We are truly in “woo woo” territory now, my friends. We have arrived at the third eye chakra, or ajna chakra; the sixth chakra in the chakra system.
If you’ve missed the first five chakras, be sure to check those out!
Ajna Chakra Overview
The Sanskrit word ajna means ‘perceive,’ ‘command’ or ‘beyond wisdom’
The ajna chakra opens our minds to information beyond the material world and beyond our five physical senses. If you’ve ever heard the term “sixth sense”, the third eye chakra is where we derive our sixth sense from (we all have one).
This sixth sense is our intuition. Our sense of inner knowing.
The third eye chakra is located at the center of the eyebrows. It’s proximity to the eyes means that it affects vision, but it’s primarily associated with inner vision.
The ajna chakra is associated with the element of light. The third eye helps to illuminate everything as it is, without all of the filters that we usually see through (our pasts, our expectations, our judgments, etc.)
Like ether, the element associated with the throat chakra, light is also an intangible element.
Overactive Third Eye Chakra
It’s not super likely that your sixth chakra is overactive, as most of us are very attuned to our physical reality. This makes it hard for us to receive information from beyond that physical reality.
However, in the event that your third eye chakra is overactive, let’s talk about what that might look like.
If you have an overactive third eye, most of your attention is likely absorbed by psychic activities like tarot card readings, astrology and paranormal experiences. If these activities become overwhelming, they can distract you from living a human experience.
This can manifest as hallucinations, or fantasies that appear more real than reality, and/or disassociation from the physical world.
Underactive Third Eye Chakra
Most of us have an underactive sixth chakra, as we live in a world that devalues spirituality and intuitive development. We tend to close off our third eye and ignore psychic experiences, which can cause us to feel disconnected from our spirituality.
This can manifest as indecisiveness, confusion, lack of focus and purpose, or depression. You might feel that you are unable to establish a vision for yourself, much less realize it, or that you struggle to see the bigger picture for your life.
The biggest indicator of my underactive third eye has been my rejection of everything spiritual or beyond the usual. This has changed for me in recent years, but I’ve always been a skeptic and I’ve always closed myself off from embracing my spiritual side.
So energizing this chakra (with the help of all the preceding chakras) is definitely an area that I’m working on!
Finding Balance in the Ajna
When your third eye chakra is balanced, you feel equally in tune with your physicality and spirituality. You are able to follow your intuition; to listen to your inner wisdom.
You are able to use both feelings and logic to make big decisions in life
If you find that you are becoming consumed with psychic information, and that your ajna chakra is becoming overactive, spend some time in nature.
Remind yourself that you are a creature of earth; a human being. Go to the beach and feel the sand between your toes; go to the park and feel the grass beneath your feet; dig up some dirt in your garden.
Connect to the earth – the element of the root chakra. If your sixth chakra is overactive, then your first chakra is likely underactive. Find some balance in both.
If you find yourself rejecting anything spiritual; if you feel a bit lost or without purpose, then your sixth chakra is likely underactive.
You can energize the ajna chakra by devoting some time to quiet, solitary meditation. Take your attention inward and listen.
Journaling after your meditation can help to awaken your sense of inner wisdom. As you practice, you’ll find it gets easier to connect with the energy from your third eye chakra.
Whether your third eye chakra is overactive or underactive, yoga practices that focus on taking the attention inward, with closed eyes and forward folds (like the class below!), can be helpful in bringing balance.
In this practice for the ajna chakra, I invite you to close your eyes as much as feels comfortable. Practice moving from an intuitive place, relying on the inward feeling rather than the outward senses.
Remember that the element for the sixth chakra is light. We want to awaken our inner light so that it might guide us.
Here’s the sequence for you to try at home. As always, if you’d like a downloadable pdf of this sequence, you can grab one below!
And if you’re a more visual person, you can scroll down to the video below to practice this class with me!
1. Begin in a tall, comfortable seat
– Rub the palms briskly to create some heat + place the palms over the eyes (3x)
2. Child’s pose: 5 breaths
– Walk hands all the way to the left, open right side body (repeat to the other side): 5 breaths per side
– Thread the needle twist (R+L sides): 5 breaths/side
3. Cat/Cow x5
4. Downward Facing Dog → Plank (flow 5x)
5. Standing Forward Fold → Tadasana, Mountain Pose
6. Sun Stretches/Half Sun Salutations x2 (with eyes closed)
7. Surya Namaskar A x2 (with eyes closed)
8. Warrior 1 → Humble Warrior → Warrior 1
9. Warrior 1 → Humble Warrior → Warrior 1 → Warrior 3 → Tree Pose
10. Padangusthasana → Padahastasana
11. Vinyasa to Down Dog
12. Dolphin → Dolphin Leg Lifts (5x R + L sides)
13. Plank → Slow lower to belly
14. Shalabhasana → Dhanurasana x2: 5 breaths each
15. Janu Sirsasana: 5 breaths each side
16. Paschimottanasana: 5 breaths
17. Supine twist → Happy Baby
18. Savasana 10-15min.