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.
Working with the brow chakra opens the mind to the divine and the spiritual—sounds like a magic portal to me, doesn’t it to you? Since magic portals have been the theme for this newsletter, the third eye chakra is where it’s at!
As a matter of fact, the suggestion to be out in nature to connect to the magical realm is also recommended to open the brow chakra—another indicator it’s the chakra to lead the way to your own inner magic portal. And if you are short on time for a full fledged trip outdoors, remember you can always try a yoga nidra or other meditation CD that has nature sounds mixed in to find your peace and solitude for working with this chakra. (See the Featured CD, “Meditation On The Go”, and Healthy News sections for more on yoga nidra!)
Final relaxation / Savasana and yoga nidra were both indicated as being good times to introduce positive affirmations and guided visualizations to introduce healthy changes and attitudes into your life. As you work on balancing the brow chakra, your ability to change the way you view your life and your purpose are strengthened as well. So there’s a great place to start work on your third eye chakra! Create an affirmation!
Remember, affirmations are positive statements written in the present tense. They help you to focus on various goals and intentions of your choosing. You can repeat them aloud or silently within, write them down, or record them and listen to them. Try several ways! “When a mantra is spoken out loud, it primarily benefits the physical body. When it’s whispered, it benefits our mental/emotional nature. Our spiritual nature benefits from silent repetition.” ~ Julie Lusk at http://wholesomeresources.com/1849/how-to-do-the-sa-ta-na-ma-meditation-to-improve-memory/
“Make Your Own Mantra
Positive thinking exercises, like affirmative self-talk, suppresses the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. And that can help you feel calm and peaceful. So when negative thoughts crop up, imagine a big stop sign in your head, and tell yourself, “Stop!” Then, replace the downer thought with a positive, soothing message. Think of what it is you wish were true, and then state it over and over, as if it were true. Here are some examples of positive thinking that can help you feel empowered and ready to face the day:
- When you exercise and feel tired, think, ‘I am strong.’
- When you pass by a mirror, think, ‘I am the perfect weight for me.’
- When you set to work on a hard task, think, ‘I can accomplish anything.’
When you feel overwhelmed, think, ‘I trust in the process of life.’”
Speaking of magical portals—if I could share with you a magical time to create and write your affirmations to give them more energy, would you be “in”? I knew you would be! Write them during the new moon each month. (http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/moonphases.html) Now don’t roll your eyes here! Your agriculturally minded ancestors have planted during the new moon for “many moons”—pun intended! They have come to know this as a time for new beginnings, so get on board! This book gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “moontime”!
I learned of this magic moment each month from a great book filled with affirmations, among other things, by Jan Spiller: NEW MOON ASTROLOGY: Using New Moon Power Days To Change and Revitalize Your Life:
“The Moon’s influence on human destiny has been recognized since ancient times, but its potential for generating positive outcomes has often been ignored – until now. In this breakthrough book, astrologer Jan Spiller reveals the secrets of harnessing the Moon’s astonishing power to make your goals a reality!
Not just another astrology book, New Moon Astrology provides practical, step-by-step instructions, based on ancient rites and philosophy as well as Jan Spiller’s own vast astrological experience, in framing your wishes in any area- love, career, family, or health.
On New Moon Power Days, your desires become incantations with amazing focus and strength. Using the special Moon chart included here, you’ll be able to express your wishes during a “magic” moment – a personal power period in the astrological cycle – setting forces in motion that transform your desires into reality. To have your Granddaddy Power Period calculated for you, free of charge, click here.” https://www.janspiller.com/books.php (You can also go to the site to purchase the book.)
This chakra is considered the chakra of intuition—your third eye. Do you feel intuitive? If not, why not? Similar to being open to the magic so that it feels welcome, you need to feel open to your intuition for it to develop within. We are all intuitive! But like the proverbial child’s gift—some assembly is required! Namely—accepting your intuition. Know that you know what you know. This chakra is about distilling the wisdom you’ve acquired and accepting it.
My opening section on magical portals referenced the influence of fairy tales to promote magical moments—and intelligence (remember the quote from Einstein!). The third chakra is stimulated by letting your imagination soar. So “Read fairy tales and mythology, try to visualize crazy things, or, better yet, write a short story of your own. Everything that promotes your fantasy life also awakens your forehead chakra.” A Handbook of Chakra Healing, Spiritual Practice for Health, Harmony and Inner Peace by Kalashatra Govinda.
Again, time alone spent in yoga nidra, meditation, and—of course, yoga—will foster a healthy environment for your intuition to flourish. I can only tell you from experience that when I have been following a regimen of consistent meditative time, my intuition doesn’t hesitate to make its presence known! We are all intuitive, regardless—but why not help things along by destressing, relaxing, and adding meditative moments?
