The third eye chakra is all about one’s inner wisdom, intuition, that deep inner knowing. If it’s unbalanced it can lead our thoughts to wander, to be too up in the clouds. While intuition way seem a little too “woo” for many, I like to encourage those to focus on what they already know as we typically know more than we give ourselves credit for.
This yoga for the third eye is focused on yin, but if you prefer a more active practice, try my third eye chakra flow. This yin practice and the following poses are great for grounding the third eye and opening up into additional chakras too. Enjoy!
Third Eye Chakra Basics
Location: Centre of your forehead
Element: All elements
Meaning: The third eye chakra is related to your intuition, your deep inner knowing. Emotions related to this chakra include confusion and depression.
Other names: Sixth chakra, Ajna chakra, brow chakra
Translation: Beyond wisdom
Love affirmations? Try adding these third eye chakra affirmations to your practice!
Third Eye Chakra Yoga
Join me to practice Anja chakra asanas as guided by me, or find the individual poses and their benefits below!
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Third Eye Chakra Yin Yoga Poses
When you’re short on time or if you’re creating your own yoga sequence to practice, pick and choose which of these third eye chakra poses work for you! Hold each for at least 15 deep breaths to experience the benefits of yin yoga.
Alternate Nostril Breathing in Meditation Pose
Alternate nostril breathing is a wonderful way to start any yoga practice as it promotes an overall sense of well-being, can reduce anxiety, and stress, and slows down your breath.
Begin in meditation pose, sitting in a cross-legged position. Option to have your sit bones on the mat or prop your hips up by sitting on a block or cushion. Sit with a straight spine. Allow your tailbone to become heavy as the crown of your head becomes light. Breathe naturally, allowing your breath to slow down on its on first.
Bring your right index and middle finger together to touch your third eye. With your thumb, block your right nostril, inhale through your left nostril. Then block your left nostril with your fourth finger, release your thumb from your right nostril and exhale through your right nostril. Inhale through your right, then block your right to exhale through your left. All you have to remember is to inhale through one nostril and exhale through the opposite. Close your eyes and allow your breath to relax you further. Repeat as many times as feels good then bring your hands onto your knees or thighs and sit in stillness, feeling the effects, for about 5 deep breaths.
Childs pose grounds our third eye chakra by physically bringing the third eye to the ground. Since the third eye can often have our minds wandering and far from reality, this grounding sensation is a great way to calm the mind.
Come onto your knees, sitting back on your heels. There are a few different variations of childs pose. The picture on the left is wide-legged childs pose. This variation gives lots of space for the belly and for deep breaths, and it also stretches into the shoulders. Bring your knees wide to about the edges of your mat, big toes together. Walk your hands forward until your chest and forehead melt to touch the mat. Arms can be relaxed into the mat. Allow your sit bones to be heavy towards your heels as you relax through your shoulders.
The second image on the right is what is considered a more traditional childs pose. Both poses have the same benefits. Keep your knees together or slightly apart and roll forward until your forehead comes to the mat and your chest and belly are on your legs. It may feel best to place a block under your head to bring the ground to you. Your arms can extend long to the top of your mat, or you may bring them by your sides, relaxed, palms facing up and fingers point to the back of your mat. For either variation hold for 20-30 breaths.
While not a yin yoga pose that is specific to the third eye, saddle pose (hero pose in a yang style class) really opens all of the chakras below, sending energy up the spine, which is what’s so beneficial to the third eye.
Come to sit on your heels. You may untuck your heels from under your sit bones to the outside of your bum so your sit bones meet the mat. It may feel good to stay here for the pose or it may feel very uncomfortable on your knees! If so, you can sit on your heels or separate your legs and place a block to sit on in between.
If it feels good, begin to walk your hands back. If at any point you feel tension or pinching, back off slightly. You shouldn’t feel any pain but may feel slightly uncomfortable. It may feel good to come down onto your elbows, perhaps with blocks or a bolster or a rolled blanket under your elbows, or to come all the way down to your back with the option to lay on a prop too. This is an intense pose so ease in slowly and allow the weight of your body over time to help you open before moving further. Your neck may look straight head or back, but always straight. Hold for 20-30 deep breaths and use your elbows and hands to slowly bring your upper body back up.
Butterfly Forward Fold
Another yin pose to ground the Ajna chakra, butterfly forward fold opens the hips as well as allows the spine to release.
Sit on your mat and bring the soles of your feet together. I recommend bringing your feet away from your groin for a more relaxed variation. Ground through your sit bones with a straight spine as you inhale, exhale to hinge forward. When you can no longer hinge, allow your spine to round forward. Place your arms in front of your legs, palms facing down to ground, or up as a gesture to receive. Your head can come to rest on your feet, or you can use a prop such as a block or pillow to place your third eye on. Hold for 20-30 deep breaths. Use your hands to help walk your spine back up to stack your shoulders over your hips.
Fish pose is a wonderful yin pose to open through the chest and neck and really works into your heart, throat, third eye, and crowns chakras.
Come to lay on your back. If you don’t have any props or prefer a more active variation, bring your legs together and your hands under each bum cheek, palms face down. Keep your legs strong as you lift your upper body and tuck your elbows under. Your head may fall back so the crown touches the floor.
For a supported fish variation that offers more relaxation, bring two blocks into a “T” shape. Place one block vertically between your shoulders blades on the lowest setting, focused on your upper back. The second block comes horizontally under your head to support either on the lowest or second height, whichever feels best. Allow your arms to come far from your sides, your legs to separate and your ankles to roll out. Hold each variation for 20-30 deep breaths. To release, use one hand to lift your head and remove the block under your head, then roll to either side to come off of the block under your back.
Finally and lastly, come into savasana. Allow your entire body to completely relax into the mat and focus your breath and energy on your 6th chakra. Feel your body release as your breath returns to normal, and your muscles let go. Hold for 30+ breaths or as long as feels good.