The seventh chakra is seen as a thousand-petaled lotus at the crown of the head, a portal through which all energy enters the chakra system. All wisdom must pass through the crown before it can be used to manifest blessings from the lower energetic centers. A blockage can cause one to be rigidly stuck in the material world of the lower chakras where the beauty and wonder of the world is absent. Excessive energy leads to extreme self-centeredness and feelings of spiritually superiority. Balance at the crown chakra allows for intuitive knowledge and blaanced spirituality where connection to the self, the world and all of life is present.
Location: Crown of head
Parts Affected: Brain
When Excessive: Constantly seeking spiritual gifts, arrogant in intelligence
When Blocked: Cannot connect to spirituality
When Balanced: Sees connection between all things
Mudra: Hakini Mudra (see Mudras for Meditation)
Bija Mantra: Ah
Touch the tips of all fingers together and sense the energetic connection between the fingers and palms.
Benefits: Engages the witness consciousness, directs breath into the entire body
Practice Tips: Use to feel inegration of mind, body and emotions
Begin in childs posture with the palms on the floor in front of the knees. As you inhale lift the hips of the heels and press the crown of the head lightly into the floor, using the hands to keep excess weight off of the head. As you exhale return to childs pose. Repeat 5-10 times.
Tratak (Candle Gazing)
We can practice this simply by sitting in a darkened room with a candle burning safely in a holder. Sit comfortably and look into the flame of the candle. Do not allow your awareness to waver from the candle’s flame, even if the eyes begin to water. Every time a thought or emotion comes to the mind, return your attention to the candle flame without judging the ease or difficulty of this exercise.
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I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.