The chakras are psycho-spiritual centers located throughout our body. They are similar to old CD-ROMs because they are said to be spinning disks that record our life experiences. This post is the seventh and final post in our Chakra 101 series. To learn more about the chakras, please visit this post.
The seventh chakra’s name is Sahasrara, which means “thousand-petaled”. The seventh chakra is located at the top of the head and governs the pineal gland. Sahasrara is associated with our connection to our higher selves and to the Numinous. Disharmony in this chakra is often indicated by feelings of disconnection, depression, boredom, and apathy.
Connection to others…
The crown chakra represents our connection to others, ourselves, and the Numinous. In a COVID-19 aware world, finding ways of staying connected to others is more challenging than ever. Although physical distancing is necessary in order to avoid spreading the disease, disconnection takes a toll on our psychological well-being. Humans are naturally social creatures who need physical contact. Being consensually touched by a loved-one soothes anxiety, alleviates depression, and make stress more manageable. Touch-starvation occurs when physical contact is greatly limited. It can worsen the effects of and even lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. Finding ways to safely stay connected to others while physically distancing is critically important.
Connection to ourselves…
Most of us have had the experience of feeling disconnected from ourselves. In psychology, this state is referred to as depersonalization or derealization. It usually occurs during times of intense stress or anxiety. We may experience disconnection from ourselves in order to cope with painful emotions. The problem is that we miss out on other emotions such as joy, pleasure, and excitement.
Our emotions -the ones we enjoy and the ones we don’t- inform the actions we take and the decisions we make. We experience more internal conflict when we are disconnected from our emotions. Disconnection from selves contributes to greater degrees of indecision, self-doubt, and lower self-esteem. This leads to more feelings of apathy, depression, and lack of control.
Yoga and ultimate connection.
Yoga is this state of ultimate connection. The work of the crown chakra is to maintain our connection to the Numinous. When we feel connected at this level, we are able to more peacefully navigate our thoughts and emotions. Regardless of our beliefs about the Universe and our place in it, we all want to live meaningful lives. Regularly connecting with something greater than ourselves allows us to live deeply with a sense of purpose.
Practices for Sahasrara Chakra.
- In the age of COVID-19, maintain social connections in whatever capacity you are able. You may or may not be able to be in the physical company of friends and family. Although technological connection is no substitute for being in the presence of others, regularly connecting to loved ones through online mediums can help alleviate overwhelming loneliness.
- Experience yourself as an embodied being. Notice your body. Whatever activity or inactivity you undertake, pay attention to how you feel. You don’t have to judge your experience as good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant. Instead, stay aware of the feelings whether they are comfortable or uncomfortable.
- Spend time in nature. Get grounded by noticing the places where your body touches the earth. If it is safe for you to do so, perhaps even walk barefoot in the grass! Many people find this to be a deeply healing experience.
- Journaling is a helpful way to process emotions and organize one’s thoughts. Writing shortly after waking up helps us to “clear the mental clutter. Author Julia Cameron recommends writing three notebook pages first thing in the morning as a daily practice.
- In yoga, Sadhana is our daily spiritual practice. This does not necessarily refer to practicing yoga poses, although that could be part of it. A daily spiritual practice should allow us to experience our connection to the Numinous. It could include things like prayer, meditation, studying sacred scripture, or whatever allows one to feel their innated connection to Source. If you don’t have a daily spiritual practice, you can begin with something as simple as setting an uplifting intention, lighting a candle, and sitting quietly for five minutes.