PS is practicing yoga since the age of 11. Her yoga retreats in India have helped her gain deep insights into self-awareness.
Ajna chakra is located at the back of your head in level with the eyebrow center. It is quite difficult to put your direct focus on this chakra. That’s why tantra and yoga texts urge you to focus on the Bhrumadhya (eyebrow center). This point is called Ajna chakra Kshetram.
In India, there’s a custom of women placing a red dot at this point and Brahmins and pundits placing a mark of sandal paste. This center can be contacted through multiple techniques.
The practice starts with the cleansing technique (Shatkriya) known as Trataka. This is an effective aid in awakening the Ajna. It is also called ‘maintaining the fixed look at one point’. The regular practice of this technique improves your concentration power. It also leads to mild awakening in Ajna chakra.
You can also contact Ajna by focusing on your Nadis. This is done through Anuloma Viloma. It is also called ‘Alternate nostril breathing’.
Shambhavi mudra is another practice for concentrating on the Bhrumadhya. If, in the beginning, you feel no sensation, you can apply some oil or ointment in the center. This enhances concentration. Constant practice increases your level of focus. Then, the produced sensations are sent to the pineal gland. This gives you visions and internal experiences.
The successful awakening of Ajna causes the awakening of Mooladhara as well. It is recommended to first practice the exercises related to Ajna chakra. When you first awake the Ajna, you can control the experiences you gain through the awakening of other chakras. The practices of Ashwini mudra and Moola Bandha can be used for Mooladhara as well as for Ajna.
Practice Jala and Sutra Neti before any other practices
In the beginning, it is important to purify your nasal area. This is done through Jala and Sutra Neti. This aids in the awakening of Ajna. It has the following benefits:
- Stimulates the working of the nervous system
- Removes dirt from nasal passages
- Relieves sinusitis and cold
- Prevents illnesses related to ears, noses, eyes, and throat
- Soothes inflammation of the adenoids, tonsils, and mucus membranes
- Kills sleepiness
- Lightens your body and freshens your mind
- Alters your psychic awareness
- Helps you achieve meditative state by giving you the free flow of breath
This kriya must be practiced every day before other practices.
Now, here are the 3 most important practices you must follow for the awakening of Ajna chakra:
1. Anuloma Viloma (Alternate nostril breathing)
- Sit in a meditative posture.
- Keep your spine straight and body relaxed.
- Focus on your breathing.
- Breathe in the way your entire awareness flows in with your breath from the tip of your nose.
- Breathe out and your entire awareness must flow out with it.
- You must be able to sense how the energy is flowing from your nasal passages to your Ajna chakra.
You must realize there’s a triangle formation where your upper lip is the base and both your nostrils are the sides of the triangle. These sides meet at your eyebrow center.
You must breathe in and out first from your left nostril, then from your right nostril. When doing so, keep one nostril closed with the pressure of your thumb.
Once you have laid full focus on your breathing, practice the inhalation and exhalation from the left and right nostrils to Bhrumadhya. You must visualize how your breath forms the V-shape with the tip located at the eyebrow center.
In the starting, practice it four times, then gradually increase it to 100. It is better to start your counting from 100 to 0.
At 100, inhale from left nostril, exhale from the right nostril, inhale from the right nostril, and exhale from the left nostril. Repeat this process until your count reaches 0.
You must be accurate in your counting, else you should repeat the practice back from 100. Anuloma Viloma is an extremely powerful technique. Your aim is to awake your Ajna chakra at the psychic and subconscious levels. So, it’s important to strictly carry out your routine.
The awareness you gain from this practice also helps you in mind control.
2. Trataka (Focused gaze on a point)
- Sit in a meditative posture.
- Make sure your room is dark and there’s a calm environment
- Place a lighted candle at the level of your eyes
- It should be exactly in front of your eyebrow center at a distance of no less than two feet
- The flame must be motionless and wick should be straight
- Keep your back straight and relax your body, don’t try to control your thoughts, let them flow as they come.
