Asanas for the Chakra System
Visuddha Chakra (Throat)
Since the heart chakra is the bridge between the lower, more physical energy centers and the upper, more metaphysical ones, as we ascend through the chakras, the fifth is the first primarily focused on the spiritual plane. The throat chakra, Visuddha, is associated with the color turquoise blue and with the elements sound and ether, the field of subtle vibrations ancient Indians believed pervaded the universe. Located in the neck, throat, jaw, and mouth, the Visuddha chakra resonates with our inner truth and helps us find a personal way to convey our voice to the outside world. The rhythm of music, creativity of dance, the vibration of singing, and the communication we make through writing and speaking are all fifth chakra ways to express ourselves.
Visuddha means "pure" or "purification." Purification of the body through attention to diet, yoga, meditation, and exercise opens us to experience the subtler aspects of the upper chakras. Some yogis notice that drinking more water and letting go of products such as tobacco and dairy helps to loosen up the neck and shoulders and clear the voice. In addition, sound itself is purifying. If you think of the way you feel after chanting Indian kirtans, reading poetry aloud, or simply singing along with your favorite music, you'll recognize how the vibrations and rhythms positively affect your body, right down to the cellular level.
Deficient energy in this chakra leads to neck stiffness, shoulder tension, teeth grinding, jaw disorders, throat ailments, an underactive thyroid, and a fear of speaking. Excessive talking, an inability to listen, hearing difficulties, stuttering, and an overactive thyroid are all related to excessiveness in this chakra. Depending on the ailments, different neck stretches and shoulder openers, including Ustrasana (Camel Pose), Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose), Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand), and Halasana (Plow Pose), can aid the fifth chakra.
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