If you are familiar with chakras, then you can tell from my logo that I love chakras. The rainbow-colored spheres within my logo are representative of the chakra system within the body.
If you are unfamiliar, here’s a quick lesson: There are seven energy centers called chakras (literally “wheels”) that store energy/life force/prana. They are along the spinal column and correlate to major nerve ganglia branching forth from the spinal column. Each has a different relationship to a gland in the body’s endocrine system. Each stimulates different organs and systems in the body. Hatha Yoga activates these energy centers releasing the energy that flows through the spine. Yoga helps these energy centers/nerve bundles to function correctly clearing blocks that may be there. Each chakra also is associated with a mental/emotional focus. In each newsletter I’ll highlight how you can work with a particular chakra to correspond with the season.
Hatha yoga is the branch of yoga which concentrates on physical health and mental well-being. It is the yoga I teach. Hatha yoga uses bodily postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dyana) with the goal of bringing about a sound, healthy body and a clear, peaceful mind.
The word hatha is a compound of the two Sanskrit words ha and tha meaning sun and moon. The Sun rules the visible world. The Moon rules the invisible worlds. This came to mind for me when we discussed the five elements and their connection to magic. Remember the connection to the Archangels— Michael, Archangel of the Sun, is linked with Fire, and Gabriel, the Archangel of the Moon, with Water. Connecting the visible world with the invisible world is what I’ve tried to do with this month’s focus on the magic of the “little people”.
The third-eye/brow chakra connects the two worlds. When fully activated, this chakra stimulates both the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The right controls creative thinking, the left controls rational, analytical thinking. “Working together they create a harmonious vision of reality that incorporates grounded, logical thinking and intuitive and imaginative experience. The brow chakra offers us energy to awaken our minds and question whether what we have been taught is true or false.” The Book of Chakras, Discover the Hidden Forces Within You by Ambika Wauters.
This is the perfect chakra for this month’s focus on allowing magic into our lives! The third-eye/brow chakra is located between the eyebrows and vibrates to the color indigo blue. The awakening of the third-eye chakra leads to clairvoyance or the ability to see on the non-physical planes…perhaps the ability to see magic?
If you’ve been practicing yoga and meditation regularly for a while (weekly at least, daily at best), you’re already a step ahead as this boosts your connection to self. It boosts your spirituality and enhances your mind. Meditation helps you move toward right brain activity which is a more relaxed state of bliss where we are all connected and one in the present moment. Right-brain thinking uses pictures and is very kinesthetic in how we process the moment. It’s all about energy and we are connected as “energy beings”. This type of thinking is a huge “leg up” on being open to allowing magic into your life.
The right side of the brain is where imagination rules. In the link below, Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist, describes the morning she had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — shut down one by one.
She literally speaks to witnessing her right brain hemisphere take over during some moments of her stroke, and then her left brain hemisphere would step in. She could distinguish the feelings between the two. It took her eight years to completely recover. Her realization of the effects of right hemisphere thinking and the idea that we all have it in us to choose to live this way motivated her to recover. She talks of “finding nirvana” when her right-brain activity took over.
To loosely quote her summary at the end: “If I have found nirvana than everyone can and I can picture a world filled with beautiful, peaceful compassionate loving people who know they can come to this space at any time. They can purposely choose to step into the right hemisphere side of their brain.
Who are we? We are the life force power of the universe with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds and we have the power to choose moment by moment how we want to be in the world. We can step into the consciousness of right hemisphere thinking where I am the light force power of the universe—the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my being—at one with all that is. Or I can choose left—where I become a single individual separate from the flow, separate from you—intellectual.
These are the “we” inside of me. Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be, and I thought that was an idea worth spreading.”
An astonishing story in her video—it’s worth the 18 minutes of listening. It brought me to tears, and also reaffirmed my dedication to right brain hemisphere stimulating activities like yoga and meditation:
Jill’s dramatic event allowed her to see the magic of relaxing the analytical left brain hemisphere thinking. We luckily don’t have to wait for something that dramatic. We can choose to see the magic. We can choose to live at peace with the world and nature—which is one of the ways to open to the magic within it.
The third-eye chakra’s “spiritual purpose is to offer us the possibility of wisdom, discernment, imagination, intuition, and knowledge. As we distill truth from life experience, we develop this chakra and strengthen our spirit.” The Book of Chakras, Discover the Hidden Forces Within You by Ambika Wauters. Just as the various books and experiences of my life opened me to seeing the magic of the glowing ball in my hearth mentioned in the first “yoga quote” section, it’s the development of your third-eye chakra through your personal life experiences that will direct you to your personal truth.
If I had been open to only the analytical or logical side of my thinking, I would have completely discounted what my eyes were seeing, or perhaps I wouldn’t have seen it at all! It is in opening to the spiritual, emotional aspects of your experience that you develop your third-eye chakra.