- Throughout the practice, your body must be motionless.
- When you feel prepared, start gazing attentively at the brightest part of the flame. It is right above the tip of the wick.
- The regular practice will allow you to gaze at the flame for a long time without moving or blinking your eyeballs.
- Your concentration towards the flame must be so deep that you forget the existence of your body and the room.
- When your eyes turn watery and tired, close them and relax for a while.
- Keep the image of the flame in front of your closed eyes, don’t move your body.
It is similar to watching the bright sunlight, then closing your eyes for a few minutes. You remember the impression of the bright light even with your closed eyes. This means you’ll have a clear vision of the candle flame as well.
The best time for practicing Trataka is very early in the morning or at night. During these times, the atmosphere is still and peaceful. This is not just about the physical atmosphere, but also your psychic and mental atmospheres. This will help you achieve success in Trataka.
Different forms of Trataka
You can practice Trataka on the full moon, shadow, nose tip, image in the water, small dot, yantra, Shivalingam, and many other things. The condition is that the object must be motionless.
Trataka has two types:
- Bahiranga (outer): Bahiranga is the outward concentration. The above-mentioned examples come under this category.
- Antaranga (inner): Antaranga is the inward concentration. You focus on chakras or your deity. Your eyes must be closed throughout the practice. The best object to practice on is the point of light or tiny star.
Trataka must be practiced as long as you can. The recommended duration for beginners is 15 to 20 minutes.
Trataka changes you physically, mentally as well as spiritually. It has the following benefits:
- Corrects eye weakness
- Corrects short-sightedness
- Boosts nervous stability
- Prevents insomnia
- Relaxes the mind
- Increases the level of concentration
- Controls the unnecessary mental desires
- Awakens Ajna chakra
3. Shambhavi mudra (Gazing the eyebrow center)
- Sit in a meditative position with your hands on the knees and back straight.
- Look straight at a fixed point.
- Look upwards as high as you can see without moving your head.
- Focus your eyes at the eyebrow center.
- Ignore the thoughts and meditate on the Ajna chakra Kshetram.
- Keep chanting the mantra, Om, in a clear voice.
- You should stay aware of the sound vibrations occurring in the eyebrow center.
- Practice it for at least 5 minutes.
After attaining perfection in this technique, now you should perform the mudra with eyes closed.
- Close your eyes
- Chant the mantra slowly
- Stay aware of the sound vibrations in your eyebrow center
- Think of sounds as if they are coming from the eyebrow center itself
- Increase the duration of Om
- Each mantra must end at the completion of your breath
- Refill your lungs with a deep breath
- Don’t change the position of your head or body
- Practice it for 5 minutes at least.
If you feel strain in your eye muscles, then release the Shambhavi mudra. Relax for a while, then you can practice again if you feel you can continue it further. Otherwise, continue the practice the next day.
All the above practices must be performed daily at least for a month. These practices are crucial for awakening your Ajna chakra. Then, carry your practice forward to awake the Mooladhara chakra.
© 2020 PS Tavishi
PS Tavishi (author) from India on May 13, 2020:
Ajna and Sahasrara are connected to two different parts of the brain. At Ajna, you gain the psychic ability, you can be a clairvoyant and connect with others through thoughts. It's like a sixth sense. At this chakra, your ego is still working and you may use this ability for selfish purposes.
But at Sahasrara, your ego completely surrenders. Instead of earning fame and discriminating against others, you empathize with people. Your wish to help others doesn't come from your selfish attitude. Rather, you actually want to dedicate yourself to the betterment of humanity. At this level, you are completely devoted to your work. You no longer worry about the results and your competitors. You view every people, whether men or women, with the same perception.
There are many more differences but then the comment will be way too long. ))
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 13, 2020:
My silly self has some confusion between this chakra and Sahasrara. Perhaps they are not meant to be separate for me.