Chakra 7 – Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)

Last week in our chakra series we learned about the third eye chakra, our chakra of perception and spiritual connection.  If you missed that post, check it out here!  This week we’ll learn about the final chakra in our energy system, the crown chakra or sahasrara, our chakra of universality and oneness with the divine.  We’ll continue to reference a book written by Anodea Judith called Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self, available here

Chakra System Review

We’ve reached the end of our journey through the chakra system.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve learned about the first six chakras and their attributes, and how imbalances in a chakra can result in both physical and emotional suffering.  Learning about the chakras offers us an amazing opportunity to discover things about ourselves, our lives, and our past that can help us become whole. 

Many people (myself included) walk around day in and day out thinking, saying, or doing things they don’t understand.  They feel incomplete, or maybe confused.  They may feel as though something is missing, like there is a void to be filled.  The chakras can help us pinpoint where we are not being true to ourselves. 

They can help us see where even well-intentioned caretakers may have fallen short in helping us become our best selves, and how experiences in our lives leave imprints on our psyche.  From this place of knowledge and understanding, we can implement purposeful action to facilitate healing and eliminate unnecessary suffering in our lives. 

This week we’ll learn about the final chakra in our energy system, the crown chakra or sahasrara, our chakra of universality and oneness with the divine. 

Let’s review the first six chakras to establish a foundation for the seventh:

In our first (root) chakra, we develop our sense of safety and trust in the world.  The root chakra grounds us and establishes the worldviews that will echo throughout the remaining chakras.  The second (sacral) chakra is where we discover our sensuality and emotional intelligence, and the ability to go with the flow of the changes of life.  With the third (solar plexus) chakra, we ignite our personal power.  From this chakra comes our self-confidence and self-love. 

The fourth (heart) chakra allows us to give and receive unconditional love.  It creates our ability to empathize with others and feel compassion.  The fifth (throat) chakra is where we find our voice.  Here is where our self-expression exists, and confidence in speaking our truth and standing up for ourselves.  The sixth (third eye) chakra deals with our intuition and perception; it begins our connection to the Divine that is completed and realized in the seventh (crown) chakra. 

Attributes of the Crown Chakra

The crown chakra is located just above the head.  It is sometimes associated with the color violet like at the end of a rainbow but will often be depicted as white or clear light, the color of pure, life force energy.  The seventh chakra is not associated with any particular element.  Its purpose is the “assimilation of knowledge” and the “development of wisdom”. 

If you’ve had a little experience with meditation, you may have heard of our internal ‘witness’.  This is basically our core consciousness, separate from the stories and self-talk that our default mode network creates.  It is the Self that exists behind all distractions of the world and of our mind.  The witness lives in our crown chakra and is responsible for observing our suffering in a neutral way so we can make informed decisions to help ourselves. 

“To embrace the witness is to embrace the underlying reality of our being.  The witness can be both objective and subjective.  It can detach from the places where we suffer, and it can teach us how to swim in the stream when we are flailing about.  The witness is the eternal guide, an invaluable friend, the deep inner awareness of the Self.” 

Judith describes the crown chakra as our operating system.  It functions based on our beliefs and perceptions of our experiences.  If there is an imbalance or a flaw in the construction of this operating system, our perception, and therefore our entire life experience, will be less than authentic.

“The reprogramming work in the crown chakra requires an examination of our belief systems, for they are the primary structures that generate our reality.  Often invisible, our belief systems are so much a part of us that we fail to recognize their existence.  The awakened crown chakra questions any and all of our belief systems, constantly reprogramming and upgrading the operating system that runs our lives.” 

The crown chakra is located just above the head.  It is sometimes associated with the color violet like at the end of a rainbow but will often be depicted as white or clear light, the color of pure, life force energy.

Things that Affect Crown Chakra Development

Judith says that the crown chakra develops in early adulthood and after.  As the final chakra in the system, the crown chakra is affected by imbalance in any of the lower chakras.  If our spiritual development is hindered anywhere along the way, our ability to connect to the Divine and see our lives with spiritual clarity is thwarted. 

