You have gone on a journey. You have touched, you have tasted, you have seen, and you have heard, you have loved and lost and loved again. You have learned, you have grown, you have arrived at your destination intact.
– Anodea Judith, Wheels of Life.
The crown chakra, Sahasrara, is the final of the seven chakras.
Sahasrara translates from Sanskrit as the thousand-petaled lotus; it’s where we come into connection with the collective consciousness and with the divine.
At the crown chakra, we discover the ability to merge the individual self with the creation of all beings. We discover and create our philosophy and spirituality, examining what it means to be human and the beauty that comes with our fragility.
The crown chakra represents peace, abundance, and profound contentment through a deeper connection with what it means to be alive in every moment.
At the crown chakra, we dissolve the ego-self’s desires in pursuit of the greater good for humanity. The crown chakra is where we connect with the divine or God, depending on your philosophy.
The word yoga means ‘to unite’ or ‘to yolk.’ At the crown chakra, we honor this merger by placing our faith and trust in the universe and elements we may or may not be able to see.
Keep reading to see the crown chakra themes, blockages, imbalances, yoga classes, and questions.
Crown Chakra Themes
The opposite of paranoia, which means that the universe is out to get you, is pronoia.
The concept of pronoia was developed by Rob Brezsny, one of my favorite astrologists and a fantastic writer. Rob has a book called Pronoia.
Pronoia is the idea that the universe is out to support you. You can be paranoid, or you can be pronoia.
It’s up to you because whatever you decide, your mind will naturally look for ways of validating your decision. You get to choose how you interact with the world and what events arise from your outlook.
— Clara Roberts-Oss.
The crown chakra is about total awareness and appreciation; it is where we connect to global consciousness.
The color for the crown chakra is violet or white.
The bija seed mantra for the crown chakra is silence to express the willingness to listen.
The crown chakra is about merging with the Divine/inner teacher. It embraces events with grace and observes all actions without judgment.
We go beyond material limitations and attain enlightenment through spiritual practices at the crown chakra. We see beyond the scope of our experience. We step back to observe our actions, thoughts, and beliefs and question where they came from.
Sahasrara is the portal between the individual and the collective; the collective consciousness lives outside us.
At the crown chakra, we open up to how we might listen and receive others and listen to what is happening around us.
Much of what we know and believe is rooted in a belief system given to us as children.
As we mature, develop an identity, and connect to our intuition, our beliefs may change. In tandem, we develop practices that help us to widen our lens to see the bigger picture.
Meditation, visualization, and other subtle body practice help us see the broad strokes rather than what is in front of us.
The crown chakra is about developing awareness to understand how the world we see is not what we think it is. Much of what we believe to be true is a belief we’ve upheld unconsciously. We must ask questions and look a little closer.
Gland: Pituitary and Hypothalamus
Psychological Function: Awareness, Consciousness, Union with Divine, Grace.
Body Part: Crown of the head.
The pituitary and hypothalamus are related to the crown chakra since they regulate the endocrine system and all the body’s biological processes.
The hypothalamus secretes hormones into the pituitary gland; its job is to regulate growth, hormones, and metabolism.
The pituitary gland is also called the ‘Master Gland’ as it plays a vital role in controlling the thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, and testicles.
When the crown chakra is balanced, we are motivated to action and open to the ideas and opinions of others. We are not attached to desires, needs, expectations, or outcomes.
Attachment is the shadow side of the crown chakra. When we become too attached to our goals, we limit ourselves.
Refusing to listen or accept that the world is different from us, constantly changing, and perhaps not how we thought it to be is the shadow of the crown chakra expressing itself.
When we open to the power and wonder of the crown chakra, we experience the sacred in each action.
We surrender control and allow things to flow while still setting boundaries. We are aware of self and respect for others while seeing the boundless connectivity of all things in the universe.
Blockages and Imbalances
Too much knowledge may cause an imbalance at the crown chakra. A blocked crown chakra appears clingy, greedy, attached, materialistic, and egoic.
It is important to balance the mental fluctuations with practices that create a sense of stability and grounding in the body.
