Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra): Balancing The Third Eye Chakra
At times even with some years of practice in yoga, some students remain restless and hyper. For them, the activating of the Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra) is essential. The energy points though are largely in balance, the level of hormones at times get disturbed causing restlessness. Using yoga poses along with longer duration of practice with pranayama can resolve this issue.
The Third Eye Chakra or the Ajna Chakra is associated with the element of light and is situated right before the place the nose starts, slightly above the eyebrows. In relation to the human body, the Third Eye Chakra or the Ajna Chakra is related to the pituitary gland and the pineal gland that produce hormones and govern the functioning of various other glands in the body.
The following yoga sequence for Ajna Chakra consists of yoga poses that are related to the opening of the energy points in the body and those that connect us spiritually. Specifically, the yoga poses included are those that are used for neck and shoulder muscles strength to awaken the Third Eye. This makes it relatively easy to meditate. Practicing the yoga poses related to the Ajna Chakra (Third Chakra) or the Sixth Chakra of the human body activates the brain, ears, eyes, nose pituitary and pineal glands, including the neurological system.
Note: Anyone suffering from severe headaches, depression, anxiety, excess strain in the eyes, should take proper care and use the guidance of a trained yoga teacher along with the family doctor's advice before starting to practice this yoga sequence.
Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra): Balancing the Third Eye Chakra: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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Nadis are energy channels that run throughout the body transporting prana (life force) energy to every cell in the body. The most important channels are: Ida, Pingala and Sushumna Nadis. The Sushumna nadi runs parallel to the spine, along the central axis of the body with the ida and the pingala wrapping themselves around. All these nadis intersect at the brow chakra (third eye centre), our seat of intuition and knowledge.
Hence breathing plays a great role in opening up these energy points in the body.
A. Come to sit at the centre of the mat, on your knees and shins placing the soles of the feet close to the hips.
B. While seated here placing your hands on your thighs, palms facing down, close your eyes and begin a slow deep breathing to follow the movement of the body.
C. Placing the hips on the soles of the feet in Vajrasana or Thunderbolt Pose, extend the spine and remain here for about 16 breaths.
D. While this pose is just to open the base of the spine to encourage easy and smooth flow of prana, stay calm while trying to bring the focus to the middle of the eyebrow. Make sure while trying to bring the focus to the centre of the brow, there is not strain in the eyes.
A. While seated in Vajrasana, take your arms interlocking your fingers behind you and draw your shoulder tight behind.
B. Inhale and raise the interlocked arms at the fingers, and as you exhale bend to torso to go forward reaching for the floor with your chest and your face.
C. Exhale completely, and bring the interlocked arms right above your shoulders while resting the entire face on the floor here in Bowing Yoga Mudra.
D. While in this position, take your gaze towards the centre of the brow while keeping your eyes closed and remain here for about 8 breaths.
E. Bowing Yoga Mudra, in the most simplest pose to begin with for the opening of the third eye chakra or the Ajna Chakra. Though considered as a difficult energy opener, one can try to at least bring the focus toward the brow.
Make sure the breathing is smooth and the tummy is pulled in to help one to remain in this posture comfortably.
While all the seven chakras in the human body are connected and the yoga poses are practiced to indirectly open these energy points, it becomes essential here to therefore understand that all the chakras right from the root to the crown work hand in hand. Hence just practicing the opening of any one chakra is not advisable.
A. From the Bowing Yoga Mudra, release and come to sit back in Vajrasana taking a few breaths here.
B. Inhale and place the elbows on the floor behind you while bending backwards, and as you exhale slowly place the crown of the head on the floor behind you.
C. Inhale and bring the arms behind your head interlocking them at the fore arms to arch the entire back, in the posture Paryankasana or Couch Pose.
D. Exhale completely here relaxing the lower back while forming an arch with the upper body lifting the shoulders and the back off the floor.
E. Remain here in Couch Pose for about 8 breaths or more if comfortable. While focusing on the breathing, take the gaze inwards to the centre of the eye brows with the eyes closed. This requires practice, but the simple practice of this pose, will bring in the right amount of energy to the head, activating the entire facial muscles keeping in mind the eyes, ears, nose and the neck.
