Awaken the Light Element: Essential oils and your yoga practice

The Light Element

As we move up the ladder of chakras, into the higher mental and spiritual realms, there are no longer earthly elements associated with these chakras. They are more focused on energy flow.  The sixth or brow chakra is associated with the element light.

The Sixth or Brow Chakra (Ajna)Brow chakra symbol

The sixth or brow chakra is symbolized by a lotus with two petals, and corresponds to the colors violet, indigo or deep blue.  It encompasses all senses. It signifies the end of duality. The seed syllable for this chakra is the syllable OM.

Brow chakra poseThe sixth chakra, also considered the third eye, is located between and just above the physical eyes, creating the spiritual third eye. It is both “the perception center” and “the command center.” While our two eyes see the material world, our sixth chakra sees beyond the physical. This vision includes clairvoyance, telepathy, intuition, dreaming, imagination, and visualization. It is primarily linked to the pituitary and pineal glands.  The pineal gland is a light sensitive gland that produces the hormone melatoninwhich regulates sleep and waking up. The pituitary gland is associated with the face, eyes, ears, nose, parts of the brain and the central nervous system. The third eye energy not only pulsates at the brow, but also opens to the back of the head at the base of the occiput where the spine meets the skull. It is believed that the pituitary organizes the flow of energy through the front chakra and the pineal gland influences the posterior energy flow. These two glands are considered the control centers for the entire endocrine system, harmonizing and balancing hormones, monitoring fight/flight responses, controlling body temperature and regulating growth.

The brow chakra’s key issues involve balancing the higher and lower selves and trusting inner guidance. The brow chakra’s inner aspect relates to the access of intuition. Mentally, it deals with visual consciousness. Emotionally, it deals with clarity on an intuitive level.

“It is thought that the energy of the third eye leads us to wisdom and the realization that we create our own reality. It is through the reasoning mind that we understand what motivates us to do things, but it is our deep awareness of our inner truth that drives us to create what the Divine self desires us to actualize. The thought is that the brain runs our physical body, but the mind controls the energy body, and because of that, our thoughts create energy, which then become manifestation. Any thought that we have can lead to fruition of that thought, be it negative or positive, so it is up to the sixth chakra to encourage the mind to only produce conscious thought. Through conscious thought we can create a positive, harmonious life, led by our intuitive self, guided by spirit. Many unconscious thoughts and actions are motivated by fears and beliefs imprinted on us by our response to external sources (like parents, life experiences, etc.) These people may have our best interests in mind, but often it is our reaction and coping with these experiences that we take on in our lives rather than experiencing our true self. Outside fears and mores become our paths and we no longer are guided by our inner spirits and voices.  This unconscious behavior causes imbalance and self-deception. The sixth chakra conscious mind is usurped by brain function and connection to our inner self is subjugated. We begin to operate on old belief patterns rather than establish instinctual perceptions and observational qualities of our own. The ability to detach from miasmic patternings and see what is being done from a fear space rather than from an open connection is the third eye’s forte. It allows us to understand the truth and not the illusion, the faith and not the fear, the wisdom and not the delusion.”  Suzanne Bovenizer cmt, cst

The Light Element and Our yoga Practice

Signs that the brow chakra is out of balance are headaches, nightmares, difficulty concentrating, over intellectualizing, eye problems, poor memory, and lack of intuition.

A yogic approach to supporting the health of the brow Chakra is to do supported forward bends, adding an extra seated yoga mudrabolster or blanket to press upon and stimulate the third eye area. Similarly, seated yoga mudra, stimulates the brow chakra.  Creating positive images and visualizations is a practice that helps create a healthy sixth chakra. (See chart for other asana’s.)

Practices that encourage the experience of pratyahara, the drawing inward of the senses, help with directing vision more deeply inside ourselves, fostering insights.

Essential Oil Connection

Essential oils for balancing the brow chakra are:

Essential oils that support the third eye and brow chakra are ones that carry the highest energetic frequency. Oils used in meditation and spiritual rituals all help to open the third eye and bring us closer to conscious thought. Some of these oils are frankincense, rose, neroli, jasmine, lavender and sandalwood. Essential oils can play a big role for physical manifestations of third eye dysfunctionings. Oils that help eye problems like sties or conjunctivitis are tea tree, lavender, clary sage, geranium, lemon, chamomile and rose. Adding essential oils to a bowl of steaming water and deeply inhaling the steam can help sinus infections and sinusitis. Oils recommended for steam inhalations are eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, pine, and sandalwood. These oils can also be added to water in a neti pot and poured through the nasal cavity, but a very dilute (1 drop per neti pot) solution must be used, as the oils are very concentrated and could burn the tender mucosal tissue. Headaches and migraines can be related to a stressed and tense third eye chakra. Common essential oils for headaches are lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, jasmine, peppermint, hyssop, Roman chamomile, marjoram and rosemary. A cool compress with essential oils added can be laid on the forehead and over the eyes to reduce the heat and tension of tight inter-cranial membranes. Lavender can also be rubbed directly on the temples to soothe and de-stress the restrictive membranes.