The crown chakra (sahasrara chakra in Sanskrit) is the highest of seven major centers of concentrated energy located in the body. It’s also referred to as the seventh chakra, purple chakra, white chakra, or thousand-petalled lotus.
According to yogic anatomy, the chakras ascend along the spine from the base of the lower hip bones to the crown of the head. Each of these main energy vortexes corresponds to unique aspects of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
In this article, we’ll delve into the crown chakra and how it relates to the body, mind, and spirit. We’ll also explore techniques that heal, balance, and activate sahasrara chakra.
What is the crown chakra?
The Sanskrit word sahasrara translates to “thousand petals” or “infinite.”1 This relates to the symbolic blossoming of cosmic consciousness that takes place at the crown of the head through spiritual awakening. Essentially, the crown chakra is a bridge from the individual self to the infinite. In addition, the crown chakra is a convergence of all of the other chakras and all that exists beyond. Thus, to open sahasrara chakra, the entire body (physical and energetic) must be in a pure and balanced state.
The crown chakra typically corresponds to the colors violet (or purple) and white, the element of thought, and the Hindu deity Shiva.
What does the crown chakra control?
As we briefly mentioned, each chakra governs certain physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of life. Here are some ways that sahasrara chakra relates to your holistic wellness:
The Crown Chakra and the Body
The crown chakra is located slightly above the crown of the head. In the physical body, the crown chakra is related to our:
- pituitary gland,
- endocrine system,
- nervous system,
- and head.2
Unlike the other chakras, sahasrara chakra is not linked to a specific sense. Thus, it has no corresponding sensory organ.
Crown Chakra and the Mind
The crown chakra is typically associated with a level of awareness beyond the conscious mind. Nevertheless, the state of sahasrara chakra is closely related to our thought patterns and how we understand life. It is connected to our ability to experience playfulness, inner joy, bliss, empathy, and flexibility in life. Thus, the seventh chakra plays an important role in defining our concept of self.3
The Crown Chakra, Spiritual Evolution, and Universal Wisdom
Out of all the chakras, the crown is most closely related to spiritual awareness and growth. This is because when it is open, sahasrara connects us to universal knowledge. Thus, we can perceive the crown as our link to our higher self.
Furthermore, in yogic philosophy, sahasrara chakra is the ultimate destination of kundalini energy. Kundalini is a specific manifestation of universal life force energy that typically lies dormant at the root chakra. However, once triggered, it ascends through all of the chakras via our main energetic channel, sushumna nadi. When kundalini activates sahasrara chakra, a person often experiences what we call a spiritual awakening.
The Crown Chakra Symbol
Each of the major chakras is represented by a mandala in the form of a lotus flower. The sahasrara chakra mandala is a violet thousand-petalled lotus. As mentioned in the introduction, this lotus is symbolic of the blossoming of transcendental life-force energy that takes place at the crown of the head during a spiritual awakening. Most graphic representations of the crown chakra symbol don’t actually contain all 1,000 petals. However, in case you’re wondering, the sahasrara mandala is theoretically structured with 20 layers of 50 petals each.4
Inside the center of the sahasrara symbol is a circle that represents the full moon, openness, awakening, receptiveness, kindness, and forgiveness. Sometimes this circle contains the symbol om – the vibration of the universe and a mantra associated with spiritual unity.
Crown Chakra Colors
The crown chakra is typically associated with the color violet, and also with white or radiant light.
The Color White and Light
White is connected to the crown as a hue of purity and perfection. In addition, it is the ultimate convergence of all other colors in the rainbow spectrum, just as the crown chakra is the combination of all other chakras.
The Color Purple, or Violet
The color violet, or purple, is often linked to the spiritual path because it conjures up qualities such as self-awareness, curiosity, and divinity. The color purple is also a blend of the warmth of red and the coolness of blue. Hence it represents balance and harmony. Furthermore, In the spectrum of colors, violet vibrates at the highest frequency. This correlates to the vibration of the crown chakra. Violet also relates to the seventh chakra as the seventh color in the rainbow.
Signs of a Healthy Crown Chakra
When we purify our chakras, we can embody their positive qualities. Thus, in daily life, a balanced crown chakra is associated with:
- Inner peace
- A sense of connection or unity with all of life
- Self-knowledge and understanding5
- Radiant or expansive energy
- Universal wisdom
Signs Your Crown Chakra Is Blocked or Imbalanced
Each major chakra is an energetic vortex that affects the flow of prana, our vital life force energy. The physical, mental, and emotional ups and downs we experience can all affect the state of each chakra. However, by recognizing the symptoms of chakra imbalances, we can identify issues and begin to heal them.
