This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Close Banner
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

An Introduction To The Crown Chakra: What It Is + How To Balance It, From Experts

Sarah Regan
November 08, 2023
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.

Chakras are the primary energy centers of our body, and when they're flowing freely, we tend to feel light and well. When one is blocked, however, we can feel off in a range ways, depending on which chakra isn't flowing.

Here, we're diving into the crown chakra (aka Sahasrara, or the seventh chakra), including what it governs, how to tell if it's balanced versus blocked, and what to do to heal it.

What is the crown chakra?

dark figure with violet dot over crown chakra
Image by Benjavisa / iStock
  • Location: The very top of the head
  • What it controls: Inner and outer beauty, spiritual connection
  • Color: Violet/White
  • Element: Divine consciousness
  • Stone: Clear quartz
  • When it develops: 43-49 years old

The Sahasrara, or crown chakra, is the highest chakra, sitting at the crown of the head. According to yoga and meditation guru Yogi Cameron, the crown chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.

"It's the point at which the energy traveling up the spine from all the other chakras meet. It's the last domino in the chakra set, and you must open all the other chakras before you can tackle this one," Cameron explains, adding that few people will ever experience a fully opened crown chakra.

And as naturopathic doctor and reiki master Erica Matluck, N.D., previously wrote for mindbodygreen, you can think of the crown chakra as our personal gateway to the celestial world. "The crown chakra is associated with the pineal gland, which is well known for producing melatonin, the serotonin-derived hormone that affects our sleep-wake cycles," Matluck explains, adding, "The pineal gland of the brain is affected by the sun (a large celestial body) and directly connects the rhythms of the (microcosmic) human body to the rhythms of the (macrocosmic) universe."

The crown chakra, then, is our connection to the divine, and to all that is. While not all of us will fully open it in our lifetimes, many of us will catch glimpses of the bliss that comes with an open crown chakra. However, that openness isn't always easy to sustain, so even if you have a fleeting moment of blissful spiritual connection, you may find life has a way of stamping it out.

However, the more you understand this chakra and recognize the signs of an imbalance, the more you can hone it—and your spiritual connection.

Signs of a balanced crown chakra

According to Matluck, when the crown chakra is open, it provides us with the spiritual awareness that we're connected to something bigger than ourselves. "Once it is understood that we are all pieces of the same whole, that connection can never be lost," she adds.

When balanced, renowned spiritual guru Deepak Chopra previously wrote for mindbodygreen, the crown chakra is like an open lotus flower. "When the lotus unfolds its petals, the memory of wholeness is restored," he explains, adding to remember that your essential nature is unbounded. "This is the full expression of yoga—the unification of being with action, of universality with individuality."

And given that open crown chakra understands that everything is connected, Matluck says, "it allows us to put our shortsighted self-interests aside in service of the whole, transcending victimhood and isolation with trust and purpose."

Here are some other signs of a balanced crown chakra:

  • Feeling connected to the universe
  • Feeling connected to the Earth
  • Feeling connected to other people
  • Enlightenment
  • Peacefulness
  • Mental clarity
  • Good sleep hygiene
  • Acceptance

Signs of an imbalanced crown chakra

If an open crown chakra makes you feel blissfully connected to the universe, an imbalanced or blocked one will make you feel isolated, disconnected, and out of touch with anything beyond yourself.

As Matluck notes, the more we believe we are separate from one another, the environment, and the cosmos, the more disconnected and isolated we feel. "While mental health is affected by a variety of biological, social, and environmental factors, spiritual well-being is integral—the crown chakra contains the spiritual insights needed to heal this crisis of disconnection," she adds.

Here are some other signs the crown chakra is out of balance:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia
  • Rigid thoughts
  • Analysis paralysis
  • Constant fear of alienation
  • Poor balance & coordination
  • Feeling ungrounded
  • Attachment to material & earthly things

How to balance & heal your crown chakra

While the crown chakra doesn't fully develop until ages 42 to 49, even then, not everyone will fully open their crown chakra in their lifetime. All of the six lower chakras will need to be open and balanced, as well, for the crown to open.

Still, though, enlightened or not, we can all do practices to open and heal the crown chakra and cultivate more connection in our lives.

As Matluck says, the wound of the crown is disconnection, so in order to heal it, we have to reconnect. "We have to awaken our individual and collective relationships with the earth and the cosmos—we already have everything we need to heal this wound, but we have to choose to heal. We have to consciously rise into the gift of unity," she says.

