Ajna is the 6th Chakra. Located above the nose at the brow, its meaning is "To Perceive." I'm sure we've all heard about "The Third Eye" as this space of clairvoyance and mysticism. However, what everyone might not have been introduced to is the Ajna chakra in its relevance in our very physical everyday lives. That's what I'd like to explore in this blog post.
Visualization is an important feature of Ajna, and there is a belief out there that we all have the potential to use our brains for higher level activities. The challenge before us is to unlock those abilities. In the meantime, the sixth chakra can benefit the more humble abilities that we all already possess. :) So, let's explore.....
Light is the element associated with Ajna, and illusion is its demon. Through meditation, we are able to use the inner guidance that comes from our true selves. With it, we can pull away the illusion in order to expose deeper truths. It allows us to see beyond our pre-conceptions or long held beliefs and to see things from the point of view as an observer rather than from ourselves. In doing this, we might learn something new and more meaningful.
To awaken and nurture the sixth chakra, we can use sensory cues:
Wearing deep indigo will help us to be aware of the sixth chakra. Another way to use the color is to have it present during meditation (an indigo meditation rug or cushion, for example). Along those lines, keeping quartz or lapis gemstones present during meditation or even wearing them during a day when you want to keep a clear mind might be beneficial.
Cedarwood is one of the essentail oils associated with Ajna. It has an earthy and grounding scent. Diffuse it during meditation or at bedtime. Rub a little bit into your scalp with your shampoo too, because the scent stays very mildly after you rinse it. (As a bonus, it moisturizes fantastically, promotes hair growth, and discourages hair loss.....win/win/win.)
The wise owl is Ajna's animal. This bird is mystical too, and happens to be my favorite.
Yoga poses that help to strengthen Ajna:
Eagle Pose w/ Thumbs at the 3rd Eye -
Root down into the right foot and bend slightly at the knees. Wrap your left leg over the right and either rest the left toes on a block, rest the side of the left foot against the right calf, or wrap the left foot behind the right calf. Wrap the arms as in the photo or modify by bringing them them to "prayer pose" hands. To stay safe, keep your knees behind your toes, and try to line up your knees with your elbows. Rest thumbs at the third eye and take 3-5 deep breaths. Rise and unwrap on the inhale. Go to the other side.
Wide Leg Forward Fold w/ Resting 3rd Eye -
Step wide with toes out at 45 degree angles or with toes facing forward. Inhale long spine and arms overhead. On the exhale, hinge forward at the hips. Bring your forehead to the mat or to a block or a sturdy cushion. Hands push into the ground. After taking 3-5 deep breaths, rise on the inhale.
Dolphin Pose -
This pose is a great one to work toward. It requires a lot of shoulder strength, so take baby steps to find its full expression through your practice. Come to forearm plank. Pushing your forearms into the ground, begin to walk your feet forward. Relax your neck. Keep pushing your forearms into the ground so much that you maybe feel a rounding from shoulder to shoulder. Push your feet into the ground and invite your heels toward the ground, but don't worry it if you don't quite get there.
Enjoy your week and join us for class if you can! We will be at Pringle Nature Center indoors on Thursday at 6pm and outdoors at Pringle next Sunday at 7:30 am. Sunday is outdoors-only Wisconsin Yoga (so check the Facebook page if you are unsure about the weather). Layer up and bring a warm drink along with your yoga mat! Drop a comment or an email if you plan to join us, and please mention any modifications you might require.
- Namaste, Lori
Photo Creds..... Delaney Jane Hawkins