements in traditional yoga and Samkhya philosophy, you should consider an education in Tantra Yoga.
In yogic philosophy, the chakras are subtle bodies, or energy centers, that ascend the spine. The sixth chakra is one of two that are located in the upper spinal cord connected to the brainstem and the brain. This area sits at the epicenter of our complex nervous system and is responsible for brain function, movement, and cognition. Ajna chakra connects us with true seeing and true knowing. It is the chakra responsible for helping develop psychic abilities and is unconsciously sensitive to psychic energy, whether we know it or not. The third eye chakra is represented by a multifaceted indigo light and is associated with the bija mantra seed sound Aum.
When Ajna chakra is balanced, we feel stable, clear, and connected to intuition and source. We see things as they are rather than as we think we see them. In yoga philosophy, we call this energetic state of being sattvic. In this state, we can confidently practice discernment, trusting our inner wisdom to inform and guide us.
An imbalanced Ajna chakra can contribute to issues around mental clarity, concentration, and focus. Mindfulness meditation, energy clearing, and daily rituals can stimulate Ajna chakra, which becomes engaged when we land in a meditative state of being.
Where is your third eye chakra? The third eye chakra is located at the middle of the forehead between the brows, like the tip of a triangle in space. It can be understood as the seat of many powers such as i-conscience awareness, metacognition, manifestation, psychic abilities, meditation, and lucid dreaming.
What affirmations are good for the third eye chakra? Affirmations are positive statements that confirm something to be true. Affirmations are a helpful tool for improving self-esteem and embodying certain qualities we endeavor to possess. Affirmations can be added to any yoga routine or used as an accessible part of many self-care rituals. You can introduce affirmations first thing in the morning, before practice, or anytime throughout the day as a way to connect and reground. Affirmations for the third eye chakra include:
- I am a vessel for true seeing.
- I am connected to source.
- I trust my intuition.
- The world is my teacher.
- I see myself in all beings.
- I trust my inner wisdom.
What poses are good for third eye chakra? Sukhasana with an inner drishti focused on the middle of the forehead, at the space between the brow is a good pratyahara practice to help bring awareness to the third eye chakra. In yoga asana, poses like tadasana, forward fold, wide-legged forward fold, child’s pose with forehead on a block, crocodile pose, savasana, and rabbit pose are all good for bringing awareness to this space. Integrative practices, like yoga Nidra, can help bring awareness to this space, as well.
Third eye chakra vinyasa flow
This third eye chakra mini vinyasa flow is a much slower, more cerebral practice that would be best practiced early morning or at night. It could be used at the end of a traditional vinyasa practice as a cool down, or during a new moon or full moon ritual. You should have yoga props such as blocks, a bolster, and a folded blanket or towel to sit on. If you are without blocks or a bolster, a couple of standard pillows will do. Option to keep the eyes closed as often as you like, or to practice with an eye mask or eye pillow nearby. Having a journal with you could be helpful, as well.
- Come to standing and take a few moments to arrive.
- Soften the knees, wiggle the shoulders, and sway the hips. Take a few moments for energy to move through the body, noticing if there’s anywhere extra energy is being held or stored.
- Bring your awareness to the breath allowing it to move in through the nose, out through the nose or mouth with intention. Use the breath to help you arrive. Eventually coming to stillness with palms pressed together, hands at heart center.
- Soften the gaze or close down the eyes.
- Option to inhale fully and to chant Aum for the length of the exhale, bringing awareness to the mmmm. Repeat two more times before enjoying 3-5 intentional breaths. Feel the vibration of Aum in and around the skull, at the space between the brow.
- Flutter the eyes open. Arrive.
- Step the feet out wide with hands on the hips. Feet can be parallel or toes can be turned slightly. Take a full breath in, lengthening through the crown. On the exhale hinge at the hips to fold. Continue to root down by pressing through the pinkies’ edge of the feet coming into a wide-legged forward fold. Inhale, hands to hips, rise up. Exhale fold. Repeat one or two more times before settling into a fold.
- Release the hands to blocks, bolster, pillows, or earth. Take a few moments to soften and breathe here fencing length tailbone to crown. Allow any excess energy to leave on the exhale through the crown of the head. Stay for 3-5 breaths.
- Inhale, half lift.
- Exhale, fold.
- Inhale, half lift.
- Exhale, heel-toe feet a little bit closer together. Slowly making your way down to the earth.
- Come to supine. Plant the soles of the feet on the earth wider than hips-width distance.
- Windshield wiper the legs slowly for 3-5 breaths. Option to soften the gaze or close down the eyes. Inhale, I see clearly. Exhale, all is clear. Repeat.
- Gently release the legs and arms long coming into savasana. Option to cover up with a blanket or to place a pillow or bolster under the legs.
- Close or cover the eyes, bringing awareness to the middle forehead, at the space between the brow.
- Notice if there’s light or energy there and simply allow it to be.
- Option to repeat the affirmation: inhale, I see clearly. Exhale, all is clear. If the mind wanders, continue coming back to the breath and body being breathed.
- Take your time coming back, making time to sit in sukhasana with eyes closed to reflect on your experience. If this is not an option, journal about your experience to notice what came up.