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January 6, 2014

13 Novel Ways to Open the 3rd Eye.

The chakra of the month is Ajna Chakra.

Since it’s January, let’s say it’s the chakra of the year 2014, too.

Just joining in? This is the sixth post in a seven-part series. Learn more about the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart and throat energy centers.

The sixth chakra is the infamous “third eye” located between the eyebrows. It is related to a lot of fancy-sounding virtues that begin with the letter i—intuition, insight, imagination, integrity.

When the third eye is undeveloped or out of whack, we may feel blindsided, overwhelmed by emotion or creatively blocked. Eye problems and soreness can also indicate an unhealthy third eye.

In contrast, when the third eye point is developed and opened, we are in touch with our intuitive feelings, imaginative and inspired.

Here are 13 suggestions to bring clearer inner vision to the third eye point.

1. Cultivate clairvoyance.

The term may bring up images of crystal balls and psychic gypsies, but it simply means “clear seeing”—and is a skill we all have and can hone by doing the practices from this list that resonate with us.

2. Do yoga for the eyes.

With all the looking at screens most of us do for hours each day, eye strain can be a real pain.

To practice eye yoga, move your eyeballs up, down and as far to the left and right as they go. Move them around (slowly) all 360 degrees, both clockwise and counter-clockwise.

Also: rub your palms together vigorously to build heat, then place the warm hands gently over your eyes. Ah, isn’t that nice?

3. Practice bumblebee pranayama.

4. Write, stream of consciousness style.

No one has to read it but you. You don’t need to use punctuation or correct grammar if you don’t want to. Let the words flow directly from your mind onto the page.

Write in a journal. Type on the computer with the screen covered up. Write about your dreams immediately upon waking up. See what comes out; it may surprise and delight you.

5. Explore tarot and/or astrology.

Okay, this one’s kind of New-Agey, but it doesn’t have to be!

Get a deck of tarot cards to play with, or splurge on a professional reading. It’s a fun, practical way to get in touch with your intuition about a specific aspect of your personal life.

Also: astrology! Read your birth chart; it’s readily available online; all you need is the hour, date and location of your birth. Learn about your rising sign, sun sign and moon sign. See what resonates. (And if it’s all too silly, just laugh and move on.)

6. Practice visualization—it isn’t just for “manifesting.”

Whether you meditate on the chakras, creatively visualize yourself achieving a specific goal or imagine yourself swinging on a hammock in your happy place, visualization is a powerful practice for aligning the sixth chakra.

In her chakra guidebook, Anothea Judith writes: “Visualization is active dreaming. The more we do it, the more vivid and capable our mind’s creations. The opportunities for practice are endless. Once it becomes a habit, it develops naturally.”

7. Rest in child’s pose.

The four favorite words uttered by yoga teachers: “Rest in child’s pose.”

Balasana, the Hatha Yoga pose, is great for turning our focus inward and stimulating the brow point. Turn your inner gaze to the third eye and maintain the pose as long as comfortable.

8. Express your unique creativity.

Your life is a work of art. Be expressive. Share your ideas, weird and wacky as they are, in whatever media you can.

9. Chronicle day-to-day coincidences.

Make note—literally, on paper—of the coincidences that happen each day. Little things, like when you think of someone and then see or hear from them later that day. Noticing and bringing more awareness to serendipity reminds us of how interconnected we truly are.

10. Use color therapy.

The colors that correspond with each chakra energy point are: red (root), orange (sacral), yellow (solar plexus), green (heart), blue (throat), indigo (third eye) and violet or white (crown).

If you feel that a certain chakra needs some love, wear clothing of the corresponding color and/or immerse yourself in that color, whether indoors in a painted room or outside in nature.

11. Daydream more.

Imagine! What if…?

12. Do a body scan.

Keen body awareness is key to developing intuition and insight. It can be done quickly anytime, anywhere. Just scan your physical body from head to toe, noticing how you feel in the moment without judging. If you have more time (like half an hour), try Yoga Nidra.

13. Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.

Meditate! Practice sitting, walking, standing or whatever kind of meditation you wish. There’s nothing quite like it for developing, balancing and ultimately opening the sixth chakra.

Bonus: A Few Favorite Sixth Chakra Quotes

“In order to see, you have to stop being in the middle of the picture.” ~ Sri Aurobindo

“Emptying the mind of images, through meditation, paradoxically allows one to better see what images there are.” ~ Anothea Judith

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ~ Steve Jobs

Here’s to living a more intuitive, imaginative, inspired life, starting today!

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Martin Meijer Nov 8, 2014 5:08am

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Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a heart-centered writer, teacher and creator of Yoga Freedom.

She has been a columnist on Elephant Journal since 2010 and has self-published inspiring books. She incorporates dharma, hatha, yin, mindfulness, chakras, chanting and pranayama into her teachings and practice. A former advertising copywriter and elementary school teacher, she is now a freelance writer and translator. Michelle learned yoga from a book at age 12 and started teaching at 22. She met the Buddha in California at 23 and has been a student of the dharma ever since. Michelle is now approaching her forties with grace and gratitude.

Join Michelle for a writing and yoga retreat this summer at magical Lake Atitlan in the western highlands of Guatemala!