Chakras: Our body’s main energy centers
Ancient Indian philosophy teaches us that our body has seven main energy centers known as the chakras. Each chakra is located along the central channel of our body and corresponds to physical and emotional states of being. The seven chakras and their Sanskrit translation, starting from the lower half of the body and working upward are:
- Root Chakra (Muladhara)
- Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana)
- Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
- Heart Chakra (Anahata)
- Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
- Third Eye Chakra (Ajna)
- Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)
When there are imbalances in these energy centers, we will notice physical and/or emotional struggles. Here, we’ll focus on our seventh and highest chakra, our crown chakra, or Sahasrara.
Sahasrara: The Crown Chakra
Our crown chakra, Sahasrara, is located at the top of our head, opposite and farthest away from our root chakra, Muladhara. It is the space where individual consciousness meets universal consciousness. Where our ego dissolves and we awaken to the knowledge that we are connected to everything around us. We are a part of something much bigger than ourselves.
The Crown Chakra in Balance
When your crown chakra is in balance, you feel connected, in all ways, to the world around you. Through that feeling of connection, your sense of purpose and sense of self will feel clear and without question. You will feel a deep sense of joy, peace, ease, and serenity. Sounds pretty great, right?
In order to feel open and balanced in your crown chakra, it’s most likely that you have done work to find ways to keep the rest of your chakras open and in balance as well. When all chakras are open and in balance, subtle energy can move through them freely. You can imagine a true union and harmony of mind, body, and spirit. Learning to open and align with each chakra takes time, experience, and wisdom. The crown chakra is one that often takes the longest to open because of the experience and awareness it takes to understand our connection to everything around us. A connection that is physical, emotional, and spiritual.
An Overactive Crown Chakra
There are a handful of signs that may point to an overactive crown chakra. When your crown chakra is overactive, you may physically experience recurring headaches, and sensitivity to light and sound. Emotionally, you may experience a lack of empathy; be caught in a cycle of addiction and living in fantasy; have difficulty focusing; overthinking; anxiety; and have a hard time making decisions or getting caught in “analysis paralysis”. Some may even find themselves rigid in religious beliefs or addicted to spirituality.
Our crown chakra can also become underactive. When this happens, one may experience a time of selfishness and greed; mental fog; depression; and/or a general feeling of lackluster energy and mindset.
If you find yourself struggling with symptoms of an overactive, or even underactive, crown chakra, there is a handful of tools that you can use to help bring this energy back into alignment
How to Bring Your Crown Chakra Into Balance
In order to bring balance to our crown chakra, we’ll look towards physical, emotional, and spiritual practices.
Physical practice: Tune in to your natural cycles
Our crown chakra is connected to our pineal gland which is responsible for producing melatonin, the natural hormone that initiates and regulates our sleep cycles. If you find that your overactive crown chakra has you staying awake late into the night, challenge yourself to wind down and prepare your body for sleep earlier. When it starts to get dark, allow the lights to dim and all screens to turn off. Be gentle and patient with yourself as you start to adapt to a new schedule.
For women, tune in to your menstrual cycle to establish a deeper connection with your body’s natural rhythms. Learn about the phases of the menstrual cycle, the phases of the moon, and how connected we are to the rhythms of the universe.
You can also integrate Sahasrara balancing shapes into your asana practice such as tree, headstand, eagle, or a seated meditation paired with alternate nostril breathing.
Emotional Practice: Connect with the natural world
There is something so powerful about immersing yourself in the natural world. So many messages and lessons that can remind us how connected we are if we allow ourselves to see. When we step into Mother Nature’s hands, she awakens all of our senses. When you connect with nature, lost among the trees or walking a path along a river, or wandering a winding ridgeline, notice how you connect to your strength. Your intuition. Feel joy, peace, fear, loneliness, and excitement for what’s to come. Marvel at your connection to your inner compass.
Spiritual Practice: Acts of Service
Since some of the signs of an overactive crown chakra are heightened ego, living in fantasy, and lack of empathy, to be of service to others can help bring this powerful energy back into balance. These can be acts big and small, all born from the intention of thinking about the well-being of others. This could be holding the door open for someone with their hands full, or donating your time and energy volunteering. You could even practice a Loving Kindness meditation, wishing peace, safety, good health, and happiness to all beings, including yourself.