The Third Eye Chakra

The Third Eye is often imagined to be just between the eyebrows, that place we all scrunch up when we are worried or concentrating. While the third eye lies behind that, at the geometric center of the brain coinciding with the pineal gland, it is true that worry and furrowing your brow can close your third eye, so to speak. The pineal gland is regulated by light and dark as well stress and relaxation.  The pineal gland, in turn, regulates sleep and wake cycles and all the complex activities, hormones and cycles dependent upon the circadian rhythm.

The third eye is associated with insight, inner vision and understanding and is stimulated by relaxation and gentle pressure on the forehead.  This practice will be different from any of the others in that it is a Restorative practice rather than an active practice. You’ll hold supported poses for extended periods, allowing the body to release and let go. The final pose, crocodile, will be a prone Savasana, or final relaxation pose during which you’ll practice guided imagery.  Dim the lights and reduce noise for the duration of this practice.

During the first part of this practice, imagine an indigo light suffusing the area behind and between your eyebrows. On exhalation audibly, softly or silently repeat the syllable “Om,” pronounced /ah-oh-um/. Om is the seed syllable associated with the Third Eye; feel its vibration.

Things you might want to have handy: Yoga Mat, Yoga Towel or Blanket, Yoga Strap, Yoga Bolster

It is recommended to perform the warm-up before starting this routine.

Step 1: Child’s Pose
Duration: 25 breaths
Pose Review: Child’s Pose

From your hands and knees, lower your hips back. Place a block or blanket on the floor between your upper arms or elbows and rest your forehead gently. Adjust the block or blanket so you have no constriction in your neck whatsoever.

Step 2: Downward Facing Dog, variation

Duration: 5-25 breaths
Pose Review: Downward Facing Dog

Leave the block where it is and lift your hips back and up, stretching the backs of your legs and engaging your pelvic floor and other core muscles to lengthen and support your spine. If this is too taxing, remain in Child’s Pose or take Puppy Dog Pose, bringing your knees to the ground without lowering your hips.

Rest your forehead on the block, using which ever side best reaches and supports your head in Down Dog.

Step 3: Head to Knee Pose
Duration: 25 breaths
Pose Review: Head to Knee Pose

From Staff Pose, bend your right knee out to the side and bring the sole of your right foot high on the inner right thigh. Engage your core to lengthen your spine as you fold forward over your left leg. If your head comes to your leg, rest it there. If it does not, place blankets, bolster or blocks on top of your leg until your forehead is gently, comfortably supported. Relax the entire body.

Repeat on the other side.

Step 4: Crocodile
Duration: 5 minutes or more
Pose Review: Crocodile Pose

Turn over face down on your mat. Turn your toes gently out and bend your elbows so your hands stack under your forehead and rest your head there. Release your jaw and breathe expanding your entire torso.

Imagine a white light encircling your entire body. Some of this inexhaustible light gathers at the crown of your head and begins to infuse your body.

At the crown of your head the light is purple. It seeps into your tissues as water sinks into the Earth after a rain.

At the level of your eyebrows the light turns dark blue.

At the level of your throat the light glows ice blue.

At the level of your heart the light becomes emerald green.

At the level of your solar plexus the light glows yellow.

At the level of your navel the light begins to turn orange.

At the level of your tailbone the light burns red.

Follow the light down and out your toes, into the ground.

Breathe and smile.

When you’re ready, rise mindfully, rolling first to your side, then pressing up to sitting allowing your head to come up last. Rest here for a few breaths before moving to standing and bringing up any lights.