It's All In your Head
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It’s all in Your Head
Your third eye, or ajna chakra, is believed to the doorway to your divine Self. Behind this point, in the middle of our head, resides our pineal gland, a tiny, pinecone-shaped gland that guides our connection with the rhythms of the earth. One of its functions is melatonin production, a hormone that regulates sleep. Enclosed in a filagreed bone structure, this tiny gland is clearly important and sacred. It’s ironic, given that our thinking mind resides here as well, surrounding this tiny gland in a storm of activity and chaos. But perhaps it’s also apt, a reminder that beneath the thinking mind is an untouchable place of calm and sanctuary, a place that is more tied to the universe than to our body and mind. It’s a reminder that we are not our thinking mind, but instead a piece of the divine.
If you have discovered yoga nidra, you already know how powerful it is to go beyond the body and mind to that place where our soul, or atman, resides. In the Amrit style of yoga nidra, there is a lot of emphasis on the third eye, or doorway to this place. In Satyananda Saraswati’s yoga nidra method, more focus is placed at heart center, where our individualized soul and chitta, or memories that we carry with us from lifetime to lifetime, resides. Our heart chakra is a powerful place, the connection to the earth (lower three chakras) and our connection to the spiritual universe (upper three chakras) meet. See what resonates best with you, knowing that both methods are focused on helping your drop into that space where your soul resides and from which you can connect to the source.
In our meditations this month, we will be following the Amrit tradition, taking our awareness to eyebrow center and visualizing a place of sanctuary. Your sacred place may be in nature, like the image for this theme’s page, or perhaps a room or place of your design. This powerful visualization is helpful whenever you need to draw inward, finding strength and calm. We’ll mix it up a bit with our daily morning ritual below, where we will focus at heart center.
You can start this month by setting an intention to do the following:
Take 3-5 minutes each morning to sit, breathe and move before you start the day.
- Sit on the floor or your mat with your eyes closed.
- First, simply notice your breath. Let yourself settle into your breath, becoming absorbed in the sound and movement.
- Next, bring your awareness to heart center, visualizing radiant light and calm at its core.
- With each inhale, feel breath entering through the crown of your head, fingers and toes, as though you are a five-pointed star, travelling to your heart center.
- With each exhale, let go of anxiety, fear and apprehension as your breath travels from heart center back out each point in the star: head, fingers and toes.
- Feel yourself becoming more radiant and spacious with each breath, elementally connected to, and a part of, the universe. Feel that place at heart center as divine.
Listen to your short yoga nidra recording every other day
Listen to one of your traditional yoga nidra recordings once a week
You will likely be doing other wonderful yoga related work – going to studio classes, doing the home asana practices, reading the blog posts – but let the list above be your minimum baseline.
This is your daily yoga nidra meditation, “It’s all in Your Head” (20 minutes). This meditation helps you create a sacred space in the middle of your head.
This is your weekly yoga nidra meditation for the theme “It’s all in Your Head” (26.5 minutes). This meditation helps you find that place of calm at eyebrow center, creating a personal sanctuary there. Get comfy and enjoy!!
Reminder: Any poses or breath techniques I cue in an asana practice are merely suggestions. Your body and your doctor know more than I do, so only do what makes sense and is recommended for you. If you ever feel numbness or pain in a pose, discontinue the pose.
Your “It’s all in Your Head” asana practice focuses on calming your third eye, while also warming up the muscles within the body. This practice is 23 minutes long and is intended to ready the body for yoga nidra meditation. Note: during the sphynx and seal poses, if you feel like you need a gentler pose, cross your forearms in front of your body and simply rest your forehead on the backs of your hands.
Props: Mat, eye pillow & either two blocks, or two large books. Have a blanket and bolster ready if you will be meditating after the practice.
Nurture your eyebrow center, or ajna chakra, by putting a warmed, lavender-scented eyepillow across your forehead, simply allowing yourself to relax and follow the ebb and flow of your breath. If you prefer, put a dab of lavender essential oil on your third eye. The lavender scent is very relaxing for body, mind and spirit. Bring your awareness to eyebrow center, simply noticing any patterns, colors or images that arise. Relax your forehead and face, allowing yourself to simply be.
Lavender as an aid in helping calm anxiety: https://www.verywellmind.com/lavender-for-less-anxiety-3571767