I have to share an example here. A few months ago as I was working on one of my newsletters, I was looking for one of my stray reference books to quote. As is the case many times, I couldn’t remember where I’d last placed the book. I scoured my yoga bookshelves to no avail—yes I have specific shelves for my prized possessions—there’s shelves in another room for health & nutrition, intuition, self-help, Reiki….need I go on?
Today I was in a bit of a hurry and getting frustrated, so I sent out a request to the Universe to please let me find it sooner rather than later. Suddenly as I was stooped down looking, a flash came across my mind that it was next to our Amish rocking chair by the fireplace, on the floor, in the pile that inevitably forms there. I kid you not! Guess where I found it? Too cool! You may think that I simply “remembered” it, but trust me—this was after several attempts to “remember” and directly after my sending out the request. This “request technique” works the best for me when I’ve been meditating regularly. It’s one of the awesome side benefits of meditating—you make friends with your third eye chakra!
Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, we barely take the time to read a full sentence, let alone take time to be still for any length. Note to self—wouldn’t you like to make an ally of your third-eye chakra, with your intuition? Sudden and sometimes profound insights and moments of inspiration should be the norm, not the anomaly. Your intuition is like a muscle—if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it!
I had recommended a “coincidence journal” in the opening section for ways to show recognition of your magical moments, thus inviting more of them to make themselves known. Recognition of these moments invariably makes them multiply! The same goes for your intuition. You may be relegating your intuitive moments to “coincidence”. When you start writing them down, you’ll realize how consistent they can be with a little attention. http://stress.about.com/od/journaling/a/coincidence.htm.
Another suggestion would be to keep a dream journal. Write down your dreams just after waking up. My regular readers know I’ve referenced the “magical time” between sleep and awake often! This is how I came to name my business “Better Day Yoga”. Similar to the coincidence journal, and my advice to start noticing your magical moments, the more you ponder your dreams, the more clear and intense they become.
One of my favorite authors and quotable scholars in my yoga classes is Donna Eden. In her excellent book called Energy Medicine, she recommends the following exercise to work with your third eye:
Very simple exercise to begin opening your third eye
Place your middle finger at the bridge of the nose and push up a couple of inches, breathing deeply and imagining that you are opening the eye lid. Light moves up, from your root chakra, through the second, third, fourth, and fifth chakras, and if you are open, it bends at the sixth chakra and shoots straight out of your third eye. Some people experience it literally as a light or a laser beam. Others experience it more as a feeling. Even if you simply pretend to sense this light, imagine it moving up your spine from the root chakra to your sixth chakra (the third-eye chakra), and feel the light bend and shoot out like a laser from your third eye.
I’m excited to find this exercise as I’ve been doing her “Hook-Up” exercise as part of my “daily energy routine”, and it involves a similar move with the third eye. The sensation I feel with the “Hook-up” is more explained by the sensation she describes above. Cool!
Now I can’t give you a teaser like the above paragraph and not explain the “Hook-Up” exercise, can I? Don’t worry! Here’s an excerpt from her awesome book:
“The Hook-Up” is “great to do anytime your energies are feeling a bit ‘off’:
1. The Hook-Up creates a connection between your central meridian (which sends energy up the front of your body) and the governing meridian (which sends energy up your spine), bridging the energies between the front and back of your body and between your head and torso.
2. It strengthens your aura.
3. It increases your coordination.
The Hook-Up is one of the most powerful tools I know for quickly centering myself. It has immediate neurological consequences. Several of my students have reported using it with someone who has started to seizure and seen the seizure stop within 15 to 20 seconds.
To do the Hook-up, breath in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth (time—15 to 20 seconds):
1. Place the middle finger of one hand on your third eye (between your eye-brows above the bridge of your nose).
2. Place the middle finger of the other hand on your navel.
3. Gently press each finger into your skin, pull it upward, and hold for 15 to 20 seconds. Often a spontaneous sigh or deep breath signals the energies have been hooked up.”
See the breathwork and visualization below for another experiment she suggests to work with your third eye chakra. This is an awesome lady!
The third eye chakra vibrates to the color indigo. Indigo is one of my absolute favorite colors. The indigo pigment was derived from two of my favorite crystals—azurite and lapis lazuli. Indigo elevates your awareness to the spiritual—think midnight sky. “Contemplation and deep meditation come easier in the indigo depths of night. Night-time is often when inspirations and solutions to problems naturally arise.” ~ Healing with crystals and chakra energies, by Sue and Simon Lilly. Meditation helps develop your third-eye chakra—try meditation under the stars!
