The sixth chakra is the third eye, the source of wisdom, intuition and the subconscious inner eye. It’s sometimes referred to as the brow chakra, located between the eyes in the lower center of the forehead. Many know this chakra by its Sanskrit name, Ajna.
What Is Ajna?
Loosely translated, Ajna is the Sanskrit reference to being “beyond wisdom”. The higher consciousness that Ajna refers to is important to most Eastern religions and philosophies, so Ajna has many counterparts and names. Tantra practitioners may know this energy center by one of about 20 other terms, including Dwidala. The Vedas and the Puranas also acknowledge this inner eye with several names.
Third Eye Chakra Through the Ages
Early ancient philosophies involving energy wheels, or chakras, included systems with many different numbers of chakras. Some Sanskrit and ancient Asian Scripture scholars advise that the seven-chakra system we currently use is actually a mistranslation of a 16th-century text. Even with the differing chakra systems, three constants are present in all: the root, the heart and the head/intuition. Taoism also includes a form of third-eye practice, as does Buddhism. This third eye chakra, then, is a tradition dating back more than a thousand years, practiced, studied and sought by yogis, religious followers and mystics for centuries around the world.
Third Eye Chakra Overview
With a balanced energy flow, the third eye taps into your intuition, and it transcends ordinary consciousness. In the New Age interpretation of the third eye, this chakra energy opens the door to greater enlightenment and deeper spirituality. It is often related to an awareness of auras and the ability to reach out-of-body experiences like astral projection.
Associated with the color indigo, particularly those with an iridescent quality. Its corresponding aromas include rosemary, mugwort, bay laurel, clary sage, frankincense, helichrysum, patchouli, and sandalwood. The chakra also relates to all the elements combined and light.
The physical and emotional manifestations of the third eye chakra are more ephemeral than the other chakras. Although some researchers are studying the exact physical location of one’s intuition or perception, this sixth sense is often thought to be a product of the combined experience of your other senses. That tingling at the back of your neck when you sense something’s wrong may be a result of one of your other senses picking up on a situation that isn’t actually visible to you like an unusual sound or smell. Balancing your third eye chakra can help you recognize and acknowledge these other senses, opening your world up to greater perception and enlightenment.
The third eye is also associated with the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland that regulates wake and sleep patterns. Its light sensitivity and location at the back vertebrate brain lead some Theosophists to theorise that the gland is a vestigial third eye from early human days.
Imbalanced Third Eye Chakra
A well-balanced third eye chakra leads you to trust your intuition and to guide yourself and your goals with your inner voice. At its most fluid, balanced and practiced, it is the ultimate super-consciousness, an awareness of all realms, not just your own existence.
Even if you are simply aiming to achieve a greater awareness of your sixth sense or intuition, there are some tell-tale clues that your third eye is out of balance.
Underactive Third Eye
A blocked or sluggish third eye chakra prevents full Kundalini awakening and a healthy balance of all your energy centers. Here are some indications your Ajna is underactive:
- lack of imagination
- inability to concentrate
- lack of dreams or inability to remember dreams
Overactive Third Eye
An overstimulated third eye can also throw your energy system out of balance and affect a variety of emotions and physical conditions. Your third eye may be overactive if you:
- are unable to concentrate due to too many thoughts, sensations and energies pulsing through your mind
- cannot make a decision because you see and evaluate too many options
- can’t distinguish between what is real and what is imagined, particularly as this relates to potential outcomes of a decision
- experience vision problems
- have frequent headaches
Tips for Balancing Your Third Eye Chakra
Meditation is the natural way to develop your intuition, heighten your senses and clear your mind. Aromatherapy can amplify your meditation experience, so fire up your burner or grab a diffuser and specific essential oils, and fill your meditation space with a perfume designed to heighten your meditation.
Include a few third eye-encouraging poses and pranayama in your next yoga session. Poses related to opening your third eye include the pose of the child and downward facing dog. The bee breath is a good pranayama to practice to clear a blocked third eye chakra.
Healing stones and crystals can also improve your meditation and yoga experience. Lapis lazuli and amethyst are both commonly used for this purpose.