According to yoga tradition, the subtle body is where your energy flows. The subtle body has seven vortexes of energy, known as chakras. When energy becomes blocked in a chakra, it triggers physical, mental, or emotional imbalances. That’s true of all chakras, including the sixth chakra. Called Ajna Chakra, this energetic center is located at the third eye (between the eyebrows or in between and just above eye level). Ajna chakra is positioned above the throat chakra which balances emotion and reason. It sits below the seventh chakra, the Sahasrara or crown chakra, the center of thoughtfulness, enlightenment, and wisdom.
The third-eye chakra is associated with higher knowledge, intuition, and what you might think of as your sixth sense. The third eye helps you perceive a cosmic vision beyond the physical world that your eyes can see. It connects you to your intuition and illuminates everything as it is without the filter of your past, your expectations, or your judgment. Ajna chakra is also linked to imagination and visualization.
When Ajna is functioning well, you trust your inner wisdom. When it’s blocked, you feel close-minded.
See also: The Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras
Characteristics of the Ajna chakra
Natural Element: Light
The Ajna chakra is associated with light and illumination. You carry wisdom within you, a “light,” that can brighten your path. When you tap into the Ajna chakra you have a greater awareness of the world around you, and your eyes are truly open.
This chakra’s color is indigo, a blue hue associated with wisdom and deep inner knowledge. This chakra’s symbol consists of two lotus petals, a downward-facing triangle (representing enlightenment), and the seed mantra Om in the center.
Signs of Balanced Ajna Energy
When the third eye chakra is in balance, you are able to tune into and trust your intuition and imagination. You see your life with clarity, self-awareness, and emotional balance. You trust your inner knowledge, which allows you make balanced decisions. You are open to different perspectives and able to receive wisdom from beyond the give senses of sight, touch, sound, taste, and hearing.
Signs of Blocked Ajna Energy
When the sixth chakra is blocked, you lose your connection with your inner wisdom. You may feel lost or adrift. The imbalance is mostly likely to present itself physically within the brain and eyes. You may also feel stuck in the day-to-day. Without the guidance of your inner wisdom, you may be unable to look beyond immediate problems and your own opinions. When you are thus out of balance, you may have difficulty seeing the bigger picture. You may feel mentally, foggy, anxious, or depressed.
Misalignment of the third eye chakra can result in physical and mental difficulties. Your mind may constantly feel in overdrive. You may notice the following symptoms:
- eye strain
- clogged sinuses
- hearing issues
- memory issues
- insomnia or nightmares
Aligning the Ajna Chakra
Many practice support, nurture and balance Ajna. Meditations, mantras, and asana practice can bring your inner eye into balance.
An Exercise for Awakening the Sixth Chakra
“Ajna” means command. Pronounced as ‘Agya,’ this chakra is often used as a focal point in meditation practices. Here is one you can try: Sit comfortably and concentrate on your breathing. With your eyes closed, turn your focus to your the space between your eyebrows. Invite the wisdom of your third eye to light your way.
Bring your hands to a prayer position and begin rubbing them together vigorously. Once you have created some heat between your palms, cup them over your eyes. Let the heat soften any tension in or around the eyes.
Poses to Balance the Third Eye Chakra
Several asana poses are especially good for bringing balance to Ajna chakra:
- Balasana. Child’s Pose places a light pressure on the third eye, which stimulates this chakra.
- Dolphin Pose. Similar to Downward Facing Dog Pose, Dolphin Pose, except this pose is done on your forearms. In this pose, bring your hands into anjali mudra, with your thumbs gently pressing into to the third eye to stimulate this chakra.
- Eagle Pose. Garudasana requires focus, which is why it is closely linked to your third eye chakra.
Mantras to Balance Ajna Chakra
Mantras and affirmations related to intention and insight can help open the Ajna chakra. For example:
- I trust my inner wisdom
- My intuition guides me on the right path
- I feel balanced and aware
Benefits of Balancing Ajna Chakra
When you balance the third eye chakra, you will have greater clarity of thought. You trust your intuition and are able to clearly see events in your life and the lessons they present to you. You will gain the ability to see the subtle energy that makes and connects all objects in the universe.
As you work to open the Ajna chakra, you can begin to see things as they actually are without the projection and color of ego. From there, you can begin to move toward the things you value in life more efficiently.
See also: Third Eye Chakra Tune-Up Practice