I talked about thinking outside the norm to allow for the possibility of magic in my opening section on magical portals. Indigo facilitates that movement from normal to magical. “Those using a lot of indigo energy are able to step away from how the world is usually seen and come up with new and startling ways of thinking.” ~ Healing with crystals and chakra energies, by Sue and Simon Lilly. Perhaps the use of indigo energy is where the phrase “out of the blue” comes from—kind of like my flash of intuitive insight for finding the book earlier.
So another way to stimulate the third-eye / brow chakra is to use put indigo in your life. Indigo will help you “develop sensitivity to the inner senses and intuition”. ~ Healing with crystals and chakra energies, by Sue and Simon Lilly.
My musings on the third eye chakra got me to thinking about magical night skies, “blue (indigo)”, and “moon (writing affirmations during the new moon)” which led me to wonder about the phrase “once in a blue moon”. “Modern interpretation of the term relates to absurdities and impossibilities; the phrase “once in a blue moon” refers to an event that will take place only at incredibly rare occasions”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_moon. It is considered an “especially magic time”.
We’ve spent this newsletter immersed in the impossible becoming possible—magical portals. Use your third eye chakra to manifest magical moments that become your “norm” and multiply your “once in a blue moon” moments exponentially!
Image Credit: http://architecture.desktopnexus.com/wallpaper/286615/
“If you do not believe in magic, your life will not be magical. Magic, like the power of Stonehenge, is part of the unknowable—that which you cannot describe, but which exists and makes your life extraordinary.” –The Power Deck, The Cards of Wisdom, by Lynn V. Andrews.
Breathwork and Visualization:
The following is a continuation of the wisdom of Donna Eden from her Energy Medicine book:
“With your breath calm and deep, direct a question from your sixth chakra down to your root chakra. Let the question settle into the energy of your root chakra. Then call up the light so it moves back up to your sixth chakra, and be open for the answer to reveal itself as you pull up on your eyelid. (Refer to the Very simple exercise to begin opening your third eye explained in the Chakrascope section above.)
I’ve watched dozens of people be amazed when they have suddenly seen, known, or vividly felt an answer appear in front of them. While extended courses are offered in psychic development, experiment with this simple exercise from time to time and remain alert for what you see.”
Source: Energy Medicine by Donna Eden
- I allow stillness and silence into my life
- I allow my divine inner self to guide me
- My inner wisdom guides me to my true path
- I am in touch with my inner light
- I let my fantasy run free
- I listen to my inner voice
- I look inward and recognize what is essential
- I open myself to new energy, new people, places, and experiences
- I am wise, intuitive, and aligned with my highest good.
- I open my imagination to see the best in people and things. I also see the best in myself
- 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.
Sources: The Chakra Energy Plan, The practical 7-step program to balance and revitalize, by Anna Selby.
The Book of Chakras, Discover the Hidden Forces Within You, by Ambika Wauters.
Diet and the Brow / Third Eye Chakra: Feeding Your Brow Chakra
Awakening Third Eye Senses
- Dark bluish colored fruits: blueberries, red grapes, black berries, raspberries, etc.
- Liquids: red wines and grape juice
- Spices: lavender, poppy seed, mugwort
Aromatherapy and the Brow / Third Eye Chakra: One of my favorite all time scents is a good one to stimulate this chakra—rose geranium! Others include: violet, lemongrass, sandalwood, cedarwood, and cajeput among others. “3 Wise Men” is a Young Living Essential Oil™ that also works to open the third eye.
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 Brow / 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 Brow / Third Eye Chakra gems are: Blue Sapphire—my birthstone—azurite, lapis lazuli, sodalite, kyanite, opal, amethyst, and blue tourmaline, among others. Listen to your inner voice when making your purchase! Placing your gemstones directly in the center of your forehead is a great way to heal this chakra.
If gem therapy interests you, you can find a great selection at www.crystallinelight.com or you can also link to her Web site from my links page at www.betterdayyoga.com. I’ve known Jennifer, the owner, for many years and love her products (and her)!
Yoga poses for the Brow / Third Eye Chakra: All yoga poses essentially activate the chakras. Some yoga poses to stimulate the third eye chakra include: If headstand is in your practice, this yoga pose stimulates the third eye chakra. You could also try half headstand.
Since I don’t cue headstand in my class, and due to a neck injury, refrain from practicing headstand, I’ve been using the nifty prop from Gaiam®: Yogacise Body Lift! It works great! http://www.gaiam.com/product/yogacise+body+lift.do
Yoga asanas and breathwork are practices to aid you in developing a meditation practice—which, as mentioned many times, stimulates the third chakra! Stilling the body enables you to journey to your inner magical realm.