The words used to express yourself define who you are and become your message to the world. With this in mind, what you say really does matter.
Our intentions for speech and communication are governed by the fifth chakra – Vishuddha. Also known as the throat or communication chakra, Vishuddha should remain happy and healthy to get the best from it. Thankfully, we can cleanse the throat chakra by putting on our yoga cap and hitting the mat. In this article, we explore Dharma talk: yoga by the throat.
When translated from Sanskrit, Vishuddha means “extraordinarily pure”. Located at the level of the Adam’s apple, the throat chakra governs our intentions for speak and communication. It also deals with our right to speak and hear the truth, our creative identity, and our self-expression.
The color of the throat chakra is blue. The element connected with it is sound and the sense is hearing. In terms of healing stones, the most suitable crystals are aquamarine, lapis, and turquoise. A popular affirmation for this chakra is “May I be able to express my feelings with ease and be balanced between heart and mind.” Repeating this during meditation can help to cleanse and unblock the chakra.
When your throat chakra is unbalanced or overactive, you may notice yourself talking too much or using inappropriate language. You may also find a habit of gossiping, an inability to listen to others and a tendency to dominate most of your conversations.
An underactive throat chakra may result in hesitation in communication or a fear of speaking. You may also notice a weak voice, shyness and introversion, stuttering, tone-deafness, and difficulty in putting sentences together.
If left untreated, this can lead to an extreme imbalance in the chakra. This can result in repressed communication, dishonesty, and even addiction to substances like caffeine, alcohol or marijuana. To cleanse and rebalance the throat chakra, practice the asanas at the end of this article.
To practice Baby Cobra Pose, lay on your stomach with your legs stretched out behind you. Press the tops of your feet into the mat and your palms on the floor beside your chest. Your fingertips should line up with your shoulders. Bring your elbows towards your ribs, pressing your hands firmly into the mat for stability. Next, draw your chest forwards and upwards into a soft backbend. Feel your abdominal muscles engage against the ground as you stretch the tailbone towards your feet. Next, press your pubic bone into the floor and broaden the collarbone. Draw your shoulder blades downwards and lift the base of your skull away from your shoulders to create space in the throat area. You are in Baby Cobra Pose. Hold the pose for 30 seconds whilst concentrating on your breathing.
To practice Camel Pose, kneel on your mat with your legs hip-distance apart. Press the tops of your feet and shins into the ground. Place your hands on your lower back with your fingertips pointing downwards. Draw your upper-arm bones and shoulders back and breathe in to lift your chest. Next, slowly lengthen through your spine and lean your torso back, keeping your hips above your knees. From here, stretch your right hand back and place it on your right foot. When you’re ready, do the same with the left hand and press your thighs forward, making sure your hips remain above your knees. If you struggle to reach your heels, tuck your toes under to close the gap. If flexibility allows, lengthen through your neck and drop your head back. Bring your hands to your hips and lift your torso into an upright position. You are in Camel Pose. Stay in the asana for a few minutes before exiting the posture.
To practice Supported Shoulder Stand, lie down on your back with your knees bent. When you’re ready, begin to lift your feet and buttocks off the ground. Place your hands on your lower back for support, keeping your upper arms and elbows on the floor. Next, extend your legs towards the ceiling, keeping them together and aligned with your torso. On your next inhale, straighten your knees. Your heels should now be pointing toward the ceiling. Finally, bring your chest toward your chin. You are in Supported Shoulder Stand. Hold the pose for around 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply. When you’re ready to exit the posture, slowly bring your legs back down to the mat.
To practice Plow Pose, begin in Shoulder Stand. When you’ve released the tension in the neck, head, and shoulders, slowly release one leg behind your head. If flexibility allows, do the same with the other leg. If your back or hamstrings feel tight, keep your knees bent and place them next to your ears. Otherwise, straighten the legs and touch your feet on the floor behind your head. Next, interlace your fingers and move your shoulder blades closer together, maintaining stillness in the head and neck. Create length in the spine by moving your hips over your shoulders. You are in Plow Pose. Stay in this position for 30 seconds, releasing any built-up tension. If your legs are straight, bend your knees and slowly uncurl your spine to rest your hips on the ground and hug your knees for a couple of seconds.
So, there you have it – Dharma Talk, yoga by the throat. If you believe your throat chakra is unbalanced, practice the postures above to clear things up. If you’re still struggling, invest in some lithotherapy yoga jewelry. Opting for stones like aquamarine, lapis or turquoise will help to balance the throat chakra and relieve your symptoms.