All life is rhythmic. From the rise and fall of the sun to the rise and fall of our breath, from the beating of our heart to the infinite vibrations of atomic particles within our cells, we are a mass of vibrations that miraculously resonate together as a single system. In fact, our ability to function as a unified whole depends upon the coherent resonance of the many subtle vibrations within us. The task of the fifth chakra is to enhance this resonance.
― Anodea Judith.
The throat chakra, Vishuddha, is the fifth of the seven chakras.
Vishuddha translates to ‘purifier’ in Sanskrit and represents our ability to express, speak, communicate, voice opinions, and bring our authentic vision and values to the world.
The discovery of inner power and purpose is associated with the throat chakra.
The upper chakras relate to the masculine intellectual realm (Shiva) and the ethereal properties to manifest and give birth to ideas. Connecting to the lower chakras relates to the creative feminine realm (Shakti) and the physical properties to amass the strength and focus for our desires.
Vishuddha chakra is where we develop a voice for our dreams and aspirations.
It’s where we find the ability to vocalize our purpose and bring our inner dialogues out into the world for others to witness. The throat chakra is where we develop the confidence and free will to express our authenticity, bridging the gap between our creative second chakra and the all-seeing awareness of the sixth chakra at the third eye.
Keep reading to see the throat chakra themes, blockages, imbalances, yoga classes, and questions.
Throat Chakra Themes
Brilliant blue is the color for the throat chakra. Blue has a calming effect on the mind and body since it is on the cooler spectrum of colors. It is also associated with freedom, spaciousness, sensitivity, and imagination.
Ham is the bija seed mantra to stimulate the throat chakra. The element is ether to express the expansiveness in perception and intuition.
The thyroid gland is responsible for processing energy in the body through temperature, growth, and metabolism. Its location is at the neck, close to the throat chakra.
It is a vital hormone gland that helps regulate many of the body’s functions by releasing a steady stream of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream.
Truth and purification are two of the main themes associated with Vishuddha.
The Eightfold Path of Buddhists provides an outline of practices to lead to the release of suffering.
Right speech is one of eight precepts for practice to develop the connection of the body-mind.
It includes abstaining from lying, divisive and abusive speech, and idle chatter.
Developing the right speech would be speaking what you know to be true and beneficial to others.
Understanding how gossip, assumption, judgment, prejudice, and fear shade our language and completely shift the receiver’s dynamic is part of honoring right speech.
As you cultivate a practice for right speech, you might ask yourself:
Is this statement true?
Will this statement bring the other person some benefit?
What is my intention in what I am about to say?
Are these words my own, or am I speaking through a layer of social/cultural conditioning?
The purification process through the throat chakra occurs when we acknowledge how we feel and vocalize our truth.
Discovering this truth is an individual process and often requires space for inner reflection through meditation.
Our mind-body connection is one of the powers of yoga as we become better at sitting with how we feel and developing skills in language to communicate with the world.
Color: Bright Blue
Psychological Function: Inspiration, Expression, Communication, Attunement
Body Part: Mouth, jaws, neck, throat, tongue, neck.
Organ: Respiratory organs including lungs, pharynx, larynx, trachea, and bronchi.
Words and how we communicate our feelings and needs are associated with the fifth chakra.
Clear and effective communication includes expressing our thoughts and feelings without assumptions, fears, or judgments of others influence over our speech.
The language we choose creates our reality. Selecting the correct words to describe ourselves and our actions shapes who we become and how we see ourselves in the world.
Observing the words we choose and their origin may give us insight into whether or not the language we’ve learned shares our current vision and values.
How we feel is directly correlated to our thoughts and the words we choose to describe our experience.
The words we choose shape our attitude, preserve culture, keep traditions alive that may or may not serve.
Sound and the Healing Power of Mantra
Mantras are repeated words or phrases that aid in meditation and are a powerful tool to tap into the energy of the throat chakra. Chanting mantra is a way to evolve communication and expression, deepen listening skills, and refine sensitivities of the subtle body.
When we chant a mantra, the sound currents and vibrations interact with our brainwaves and the body’s energy field.
Through mantra, we activate the electric impulses in our brain that control our thoughts and hormone secretion.
Emotions are generated from the process of the brain’s electrical impulses activating the release of hormones into the body.
Repeating mantra subconsciously redirects the brain’s electrical impulses to induce a calm state and rewire the brain to improve our attitude and habitual beliefs.
Mantra is a Sanskrit word from man, meaning mind, and tra, meaning instrument. The purpose of mantra is to release the mind from unconscious thought patterns that trigger the release of hormones and influence our emotional state.
The repetition of a mantra out loud may induce a state of meditation where the sound waves and vibration release stuck and/or stagnant energies, purging the unconscious thoughts and emotions that don’t serve and cause disease.
