|Mandala made by David Goulet of Pyramid Yoga Center|
The 6th chakra, or third eye chakra, is associated with the element of the mind. As we move higher up, the work is less about the physical and more about the mental and internal world. The third eye chakra is about perception, with the verb or phrase associated with this chakra being “I see.” This energy centre relates to seeing what is happening in our physical reality, but also being aware and seeing what is happening within our inner landscape.
“Ajna” is the Sanskrit term that refers to this energy centre, and loosely translated it means to perceive and command. This centre is activated and strong when the two hemispheres of our brain are both used, valued and allowed to work in harmony. The left, logical, analytical side is used to become aware of facts, logistics and to be a witness to the physical. It is the “perceive” part of the equation. The right, intuitive, imaginative side is used to assess our feelings and access our intuition to become clear on where we want to go. It creates a picture and a “command” of what direction to follow. This week in classes, we’ll be focusing on observing how the different sides of our body and mind work and simply witnessing our dualistic nature. For more ways to work with the third eye centre, keep reading below.
Ajna is about perception and being open to seeing things differently, as how something looks on the inside isn’t always how it appears on the outside. One way to illustrate these differences of how something is seen in the light and how it is seen in the dark is to use blacklight paints or pens to colour or draw a mandala. My teacher from my training had a whole set of mandalas he made using blacklight paints. It's pretty trippy to see some of the differences in different lights.
Other ways to further focus your colouring or drawing on the 6th chakra is:
- Include circles with two side petals (symbols of the third eye chakra), or eyes
- use the colour indigo (colour for the third eye chakra), or any colours that you see when you close your eyes
- include the seed sound for this energy centre, which is ang, in the picture physically or mentally
- direct your mind to the 6th chakra by asking questions and paying attention to what images appear in your mind as you work
- Do I trust my intuition?
- Do I balance my intellect with my intuition?
- What do I see when I close my eyes?
- Do I have difficulty concentrating?
Balance poses are good to do with this energy center, as balance poses force us to focus only on what we are doing at the time. The moment our mind starts to wander is the moment we will most likely fall out of our balance pose. We need good alignment and a strong foundation (left hemisphere of the brain) to stay in our pose, but we also need to feel where our body needs to be, become familiar with the feeling of correct weight distribution and sense our way into the pose (right hemisphere) in order to stay up. We’ll concentrate here on Garudasana or eagle pose. Not only does eagle pose cause us to cross over the mid-line of the body (which helps to achieve brain balance), but eagles are known for their clear site and superior vision (which is what the third eye chakra is asking us to strive for).
Start off in mountain pose and then focus on setting up the arms. Bring the arms straight out in front, parallel to the floor with the palms facing down. Cross the right arm under the left, then bend at the elbows so the fingers are pointing up. Allow the backs of the palms or the fronts of the palms to touch. Bring the elbows up so they are in line with the shoulders and the palms draw slightly away from the body. Keep this engagement of the upper body as you set up the lower body. Bend the knees and ground into the left foot. Lift the right leg up and cross the right thigh over the left thigh. The right foot may or may not hook around the left shin. Once you feel balanced, see if you can sink the hips a little bit more.
Stay in this expression for 5-10 breaths. If you fall out, simply come back to the pose. After your 5-10 breaths, unwind and set up for the other side.
To learn more about the third eye chakra, check out earlier posts labeled 6th chakra, or feel free to message me for more details. Enjoy your week of balancing your body and mind, being a witness to your experiences and creating a clear picture of where you would like to go.
See you on our mats :)