Hyperfixation and control erupt when the crown chakra is imbalanced.
Depression, confusion, despair, lack of inspiration, and lethargy are all conditions of an imbalanced crown chakra. Self-destructive behavior manifests when the crown chakra is overactive.
The body is where intuition and wisdom reside, in the tissues and organs. To work with blockages and imbalances, practices such as yoga will bring the individual out of the mind and into the body.
Crown Chakra Yoga Classes
In this vinyasa flow sequence, you’ll be encouraged to focus on Jiva bandha by touching the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth. This naturally softens the jaw and creates awareness of crown chakra consciousness.
This slow-moving mandala/circular vinyasa practice focuses on opening the inner leg line and strengthening the back of the pelvis. The peak pose is a tripod headstand.
Sirsasana is known as the King of all Poses, according to B.K.S. Iyengar and is a way to activate the crown chakra. This class includes core, twists, and side waist lengthening. Open your practice in seated meditation with a deep breath and mantra; you’ll chant Aum, the bija seed sound for the 7th chakra.
Engage the Seven Chakras with Meditation and Yoga Nidra:
Nidra translates as “sleep” in Sanskrit. Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation to bring your body and mind into deep relaxation. Recommended for everyone and can be helpful for those working with stress, anxiety, exhaustion, and burnout.
In this class, you’ll use the power of visualization and breath to bring awareness to the chakras and the body’s inner landscape. Visualization is a powerful practice that develops awareness of the subtle body; through visualization, we move away from the physical, gross realm that we see into the subtler realm of breath and energy that we experience through felt sensation.
A gentle Hatha class that works with subtle body practices to bring more space and awareness to the body, this class features movement, breath and visualization practices. This class opens with a chakra meditation.
Questions for the Crown Chakra:
What are some of the beliefs you uphold?
What are some of the beliefs you grew up with and do not align with as an adult?
What are some of the beliefs you hope to pass on to future generations?
How do you celebrate diversity? What do you do?
How do you experience the unconscious/subconscious mind?
Do you remember your sleeping dreams? Do you write them down?
What are you attached to, and why do you think this is?
How can you practice non-attachment? Is this important to you?
What is your experience of being the observer? Do you step back to reflect on your actions? What about your thoughts?
What stories/mythologies inform who you are as an individual and how you live your life?
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A Brief Introduction to the Chakras
Chakra translates as ‘wheel’ or ‘disk’ and refers to the energy points of the subtle body.
We have thousands of chakras in our bodies. The ones we focus on as yogis go up to our main energy channel, Sushumna, the spine, which starts at the pelvis and goes through the middle of the torso to the top of the head.
The seven chakras are located at Sushumna. The first one, Muladhara, is at the base. The second one, Swadhisthana, is just below the belly button. The third one, Manipura, is at the solar plexus, and The fourth one, Anahata at the heart. The fifth one, Vishuddha, goes to the throat. The sixth one, Ajna, is at the third eye center, the middle of the head. And then the seventh one, Sahasrara, is the top, the head, or just above the head, depending upon who you talk to.
It’s said that at the base of our pelvis sits our creative force known as Shakti or Kundalini. This is this dormant creative force that lives inside of the pelvis. As yogis, we want to ignite or awaken that energy to have it rise from the pelvis to our third eye center, where our consciousness lives. When the kundalini energy rises, it’s said that we are awakened or receive enlightenment.
When the chakras are open, the energy flows freely, and we are awakened.
The asanas and pranayamas help to move the stagnant energy that day-to-day life can create in the body. Yoga is a way to clear the stagnant energy by observing the themes and blockages of each chakra and then creating a practice to clear and move the energy.
Prana (energy) flows through the human body’s 72,000 nadis (energy channels). The Prana that moves through the nadis is also what feeds and sustains the chakras.
The body is our initial connection to the earth, and yoga is a tool to shift how we feel. We can always return to the practice- asana, pranayama, or meditation. We might use these as tools to shift states of dis-ease. The practice allows us to return to a place where we are grounded and feel a sense of belonging.