Ajna – Opening Your Third Eye

sunset maho (2)

Light is the element of the Sixth Chakra. Its symbol is a two petal lotus. As the Yin and the Yang merge into one, duality ends and all systems come into balance.

The “third eye” is located in between the eyebrows and towards the center of the medulla oblongata.  It is the seat of a tiny pine cone shaped gland which to this day remains a mystery. Little is understood about the pineal gland. It is the only midline brain structure that is unpaired and it is extremely light sensitive.

What we do know is that it is responsible for the production of melatonin, the sleep regulator of the brain and serotonin, the  hormone of well being. The pituitary gland is also located in this center and the two of them work to bring the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems into balance.

The third eye provides a perspective beyond that which we “see” through the five senses. Here is the experience of wholeness. The masculine and feminine currents, Pingala and Ida, that spiral up the main energy channel crisscrossing at the lower chakras meet at this center and then rise in one single path towards the seventh chakra, the seat of consciousness.

Ajna  is the chakra of clarity, insight, wisdom and vision. It develops in adolescence and is congruent with the development of the archetypal identity and recognition of symbols and pattern.

In order to recognize our own thought and emotional patterns we need to step back and become the observer. As the detached witness we can be curious about that which we are observing but without judging or qualifying it. We see things simply as they are both inside and outside.

Seeing the bigger picture is about seeing beyond ourselves and others and at the same time looking within. From this place of clarity we can create a vision of our reality as we wish it to be. This is called imagination.

Dreams are part of this center as they help us access the unconscious mind giving us a glimpse of what lies hidden in the depths of the psyche.

Traumas  such as those from a war zone or other ugly environment can severely damage the 6th chakra. The repeated invalidation of intuition or psychic occurrences can also bring it out of balance. When excessive it can result in hallucinations, delusions or obsessions. When deficient it creates an insensitive or cynical individual afflicted with poor memory and difficulty in visualizing or imagining anything. Not wanting to see results in just that.

An unbalanced Ajna, or “command / perception” center in Sanskrit, produces disease such as headaches, insomnia, schizophrenia and all kinds of vision problems.

Asanas to  balance it include inversions, spinal rock, child pose with attention to the third eye, working with the left and right sides of the body and all balancing poses. Focusing the gaze within and at the same time working with an outside point of focus or “drishti” as it is called, helps with the practice of visualization.  Seeing oneself leads to inner radiance as we find balance and beauty in the pose.  It also trains our gaze so as to see with clarity what we want to create.

Mindful eye exercises such as this one are also said to improve vision and concentration.

From “Clearing the Seven Windows to the Soul” by Anodea Judith


“Sit erect in a comfortable position. Keep your head and neck as relaxed as possible. Gently move your eyes up and down 10 times. The motion should be very slow, uniform, and effortless, without moving the head or neck. Let your eyes see as far up and as far down as possible without causing strain. As the eye muscles relax, you will be able to look lower and higher. Repeat this exercise five to six times in a sitting.
Sitting in the same posture as before, move your eyes from side to side. Repeat 10 times. The motion should be very slow, uniform, and effortless without moving the head or neck. As in the earlier exercise, you will able to move them farther and more easily with practice.
Repeat this exercise five to six times. Move your eyes gently and slowly around in a complete circle five times. Rest for a second and repeat the process five times in the other direction. Remember that it should be done slowly and effortlessly.
Sit on a terrace where you can see far off objects on the horizon. Look at a distant object and then look at the tip of your nose or your finger in front of your face. Look from one to the other object 10 times. Close your eyes for a second and resume the exercise. Repeat five times and rest your eyes. Complete this exercise by rubbing your palms together rapidly, creating heat. Then gently cup your warm palms over the eyes and let the heat sink in. Feel the nourishment of the heat and bathe your eyes in the darkness.”

Chanting the sound of OM is one of the healing techniques for the sixth center. This Bija Mantra also considered to be the supreme sound of the universe, is the seed sound of Ajna. Alternate nostril breathing as well as Ujayii or ocean breath are pranayama techniques that help to heal this chakra, as does quieting the mind in meditation. When we still our thoughts and become that silent observer of the Self, we are able to see things clearly. We cease to label them as good or bad. We just see them for what they are, and from that higher point of view we can act in a conscious and constructive manner.

However we choose to work with this center, when we open our third eye we allow ourselves to tap into our intuition and invite imagination to shine.

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Monika, a transplant from Poland and Brazil, has been practicing and studying yoga for over 20 years. She began her training in 1999 with Edely Wallace, (owner of Yoga Matrix Studio in Orlando, Florida) a yogi master, Yoga Alliance founder and author who studied in Belgium, Brazil and the US and who is at present working with lymphatic yoga research. She went on to study with Ariel Albani, a certified wellness and yoga facilitator and Reiki master. She furthered her studies while on a trip to India, practicing with different Eastern yogis and tapping into yoga as a complete path to wholeness. Monika continues to explore the infinite possibilities of wellness that yoga offers by becoming certified in Yoga Therapy at the Amrit Yoga Institute in 2015 and bringing elements of this therapy to her group yoga practice. In 2016 she was certified in the I Am method of Yoga Nidra and is weaving this technique of stilling the mind into her classes. Her Healing Yoga is a meditative flow of breath guided Asanas focused on quieting the mind and connecting with the Higher Self, in order to identify and target areas of imbalance. It is a gentle but mindful practice done with eyes closed so as to keep the focus within. Practitioners are encouraged to listen to their own bodies and to move with the breath, allowing a slow process of stretching and opening areas of holding in need of healing. Each inhale is mindfully guided to the area targeted by the specific asana. Every exhale is used to release tensions and toxins, balancing and healing spirit, mind and body.