The Third Eye Chakra

I don”t know about you, but for me, January was a LOT (the words “bleak, unremitting hell-scape” come to mind? But I tend to excess.)

I kept checking the calendar and it was still January. I got choked up in recognition at a meme that read: “Wow, I can’t believe it’s January 48th already”.

Alrighty, January. First, we get the foot of snow, then the below zero, -25 wind-chills, accompanied by the no school (and no school aaand no school). Next, my husband gets rear-ended (“I have potential whip-lash!”). Then, my little Ray gets sick for two weeks (legit two weeks, OK?), much of which is spent howling in despair (he really should be on the stage).

Cut to hours in front of the screen, rendering him a veritable four year-old monster (so much histrionic screaming: “If you turn off the TV, I will not love you EVER AGAIN!”). Finally recovered, my sweet baby Ray becomes gun-shy about returning to school, catapulting us into a days-long stand-off that begins with reasoning, becomes cajoling, then withholding (of screen), then forcing (after discussing bravery and providing many assurances that Dad will stay at school as long as needed), and finally culminating in an entire re-vamp of our morning routine.

Also, after six weeks of a dedicated hot yoga practice, I still can’t chaturanga in a slow and controlled manner (is rather a flopping to the ground), my shoulder rips in half (hurts a little), and my pants are still tight (they always were: aspirational). Ray gives me pinkeye, plus all his other ailments, which knocks me down for over a week. Then I get pinkeye a second time (JUST THROW AWAY THE MASCARA, CHEAP-O).

Send Help!

As all of this is occurring, my lizard brain is just in the throes of despair, whispering in my ear about a child forever and always at home, a spouse with a broken neck, no more yoga classes EVER, and, in the distance, an adult man-child dwelling in my basement until the day I die. It was a dark time. My eyes were crusted shut (had a little drainage).

But something whispered in my other ear:

“Something good is going to come from all of this. Something new.”

Sure enough: we get some money and sustain no injuries from the rear-ending, we come up with a school solution that not only makes Ray willing to go to school, but also streamlines our entire morning plan. And my break from yoga while sick allows my shoulder to heal, and I go back with renewed vigor (and less angst about the floppy chaturanga, so dang grateful am I to be back).

Ajna Chakra: I See.

What is that whispering? What is this knowing? Where is it coming from – the certainty to hold on, to pause, to look deeper. Something is happening here.

This intuition, this wisdom, THIS is the Ajna Chakra, the sixth one in the rainbow. This is where seeing goes beyond the eyes and we experience our sixth sense. The third eye is where we have a cosmic vision happening. It goes beyond the physical world into not only the intuition but also in an ability to see a bigger picture.

We see things as they are, free of baggage from the past, free from judgements, and free from expectations.

The third eye chakra cuts through the murk; it is our night-vision goggles.

The Third Eye: Clear Vision

Located in the center of our forehead between our eyebrows, the third eye chakra is about the power of the mind to create our reality at all levels (physical, mental and emotional). The third eye serves to heighten our perception and light the way for us. In kundalini yoga, much of practice is done with the eyes focused up and in, at the third eye point.

While the two physical eyes see the past and the present, and the third eye shows us the future. It establishes a connection between the external world and the inner vision. Focusing on this energy center motivates us to move beyond worldly wants and momentary distractions and on to what we came here to accomplish in this life.

Our third eye helps us expand what we think is possible, and lets us see a horizon when we are tired or confused (and life can sure be tiring and confusing, can’t it?). It is here, in our intuitive center, that we can channel our vitality where we want it, and make things HAPPEN.

Ajna Chakra, the Brow or the Third Eye

Located: Between the eyebrows

Color: Purple

Type of Music: Classical; Note: A

Animal: Hawk

Essential oils: Camphor, Sweet Pea, Heliotrope

Crystals: Sapphire, Tanzanite, Lapis Lazuli

The hawk is a beautiful symbol of the brow chakra. I mean, what a BIRD! Magnificent!