“Find the answers in your own words. Ground yourself in the foundation of your own experience. You cannot know something until you discover it for yourself.” Virasana / Hero Pose card
“Bridge the wisdom gained from past experience with an openness to learn something new. Moments of effort accumulate, creating new paths for energy to flow.” Setu Bandha Sarvangasana / Bridge Pose card
–both from Yoga Path Cards written and illustrated by Susan Woldman
“Wisdom and discernment along with imagination intuition and knowledge are the qualities of this chakra. To distill wisdom from your life experiences, both good and difficult, and to choose life health, joy and fulfillment in every aspect of your life are aspects of this chakra.” The Book of Chakras, Discover the Hidden Forces Within You by Ambika Wauters.
Just as Jill Bolte Taylor talked about the ability to choose to project peace into the world—to choose to step into right-brain thinking, we have the ability to choose to live in and be open to the magic of this wonderful world. That’s third-eye chakra development.
Examine your self-limited ideas that make you feel “less than”. Strengthen your spirit through third-eye chakra stimulating activities like meditation or positive reflection/contemplation. Affirmations come to mind—see the ones below! The brow chakra is especially responsive to affirmations of our goodness and confirmations of our worth.
Visualize the life you want. “The reason visualization is so powerful is because as you create pictures in your mind of seeing yourself with what it is you want, you are generating thoughts and feelings of having it now. Visualization is simply powerfully focused thought in pictures, and it causes equally powerful feelings.”—The Secret, Rhonda Byrne. Each morning as you awake, your brain is still in a receptive dream state. Visualizing first thing in the morning during this time is especially powerful. Transform your brow chakra energy by working with affirmations and visualization.
I like to say in my yoga classes that “the inside you needs the outside you to take care of you.” I’d like to say I came up with that myself, but I know I didn’t. I constantly remind my students to listen to their bodies. How hard are you on yourself in general? Do you push yourself with unrealistic expectations? Do you compare yourself incessantly to others? That’s a sign of low self-worth and an under-developed third-eye chakra. Taking good care of yourself allows you to take good care of others—love yourself unconditionally. It’s how you keep your inner power glowing—your inner self worth. And it stimulates and strengthens your brow chakra!
When you’re tired, learn to be extra gentle with yourself. I used to travel a lot when I worked for Rayovac. My territory was the west coast so my body clock was always off when I returned home. I learned to tell myself that all thinking was off-limits in this condition because I was tired, and when I was tired, nothing looked or felt good! Any time I’d start to go down the path of feeling sorry for myself or overanalyzing the trip, I’d simply say silently “Stop! Not allowed!” It worked and still does when I take the time to let my mind relax. If you can’t take a nap during times of weariness, do something extra special for yourself. One of my favorite comfort treats is a warm steamer at the local Caribou®.
Giving your power away to others is another sign of a deficient third-eye chakra. Learn to question anything or anyone who negates your self-worth!
Another fun way to stimulate your third-eye chakra is the dress colorfully to stimulate your seeing. Take yourself to places that are visually stimulating, pleasing to the eye, or inspiring. Color has been shown to have tremendous healing properties. Chakra Balancing by Anodea Judith. Each color has a unique frequency, a specific quantity of energy, & a wavelength. When drawn to one color more than others, the energy vibration of that color is what you need, at that moment, in order to improve your emotional state.
And if you want to know what the brow /third eye chakra color might mean in your life—“Put indigo in your life when there is:
- A need to focus on personal issues, beliefs and ideas
- A need to develop sensitivity to the inner senses and intuition
- A need to cool and quieten normal mental processes
- A need to relieve physical and mental and emotional pain
- Inability or difficult in assimilating and understanding new concepts or philosophies
- A need for temporary relief and removal from everyday problems and difficult experiences in life
- A need for space and a desire for a period of solitude
The depths of indigo may seem unfathomable and mysterious, but they can yield useful perceptions. Indigo is related to clairvoyance, clairsentience and clairaudience (clear seeing, feeling and hearing) and other psychic skills. The deep, directionless depths of indigo can sedate the conscious minds to a degree where more subtle, delicate perceptions can be registered.” (Like seeing magic in your life.) Healing with Crystals and Chakra Energies by Sue and Simon Lilly.
A healthy brow chakra encourages balance in the lower chakras which is why “many yogis begin chakra work at the brow center. It’s also the easiest chakra to rouse, often helps the other chakras to open, and once open, counteracts negative consequences of imbalance in other chakras.”Chakra Meditation by Swami Saradananda. Sounds like a great place to start!
Breathwork and Visualization: Close your eyes and imagine the possibility of some kind of breakthrough in your life. It may be a personal breakthrough or it may be something related to the larger world. Imagine the effect your possibility would have on each of your chakras—feeling it in your throat, your heart, your belly, your sensations, and grounding it into the very cells of your body. Do this on a daily basis—running it from the top down—and see what actions you engage in that will help this vision come into manifestation. Add your deep, slow belly-breaths to the visualization to increase the energy in your body. As Rhonda Byrne of The Secret emphasized, it’s the feeling that stimulates the law of attraction, creating the life you want.
To find your personal vision you must shift your attention from what is to what could be. Your vision of what is possible becomes the source of inspiration for your creativity and the guiding purpose for your will. Your vision can be large or small and both are necessary. You can look for better possibilities in your work, your relationships, or your community. It is also important to hold a positive vision for the larger world, and to weave that vision with the visions of others. Chakra Balancing by Anodea Judith.