Physical Signs of a Crown Chakra Imbalance
- Lack of coordination
- Nervous system or endocrine system disorders
Mental and Emotional Signs of a Crown Chakra Imbalance
- Anti-social feelings or a feeling of separateness from others
- Existential depression
How to Open Your Crown Chakra
Techniques for purifying, activating, “opening,” or balancing the crown chakra include:
- Lifestyle changes
- Working with oils, gemstones, or other therapies
In the following sections, we’ll explain how to use these techniques to connect with your crown chakra.
Crown Chakra Mantras
Mantras are syllables, words, or phrases that serve to focus the mind through repetition. Although mantras can be in any language, the following Sanskrit mantras channel specific vibrational frequencies that can invoke higher levels of awareness. To practice mantras, you can chant them aloud or repeat them in your mind. You can also set a specific intention that is related to the crown chakra to go along with your practice.
Each chakra has a one-syllable bija mantra or “seed sound” that vibrates at its corresponding frequency. Thus, when you chant the bija mantra for sahasrara chakra, you strengthen your connection to pure awareness.
The most common bija mantra for the crown chakra is aum. Aum is a variation of “om,” which emphasizes three syllables. These three syllables resonate in different parts of the body and relate to the composition of cosmic consciousness.
According to some lineages of yoga, the bija mantra for sahasrara is either a silently-pronounced aum or pure silence.
Shiva, the Hindu deity who is known for his ability to destroy the ego, is the god who is most closely associated with sahasrara chakra. The mantra Shivoham literally translates to “I am Shiva.” Admittedly, this may seem like a foreign or bold statement for some to declare. However, you can think of the essence of this mantra as “I am everything,” or “I am consciousness.” As such, it can play a role in helping you connect to a more expansive spiritual awareness.
Sa Ta Na Ma
Sa ta na ma is a popular mantra in the kundalini yoga tradition. Its syllables translate to “infinity,” “life,” “death” (or “transformation”), and “rebirth.”6 It can be used to acknowledge the cyclical nature of existence, invoke change or transformation, and to awaken the crown chakra.
Crown Chakra Affirmations
Affirmations are positive statements that help us set and manifest intentions. To use an affirmation, you can speak it aloud, recite it silently, or write it down.
An affirmation to enhance the seventh chakra can be a simple statement like, “My crown chakra is balanced.” However, if you have specific imbalances related to your crown chakra, it might make more sense to create unique sahasrara affirmations.
Here are some examples of affirmations to balance the crown chakra:
- My highest self guides me.
- I am connected to my spirit.
- I surrender to the highest good.
- The energy of the universe flows through me.7
- I live in the present moment.8
Crown Chakra Stones and Crystals
In general, crystals and gemstones relate to the chakras by color. Therefore, stones that benefit the crown chakra are typically violet / purple, white, or clear. Examples of those that can benefit sahasrara chakra include:
- Clear quartz
- White agate
- Purple jasper
- Purple tourmaline
Here are some methods for utilizing stones or crystals to balance sahasrara chakra:
- Place them directly on the crown of your head.
- Use stones to massage your head or face.
- Sleep with crystals or gemstones beneath your pillow.
Crown Chakra Essential Oils
Essential oils that promote a peaceful and stable mind will benefit the crown chakra. In addition to the scents below, lotus oil is often used for spiritual purposes. It’s linked to the crown chakra because it symbolizes purity and can provide spiritual clarity.10
Recommended essentials oils to balance the seventh chakra include:
For connecting with sahasrara chakra, try placing a drop of oil directly on the crown of your head or using them in a diffuser as you meditate or sleep.
Crown Chakra Meditation
All mediation and concentration practices will help you to connect to your higher self. However, here are some particular techniques for balancing sahasrara chakra:
Visualize a white or purple thousand-petalled lotus shining at the crown of your head. As you relax into your meditation, envision the light of this lotus flower getting brighter with each breath. Allow the light to flow throughout your entire body, cleansing you of anything that is not in line with your highest good. Then, visualize yourself as a pure, radiant light-being with the power to manifest your dreams.
Just as our minds can incessantly scream at us when our surroundings are peaceful, it’s possible to maintain a quiet state of mind while experiencing external chaos. To do this, you can practice staying centered and present – not only during meditation, but also during your daily activities, including conversations with others. Inner silence can guide you towards oneness with all of life, peace, and truth. These are all qualities associated with an open sahasrara chakra.
