Yoga for Activating and Balancing the Crown Chakra |
Yoga for Activating and Balancing the Crown Chakra

Yoga for Activating and Balancing the Crown Chakra

26 Nov, 2020

The crown chakra, also known as Sahasrara, is where the masculine and feminine forces, Shiva and Shakti, are said to unite. The way to access any of the chakras is through Sushumna nadi, the central channel, along which the chakras are oriented. Sushumna is connected to the ida (on the left) and pingala (on the right), associated with Shakti and Shiva, respectively. Shiva is associated with the right half of the body and Shakti with the left. The esoteric dynamic of push and pull, the masculine and feminine energies, is embodied by each of us. When we engage in Yoga asanas, we can use our physical capability to redirect potentially scattered prana into the Sushumna nadi, to have a profound and lasting sense of union between the body, mind and soul.

Makarasana (Crocodile pose)

Lie on your belly with your feet mat-width apart. Clasp your elbows and rest your forehead on your forearms. Press your abdomen against the ground to gradually smooth out your breath into a continuous wave of motion. Establish a seamlessness in the breath, smoothing out the transition between inhalation and exhalation. This is the Shiva-Shakti focus.

Supta Padangusthasana (Supine Hand-to-Big-Toe)

Roll onto your back and clasp your right big toe with the first two fingers of your right hand. Extend your left leg onto the mat.
Draw your right leg toward your torso, while keeping the right pelvic half on the floor, and maintain the lumbar curve by keeping easy space between your lower spine and the mat. Spend five breaths here, feeling the seamless quality of the breath. Open your right leg, a few inches and externally rotate the thigh, so that the kneecap and toes point away from the body. The distance between your leg and the floor should be determined by the steadiness of the breath. Once the breath becomes choppy or laboured, it is an indicator that you have gone too far. Remain here for five more breaths. Then bring your right leg back to the starting position and hold the outer edge of your foot or the strap with your left hand. Cross your right leg just over the midline of the body, keeping the right pelvic half on the floor, focusing on the sensation in the outer line of the leg rather than a twist. Return to the centre and repeat on the other side.

Chakravakasana (Ruddy Goose Pose) With Toes Tucked

Come onto your hands and knees and tuck your toes. Inhale and soften your belly, lifting your head and tail to the ceiling for a cow stretch. Exhale and perform a cat-like stretch, and then sit back onto your heels. Inhale, return to cow pose, and repeat the pose five to ten times.

Hip Circles

From table pose, inhale and lift your head, while circling your right knee to the side. Exhale and curl your knee into your chest. Repeat five times, and then change sides. Focus on the quality of your breath and physical body movement.

Ardha Ustrasana (half camel pose)

Sit on your heels and place your fingertips behind your feet, with fingers pointing forward and in line with your toes. Press your hands down onto the mat, firm your triceps, and lift your chest to your chin and your gaze forward. This head position will assist you in keeping the breath steady and even.

Malasana (Garland Pose) Variation

Make your way into a squat at the back of your mat, with your heels supported by a blanket. This can ease the pressure off the hip sockets, and it helps in maintaining smooth breathing during the sequence. Hold your outer right shin with your left hand and lean into your left inner thigh. Place your right hand on top of your right thigh above the knee. Relax your head.

Parivrtta Adho Mukha Svanasana (revolved downward facing dog)

Get into the downward dog pose. Widen your feet and narrow your hands slightly. Bend your left knee and pivot your right heel in and down, like a warrior I foot, and let your pelvis twist slightly to the right. Hold your outer right shin with your left hand and turn your chest to the right. Breathe in and breathe out along the right hemisphere of the body. Repeat on the second side, noticing asymmetries in strength and sensation.

Parsvakonasana (side angle pose)

Get into the downward dog pose, step your left foot forward outside your left hand, and spin your back heel down to set up for side angle pose. Bring your left forearm to rest on your left thigh, and turn your chest toward the right. With this slightly wider-than-usual base, your pelvis may turn slightly toward the mat. This encourages movement in the thoracic spine. Press your right heel firmly onto the mat and lengthen your leg, reaching your right arm alongside your head. Move through down dog and press your heels onto the blanket to repeat the pose on the other side.

Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)

 Get into the downward dog pose, keep your right foot between your hands, and lower your left knee onto the mat. Inhale and lift your arms up alongside your head. Clasp the elbows and rest the back of your head against your forearms. Exhale and press down into both feet to stabilize the pelvis and lengthen the spine. Use the weight of your arms on your head as a reason to keep the back of your neck long, and use the downward press of your legs to lift your chest, rather than pushing your pelvis to the floor. This is a great embodiment of the Shiva-Shakti dynamic. Hold the pose and inhale and exhale a few times. Return to downward-facing dog, and repeat the pose on the other side.

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Get into the downward dog pose, hands and knees facing one of the short edges of the mat. Cross your left knee behind and to the outside of your right knee, move your feet apart, and sit in the space between your feet. Your right knee should be stacked on top of your left, with your toes pointing out to the sides. If your spine is rounding, you can elevate your seat with a blanket or a block. Press the pinkie toes of your feet onto the mat. Reach your left arm up alongside your head and bend your elbow to touch the space between your shoulder blades. Reaching your right arm out to the side, point your thumb down and bend your elbow to reach up your back between your shoulders, clasping your hands together. If your hands do not reach each other, use a strap to connect them. Gently pull your hands in opposite directions, while stabilizing your shoulder blades onto your back. Slowly release after eight to ten breaths, and repeat on the other side.

Supta Virasana

Kneel down and then press your calf muscles away from your knees towards your ankles. Your feet should be flat on the floor so that even your pinky toes touch the mat. If your pinky toes are curling up or if your pelvis is not resting on the mat, sit on a block or a blanket. If you are seated on a prop, lean back onto your hands as in Ardha Ustrasana. With a blanket, you may be able to lower onto your forearms. If you are seated comfortably without propping, you can lower your spine to the mat or over a bolster. If you are lying back, clasp opposite elbows overhead. Smooth out the breath over eight to ten cycles. Exit this posture very slowly, coming up on an inhale, as you press your hands on the floor.


Get on all fours, and lower your elbows to the mat. Reach for the elbows to establish a balanced space between your arms, keeping elbows shoulder-width apart. Interlace your fingers with your pinky finger curled into the hand, and press your outer wrists into the mat. Place the crown of your head lightly on the floor with the back of the head lightly pressing against the heels of the hands. Tuck your toes, and press your hips to the ceiling in downward dog pose. If your lower back rounds, widen your feet and keep a slight bend in the knees to elongate the spine. If you are able to walk your feet close enough to your elbows to shift your hips over your head, you may bend your knees into your chest and extend your legs to the ceiling.
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