2 questions came to me today regarding Shambhavi mudra.
"1. Please write on whether shambhavi mudra leads to a awakening of the Ajna
chakra, on whether trataka combined with shambhavi leads to quicker
opening of the ajna chakra ?
2. is it correct to awaken the ajna chakra before you awaken the muladhara chakra in your kundalini awakening progress ?
1. I would say that yes, Shambhavi mudra does lead to an awakening of the Ajna cakra. Trataka for those of you who are not familiar is a process or kriya that involves staring at a candle flame or other small object without blinking until the tears are shed. Then one closes the eyes and follows the inner image that is now "burned" into the eye until it disappears. I would say that trataka is also good for awakening the Ajna cakra. Shambhavi is superior in my opinion but if one did do both practices, yes the Ajna would open "quicker". What is important in the Shambhavi mudra is to follow the deep feeling of clarity, which leads one through the blockages which are felt at the midbrow and frontal brain region. Relaxing these blockages actually creates the clarity we are seeking with the Shambhavi mudra. Eventually one is able to relax and release this center without Shambhavi mudra as one learns to feel it out. The same blockages will be felt in the practice of trataka. This brings up an important point that in the beginning of practice the chakric centers are felt more as granthi or knots. This isn't a bad thing but is a good basis to place our awareness and learn to relax and release these deep centers. By following the pathways of blockage, we are led to deep mental/emotional holding patterns that have to be addressed and resolved before the respective center can open up. Maybe I will write more on this at some point.
Awakening the Ajna cakra is in my opinion necessary before the stabilization of the concentration practices can fully be realized.
2. According to the tradition of Swami Satyananda Saraswati, author of Kundalini Tantra, and according to my Guru's tradition, yes, the Ajna cakra is very helpful to awaken before muladhara. In the tantric cakra nyasa practice from my Guru's lineage which I will eventually post on this website, we always work first with the ajna before the muladhara. This helps to open the doors of deep level discernment before undertaking the work through the elemental centers leading through the central column.
Hope these answers help!