The brain’s neural pathways are created through mantras to amplify our ability to bring our truth to the physical world, manifest our desires, and acknowledge our prayers.
Chanting synchronizes the right and left hemispheres of the brain, bringing more oxygen to the brain and reducing the heart rate and blood pressure.
On a metaphysical level, the vibration of sound through mantra brings us to a positive frequency that aligns with the natural environment.
Benefits of Mantra:
Stimulates the brain’s emotional center—the amygdala—which plays a vital role in processing intense states such as anger and fear.
Chanting initiates the parasympathetic nervous system—rest and digest— to calm the mind and body.
Mantra’s produce delta waves, which are associated with the deepest levels of relaxation and restoration.
Blockages and Imbalances
A sore throat or neck are physical signs of a blocked throat chakra.
Hypothyroidism or hormonal imbalances are also signs that there may be an imbalance at the throat chakra.
Poor communication and the inability to express oneself are the main manifestations of a blocked throat chakra. Lies and the use of negative words erupt when we do not know how to feel safe in expressing how we feel.
Fear of rejection or being misunderstood are reasons people tell untruths or do not express themselves.
Vishuddha is connected to speaking the truth, honoring our feelings, and communicating what we need to others. Sometimes, we may not feel supported or lack the vocabulary to do so.
Learning how to convey our thoughts and feelings, set boundaries, and speak from a creative, respectful, and courageous place is the role of the throat chakra.
It is also where we develop the ability to listen and stay present for what others are going through. To be a good listener, we must stay fully present and engaged with the moment.
Connecting to our emotions and telling others how we feel or what we are going through creates a deeper connection and intimacy. We can move through conflict without becoming aggressive or detached.
We create a meaningful connection with those around us, the world, and most importantly, within ourselves.
Yoga to Balance the Throat Chakra
Do a yoga class that works with Vishuddha:
Blue Throat Vinyasa
A slow flow that opens the hamstrings, side body, shoulders, heart, and chest that builds toward shoulder stand as your peak pose.
Connect to Your Voice Slow Flow
A slow flow that features the students of Lila Vinyasa Yoga, this class explores movement, mantra, and meditation.
- Where Our Attention Goes Vinyasa – Audio Only
A strong vinyasa that works with binds and deep backbends, this class lengthens the inner thighs, stretches the outer hips, and opens the shoulders as you prep bound lizard pose.
Questions for the Throat Chakra:
What were the stories that shaped you as a child?
How does your language inform your lifestyle- do your words align with your actions?
Were you listened to as a child when you spoke? Who did you speak with?
Do you listen to others and give them your undivided attention when they speak?
Who do you share your truth with? Do you have someone you can be open and honest with, no matter what?
What are the messages you surround yourself with? On the television, in books, in movies, and in other forms of media and art?
Do you withhold information out of fear of rejection or judgment?
Do you state what is true, necessary, and kind in a timely fashion to others?
Do you ask questions of others to learn more about them or the situation you’ve shared or experienced?
Do you tell little lies to protect yourself or someone else from the truth and the possibility of being hurt?
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A Brief Introduction to the Chakras
Chakra translates as ‘wheel’ or ‘disk’ and refers to the energy points of the subtle body.
We have thousands of chakras in our bodies. The ones we focus on as yogis go up to our main energy channel, Sushumna, the spine, which starts at the pelvis and goes through the middle of the torso to the top of the head.
The seven chakras are located at Sushumna. The first one, Muladhara, is at the base. The second one, Swadhisthana, is just below the belly button. The third one, Manipura, is at the solar plexus, and The fourth one, Anahata at the heart. The fifth one, Vishuddha, goes to the throat. The sixth one, Ajna, is at the third eye center, the middle of the head. And then the seventh one, Sahasrara, is the top, the head, or just above the head, depending upon who you talk to.
It’s said that at the base of our pelvis sits our creative force known as Shakti or Kundalini. This is this dormant creative force that lives inside of the pelvis. As yogis, we want to ignite or awaken that energy to have it rise from the pelvis to our third eye center, where our consciousness lives. When the kundalini energy rises, it’s said that we are awakened or receive enlightenment.
When the chakras are open, the energy flows freely, and we are awakened.
The asanas and pranayamas help to move the stagnant energy that day-to-day life can create in the body. Yoga is a way to clear the stagnant energy by observing the themes and blockages of each chakra and then creating a practice to clear and move the energy.
Prana (energy) flows through the human body’s 72,000 nadis (energy channels). The Prana that moves through the nadis is also what feeds and sustains the chakras.
The body is our initial connection to the earth, and yoga is a tool to shift how we feel. We can always return to the practice- asana, pranayama, or meditation. We might use these as tools to shift states of dis-ease. The practice allows us to return to a place where we are grounded and feel a sense of belonging.