The Hawk represents the clear and penetrating vision of the third eye to see through illusion and reach a higher truth.

Behavioral characteristics of the Third eye chakra

When the brow chakra is fully open, it connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain, effectively marrying the logical, rational part with the creative, imaginative part, which creates a super-charged vision of reality and renders us very powerful.

The third eye is connected to the pituitary gland, which releases serotonin, the neurotransmitter most responsible for our mood. Focusing our eyes up and in during kundalini yoga helps stimulate the pituitary, and we can become quite literally high from a good session.

The third eye chakra is associated with the following psychological and behavioral characteristics:

  • Vision
  • Intuition
  • Perception of subtle dimensions and movements of energy
  • Psychic abilities (especially related to clairvoyance and clairaudience)
  • Access to mystical states: illumination
  • Connecting to wisdom; insight
  • Motivating inspiration and creativity

Archetypes for the Brow

The wise person

A wise person has cultivated wisdom over time. They take their life experience and use it to help other people. Wise people trust their higher source to guide them through life’s ups and downs. They have a higher source of vision.

The Intellectual

The intellectual person relies solely on rational, analytic thinking without tuning in to the emotional, spiritual, or intuitive side of life. This is a very dry, lifeless way to go about living. There is no energy there, just conventional ideas. Boring! This leads to some very judgmental, narrow thinking. Intellectuals cannot make a holistic assessment of a situation; they get stuck in their heads.

Signs of Blocked Ajna Energy

When the sixth chakra is blocked, we lose our connection with our inner wisdom. We feel lost or adrift. We may limit ourselves and feel stuck in the day-to-day. Such a grind.

Without the guidance of our inner wisdom, we may be unable to look beyond immediate problems and our own (often biased) opinions. When we are this out of balance, we have a hard time seeing the bigger picture. We get mentally, foggy, anxious, or depressed. No fun.

Imbalanced brow chakra may manifest as:

  • eye strain
  • headaches
  • migraines
  • dizziness
  • clogged sinuses
  • hearing issues
  • memory issues
  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • insomnia or nightmares
  • feeling stuck in the daily grind
  • uncertainty
  • lack of creativity
  • lack of intuition
  • lack of purpose
  • lack of clarity or focus
  • dismissing all things spiritual or intuitive
  • and inability to see the big picture
  • anxiety and/or depression
  • pessimism
  • cynicism
  • not being able to establish/follow through with a vision for oneself

Signs of Balanced Ajna Energy

When the third eye chakra is in balance, we can tune into and trust our intuition and imagination (and if you feel unable to tap into your intuition, try using your imagination first – they morph). We see life with clarity, self-awareness, and emotional balance. Creativity, innovation and artistic expression begin to come, in our own unique expression.

We trust our inner knowledge, which allows us to make balanced decisions that are based in reality. We are open to different perspectives and able to receive wisdom from beyond the regular senses of sight, touch, sound, taste, and hearing.

When we can balance the third eye, wisdom dawns on us. We see everything from a bigger or higher perspective. We are more self-reflective and in spiritual contemplation mode, able to think and see clearly.

When our third eye chakra is working well, we just know what to do, and answers, solutions, ideas, and insights come to us naturally. 

Yoga Poses for the Third Eye

  • Dolphin pose
  • Eagle pose
  • Forward fold
  • Child’s pose
  • Embryo pose
  • Plow pose
  • Downward dog
  • Legs up the wall
  • Headstand

Affirmations for the third eye chakra

When practicing affirmations, you don’t have to sit on your hands for ten minutes saying them over and over (who has time for that?). You can incorporate them into your day. Try linking them to an activity, like at a stoplight, or brushing teeth, or maybe when you turn out the light at night. Write your own and remember to keep them in present and positive terms (e.g. rather than saying: “I am not a bad mom,” you say: “I am a wonderful mummy”). Post-its are your friend! Put ’em up!

