I love learning about and working with my body in magical, mysterious ways. Ways that I cannot logically explain. Sometimes I stumble to explain what I connect with and feel. Sometimes messages come across awkwardly and are misunderstood.
So, I hope that you will be able to understand my explanations from personal experience and thought. This series on chakras is incredibly complex and challenging to explain. There are hundreds of components woven together that create this elaborate tapestry, combining science with sense.
It is weird. It is weird to understand as a Westerner who is so logic-oriented and connected in the head. Just as it is bizarre to explain my scientific approach to a highly energetically attuned community of yogis and healers. It is bizarre to exist in both worlds. And that, my friends is exactly what this chakra system is all about. Combining the science of sensing. Bridging the gaps between our left brain and our right mind.
Ajna: The Sixth Chakra
Ajna is where many parts of our brain work together. I call these working parts our portals of perception. They include our eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, and they provide us the ability to see, hear, smell, and taste. We use these organs, separately or in combination, to learn about our surroundings. When they are linked up with our intuition, our other sense of “all knowing,” we can discern for ourselves what is helpful, healthy, or harmful. Ajna governs right and wrong for our self.
This internal government is colored by indigo, a combination of violet and blue. These colors represent the integration of the chakras above and below this sixth one. In essence, ajna is a combination of our spiritual center as it communicates with the sensations flowing within our body. It is represented by the symbol of the third eye. Intuition, our visceral detective, is a sense of knowing. It can be loud or subtle. Sometimes it is a phenomenon without logic. We often refer to this as having an unexplainable or “sixth” sense.
How Our Intuition Guides Us
I can provide you with three distinct examples of how our intuition guides us. The first example is attuning energetically with another person. You may have had the experience of thinking about someone and then a few moments later they call you. This synchronicity means you have a highly sensitized empathic radar. When tuned in to another person, you are connected to them. Linked up and able to feel, hear, or speak their thoughts. Synchronizing is important in maintaining healthy relationships and growing old together.
Another example is listening to our body to help us make wise decisions about what we put in our mouth, nose, and ears. If we eat something toxic, we may have a strong reaction like throwing up or we may have a subtle reaction like a foggy brain. When we are in strong harmony with our intuition, we can detect what is harmful or helpful without having to take a bite. We may hear an inner voice that tells us to avoid the food. Our ancestors did not always test foods by eating them. They would make decisions based on sensing what foods would keep them alive or what would kill them.
The last example involves hiking along a trail and having an odd, unexplainable sense that there is danger ahead. We are on high alert and our heart may beat faster, pumping blood to our extremities to prepare for fight, flight, or freeze. Hair on the back of our neck raises, eyes dilate and our hearing amplifies. We stop in our tracks, listening with intent. We may hear branches crack from a nearby animal. We cannot tell what type of animal it is, yet. We pause, startled by the sound. It doesn’t make sense, yet. We look in the direction of what we hear and focus on seeing this animal. It is not a deer. Is it a bear or cougar or coyote? We still cannot tell what type of animal it is, so we increase our focus and look for distinguishing marks. It is a coyote. The coyote sees us and runs away. Then, we remember coyotes are more fearful of humans and we decide to continue on our hike. Our beating heart slows and we begin to relax.
Our Sixth Sense (and Chakra) in the Modern World
The sensing organs of ajna always work and sometimes one keys up more than others to give us detailed information. We are constantly vigilant. This system is on high alert when we live in the city, and because of this, we can become exhausted, depleted and confused. Periodic rest and hikes are essential for our systems to ease and relax.
We need more than simple sleep. We need frequent rest. Our eyes need a break from constantly seeing concrete, neon, people, and negative images. Read to feed your eyes and brain messages that ease your nervous system. Our ears need rest from the continuous flow of urban noise. Listen to silence, classical music, or audio books that develop your sensing of self. Turn off the television. Turn off the radio. Tune out the external noise and tune in to the internal wisdom and peace.
Feel the reprieve from receiving continuous streams of data. Our body adapts well, but we shouldn’t adapt to chronic noise. It is pollution for our brain, body, and self. Turn to nature. See trees and increase the distance between you and people.
A Relaxation Exercise
Do this simple method to relax your mind and enter a still, silent place. You can do this in many poses, while sitting at work, or at a time when you need a mental break. Do five to ten rounds total.
- Clasp your hands, weaving fingers together. Palms around the back of your head.
- Inhale. Feel your ribs expand.
- Exhale. Feel your neck relax. Hands support head.
- Inhale. Feel your breath move through nostrils and down your throat.
- Exhale. Soften your jaw. Relax eye muscles. Smile.
Look for future “Chakras Demystified” articles as we work our way through each of the seven chakras. If you have any questions about ajna, please post them to the comments below.
Read about the other chakras:
Chakras Demystified: Sahasrara – The 7th Chakra
Chakras Demystified: Vishudda – The 5th Chakra
Chakras Demystified: Anahata – The 4th Chakra
Chakras Demystified: Manipura – The 3rd Chakra
Chakras Demystified: Swadhisthana – The 2nd Chakra
Chakras Demystified: Muladhara – The 1st Chakra
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