Do you speak your mind?
Do you have the confidence to stand up for yourself and your beliefs?
Do you have a positive relationship with the truth, or do you hide behind hurt, deception, or manipulation?
Do you take on the emotions and energy of those around you, often experiencing overwhelming feelings of guilt over your inability to fix the world’s problems?
Your next step on your journey through the main chakras toward a more blissful life is centered around chakra number five, located atop your root chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, and heart chakra, and directly below your third eye chakra and crown.
What is the Throat Chakra?
The throat chakra, also called Vishuddha, is thought to reside near the larynx and thyroid gland. The Sanskrit word visha means poison or impurity, and suddhi means to purify.
Thus, vishuddha refers to “impurity which has been purified.” Notice the double emphasis on the Sanskrit word for “pure,” and how the translation for this chakra meaning shines the spotlight on the action of purifying.
This is because the throat chakra is considered the location for a range of purifying functions in the body and spiritual being.
Why is the Fifth Chakra Important?
When your yoga teacher instructs you to use the victorious breath, or ujjayi breath, you activate jalandhara bandha, also called the throat lock. In doing so, your throat becomes a filter for the oxygen you breathe, removing impurities before the air arrives in your lungs.
The unique location of vishuddha chakra makes it the gateway between the muladhara chakra, svadhishthana chakra manipura chakra, anahata chakra, and the upper chakras of ajna chakra, or the third eye chakra, and your sahasrara chakra.
Thus, in order for kundalini energy to pass through this energy center up to your highest energy centers, you must do the work of purification. (Remember that emphasis on the action of purifying.)
As you work on balancing each of the chakras below the neck and shoulders, you naturally begin to purify yourself of negative thoughts, lethargy, fear, emotional stubbornness, and feelings of inadequacy.
Healing the throat chakra helps bring our natural element of space, or ether, into balance. By cultivating this spaciousness, or openness, we free ourselves from the conditioning that keeps us from living truthfully.
When we heal a throat chakra blockage, clear communication becomes second nature. We find that the ability to communicate our boundaries, feelings, and thoughts comes effortlessly.
Likewise, when our throat chakra center is in balance, our ears remain open to the truth when spoken by an external voice. We don’t live in denial, insisting that our version of reality must be true!
Where there is space, truth can flow. Where there is fear, there may be a throat chakra blockage.
What Does a Vishuddha Chakra Blockage Feel Like?
If you feel as though you haven’t found your voice, you could be experiencing a blocked throat energy center.
If you regularly suffer from a sore throat or thyroid disorders, or have a soft-spoken or timid voice, energy may not be reaching your highest chakras.
Take a glimpse into your relationships.
Does poor communication stand out like a sore thumb? Does your ability to communicate, or lack thereof, prevent you from hearing powerful vibration in your life force? Does your overactive mind allow negative energy to take over when you try to meditate?
Then try using chakra colors to support your healing and balancing.
Bust out your sodalite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and other blue stones and crystals and get to work healing the throat chakra.
Methods of Throat Chakra Healing
It should come as no surprise that chanting is an especially important practice for a healthy and open throat chakra.
If you’ve never tried chanting before, I especially recommend giving it a go.
When you chant, the energetic vibrations can be perceived on a physical level. So, you can experience the actual sensation of releasing blockages. I’ve always thought it feels like a massage, working through any knots or tension in the energetic structure of my being.
The seed vibration, or bija mantra of the throat chakra is “Ham,” which rhymes with “thumb.”
How appropriate, given that this mantra sounds exactly like the action used to create an open throat chakra.
You can try connecting to the kundalini energy of your higher chakras by placing your hands over your fifth chakra energy center, covering your throat and allowing your palms to absorb the vibrations of kundalini as you hum.
Close your eyes to connect more deeply with this powerful spiritual buzzing. If you would like to try a different fifth chakra mantra, or a mantra in English, experiment with the following:
- I speak the truth, lovingly.
- I am unafraid to ask for what I want.
- I am fearless, I am free.
Chakra Yoga Poses
Yoga postures that create space and flexibility in the neck, shoulders, and chest will all aid in throat chakra balancing.
The breath plays a special role in the healthy functioning of this energy center. Dedicating time and energy to your breath practice, or pranayama, is a wonderful way to keep chakra imbalance at bay.
Many of us suffer from blocked throat chakra energy due to tightness in the muscles that help us take deep breaths.
When we carry tension in our shoulders without realizing it, or when we suffer from poor posture, we shrink the amount of space our lungs have to expand.
The result? Shallow inhale followed by pant-like exhale. Increased heart rate and a regular dump of stress chemicals into your bloodstream. Sore neck, slumped posture. Basically, no fun.
Connect with the Ether element and maintain spaciousness in your throat chakra region by adding these yoga postures into your yoga practice.
Yoga Pose 1. Head Sundials
Begin in a comfortable upright seat. With your arms and shoulders relaxed, lengthen the crown of your head upwards and send your chin slightly backward to create a long straight line with the back of your neck.
Slowly drop your right ear down toward your right shoulder, breathing length into the left side of your neck. Hold for 3-5 breaths and repeat on the left side.
Return to a tall, neutral spine and lower your chin toward your chest, stretching the top of your spine. Slowly lift your gaze and tilt your head back until you feel a gentle opening in the front of your throat and collarbones, avoiding any crunching sensation in the back of the neck.
Yoga Pose 2. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
If you own two yoga blocks for your yoga practice, place them in a T-shape near the top of your mat. You want to top of the ‘T’ to be at a lower height than the bottom of the ‘T.’
If you don’t own blocks, no stress. You can fold up two towels or blankets to create two different heights of support.
Lay back with the taller prop between your shoulder blades, and the back of your head resting on the top of the T. Make small adjustments until you can lay back with arms outstretched, head supported but tilted back, without discomfort or pain. Bring your feet together so that your knees fold out to the sides.
Rest in this chakra balancing restorative pose for 5-7 minutes, feeling your breath pass through the gateway of your throat.
Yoga Pose 3. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
When dealing with a chakra imbalance, it is equally important to correct an overactive throat chakra. Regulate your thyroid with gentle stimulation in this beginner-friendly version of salamba sarvangasana.
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet planted on the floor hip-width distance apart. When you reach your arms down alongside your body, your fingers should just brush the backs of your heels.
Take a yoga block or a folded up towel and gently squeeze it between your knees. Keeping your neck neutral, inhale to lift your hips up until you feel gentle compression in the front of your neck. Slide a block or prop underneath your sacrum, the lowest part of your spine, rest for 5-10 breaths, and exhale to release back down to the ground.
Notice the rush of fresh blood to the thyroid region of your throat as you let go of the compression in the pose.
Throat Chakra Meditation
The goal of this meditation is to tune into the function of the throat as the gateway between heart and mind, through which the breath is always passing.
Sitting comfortably with a tall spine, close your eyes and invite your awareness to follow the very edge of your breath: staying with it as it passes through your nostrils, hits the back of your throat, travels down your windpipe, and fills your lungs, expanding your heart center.
As you exhale, follow that same path, allowing the flow of breath to act as a massage for the gateway of your throat, becoming a clearer, more effective conduit with each breath.
As your body and mind begin to calm, visualize a pool of blue light filling your entire being.