As Kundalini energy rises up from the lower chakras, we enter into the realm of pure consciousness. The seventh and final chakra: Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra is the center for deeper connection with ourselves and with a force of life that is greater than ourselves. Resonating a pure light, the energy of Crown Chakra is where Ida and Pingala Nadis unite and rise through the Sushumnā Nādī.
The Sahasrara chakra is symbolized by a lotus with a thousand different colored petals, arranged in twenty layers of 50 petals. It encompasses the crown of the head, where all chakras are integrated, while it passes into infinity from the top of the head.
An active Sahasrara Chakra unifies the human mind with the higher self and takes us beyond the existence of space and time. This chakra is associated with wisdom, enlightenment and transcendence. Practicing awakening the Crown chakra will lead to dismissal of confusion, self doubt, depression, hesitation and alienation.
Here is a quick guide:
Glands/Organs: Upper part of the brain: Cerebrum
Gems/Minerals affecting it: Amethyst, Diamond, Purple Fluorite, Selentine, Quartz Crystal, Sugilite, Alexandrite
Foods: Associated with fasting or violet fruits & vegetables
As we move up the ladder, the higher chakras are more affected by mediation and inner work rather than physical work. Here is a list of some basic asanas merged with an advanced pose, Sirsasana (Headstand), which is the most effective pose to stimulate the Crown Area.
Ardha Padmasana or Half Lotus Pose
How to: Start by sitting in an easy pose (sukhasana) on the mat. For further support, beginners can sit on a cushion to stay longer in the pose. Lift the left foot and gently place it on the right thigh, while the other foot stays underneath the left thigh. Place the hands on the knees. Stay here and mediate if you can hold for long enough or practice daily to achieve the long duration required for mediation.
Why to: Lotus pose or Padamasana is one of the most opted poses for meditation as it neutralises blood pressure, balances the body and calms the mind. Directly tapping into the higher consciousness, half lotus pose extend the same benefits as a full lotus pose and is a great practice for beginners.
Vriksasana or Tree Pose
How to: Start with Mountain pose, keep the feet hip width apart. Extend your spine tall and fix your gaze forward at a focal point. Breathe in and lift the right leg and place the sole of your right foot on the left leg, inner thigh. The heel of the right leg should touch the perineum otherwise, can rest on the thigh, or even on the calf initially.
Lifting the torso upwards, take a deep breath & raise the arms up, joining the hands in Namaste mudra. If you can, take your gaze upwards towards the ceiling. Stay here for 5 to 7 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Why to: A restorative and a balancing pose, the position of the arms and gaze taps into the energies of the crown chakra. The position of the body, works from root to the tip of the head, by aligning the chakras in a string. Also, rejuvenating the mind, it strengths the whole body.
Savasana or Corpse Pose
How to: Lie gently on your back, lift your pelvis and slide your tailbone away to comfortably spread your lower back. Keep just a light, natural arch to your lower back. Rest your pelvis on the ground. Place both the feet and the arms 3 to 4 feet apart with palms facing the ceiling. Support the back of the head and neck on a folded blanket, if you like.
Now close your eyes and take a slow deep breath. As you exhale, let your body relax and sink into the floor. Maintain stillness as you relax and quiet the mind. Loosen your whole body completely, like its sinking in the floor. Stay here for as long as you like.
Why to: This pose gets its name from the posture of a dead body. It requires the stillness of a corpse, which makes it a challenging one. It helps in the repair of tissues and cells and in releasing stress. Savasana helps to calm and balance the crown chakra.
Salamba Sirsasana or Supported Headstand
How to: An advance pose, Supported Headstand can be performed by following a series of preparatory postures. An expert’s guiding presence is recommended initially.
Come in Dolphin pose and place the head in between your elbows, like your hands are cupping the tip of the head. Inhale and reach up through the balls of your feet until your body form a V, thereby raising the hips to the ceiling. The majority of the weight would have shifted to your forearms and shoulders by now. Start by lifting one leg, feet pointing upwards.
Keep the abdomen tight. Stay here for a couple of breaths and try the other leg. Keep practicing this position for a couple of days till you get a hang of the weight on the shoulders and head.
Use the abdominal muscles to raise both feet up together and draw the thighs in the abdomen. The torso should remain perpendicular to the floor. Exhale and lift the legs gently towards the ceiling.
Keep the weight evenly balanced on the two forearms. The whole procedure can be first practiced against the wall, in order to avoid any injury and gradually once you build strength you can move away from the wall.
Why to: This pose inverts the flow of the blood completely towards the head, giving rest to all the organs in the body. In Headstand, the crown of your head is on the floor, which means it is grounded and connected to the earth. An effective and a sure shot way to create awareness and balance in the crown area, this pose will restore the flow of energy in your body.
Nadi Shodhan Pranayama or Alternate Nostril Breathing
How to: Connected to the two hemispheres of the brain, our nostrils are gateways to reservoir of charged energies. This breathing practice or Pranayama balances and activates the Ida and Pingala Nadis. Sit in an easy pose and start by forming a Nasika Mudra, i.e. First two fingers folded and last two fingers and thumb stretched out.
Place the thumb on the right nostril, and inhale from the left nostril, hold your breath for 2-3 seconds. Now close the left nostril with the last two fingers and exhale from the right nostril. Again, inhale from the right, close the right nostril with the thumb and then exhale from the left. Repeat the procedure for 5 to 7 times on each side.
Why to: Nadi Shodhana pranayama helps to bring the mind back to the present moment and is an excellent breathing technique to calm and center the mind. It regulates the breath, increases the psychic abilities of the practitioner, and also balances both the hemispheres of the brain.
Other advance poses that activates and stimulate the crown chakra are Wheel Pose or Chakra Asana, Hand Stand, Crane Pose or Bakasana, Lotus Pose or Padamasana; King Pigeon Pose.
Seed Mantra Meditation
How to: OM is the seed or the beej mantra of the Crown Chakra. Sit comfortably in an easy pose, preferably away from any support. Start by taking deep breaths and bring all the attention to the mid of the fontanelle area of the head. Chant ‘OM’ loudly, and feel the chakra opening and the energy flowing in a horizontal direction, merging with infinity.
Then Chant ‘OM’ again loudly, with the energy vibrating vertically from head to toe and into the earth. Repeat the verbal chant two times more. Now, repeat the set of alternate chant of OM (horizontal movement) and OM (Vertical movement) mentally three times. Continue the chant first out loud, then mentally as long as you wish.
Why to: The seed invocation is a form of a charged mantra. The sound when chanted resonates and reaches directly to the centre of the crown chakra and immediately activates it. The beej meditation will increase the circumference of the chakra and balance it.
Removing the obstructions in the flow of energy, this pure form of meditation will integrate the whole body in one loop. The Shiva (Masculine) and Shakti (Feminine) energy, finds equilibrium here and meets the divine light.