After finding a relaxed state of body and mind, ask yourself the simple question, ‘Who am I?’ Continue to investigate the source of ‘I,’ digging deeper into your consciousness each time you feel stuck. ‘Who am I?’ is one of the ultimate questions in life, common across spiritual traditions and philosophies. For those who are truly motivated to find an answer, it can lead directly to self-knowledge and awakening.11
Crown Chakra Mudras
Mudra translates to “seal,” and mudras are typically formed by the hands. Their purpose is to direct prana in certain ways throughout the body. Here are some examples of mudras that can improve your relationship to sahasrara chakra:
The Mudra of a Thousand Petals
Form a triangle by joining the tips of your index fingers and the tips of your thumbs together. Keep the rest of your fingers extended. Then, raise this mudra above your head (your palms will face outward) to channel universal life force energy to your crown chakra.12
Jnana mudra is a simple and common meditation mudra. To form it, touch the tip of your thumb to the tip of your index finger on each hand. Then, rest your hands on your thighs or knees with your palms facing up. Jnana translates to “wisdom,” so by sitting with this mudra, you encourage your highest self to connect to the wisdom of the universe.13
Yoga for the Crown Chakra
The following yoga postures and practices encourage prana to rise up through the body to sahasrara chakra. Accordingly, you can use them to open, activate, or balance this energy center. While practicing these postures, you can increase their benefits by directing your awareness to the crown of your head.
Although it’s not exactly a beginner’s pose, headstand is one of the best ways to connect with the crown of your head. However, if you’re unfamiliar with yogic headstands, don’t leap into one! There are many preparatory practices for headstand that also benefit the crown. You can find basic headstand tutorials online, but we recommend practicing with support from an experienced yogi.
Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)
Rabbit pose is a perfect crown chakra alternative for those who aren’t able to practice headstand (or for those not recommended to do inversions). To find this posture, begin in a kneeling position and reach back to grab your heels with your thumb facing out. On an exhalation, slowly fold forward. Then, rest the very top of your head on the ground, with your forehead as close to your knees as possible. Keep your hips lifted and your chin slightly tucked. Finally, rock slightly forward to straighten your elbows. Take care not to place too much weight on the crown of your head or neck.
Half Lotus (Ardha Padmasana)
Half lotus is an approachable posture for meditation that is supportive of the crown chakra. To begin, sit with a straight spine and your shoulders relaxed. (You can sit on the edge of a cushion to lengthen your spine and prevent knee pain). From here, bring the top of your right foot to your left hip crease. Then, bring your left ankle to rest on the ground beneath your right knee. Relax your shoulders, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. If half lotus is not possible for you, any other seated meditation posture is also conducive to working with the highest chakra.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Lie on your back and with your palms facing up, toes turned outward, and eyes closed. Come to a state of complete relaxation of both the mind and the body. Let cosmic energy flow through your entire being, bringing a sense of connection to all that is.
Crown Chakra Healing
Apart from the previously-mentioned ways of working with the crown chakra, you can balance chakras on your own or with professional therapists. Further chakra healing techniques include:
Professionals in fields like reiki, emotion-focused therapy (EFT), breathwork, and hypnosis can diagnose and work with crown chakra healing and balancing. They may also offer guidance on issues related to spiritual awakening.
Although we discussed specific yoga postures for opening the crown chakra in the previous section, kundalini yoga can put you on a fast track towards connecting with sahasrara. Thus, it’s worthy of its own mention. Kundalini yoga aims to cleanse and purify the body and mind to achieve spiritual awakening. According to yogic anatomy, this happens when kundalini energy rises from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Therefore, many kundalini kriyas, or specific sequences, are designed to move energy up the spine towards sahasrara chakra.
Typically, foods that correspond to the color of a chakra can help to purify it. However, since the crown chakra is related to the energetic body rather than the physical body, it’s not necessarily linked to particular foods. When working with sahasrara chakra, it’s most important to nourish the body as opposed to eating for pleasure or leisure.
Feeding your body in ways that increase prana will benefit the crown chakra. Thus, you can connect to higher states of consciousness through breathing deeply, getting sunshine, exercising, drinking plenty of fluids, and maintaining a light and wholesome alkaline diet.
Fasting or Cleansing
Fasting and detoxification diets (juices, ayurvedic herbs, cleanses, etc.) can also help direct energy upwards towards the crown chakra. Furthermore, drinking water and herbal teas will promote cleansing processes. Specific herbs that benefit the crown chakra include lavender, sage, juniper, and ginger.14
All chakras have a corresponding sound frequency that can be stimulated by similar sound vibrations. This is why sound healing instruments, like gongs, singing bowls, and tuning forks, can target specific chakra-related issues. Additionally, you can use your voice to harness the power of your crown chakra through the practice of chakra toning.
Sahasrara chakra corresponds to the note of “B,” and the Solfeggio frequency of 963 Hz. However, as a reminder, the crown chakra is also related to silence.15
Finally, when working with sahasrara chakra, keep in mind that its state depends on the state of all other chakras. Thus, the holistic well-being of your body, mind, and spirit is conducive to a healthy crown chakra.
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