Here are some rituals and practices to help you tap into crown chakra energy.

Yoga for the crown chakra

Certain yoga poses that centralize energy in the crown of your head, or support energy moving up the spine, are the best options to go for in order to balance your crown chakra. Here are a handful to try yourself:

  • Lotus pose
  • Headstand or supported headstand
  • Plough pose
  • Tree pose
  • Cow face pose
  • Rabbit pose
  • Camel pose
  • Savasana

Meditation for the crown chakra

According to author of Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self, Anodea Judith, there's no better way to access the seventh chakra than meditation. Here's her routine:

  1. Sit quietly with your spine long, either on the floor, cross-legged, or in a comfortable chair with your feet touching the floor.
  2. To support the seventh chakra from a balanced place, align your core by sending your imaginary roots down into the earth from the base of your spine and lifting the top of your head up to the heavens, what I call "Roots down and lift the crown." The vertical line that runs between the middle of your crown and the middle of your base chakra is your core. This keeps you centered and grounded as you meditate.
  3. Then imagine breathing light up your core on the inhalation and back down again on the exhalation. This strengthens that center line, which in yoga is called the sushumna.
  4. Then imagine opening your crown chakra like the thousand-petaled lotus flower that is its symbol. Drink in the energy of grace, consciousness, or guidance the way a flower drinks in sunlight, drinking it in and pulling it down through the crown into the body. Pull it down the stem of the core all the way to the roots. Realize there is an infinite supply of light, so keep on drinking it in, as you allow your mind to empty and your body to fill with light. Continue imagining light pouring into your crown until your mind is quiet and your whole body feels filled with radiant white light. Bask in the glory of that light and stillness as long as you are able.
  5. When you are ready to exit the meditation, take your time. Don't immediately disconnect from this radiant inner state, but practice a dual focus, one eye looking within, the other without, so you maintain your radiant state as you return to the world and normal activities.

Pranayama for the crown chakra

Pranayama, or breath control, is a way of breathing in a specific pattern for a specific purpose, and some of them are more suited to particular chakras than others.

One pranayama, called Nadī shodhana (or alternate-nostril breathing) has been backed by research1 to help people get into a more relaxed state. After a four-week alternate-nostril breathing routine, participants showed reductions in their pulse rate, respiratory rate, and diastolic blood pressure—all great things if you're looking to bring your crown chakra into a more balanced state.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Sit in a comfortable seated position.
  2. Press your pointer and middle finger of your right hand together. Place them on the upper bridge of your nose, between the eyebrows, so the thumb falls on the outside of the right nostril and your ring finger is outside your left nostril.
  3. Close the eyes and gently apply pressure to your right nostril using your thumb until it's closed. Inhale slowly through the left nostril for three counts.
  4. Release the right nostril and gently apply pressure to your left nostril using the ring finger. Exhale slowly through the now-open right nostril for three counts. Then, inhale through the right nostril for three counts.
  5. Release the left nostril, and gently apply pressure to the right nostril again. Exhale through the left nostril for three counts. This concludes one sequence. (It always starts and finishes on the left side.)
  6. Repeat for up to 5 minutes, or longer if you're comfortable. You can increase the length of inhales and exhales beyond three seconds—just make sure they are consistent. Keep your pointer and middle finger on the bridge of the nose for the entire practice.

Crystals for the crown chakra

If you're privy to the world of crystal healing, it's believed that certain gemstones have energetic vibrational properties that make them suited for bringing balance to the body. Namely, certain crystals are used for chakras depending on their color or properties.

The following crystals are associated with the crown chakra:

A ritual bath for the crown chakra

Another way to work with the crown chakra is to take a healing ritual bath, according to crystal expert Deborah Haugen. She recommends this ritual bath specifically for the crown.

