Known in Sanskrit as Ajna chakra, the third eye chakra, according to Samkhya philosophy, is represented by the element mahat, or maha tattva. It’s important to note here that according to yoga and Samkhya philosophy, the earth elements are only four of many elements that make up our experience not commonly taught in the west. Mahat is a concept that can be manifested through all matter, energy, and light. If you’re interested in learning about the elements in traditional yoga and Samkhya philosophy, you should consider education in Tantra Yoga.
When Ajna chakra is balanced, we feel stable, clear, and connected to intuition and source. We see things as they are rather than as we think we see them. In yoga philosophy, we call this energetic state of being sattvic. In this state, we can confidently practice discernment, trusting our inner wisdom to inform and guide us.
An imbalanced Ajna chakra can contribute to issues around mental clarity, concentration, and focus. Mindfulness meditation, energy clearing, and daily rituals can stimulate Ajna chakra, which becomes engaged when we land in a meditative state of being.
The Agya or Ajna chakra is believed to be located in the center of the forehead between the eyebrows. It is not a part of the physical body but is considered to be the part of Pranic system. The location makes it a sacred spot where Hindus apply a tilak bindi to show reverence for it.
Agya chakra is described as a transparent lotus flower with two white petals, said to represent the nadis (psychic channels) Ida and Pingala, which meet the central Sushumna nadi before rising to the crown chakra, Sahasrara. The letter "ham" (हं) is written in white on the left petal and represents Shiva, while the letter "ksham" (क्षं) is written in white on the right petal and represents Shakti.
Inside the pericarp of the flower is the Hakini shakti. It is depicted with a white moon, six faces, and six arms holding a book, a skull, a drum, and a rosary, while making the gestures associated with granting boons and dispelling fears. The downward-pointing triangle above her contains a white lingam. This triangle, along with the lotus flower, can represent wisdom. In some systems, the deity Ardhanarishvara, a hermaphrodite from Shiva-Shakti, resides within the lingam and symbolizes the duality of subject and object. This sixth chakra of our energy body is also connected with the sixth layer of our aura, known as the celestial layer in aura science.
Asana Associated with Ajna Chakra
Sukhasana with an inner drishti focused on the middle of the forehead, at the space between the brow is a good pratyahara practice to help bring awareness to the third eye chakra. In yoga asana, poses like tadasana, forward fold, wide-legged forward fold, child’s pose with forehead on a block, crocodile pose, savasana, and rabbit pose are all good for bringing awareness to this space. Integrative practices, like yoga Nidra, can help bring awareness to this space, as well.
Pranayama Associated With Ajna Chakra
Anulom Vilom Pranayama (alternate nostril breathing) can awaken the Ajna chakra. Agna chakra is the point where the Nadis – Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna meet. This pranayama balances the flow in all the nadis and activates Ajna Chakra.
Mudra Associated With Ajna Chakra
A mudra is a sign or hand gesture that has been known to affect different parts of the body by engaging the nerve endings in our fingertips. Mudras direct energy flow from the fingers to the brain and help the body communicate with itself. Mudras are a powerful way to activate our chakras.
Shambhavi Mudra is a highly regarded practice in yogic and tantric texts. Shambhavi is a powerful mudra used during meditation to still the mind and to experience higher stages of consciousness. Shambhavi mudra is mentioned in the yogic text Gheranda Samhita. It essentially involves gazing at the eyebrow center.
Beej Mantra & Association with Deity
The seed syllable of Agya or Ajna is Ksham and the more well-known, Om, or "Pranava Om", which is believed to be the basic sound of the world and contains all other sounds. It is considered the supreme sound of the universe. The Bīja mantras are monosyllabic seed sounds that, when they are spoken aloud, activate the energy of the chakras in order to purify and balance the mind and body. The energy resonates in the chakra associated with the mantra, helping the speaker become aware of their body's needs.
Color Associated With Ajna Chakra
Indigo, also called royal blue, is the color of night — there is a depth of awakening and change in this color that connects us to space and time.
Food Associated With Ajna Chakra
For Ajna chakra, think purple. Purple grapes, purple kale, blueberries, purple cabbage, eggplant, and purple carrots. Also include cocoa, which is rich in flavonoids and boosts serotonin, which helps to relieve stress and inflammation. These “brain foods” can instantly help clear an overworked mind and help to regain focus.
Affirmation Associated With Ajna Chakra
Affirmations are positive statements that confirm something to be true. Affirmations are a helpful tool for improving self-esteem and embodying certain qualities we endeavor to possess. Affirmations can be added to any yoga routine or used as an accessible part of many self-care rituals. You can introduce affirmations first thing in the morning, before practice, or anytime throughout the day as a way to connect and reground. Affirmations for the third eye chakra include:
I am a vessel for true seeing.
I am connected to the source.
I trust my intuition.
The world is my teacher.
I see myself in all beings.
I trust my inner wisdom.