Kyczy Hawk, facilitator of the weekly Yoga Recovery meeting on In The Rooms, has covered the seven chakras as they relate to the twelve steps in this blog series throughout the past few weeks. Lastly, she discusses the final chakra: the Crown Chakra. Read the full series from start to finish: beginning with the Root Chakra, then the Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra, and concluding with the Crown Chakra.
The Crown Chakra
The crown chakra, depicted by a thousand petaled lotus, is at the top of the energy ladder that rises up from the root chakra. Also known as the gateway, this chakra is located at the crown of our head—the passageway from our being to our higher power.
The crown chakra is where your spirit animates your physical body. In essence, it’s the place where you experience the inward flow of wisdom into the body. This chakra allows you to experience enlightenment and dynamic thought, and to convert ideas into energy that engages with your divinity. With a balanced crown chakra, you live in the present moment and become able to trust your inner guidance. This mystical chakra allows us to experience oneness with everything and everyone. In other words, it is the wheel of connection.
To Be a Child
Early recovery was a gift. For the first time, I felt teachable—that I was not the beginning and end of all I was to know. At that time, I was yearning for connection and a “new way of life.” I clearly remember standing in the circle at the end of a meeting, reciting a closing prayer, when for the first time in my life, I realized that I could be a child. For me, being a child meant that I could be led by others. I wasn’t required to know everything already—I could trust the group.
This was a moment when my crown chakra found balance, if just for a moment. I felt in community with others—that my journey was on the same path as theirs. I was in union with something greater than myself. It was an experience of finding that meeting point between my finite self (my body and ego) and the infinite (the universe and my true self).
I would like to say that that moment remained with me forever. But it did not. Like a flickering light, it came and went. It is through a few go-rounds with the steps that I have managed anything like a consistent connection with this feeling: this greater reality. Sometimes, the crown chakra is overactive, while other times, it slows. Now, I am much more familiar with it and can tell the difference.
An Overactive or Underactive Crown Chakra
Symptoms of an overactive crown chakra include the need to feel indispensable, seeking sympathy, overactive imagination and living in fantasy. When this chakra is underactive, you might feel constantly misunderstood, live in shame, dwell in a negative self image and/or lack tenderness for others and yourself.
The challenge with the crown chakra is to avoid participating in “spiritual bypass”; avoiding the mundane work of finding balance between the earthly concerns and communion with my higher power. I seek to be open to the divine (leaving the footwork to my higher power) at the same time staying firmly rooted to the ground, doing what is mine to do. While I exercise my mind in thinking, learning and knowing, I avoid being attached so that I can continue to grow in body, mind and spirit.
How can I tell if my crown chakra is out of balance? Here are some signs to look for.
- Having rigid thoughts
- Being overly concerned with others’ opinion
- Getting stuck in self-reliance
- Struggling to concentrate
- Being unable to see another’s point of view
- Experiencing analysis paralysis or “stinkin thinkin“
- Becoming mired in self-criticism
- Having a constant fear of alienation
Come back into balance with these strategies.
- Practice mantra meditation (silent repetition of OM as you meditate).
- Engage in metta meditation.
- Try inversion poses (hold legs up against the wall; downward facing dog; other more elaborate inversions like a headstand).
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Be in service.
- Wear the color purple.
- Repeat affirmations such as:
- I trust my higher power.
- I am worthy.
- I cherish my spirit.
- I am of service to others.
- I trust my intuition.
- It’s already alright.
- I am perfect the way my higher power made me.
- I accept myself completely.
The crown chakra is the seat of our intuition. As such, when I grew less reactive and more heartfelt intuitive, and relied more on my higher power to guide me once I had done all my footwork, the steps, and internal investigation, the gifts of my crown chakra materialized. It has happened for me at all stages of my recovery. See if it can happen for you.