What you'll need:

  • Frankincense and/or blue chamomile essential oil
  • Crystals associated with the crown chakra (i.e., amethyst, clear quartz, selenite, etc.)
  • Astragalus root and/or lavender herbal tea
  • Himalayan or Epsom salts


  1. Add the suggested crystals to your tub before running your bathwater. Be sure to cleanse your crystals first. If the crystals aren't recommended to be placed in water, just keep them on the side of the tub.
  2. Run your bath, adding 1 cup of Himalayan or Epsom salts to help you relax and support cleansing.
  3. Create an atmosphere. Color can influence mood, so consider using a colored light bulb in a relaxing hue. Candles are great additions, too, and playing soft music can help you relax.
  4. Once the bathtub is filled to the brim (you want to be able to soak your entire body), add 8 to 10 drops of the essential oils and swish the water to mix in the oils. Keep in mind that some essential oils can irritate the skin, even when in water. Reference this list for ones that you shouldn't add to your bath.
  5. If you want to add herbs, you can make a strong herbal tea and add that to your bathwater. Or, if you prefer, you may make a cup of tea to sip while you soak.
  6. Get in and enjoy! Feel free to pair this bath with a crown chakra meditation for added benefit.

Affirmations for the crown chakra

Affirmations are great for any chakra because you can tailor your individual affirmation to the themes of that chakra. Come up with any affirmation you like relating to themes of connectedness, universal love, etc., or try any of the following on for size:

  • I am filled with greatness.
  • I let go and I trust the process of life.
  • I am a vessel for love and light.
  • I am connected to all that is.

Mantra for the crown chakra

Each of the seven chakras is associated with a one-syllable mantra, with the mantra for the crown chakra being "OM" or "AUM," according to therapist and certified ashtanga yoga teacher Vasavi Kumar, LMSW.

When said aloud, Om (or Aum) actually sounds like a three-part word. "The A represents creation, U is manifestation, and M is destruction," explains Kumar, who adds, "It's basically all-encompassing—the whole universe joined into a single sound. It represents the union of the mind, body, and the spirit."

Mudra for the crown chakra

Mudras (the Sanskrit word for "gesture") are used in yoga to cultivate awareness toward certain energetic fields within the subtle body—and some of them can be useful for the throat chakra, according to certified yoga instructor Andrea Rice.

She recommends the Mudra of A Thousand Petals, which can be used for the crown chakra to help "open the gateway to the crown chakra's domain of universal consciousness, divinity, and transcendence." Here's how to do it:

  1. Get in a comfortable seated position.
  2. Place the tips of your two thumbs together and your two index fingers together, forming a triangle shape.
  3. Allow the remaining fingers to extend upward, keeping them straight.
  4. Raise this mudra about 6 to 7 inches above the crown of your head.
  5. Hold for one to five minutes.


What does the crown chakra do?

The crown chakra is our connection to the divine, the universe, and all that is.

What happens when your crown chakra is blocked?

When your crown chakra is blocked, your connection to the universe and life outside yourself is cut off, leaving you feeling disconnected, isolated, without soul purpose, etc.

How do I activate my crown chakra?

To activate your crown chakra, you will first need to make sure your lower six chakras are open and healed. Then, focus on cultivating connection to the universe, the Earth, and other people.

What emotions block the crown chakra?

Emotions that block the crown chakra include any emotion that blocks the lower six chakras (i.e., fear, guilt, shame, etc.) because the crown cannot open if any of the lower chakras are blocked. Depression and loneliness also specifically impact the crown.

The takeaway

If your crown chakra is out of balance, you aren't able to experience all the connection life has to offer. Even if yours never fully opens, you can still work on healing and opening it, and that starts with addressing your lower six chakras, as well as cultivating connectedness to the universe around you.

Watch Next

Enjoy some of our favorite clips from classes

Watch Next

Enjoy some of our favorite clips from classes

What Is Meditation?

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Light Watkins

Box Breathing

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Gwen Dittmar

What Breathwork Can Address

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Gwen Dittmar

The 8 Limbs of Yoga - What is Asana?

Yoga | Caley Alyssa

Two Standing Postures to Open Up Tight Hips

Yoga | Caley Alyssa

How Plants Can Optimize Athletic Performance

Nutrition | Rich Roll

What to Eat Before a Workout

Nutrition | Rich Roll

How Ayurveda Helps Us Navigate Modern Life

Nutrition | Sahara Rose

Messages About Love & Relationships

Love & Relationships | Esther Perel

Love Languages

Love & Relationships | Esther Perel

Related Videos (10)

What Is Meditation?

Box Breathing

What Breathwork Can Address

The 8 Limbs of Yoga - What is Asana?

Two Standing Postures to Open Up Tight Hips

How Plants Can Optimize Athletic Performance

What to Eat Before a Workout

How Ayurveda Helps Us Navigate Modern Life

Messages About Love & Relationships

Love Languages

This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

More On This Topic

more Mindfulness
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.