The Third Eye - Ajna
INDIGO – a healing colour and the colour of spirituality
Ajna is located in the midbrain near the pituitary gland. It is sometimes called the third eye as it is said to be the source of inner vision. Science now tells us that where the yogis located Ajna happens to be the point where the right and left optic nerves cross in the brain so it literally is a third eye of sorts. Ajna is the meeting point at the space between the eyebrows and the temples.
If your head is tilted too far upward then Ajna will become too open and you will be spaced out and prone to accidents (although very insightful spiritually). If the head is too far forward (because of stress and tension) Ajna will stay closed.
Essentially this Chakra is associated with the brain, and when this Chakra is in balance, you can exhibit extraordinary clarity of thought, combining logical reasoning with intuition, knowingness and inspiration. The third eye Chakra strives for completeness in terms of the self – inner harmony between body, mind and spirit – and in terms of the Divine, the creator or the whole of creation itself.
As with any spiritual development opening the third eye Chakra requires a level of intense honesty with both yourself and others. Unflinching honesty can make your life – and other’s lives – quite uncomfortable at times. When the third eye Chakra is open and balanced, it accepts no excuses. So, however difficult a choice may be if the third eye Chakra knows it is the right one, you are compelled to follow that path. Absolving yourself from responsibility by blaming your past on other people or things, simply will not work.
Because the third eye Chakra can make our lives so uncomfortable, most people find it easier to close it down. By doing so you don’t need to worry about the path you are taking in life or about the effects of your words and actions on others – an opposite state to mindfulness, in which you examine the motivation behind every thought, deed, word and action.
However when you close down the third eye a series of muddles and poor choices can arise; you can lose your sense of purpose and become so self-absorbed that your relationships become dysfunctional.
The spark of inspiration that is ignited by opening the third eye Chakra exists in all of us. When the third eye Chakra’s energy is very strong, inspiration takes many positive forms: from flashes of intuition to sudden insights about how to solve a problem, from a sense of the Divine in all things to moments of pure clairvoyance.
Ajna is not thought of as being balanced or imbalanced the way the other Chakras are. Rather, Ajna is either open or closed. When the mind is still and the lower Chakras are in balance, then Ajna Chakra opens to communicate with the higher intelligence of the crown Chakra and brings you to that place of inspiration, clarity of thought and healing. When the lower Chakras are out of balance, it remains closed and you lose your ability to connect to the Divine.
So in a sense there does need to be balance, a mix between the internal and the external. The start of actually beginning to see what has always been there, though you never noticed it before – reading the energy, seeing the aura, sensing the person, place, thing etc. The best way to do this is to be quiet and simply observe, see the colours, movements, shadows, mannerisms, spaces, time, grass grow, hear the noise, the silences, whispers on the wind, emotion on the breath, your inner voice...
But remember that you are a spiritual being already, fully enlightened and already Divine so don’t spend all your time in meditation trying to become what you already are...get out and enjoy life physically, it is after all why you are here.
This Chakra resonates to the colour royal blue and purple, eating raw foods from all the colours of the spectrum are good, preferably with high water content, at least 70%, and raw. Invest in some Amethyst, although even better, invest in seven crystals that accord with the seven Chakras of the body and lie down and place the relevant chakra on each centre to balance each of them at the same time. I'm happy to suggest seven crystals which would work, just pop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is worth mentioning that on a hormonal level, the Ajna Chakra is associated with the pituitary gland, which is often called the master gland, as it secretes hormones that control the activity of other endocrine glands and regulate various biological processes. Ajna is therefore also thought of as the command centre of the glands that relate to each of the Chakras. So if hormonal imbalance is your thing, try and work on all your Chakras to help to balance them.
In terms of yoga, I'd be inclined to practice a standing forward bend such as Uttanasana (standing forward fold) and encourage blood down towards your brain. You could also try balasana (pose of a child) for a restorative option, making sure to rest your third eye centre on your fists, block, blankets or a bolster, so this can soften onto something. And then bring your awareness to rest on the space between the eyebrows. Salamba Sirsasana (headstand) can help too, although please make sure you practice this with a qualified teacher if this is not already part of your regular practice.
Alternate nostril breathing is ideal for working with this Chakra. Establish a comfortable seat with the spine extended and the chest clear. Rest the left hand onto the left leg, while folding the index finger and middle finger of the right hand into the palm of the right hand and extending the other fingers. Place the thumb on the right nostril, just below the bony cartilage bit and the ring finger onto the left nostril.
Breathe in through both nostrils and then close the right nostril and breathe out the tidal breath through the left nostril. Inhale through the left nostril, closing the left nostril and exhaling the right nostril, inhale through the right nostril, close the right nostril and exhale left. Continue for 5-10 minutes if you can then sit with the right hand now on the right leg and inner gaze turned towards the third eye centre.
You can also chant "Om". This is marvellous. We should all be chanting "Om" every day!!