F. As the pituitary and the pineal glands are located at the base of the brain, the fresh flow of blood towards the head will encourage the glands to produce the right amount of hormones to bring balance in the body.
One can release and practice this pose again to get better benefits from the posture.
A. Releasing from Paryankasana or Couch Pose, release the head and bring it to rest on the floor, while releasing the legs to settle the entire back on the floor.
B. Placing the feet on the floor come to relax in Savasana Variation Bent legs or Constructive Rest Pose. Remain settling the entire back on the floor for about 8 breaths or more.
C. While doing so close your eyes and take the gaze inwards paying attention towards the middle of the brow. Not all feel comfortable with the gaze towards the centre of the brow, it requires some practice and should be done carefully and with awareness.
D. It is best to start practicing the poses the right way, but making sure that throughout the practice the eyes are closed and when confident, gazing towards the centre of the brow can be mastered.
A. Releasing from the relaxing pose of Savasana Variation Bent Legs, place the hands below the hips close to the lower back.
B. Inhale and lift the lower back off the floor while kicking the legs off the floor too to take the legs and the hips off the floor upwards.
C. Inhale again and bring the entire lower body along with the lower back upwards to balance the body on the shoulders and the back of the head.
D. Stay here in Sarvangasana or Shoulderstand Pose, stretching the entire lower and upper body upwards. Remain here focusing on the breathing and with every exhalation, stretch deeper upwards.
E. Remain here for about 16 breaths or more and as the breathing comes in control, close your eyes and begin to control the body balancing it on the shoulders.
F. Here with the blood flowing towards the neck and the head, the facial muscles are activated. This activation makes the pituitary and the pineal glands open up producing the right amount of hormones. Focus on the centre of the brow while closing the eyes and stay connected to the various thoughts happening within.
While this pose clears the minds with the thoughts and brings awareness with the breath, it also plays a great role in activating the glands in the brain, as the proper functioning of the same bring balance to the body.
The Drishti focus in towards the thoughts while also taking the gaze deep within close to the third eye.
A. Releasing from Makarasana or Crocodile Pose, sit up stretching your legs in front of you in Dandasana.
B. Seated here stretching the legs out, extend the spine and placing the hand on the floor sit in this pose for about 4 breaths, while still closing your eyes.
C. Slowly take the gaze inwards to the centre of the brow. Inhale and bring the feet wide apart, opening the legs out beyond hip distance.
D. Spreading the legs out, outwards stretch the spine and make sure you are seated on the sit bones comfortably.
E. Exhale and take the torso forward bending at the hips to reach for the floor with your face while holding onto the toes with your hands, to stretch deep with the lower back and the inner legs.
F. Seated here in this forward fold, Upavistha Konasana or Seated Straddle Pose, with face on the floor, take the gaze inwards while closing the eyes.
G. Remain in this pose for about 16 breaths, and with every exhalation take the torso forward to reach for the floor in front of you with the face or the nose.
In this pose, the stretch though is felt mainly at the inner legs and the lower back, it is important to get comfortable with this pose, in order to take the gaze to the centre of the brow, without feeling the stretch in the body. Hence adding this pose to the sequence is left to the practitioner's comfort and experience.
This pose with the face close to the floor keeps you grounded as the thoughts are very relaxed encouraging the various glands in the brain to be in control.
A. After the practice of Upavistha Konasana with the face on the floor, come to sit with your legs together in Dandasana.
B. Take 2 breaths here. Inhale and placing the hands on the floor besides you, come to stand on your feet, while bending the knees.
C. Inhale and raise your arms above your head taking the hands to join in Namaste while still having the knees bend.
D. Standing here keeping the knees bend and gazing upwards at the stretched hand stand here for about 16 breaths in Utkatasana or Chair Pose.
E. While learning to balance the body here with eyes closed, it helps to calm the mind of the thoughts ensuring the relaxation of the pineal and the pituitary glands.
F. Utkatasana, needs practice with the eyes closed, and hence should be done carefully and with awareness.
If one feels the discomfort while closing the eyes, one could keep the feet a little away from each other to get a better balance of the body.
Focusing at the centre of the eye brow while also balancing the body here is an art, but if done correctly has it's own benefits and positive energies.