Chakra 6: Third-Eye Chakra (Ajna)
|Location:||Forehead between the eyes (also called the Brow Chakra)|
|What it controls:||Intuition, imagination and wisdom|
|Colour:||Dark blue, purple|
|When it develops:||36-42 years old|
|Mantra:||“My inner vision is clear” or “My intuition can be trusted”|
|Yoga Poses:||Child Pose, Easy Pose, Reclined Hero|
The third-eye chakra controls our ability to see the big picture and connect to intuition. Think of it as the eye of the soul – it sees information beyond the surface level. When we open the third eye, we become aware of the big picture. This ability to see everything shifts our perspective, so we can see our own blind spots and understand ourselves.
Each chakra is associated with physical structures in the body so the chakras help us understand why illness develops and what we can learn from it. Headaches, hormone imbalances, nightmares, indecision, burnout and lack of purpose are all common when there’s an imbalance in the third eye.
The physical structure most closely related to the third eye chakra is the pituitary gland. Just as the third eye allows us to see the entire picture, the pituitary gland provides oversight for many of the glands of the endocrine system including the adrenals, thyrold, ovaries and testes and it produces stimulating hormones allowing them to perform their jobs. The pituitary gland’s ability to adjust function to meet the needs of the body at every stage of life parallels the third eye’s capacity to regulate the flow of energy throughout the entire body.
The third eye chakra is thought to reach peak development from ages 35 to 42. It builds upon the developmental path that begins with the root chakra, where we experience the conflict between attachment and authenticity then to the sacral chakra, the home of feelings and emotions. The next stop on this developmental path is the solar plexus, where we confront our judgments and limiting beliefs. We can then open the heart chakra and feel at ease with giving and receiving love and compassion. With a healthy foundation in the lower four chakras, we can communicate our authentic truth through the throat chakra. By balancing our chakras in this order, the third eye can begin to open and we can clearly see ourselves. We see that “I am” is a moving target. We are not our fears or our emotions, our beliefs, or our judgments. An open third eye sees life as the stage it is.
To open the third eye is to see ourselves fully: to see all of the ways that we play the victim, all of the ways we project our judgements, insecurities and assumptions onto others. Someone with an open third eye is also aware of all the roles they play in the world. Perhaps you are not the same person with your lover as you are with your mother. Perhaps your behaviour in some of your relationships is a response to other people’s assumptions about who you are or the things they project onto you.
In today’s society we tend to use our intellect (decision making) more than our intuition (guidance and direction). Try following your intuition more and trust your inner knowing. That gut feeling is there for a reason. Try some of the following:
- Cultivate your intuition: when you have a gut feeling, a sense of ‘knowing’, follow it and trust it. Try following your gut instincts for an entire day and notice what happens. Intuition is like a muscle: the more you practise, the stronger it gets.
- Practice journalling: Write down everything and anything that pops into your head. Free flow or “brain storm” each day and see what comes up. Another idea is to consider yourself as you are today and write a list of sentences that begin with “I am …” for example, “I am a writer, I am a sister, I am a wife, I am happy, I am beautiful, I am lonely, etc.” Write down as many things as you can think of that feel true right now then imagine remember yourself at other time periods and notice the differences and how your sense of self has changed.
- Visualise. Close your eyes and imagine yourself doing something you love to do and allow yourself to daydream about doing what makes you happy. Use your memory to elicit emotions. Focus on a funny memory and make yourself laugh. Force the laughter until it becomes natural. Focus on a sad memory and make yourself cry. Focus on a situation that infuriates you and scream words of anger into a pillow. Exaggerate the emotions as an actor does but don’t sit with any one of them for too long. Remind yourself that no single emotion defines you.
- Dream on. The third eye is naturally active in the dream state. The more you remember your dreams, the more connected you become to the unconscious where all of your blind spots live. As soon as you wake, jot down the key images from your dreams before you switch on the radio or your phone. If at first you can’t remember anything, try day dreaming and write out a detailed description of your perfect day. It will happen if you let it!