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What do you have to say? Something, for sure. Whatever it is, opening your throat chakra (vishuddha) can help you get the word out.
The chakras are the seven wheels of energy in the body, starting from the crown of your head and down the body to the base of your spine. Chakras are commonly thought of as energy vortices—spiraling wheels of energy. When they are spinning properly, each chakra allows energy to flow and move freely so that you are moving in harmony and alignment. However, if one of these wheels becomes blocked or out of alignment with the others, your well-being can suffer. You may feel physically, mentally, or emotionally “off.”
The vishuddha or throat chakra acts as the body’s communication hub. It’s where you find your voice, speak your truth, and sing praises—for yourself and others. This chakra is associated with speaking up and expressing yourself, but also with hearing and being heard. Philosophically, the vishuddha chakra is associated with truth, clarity, and responsibility.
Let’s delve into the fifth chakra: what it is, how to identify blockages, and how to open it to ensure your throat energy is flowing freely once again.
Listen to meditation leader and sound healer Kendal Esquerre describe the throat chakra.
See also: A Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras
What is the throat chakra?
The vishuddha chakra is associated with the throat, but also the tongue, lips, cheeks, jaw, and ears, as well as the back and lower part of the neck, and even the shoulders. Its area of influence is the space from the shoulder girdle, up the neck to the chin, and along the cervical spine to the base of the skull.
In her book MetaAnatomy, Kristin Leal describes this chakra as the “tollbooth between the emotions and the mind.” You can think of it as the path of communication between the lower chakras to the higher ones.
The first four chakras—muladhara (root), svadhisthana (sacral or pelvic), manipura (navel), and anahata (heart)—are associated with earth elements and the physical body. The ajna (third eye) and sahasrara (crown) chakras are associated with light, beauty, intuition, and cosmic or spiritual energy. The throat chakra is the link between these realms. As Leal says, it’s “the highway between the individual and the universal.” It connects the energies between your basic needs and your higher wisdom.
Kendal Esquerre explains that the throat chakra works in conjunction with the sacral or pelvic chakra. The svadhisthana chakra is the seat of your creativity. In order for those creative ideas to flourish and manifest they have to have a way to express themselves. That’s where the vishuddha comes in. Your creative ideas need the throat chakra energy to be able to find “voice” in the world.
- Element: Sound or space
- Color: Blue
- Bija mantra (seed sound): Ham (pronounced hum)
- Stones and crystals: Aquamarine, turquoise, and other blue stones
How do I know if my throat chakra is unbalanced?
Emotional signs that the throat chakra may be blocked are feelings of depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem. This may be worsened by being unable to express those feelings.
A throat chakra blockage is often associated with the inability to speak. Something needs to be said, but you just can’t seem to work up the nerve to spit it out. Or you want to say something, but find a lump in your throat or a catch in your voice. This imbalance may also manifest as a fear of speaking in public or even talking openly with people you know. Or perhaps you may speak in a voice so low you can’t be easily heard.
A blocked vishuddha chakra may make you unwilling or unable to speak up to defend yourself, express your opinion, or state your choices. When difficult conversations arise, you may shut down rather than speak up.
While the throat chakra is associated with being silenced, an imbalance in the opposite direction may be signaled by a tendency to talk too much or ramble on without a clear point. You may tend to put your foot in your mouth, use inappropriate language, or make misstatements. If you find yourself interrupting or talking over other people, dominating the conversation, or needing to have the last word, you may want to look for ways to tone down the vishuddha energy.
Signs of blocked vishuddha energy
- Thyroid problems
- Sore throat
- Sores in the mouth or tongue
- Gum disease
- Ear infections
- Sinus infections
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues
- Tight shoulders
Why should you align your throat chakra?
If clear communication and careful hearing is your goal, taking care of the throat is important. A balanced throat chakra helps you communicate with clarity, wisdom and discernment.
When your throat chakra is open and balanced, you will find that you are not only able to speak fearlessly and with compassion, but you will also be open to listening to and hearing others.
Being able to talk openly and honestly—but with care and concern for others—is a gift to all your relationships. You’ll be able to articulate your ideas, feelings and opinions clearly. When you’re able to express thoughts with clarity, you may also find that you feel heard and understood.
Healthy communication includes nonverbal and internal communication. Speaking truth to yourself—and walking consistently in that truth—is a pathway to enlightenment.
How to open your throat chakra
There are a number of practices that can help you heal and balance your throat chakra.
- Protect your neck. A scarf or clothing that cozies up to your neck can help you bring attention to the throat area.
- Follow the practice of professional singers who rely on warm tea and honey to keep the throat in fine shape.
- Try sore throat herbs such as slippery elm, marshmallow, or elderberry.
- Practice yoga poses that bend and stretch the neck (see below).
- Chant, sing, or hum to start your throat literally vibrating.
- Do pranayama practices that focus attention on the throat
Yoga asana for vishuddha chakra
When you are trying to awaken and tone your throat chakra, focus on poses that work the neck. Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) and Halasana (Plow Pose) compress the front of the throat. Bhujangasana (Cobra), Adho Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose), Marjaryasana/Bitilasana (Cat/Cow), and Matsyasana (Fish) stretch the neck.
Be careful not to crane the neck forward in standing or upright seated poses. This disconnects heart from head, says Kristin Leal. Keep the chin very slightly pulled back and sit or stand erect.
Meditation for the throat chakra
“The throat chakra is all about expression and communication,” says yoga and meditation teacher Sara Raymond, co-founder of the Mindful Movement. “As the energetic pathway narrows, moving from the heart up to the throat, the energy within you is brought into higher consciousness and communicates the message from your body.”
Listen to her meditation designed to help you open up this important pathway and help you speak your authentic truth.
Pranayama for the throat chakra
Breathwork that focuses on moving air across the throat can help balance the throat chakra. Practice Simhasana (Lion’s Breath) to open your throat chakra area. Also try these tips from Aadil Palkhivala on how to get the most from your Ujjayi Breath.
Chanting for the throat chakra
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