Vishuddha is the fifth chakra and its Sanskrit meaning is ‘pure ‘or ‘purification’, so in order to fully tap into the power of the Vishuddha chakra, we need to have done a certain amount of work in the other energy centers.
Purification of the body through attention to diet, yoga, meditation and exercise opens us to experience the subtler aspects of the upper chakras.
The throat chakra, Vishuddha, is associated with the color turquoise blue and with the elements sound and ether. This is our source of verbal expression and creative expression in the world.
Location and Connection to the Physical Body
The Vishuddha chakra is located in the area of the throat. It governs the anatomical regions of the thyroid, parathyroid, jaw, neck, mouth, tongue, and larynx.
Energy Connection to the Emotional/Mental Body
The throat chakra is the center of communication and interpersonal relationships, and to be open and aligned in the fifth chakra is to speak, listen, and express yourself from a higher form of communication.
Vishuda bridges the heart and the mind. When that space is clear, it integrates the wisdom of both, allowing profound spiritual truths to flow freely. We are able to effectively communicate our needs, desires, creative ideas, boundaries, empathy, and love. A balanced throat energy also brings enhanced creativity and artistic abilities, and we may develop the will to teach or inspire others.
Deficient energy in this chakra leads to neck stiffness, shoulder tension, teeth grinding, jaw disorders, throat ailments, an underactive thyroid, and a fear of speaking. If the throat chakra is underactive our voice seems weak, and it’s hard to speak up in conversations and be heard. We may not be able to vocalise our personal feelings, what we need or how to shape the world we want to create.
If the throat chakra is overactive then domination over others through excessive or loud talking and interrupting frequently can be a problem. Talking is used as a defense and the people with this excess have trouble listening or hearing others.
Physically, an imbalanced throat chakra shows up as disorders of the throat, ears, voice or neck. Also, tightness of the jaw and or toxicity in the body (due to a lack of purification within the body) can be signs of imbalance.
How can yoga help?
Chanting, singing, humming, and reading aloud are wonderful ways to open the fifth chakra. The sound itself is purifying, so if we think of the way we feel after chanting kirtan, reading poetry aloud, or simply singing along to our favorite song, we’ll be able to recognise how the vibrations and rhythms positively affect our body, right down to the cellular level.
Throat opening postures, neck stretches and shoulder openers, will be beneficial for underactive throat chakra, including Matsyasana (Fish), Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose), Ustrasana (Camel), and Anahatasana
Compression postures will assist in balancing the excessive fifth chakra. Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand), and Halasana (Plow Pose) will stimulate the thyroid and parathyroid glands, as well as bring energy to the area of the throat. Another way of igniting and cleansing the throat chakra is to practice jalandhara bandha or ‘throat lock’ by tucking the chin to chest firmly and compressing the front of throat.
Two Pranayama exercises that bring heat and stimulate the throat chakra are the Ujjayi breath and the lion’s breath. Lastly, adding chanting or an OM to our yoga practice is a great way to open and heal throat