  • I trust my intuition
  • I live my life in truth and joy
  • I trust that my highest good and greatest joy are unfolding
  • I think the very best of myself
  • I follow my inner guidance
  • I feel balanced and aware
  • I see this clearly
  • I use my sixth sense
  • I release and forgive the past
  • Yes, I see it
  • I know that I know
  • Thank you for showing me

Other Ways to Balance Ajna

Meditation

The best way to balance the third eye chakra is through meditation. Choose the form of meditation that speaks to you. Often, new meditators will report having a tingling feeling in the third eye (and feel like: “maybe this is a headache?”). A tingling or pulsating sensation around the area of the third eye during or after meditation is a sign that you are opening this blocked chakra.

Get Some Sun

On a physical level, light awakens the pineal gland, which improves the function of the third eye. As you spend time outside in the sun, you may notice that your mind becomes much clearer. If getting natural sunlight is challenging because you live in a dark or cold climate, try light therapy. And don’t forget to pay attention to your surroundings. What is happening right now? Being grounded in reality can also help to clear blockages in the third eye.

See with New Eyes

A problem commonly associated with a blocked third eye chakra is being rigid or closed-minded. To overcome this, seek out new perspectives and viewpoints! Go somewhere new! Play devil’s advocate with yourself (or talk to my husband, he will devil’s advocate you right out the front door!). Just try to see the other side of something. Read books, engage in activities outside your comfort zone, or even just try eating new foods. Shake it up.

epilogue:

We most certainly did NOT pull out of all the hassles January wrought unscathed, FYI. February has not found us magically fixed. Ray slid back into anxiety over school (plus he had an existential crisis realizing that we all are going to die), and it was gut-wrenching. I fell into some old habits which, while not world-ending destructive, are not part of the path that I have lately been (happily) on.

What are we doing about it? First, we laugh and stay cheerful (my husband taught me that). Next, we are solution-oriented. We brainstorm. We make minor tweaks. And finally, I have given myself some grace (a literal, measurable grace period, on the calendar), I started slowly, getting back into a groove. I listen to Ray and I validate his concerns. We take it day-by-day. I give myself little treats (lattes).

What if we could live in the wise person archetype? Maybe we could acknowledge that having set-backs and making mistakes teaches us who we are. They are what make us human. Can we be tender and accepting of ourselves, and not judge too harshly the things we have done or said? It is a growth process to be able to think clearly in tough or emotionally charged situations.

So take heart, and if your early-January plans (or resolutions) have slid a little, that’s OK. Take some time. Regroup. Choose a pleasure that doesn’t trigger you, and indulge (thrift shopping? nails? absurdly expensive foodie ingredients?).

Begin again!

Next time at Ayurved-ish:

On to the last chakra, the Crown. Thanks for traveling up the beautiful spinal ladder with me!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Pastora says:

    Thank you for this gripping post–really, I read it all in one breath so to speak Because it’s so real, the story of a person getting through real life and you want to know what comes next. The story you tell is, like all great stories, also about something so much bigger. About acknowledging it, getting in touch with it (the transcendent elements of our world which coexist with the physical realities), learning how to detect when we are out of balance. I find your message so hopeful, without a hint of pie in the sky naïveté. As I’ve said before, you write write in a way that only an observant, intelligent and experienced person can (you have wisdom, that much is clear). I admire the grit that comes through also–the searching, not giving up and embracing the good. It is the recipe for leading a meaningful life punctuated with moments of happiness. Oh and the art work was particularly hilarious (2019 v 2024 photo is just awesome) and beautiful (the lady with the angels). Brava, ayurved-ish. And onward with the adventure!

    1. jenny says:

      As always, you are toooo kind. The angel painting is above my bed, I love it! Thank you for recognizing that I am working to grow and show things as less than down pat in my world, because life is messy for us all. We go through constant cycles of growth, then a set back, maybe a retraction, and then we start again, but in a slightly different place. You are the one who reminds me of this when I am down. You are a helping hand in my life, pulling me back up out of the hellscape, LOL. Appreciate you.

  2. Pastora says:

    Boomerang! ❤️

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