- I think the very best of myself in all situations, at all times.
- I believe I am unlimited in my capacity for joy, healing, and happiness.
- I open myself to new energy, new people, places, and experiences.
- I live in the light of my truth and I accept what I know.
- Every situation is an opportunity for growth and healing.
- I am the source of truth and love in my life.
- As I tap into my inner wisdom, I know that all is well in my world.
- I think positive thoughts about myself and everything around me.
- I open myself to my intuition and deepest knowing.
- I acknowledge I am the source in creating my life the way I would like it
- I accept that I am an unlimited being and that I can create anything I want.
- I focus on what I love and draw it to me.
- I rethink all negative thoughts about myself and others and change them to
- I am open to new ideas, people, and situations which will enhance my joy
- I deepen my insight and expand my vision into the realms of timelessness.
The Book of Chakras, Ambika Wauters.
A Handbook of Chakra Healing, Spiritual Practice for Health, Harmony and Inner Peace, Kalashatra Govinda.
Power Mudras, Yoga Hand Postures for Women by Sabrina Mesko.
Diet and the Third-eye Chakra: Eating intentionally is an important element of diet for the third-eye chakra, as is dark blue/purple foods containing antioxidants which destroy free radicals in the body include eggplant, purple kale, blueberries, figs, plums, purple grapes, raisins, among others.
Aromatherapy and the Third-eye Chakra: Scents that stimulate the third-eye chakra include: Hyacinth, Rose Geranium, Lemon, Vetiver, Basil (surprisingly relaxing), patchouli, rosemary, mint, and juniper, among others.
If aromatherapy interests you, I use Young Living Essential Oils™ which are therapeutic, food-grade oils. Please inquire if you are interested in purchasing a favorite scent and I can add your request to my personal monthly order. Essential oils raise the vibrational frequency of the body. When the vibrational frequency of the body drops, we become more receptive to ill health: http://justalist.blogspot.com/2008/03/vibrational-frequency-list.html. Therapeutic-grade essential oils are great to have in your arsenal of health promoting natural products.
Gem therapy and the Third-eye Chakra: Gemstones amplify the energy when placed in contact with your chakras. For those of you unsure on this subject, consider that it’s scientifically proven that everything is energy. Nothing is really solid. Why wouldn’t the energy of a stone work effectively with the energy in our bodies just as some research speculates that the energy of computers, cell phones, and microwaves may affect our bodies? At the very least, I find that holding a favorite stone is like a talisman for me, or a “worry stone”. As my favorite author, Wayne Dyer, likes to say, “If it’s a placebo effect, I’ll take two”.
Some Third-eye Chakra gems are: Sapphire, tanzanite, lapis lazuli, kyanite, moonstone. As a reminder and in keeping with the “little people theme this month, elemental spirits of the Earth can be invoked through crystals, herbs, salt and bread.
If gem therapy interests you, you can find a great selection at www.crystallinelight.com. I’ve known Jennifer, the owner, for many years and love her products!
Yoga poses for stimulating the Third-eye Chakra:
All yoga poses are essentially grounding and activate the chakras. The pituitary gland is located between the eyebrows and is traditionally called the “third eye” because it is the seat of intuition and clairvoyance. “It’s called the master gland because it secretes a hormone that specifically monitors the activities of the other glands in the body. Its basic hormones control skeletal growth and sexual development and maturation, as well as milk secretion in women. It has a strong influence on thyroidal and adrenal function. It controls blood pressure and is responsible for physical and psychological growth.
When we are deeply attuned to our inner knowing, trusting our intuition and using our creative imagination, this gland works well. Our inner state of thought has a powerful influence on our physical well-being, as research is showing, and will affect our hormones and all our ductless glands.” The Book of Chakras, Discover the Hidden Forces Within You by Ambika Wauters.
Poses that stimulate the third-eye chakra include: headstand prep/dolphin pose; and if headstand is in your practice, headstand pose, among others, such as:
Inversions like the straddle forward fold highlighted this month! Inversions keep the “energetic nectar in the upper chakras, with the result that the body remains youthful.” Chakra Meditation by Swami Saradananda.
There is a minor chakra known as the soma chakra, located above the top of your palate. “”this is the energetic center linked with the serene energy of the moon, and meditation on this chakra helps you to release tension and anxiety, cool anger and experience a peaceful, contented sense of calm. This chakra is said to be the source of a “divine nectar” of immortality that has the power to wash away impurities. This energetic nectar is thought to seep out of the “cave” or hollow space between the hemispheres of the brain. Most of the time, this youth-preserving nectar flows down through the soma chakra and the other energy centers beneath it until it reaches the solar plexus, where it is unfortunately “burnt off” by the solar-plexus chakra. Chakra Meditation by Swami Saradananda. One of the best ways to block the downward loss of energy is to practice another great inversion, Legs up the wall pose, highlighted in my January 2011 newsletter.
Yoga postures and breathwork are intended as preparation for meditation—stimulating both the third-eye and crown chakras.