My public classes recently completed a week of exploring the ajna or third eye chakra. In case you missed these experiential sessions on the ajna chakra, here are some highlights:
General Overview: You are capable of cultivating intuition, clear thoughts, and good judgement through activating and balancing your ajna chakra. The ajna chakra is the energy center of the body that asserts that you area capable of seeing truth and accessing your own inner guidance. An in-balance ajna chakra allows you to trust your intuition and see situations and others clearly. Balancing this chakra can also combat feelings of confusion or an over-reliance on external judgments.
The ajna chakra asserts that “I SEE or I UNDERSTAND!”.
The ajna chakra rules the imagination, pituitary gland, and brain. It’s related to the color indigo, the all of the elements and light, and the moon and Saturn.
Activating the ajna chakra through yoga has less to do with postures and more to do with the type of focus, breath, and awareness you bring to your practice. Activate the ajna chakra by practicing nadi shodhana (the alternate nostril breath) before practicing. Try to maintain an even breath throughout your practice, with your focus lightly resting on the breath..
15 minute home practice to activate the ajna chakra:
Centering exercise: Start in a seated position with the hands in kalesvara mudra (thumbs touching, middle fingers touching, and all other fingers bent and touching at the knuckle). Close the eyes and bring focus to the breath for several rounds of breathing. Next, as you inhale, envision bright, lovely light coming from all directions and residing in your heart and in the space between your eyebrows. This heart light begins to glow with an indigo tint that brings a sense of deep calm.
Now, engage nadi shodhana. Placing the thumb and ring finger of the right hand on the nostrils, exhale through both nostrils. Block right, inhale left. Block left, exhale right. Inhale right. Block right, exhale left. This is one round. Complete ten or more rounds (stop if you feel lightheaded).
Warm up and Activate: Flow through one surya namaskar (A or B) with gentle awareness resting on the breath. When you come to standing, close the eyes and arrange the eyes so that they are gazing (through closed lids) between the brows. Rest your awareness there as you flow through another surya namaskar (eyes can be open or stay closed according to comfort).
Release into child's pose and press the forehead into the mat. After several breaths, lift the hips and move toward puppy pose.
If you wish, return to child's pose. Then take a dolphin. Do three rounds, aiming to hold the pose for at least six breaths each time. Press back to dog, step to the front of your mat, and Inhale to sweep the arms overhead. On your exhale, dive forward to uttanasana. Hold your forward fold for at least 30 seconds; bring focus back to the breath.
Inhale to stand and take tree on each side. Try to hold for at least 30 seconds on each side. Experiment with closing the eyes.
Integrate: Return to an easy seated position and practice nadi shodhana for ten more rounds. If you enjoy meditation, meditate for five to ten minutes (or your normal practice time). Release into savasana and release the breath. Take three rounds of deep inhalations and sigh them out. Rest for at least two minutes in this posture.