Whether it’s a rebel yell or a soft whisper, our voice is our primary outlet into the external world.
Visuddha is our throat chakra. It radiates a blue vibrant energy at the base of our throat and frequently acts as our outward manifestation to the world.
In the fifth installment of a seven-part series here on MindBodyGreen, I'm taking a closer look at each of our chakra centers. I’m approaching the chakras, an inherently new-agey sounding concept, from a practical, “let’s get down to business,” and how this matters to me kind of way.
When you look at the chakras, and the psycho-spiritual questions that each center asks us to consider, what you really have is a practical way to figure out what it is that you want to create in your life and, importantly, what might be blocking you from getting there.
If you missed the previous posts in this series, about the root, sacral, navel and heart chakras, click here to catch up.
Rising from the fourth chakra upward, the fifth chakra is Visshudha in Sanskrit.
Color associated with Svadhisthana: Blue
Location in the body: Neck, throat, jaw and mouth
In Visuddha, we have the opportunity to bridge the lower chakras, which require an immense amount of internal work to come to fruition, with the external. Now we have our opportunity to speak our place into the world. At this energy point, we have the chance to resonate our internal existence and wisdom to the external.
This resonance may be speech, but it can also manifest as the rhythm of music, creativity of dance, vibration of song or the communication found in written word. The medium is not important; it is genuine expression that is pivotal here.
Connecting with our throat chakra, via whatever means feels most comfortable for us (or sometimes represents that which we fear most…yikes!) allows us to manifest into the world behind our own inner landscape. To share our brilliance with the world, and to take our rightful place in it, in our most authentic form.
Assessing Visuddha: A Quick Self-Test
Respond honestly (no ego here!) to the following:
- Do you easily, regularly speak what you consider “your truth?”
- Are you a good listener?
- Can you express your thoughts succinctly so that other people understand what you mean to convey?
- Are you creative? (not just art here…think writing, coming up with innovative solutions, etc.)
- Do you feel most at ease when speaking your truth, even if it goes in the face of popular convention?
If you can easily answer “yes” to these questions, or the majority of them, you may be in better connection with your throat chakra than you thought. If no was your resounding response, don’t despair, here are some Visuddha restoring practices you can undertake…
1. Come into yoga poses where the throat is laid bare (Fish/Matseyasana is a great one) and chant Visuddha’s seed or bija mantra, HAM. Know that Visuddha itself means purification. So via mantra, diet, meditation, asana and in all ways our sounds and vibrations will profoundly affect the body down to the cellular level. This effect allows for a release, a recalibration, in this chakra.
2. Let your body be the guide. In asana, emphasize throat-opening postures, i.e. fish, shoulderstand, bridge, neck rolls and plough. Breath the prana directly into the neck space, sealing your intention for the posture.
3. Contemplate a vow of silence. Sounds monastic, right? Yes, but there are other impacts. Yoga teaches us that once we become truly refined in our being what we say actually comes TRUE. Imagine. So in this tapas (discipline) we learn to remove extraneous speech, hurtful speech and to make sure that if you speak, it resonates with what necessary in speech.
For us to move integratively beyond Visuddha to the more self-reflective and spiritual chakras, we must first learn to work with the world as it is. Practice in this realm can last a lifetime. With the aid of a spiritual guide, mantra and meditation we can avoid many pitfalls to find ourselves at ease in our bodies, minds and spirits, speaking our own truths.