Of all of the practices that the path of yoga has taught me, meditation has had the most profound results for me. From helping me to deal with depression, insomnia and pain, to even be the make or break when I decided to quit smoking for good.
A lovely method to meditate is candle gazing or ‘Trataka’ meditation. Unlike most meditations, where we keep our eyes closed, on this one we have them open focusing our attention on a small point or object, in this case, the flame of a candle.
The candle should be placed at eye level and the room should be dim or dark. What candle should you use? Any candle will work. If you like scented candles, different scents and colours can bring added benefits.
According to Ayurveda, a sandalwood scent on a dark burgundy or earthy brown colour will bring you groundedness and calm an anxious mind (balancing Vata Dosha); while a citrus smell candle on a lime green or yellow can help to sharpen the mind and focusing it (balancing Kapha Dosha); a blue candle with the smell of pine trees or, mint or eucalyptus, will put out any fiery emotions or heat inside the body (balancing Pitta Dosha).
A candle gazing meditation helps bring energy to the third eye, increases concentration, and improves memory. Your attention should be focused on the flame. A candle gazing meditation helps bring energy to the third eye, increases concentration, it strengthens eye sight, and improves memory.
On the recorded class, I am sharing here, we are using the Trataka technique to ignite our third eye, as we go dip into the fourth layer of our Yoga anatomy, Vijyanamaya kosha – the Koshas system. There are in total five layers on our existence: the body or food layer, the breath or energy layer, the mid layer, the intuition and intellect later and the bliss layer. If you want to learn more, watch out for the online course on the Koshas,
Vijyanamaya kosha means a shell that is composed of wisdom (vijnana) or intellect. It is the first layer of the causal mind located in the Vishudda chakra, the Ajna chakra and the Sahasrara chakra in the crown of the head.
Practice Trataka for at least 10 minutes and do it more than once – ideally, a 21 days practice to form a habit. When your gaze is focused on the flame of a candle, you see nothing else. This allows your mind to fully focus on the candle as everything else in the room fades away from your awareness. At the same time, any invasive thoughts or distractions will also fade away.