The Throat Chakra (Vishuddha) is the fifth of the seven energy centers within the subtle body, associated with communication and consciousness, and how we express our authentic truth.
As a yoga teacher and writer, expressing myself and communicating with others is vital to my career. The color associated with the Throat Chakra is indigo, which happens to be one of my favorite colors.
Exploring yoga poses to soothe and open the throat is integral to my personal yoga practice and my teaching. Giving your throat and neck a little extra love with help balance energy the energy there, aiding in communication, self-expression and creativity. Here are five simple yoga poses that do just that!
1. Easy Neck Release
To warm up the throat, start with a gentle release to soften and open your neck.
Make your way into a comfortable seated position. Place the index and middle fingers of your right hand on your left temple. Inhale deeply and draw the crown of the head toward the sky and tuck the chin into the chest.
As you exhale, tip the right ear toward your right shoulder. Use your fingers as a guide to apply gentle pressure to the temple.
Stay for 10 to 15 breaths, releasing the right shoulder down and away from the ear. To release, gently prop your head upright using your fingers. Switch sides.
2. Baby Cobra Pose
From your seated position, make your way onto your stomach. Let the chin rest on the floor and draw the big toes together. Place the arms under the shoulder blades and tuck your elbows tightly in by your ribs.
On an inhale, lift the head and chest from the mat and gaze softly a few inches in front of your hands. Feel the abdominal muscle engage against the floor as the neck opens. Keep the elbows tucked tightly against the ribs to work the biceps. As you exhale, lower the head and chest and rest the chin on the floor.
If you want to open the neck further, lift the head and chest higher and let the bottom ribs graze the floor to explore the full expression of Cobra Pose, straightening through your elbow. Be mindful of any strain on your low back.
Complete up to 5 reps and roll over onto your back.
3. Supported Fish Pose
Supported Fish Pose can make you feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. Breathe into the sensations, letting the neck and shoulders release as the throat and heart begin to open up.
Place a block between your shoulder blades. Lower the mid-back over the block (at the back of your heart) and let the head and neck release down toward the floor, opening the throat to the sky.
Find a comfortable leg position, such as stretching the legs long or bending the knees and placing the feet on the floor.
If you don’t have a block, using a small pillow or rolled-up blanket. Stay for at least 10-15 breaths.
4. Shoulder Stand
Shoulder Stand is a great counter-pose for the back and shoulders after coming out of Fish Pose. This inversion reverses circulation and sends fresh blood to the throat.
Lie flat on your back with your arms and legs extended. Lift your legs into the air and flex the feet flat like you’re going to talk a walk on the ceiling. Roll the torso up and off of the mat to take the weight of the legs and torso onto your shoulders. Use your arms and hands as kickstands to support your lower back.
Stay for 5-10 breaths.
5. Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose
If Shoulder Stand is not in your practice, try Legs up the Wall for a modified inversion.
Lie next to a wall on the floor or bed and extend the legs skyward, flexing the feet flat. Stay for 5-10 breaths before gently releasing into Savasana to rest for a few minutes.