The crown chakra deals with our basic right to know and to learn.  It’s important to note that this implies knowing and learning truth, not just whatever we’re told or whatever we observe.  The crown chakra is heavily affected by misinformation, or information that is different than what our instinct tells us. 

For this reason, forced religiosity is a major culprit of crown chakra imbalance.  When we are told to follow a certain path because someone ‘said so’, our curiosity and desire to know the ‘why’ behind it is invalidated. 

Judith lists a few more situations that can contribute to a crown chakra imbalance:

  • Withheld information
  • Education that thwarts curiosity
  • Forced religiosity
  • Invalidation of one’s beliefs
  • Blind obedience (no right to question or think for oneself)
  •  Misinformation, lies
  • Spiritual abuse

How to Know if Your Crown Chakra is Blocked

The crown chakra is at the end of the line in our energy system.  Since the energetic balance in the upper chakras is affected by the lower chakras, if you suspect imbalance in any of your previous six chakras, there’s a good chance that imbalance carried over into the crown chakra.  The characteristics of blockages in the different chakras can often manifest in seemingly similar ways, so it can be difficult to pinpoint where your suffering comes from. 

It’s helpful to learn about each of the chakras because something might stand out to you, but you can also try things to balance all of the chakras such as asana (the postures of yoga) or chakra-focused meditations.  This can help stimulate energy in your entire system, making it easier to see the potential origins of your suffering with clarity.  From there, you can focus your energy on a specific chakra. 

Here are a few other characteristics of a blocked crown chakra:

  • Confusion
  • Closemindedness
  • Attachment to material things
  • Migraines
  • Control issues

Yoga Poses for the Crown Chakra

“Opening the crown chakra is about expanding our awareness so that it can embrace a larger portion of the universal field of consciousness.  This occurs through meditation, spiritual practice, mystical experiences, altered states of consciousness, study and education, and the elusively simple but profound act of paying attention.” 

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the chakra system with us!  If you missed any of the previous posts or want a refresher on a specific chakra, visit our blog page here!  You’ll find info about the chakras, yogic philosophy, meditation, and so much more! 

At Inspiring Actions, our classes offer a holistic approach to healing, learning and growth.  Our studios in Hudson and River Falls, Wisconsin, as well as online, provide a safe, peaceful, accepting place to explore your spirituality on a physical and emotional level, and there is no experience necessary.  We have classes for all levels of experience, as well as frequent special events to expand your spiritual horizons.   Check out our full list of classes here, and our event list here

Below are a few asana poses you can use to rebalance energy in the crown chakra:

Tripod headstand (mukta hasta sirsasana)

Tripod headstand is a great way to work your way toward a full headstand, and either pose is great for stimulating energy in the crown chakra. To do tripod headstand, start on your knees and place your hands down on the mat in front of you. Put the top of your head down between your hands and slightly in front of them, forming a triangle shape. Use your core to lift your legs up to rest on the back of your arms. You can start with just one leg, then try the other. If you feel comfortable in this position, try extending your legs.

Tree pose (vksasana)

Beginner tree pose: Stand tall with both feet flat on the mat. Move one foot to rest on your ankle, toes resting on the ground.
Intermediate tree pose: Move the active foot up to rest between the ankle and knee. Make sure not to rest the foot directly on the knee joint.
Advanced tree pose: Move the active foot to the upper thigh. You may have to use your hands to get the foot into position. For all three versions of this pose, bring hands to prayer/heart center, and see if you can close your eyes. Repeat on both sides

Corpse pose (savasana)

Ah, savasana; my favorite pose. Savasana is more of a meditative posture than an active pose, and it’s great for calming the mind and connecting with our higher selves. Lying flat on your back, let the feet fall open naturally. With your arms at your side, face the palms upward. Try a guided meditation in this pose, or concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes.

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