The fifth chakra is the throat chakra or Vishuddha. Residing at the base of the throat, it is the center of expression, a place to define our true desires and give them a voice. It is seen as a "bridge between the intuition of the sixth chakra and the radical self-acceptance of the heart chakra," according to Holy Yoga. If we want to find a way to express ourselves honestly and without reservation, the throat chakra helps to find balance between the mind and heart. Of equal, and maybe greater, importance is the ability to listen to others without judgment or distraction.
Vishuddha means "extraordinarily pure," which can describe the sense of refreshment we feel when we are able to share our thoughts, feelings and needs and feel as though we have been heard and understood. A special connection is shared with the sacral chakra or svadhisthana, the center of creativity, because the throat chakra is the avenue of expression for the ideas generated and nourished in the sacral chakra. The throat chakra energy gives voice to our internal worlds and validates our right to exist and be heard.
Characteristics of the throat chakra when out of balance include fear of communicating, lying, hasty or inappropriate speech, excessive talking, the inability to listen, defensiveness, gossiping, shyness, a weak voice and difficulty putting words together. When the energy is balanced, we experience clear, compassionate articulation, as well as a sense of self-acceptance, which we are then able to extend to others.
The throat chakra is associated with the elements of sound and ether and a bright blue color. Healing stones include aquamarine, lapis and turquoise.
Lion's Breath is a great practice to try; approach it with a sense of humor since it is a bit goofy-looking. (But since we are confident in expressing ourselves, we don't need to worry about what anyone else thinks!) Poses such as fish, cobra, upward-facing dog, shoulder stand and plow are beneficial for the throat chakra.
Affirmations or mantras include:
"I hear and speak the truth."
"My voice is necessary."
"May I express my feelings with ease."
"I express myself with confidence."
"My wisdom & experience are valid."
Aura Cacia shared this meditation, which is a good practice for all of us to follow:
"I listen with my whole self & think before I speak. When I speak, I don't back away from what is true or right. I share and communicate effectively & respectfully with others. I express myself fully & creatively."
This week's soundtrack is more of an ambient experience to create space for exploring our own voices. Garth Stevenson is a composer who expresses his creative energy by taking his double bass into the wild and making music with the landscape. Check out his work and be inspired!