By Yoga Journal
Use this practice to open and build awareness in your ajna chakra to begin to see everything in your life more clearly.
Let's start by doing an awakening exercise for the ajna chakra. Take a comfortable seat. Softly close your eyes. Turn your gaze gently to your third eye, or the space between your eyebrows. Bring your hands to a prayer position and begin rubbing them together vigorously.
Once you have created a good amount of heat between your palms, cup them over your eyes. Let the eyes absorb the heat. Feel the heat soften any tension in or around the eyes. Repeat this process three times pausing to feel between each round.
Set Your Ajna Intention
Now set your intention for this practice. To grease the wheels, here are some themes that relate to the sixth chakra: unlocking intuition; improving correct perception; seeing that you are connected to everyone and everything; inviting third eye wisdom to light your way. Feel free to use any of these or choose your own. As long as your intention feels true for you it has value.
Come onto your hands and knees. Bring your elbows to the floor directly under your shoulders and bring your hands to Prayer (Anjali Mudra). Step the feet back as you straighten your legs behind you. The only points of contact with the floor are the balls of the feet and the forearms. Make your legs super strong, engage your belly and pull your front ribs in and up to widen the low back. This is a challenging pose, stick with it! Imagine the prayer hands and the third eye are connected by an invisible stream. That stream is your intention. Stay laser-focused on it for 5-10 breaths. Let your resolve to attach to something worthy of your attention make you strong. When you release the pose, rest on your belly.
From standing bend your knees. Lift your right knee and stack it on top of your left. Then wrap your right foot behind your left shin if possible. Bring your arms to shoulder height and stack your left elbow on top of your right, wrapping the right hand into the left. Keep elbows bent at 90 degrees. Balance here bringing your hips down low. Encourage your knees to move toward the midline instead of skewing to one side. The word "garuda" means to devour. Let this pose devour ego, doubt, and fear, clearing the way for loving intention. Spend five breaths on this side and then switch.
Warrior III Pose
From standing with arms by your side, engage your legs and begin to tip the pelvis forward. Send your left leg straight back and up until it is parallel to the floor. Extend the spine and head forward also keeping the upper body parallel to the floor. There should be plum line from the head to the left toes. Reach your arms straight back and firm the triceps. Lift your low belly to widen the low back and stand here strong and balanced. Connect with the third eye center and realize that the more we connect to everyone and everything, the easier it is for us to remain balanced even in the least stable conditions. Stay here for five breaths, soft but strong.
Continue the Third Eye Chakra Tune Up by practicing the full sequence.
About Stephanie Snyder
Stephanie Snyder is a San Francisco-based vinyasa yoga teacher. She's written, modeled, and created DVDs for Yoga Journal in addition to presenting at Yoga Journal LIVE!