The sanskrit name for the third eye chakra is ajna, which means to perceive. This chakra is located in the eyes, forehead and pineal gland. A balanced third eye chakra is associated with intuition, wisdom and higher knowledge. If the third eye chakra is excessive in it’s energy, illusions, anxiety and over-thinking can occur. If the energy is deficient, denial, cynicism, close-minded and a lack of imagination can be prevalent. This can manifest itself physically through vision problems and headaches.
This is my most out of control chakra. My throat chakra is the one that is naturally most closed and I have done so much work in opening. My third eye chakra is often far too open and I am constantly working to ground it back down.
When I read the description of excessive energy in this chakra, I could check nearly every box. I have had vision issues since my early 20s, needing a new prescription for contact lenses and glasses almost every year. I have had a volatile relationship with migraines and am extremely sensitive to light. I have a natural tendency to over-think almost everything and am constantly mindful of my anxiety levels. The “illusions” portion did not make sense to me, at first. I like to think of myself as someone who is pretty grounded in reality and not delusional in the least.
I understood a little bit better when Anodea Judith described illusions in Eastern Body Western Mind. Judith describes illusions as the “SHOULDS” we tie to our egos. I should myself to death. I obsess, stress and become anxious of what I think I should be doing, who I think I should be or how I think I should look or act. It’s no wonder I have both vision problems and migraines.
My strengths in this chakra are being a great judge of character, perceptive and intuitive and possessing a great degree of empathy. My impressions are generally spot on and I have a natural thirst for higher knowledge.
This chakra is about manifesting your visions, it’s about shifting your intuition and wisdom into action to meet goals and achieve unlimited potential. Judith discusses the notion of vision in her book by asking the readers to think about the information they take in visually. If we are seeking to manifest a certain vision, what are we feeding ourselves visually? This has been great for me to reflect upon as I think about who and how much I look at social media or choose to focus/obsess upon.
I chose eagle arms (garudasana) to work on my third eye chakra. The vision or drishti (gaze) is key in staying balanced in this pose, especially if you add in the twisted leg portion. The arms are intertwined with their opposite limb. The breath must be flowing consciously and freely to maintain balance. The arms and crown of the head are lifting up, while the legs are firmly planted creating both the sense of grounding down and lifting up. So much focus goes into staying balanced in this pose and when my focus is on my breath and body, it isn’t on whatever petty thing it was obsessing on before I came into my practice.
If I can breath while literally being all twisted up in this pose on my yoga mat, can I do the same thing when I am off my yoga mat?