What is the third eye?

The third eye, in yoga terms a ‘chakra’ or energy centre, is located between the eyebrows.

In ancient times, it was also believed to be the location of the soul.

Today it is more commonly associated with the concept of a ‘sixth sense’ because of its link to knowledge, perception and awareness.

Yoga teachers often include meditations to awaken the third eye or incorporate a stimulation of the third eye into a yoga routine. This is because chakras can get ‘blocked’. We want to unblock and open the third eye to transcend ourselves, creating the capacity for clear thinking and deep intuition. As ever with yoga, this also creates the conditions for being ‘present’ so that we do not cling to memories or material things.

It’s also important to balance the third eye, as well as encouraging it to open, and practice poses which help us do this. The poses don’t need to be hard or long and can be incorporated into any routine.


Easy poses to help open or balance the third eye


Forward bend

  1. Place the hands together in prayer pose and bring the sides of the thumbs to rest, firmly, on the space between the eyebrows.
  2. Keeping the hands where they are, spread the legs as if about to enter a split and bend forward so the back is flat and the gaze is focused on the floor. Legs should be just outside the shoulders/hips so as not to put too much pressure on the inner thigh muscles.
  3. Hold the pose for a minute or so, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Twisted lunge

  1. Step the right or left leg forward into a fairly deep lunge, ensuring the front foot is facing the top of the mat or front or the room and the other foot is parallel to the front of the room.
  2. Bring the opposite elbow onto the top of the thigh and then twist round so the body is facing towards the wall nearest to the bent knee.
  3. Clasp the hands together in prayer pose, with the elbow or top of the arm still on the thigh.
  4. Hold the pose for a minute or so, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Superman

  1. Lie on the floor with the arms out in front, thighs gripped and toes pointed.
  2. Bring the hands together in prayer in front of the face and press the thumbs into the space between the eyebrows. The other side of the clasped hands can be resting on the floor and propping up the head.
  3. Hold the pose for a few minutes, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.