The sixth chakra, Ajna, is our all seeing Third Eye. It is all about intuition, wisdom and psychic ability. When this chakra is open, we can trust our inner guidance, we are intuitive but grounded and can see clearly what needs to be seen. To keep this chakra in balance you can incorporate the following gentle asanas and meditative exercises into your practice. Let your creativity fly, and feel free to visualize the world exactly as you would like to see it. After all, we first create with the eye of the mind, we create with visualizing, before we see things in the physical world.
1. Child's pose with forehead pressed to the floor
Come down to child's pose, knees open or closed, hands stretched in front. Press your forehead on the floor, close your eyes and bring your awareness to the Third eye. Bring your inner energy onto to this chakra, and let it show you how you would see the world through it. What is needed for you to see? What is relevant, and what isn't?
Take 2-4 minutes here, breathe steady and long, and let your body relax.
2. Ardha Uttanasana - Half standing forward bend
This mild forward fold relaxes the mind and at the same time creates pressure in the area of the third eye, stimulating it.
Start in Tadasana, inhale your arms up, and fold forward into uttanasana, standing forward bend. On an inhale straighten your legs and your back, and place your palms on the floor in front, or on your shins (or on two blocks). Stay for 4 long and deep breaths, and come out by folding back down to uttanasana on an exhale. Bend your knees, and come back up with an inhale, arms all the way up towards the sky, palms touching. Close your eyes and bring your thumbs close to your forehead, and pause here. Feel the third eye chakra, take 5-6 long breaths before lowering the hands and opening your eyes.
3. Sun salutations - with your eyes closed
Yes, with your eyes closed! When we close our eyes, we can truly start to see with our Third eye. Make sure you have enough room in case you tumble, and take it slow. Feel your body, feel you intuitive guidance and go with the flow.
You can do one round of Sun salutations with your eyes open, and flow through uttanasana (standing forward bend), ardha uttanasana (half standing forward bend) , plank pose, chaturanga dandasana (four limbed staff pose), bhujangasana (cobra pose), adho mukha savasana (downward facing dog) and back to uttanasana and finally tadasana (mountain pose).
After this first round, close your eyes before you begin the second round. Place your hands in anjali mudra, and have the bases of your thumbs touching the forehead. Focus here, and again draw all your energy into this one point of the sixth chakra. From here, begin 4 rounds of Sun salutations with your eyes closed.
After the final round, take a few breaths in Tadasana and feel your body. How did you experience your body when the eyes were closed. What was different?
4. Virabhadrasana III - Warrior III
Practicing balance can bring energy and awareness into our third eye chakra. When we balance the body, the mind needs to be just as engaged as the body.
Start in Tadasana in front of your mat. Inhale your arms up, and with the exhale bring the palms together and place the thumbs again onto your forehead. Close your eyes, take few breaths here and draw the energy into your third eye chakra.
With an exhale, bring your palms in front of your heart centre, pour all your weight onto your right leg, and start lifting up the left leg while hinging forwards from the hips. Keep the hips square, and the toes of the left foot facing towards the floor. Keep your hands on your chest, or extend them forward or to the side. Take 3-5 deep breaths here. With an exhale take your hands back in front of your heart space, and start coming back up with a straight back. Repeat on the other side.
5. Seated meditation
One of the best ways to find contact with our Ajna Chakra is via meditation. Find yourself in a comfortable seated position, sit on a block or on the floor, straighten the back and relax the shoulders. Close your eyes.
Start with rubbing your hands together to generate heat in your palms. Do this for about 15-20 seconds, after which you can place your hands on your eyes. The warmth of the palms stimulates the eyes and lets the eyes soften. Once you feel the palms losing their heat, repeat once more.
Then, place your hands on your thighs or on your lap, and focus on your breathing. Once more draw your energy onto your third eye, and ask it to show you what you need to see. Ask it to remind you of your purpose in this life, and then sit and listen to the answers coming from within.
The Ajna Chakra is about your inner wisdom and guidance. It's about being creative and trusting the intuitive messages we receive. For this we sometimes need to close our eyes to really see what we need to see.