The fifth chakra – Vishuddha (throat chakra) is our centre of communication.
It is the gateway for energy between the lower parts of the body and the head and is guided by principles of expression and communication. Through the throat, sound is propagated into the air and its vibration can be felt not only in our ears, but in our whole body. Vishuddha helps us harmoniously attune to these inner and outer vibrations.
Vishuddha chakra bridges the heart and the mind. When this space is clear, the wisdom of both is integrated and profound spiritual truths flow freely.
Vishuddha: Vishuddha, the most common Sanskrit name for the throat chakra, means ‘pure’ or ‘purification.’
Element: The element of nature associated with Vishuddha chakra is Ether. It’s all about space – the essence of emptiness in which our true selves exist.
Physical Body: The throat chakra is situated in the centre of the neck at the height of the thyroid gland which regulates processing of energy in the body through temperature, growth and metabolism. It is also linked to the mouth, jaws, tongue, pharynx, palate, shoulders and neck.
Emotional Body: The throat chakra is related to the expression of yourself through truth, purpose, creativity and individuality. This chakra is connected to the second chakra or sacral chakra, which is another centre of emotions and creativity. The throat chakra’s focus is on expressing ideas clearly, gracefully and honestly, and projecting one’s authentic creativity into the world.
Mental Body: When Vishuddha is in balance you can communicate clearly and ask for what you need, in order to manifest the world in which you wish to live. You know and honour yourself. You can accept things as they are and maintain equilibrium within myself and the world around you.
As we’ve learned in previous chakra articles (see below), because of stress in any layer of the body (physical, mental, emotional and energetic) you can slow down, stagnate or completely go into overdrive.
An imbalanced throat chakra can result in a sore throat, thyroid issues, neck and shoulder aches, hearing sensitivities, jaw pain or TMJ. You may not know how to ask for what you need, or find yourself gossiping. A blocked or overactive Vishuddha may cause you to struggle with listening, be fearful of speaking up or experience a general lack of connection.
Checklist for the throat chakra
- Are you able to express your truth, to speak up?
- Can you communicate clearly (verbal or non-verbal, external or internal)?
- How is your connection with the etheric realm, the spirit and intuitive abilities?
- Are you willing to create, to manifest ideas into reality?
- Do you know your purpose?
- How is your sense of timing?
Coming into balance
When the throat chakra is balanced, you are able to effectively communicate needs, desires, ideas, boundaries, empathy and love. There are things you can do on and off the mat to strike an equilibrium:
Yoga poses for the throat chakra:
Balance this energy centre with these targeted yoga poses:
- Head rolls and gentle neck stretches
- Lion’s Breath – Simhasana – Deeply inhale through your nose while lifting your hands into the air. Extend your tongue, open your eyes wide, and create an audible sound in your throat as you exhale and claw the air downward with your hands.
- Supported Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
- Supported Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
- Plough Pose (Halasana)
Affirmations for the throat chakra
- I can communicate clearly.
- I speak my truth freely, openly, honestly.
- I am accountable for expressing myself clearly and truthfully.
- My honesty attracts honesty.
- By voicing my desires, I am able to receive.
Meditations for Vishuddha chakra:
Blue is the colour for this chakra. Visualize it during your relaxation or meditation.
Chantra mantras or sound vibrations.
HAM is the Kundalini bija mantra. Chanting HAM (pronounced HAUHM), works on the vibrational frequency of the throat chakra. Use the breath – breathe in and as you breathe out vibrate the sound HAM. This mantra is very powerful and means I AM THAT. It points to the ultimate reality that all is one.
Mudra for the fifth chakra: Vishuddha Mudra (Throat Chakra Mudra)
In a comfortable seated position, sit up tall. Interlock the fingers inside the hands, palms facing up, with the tips of the thumbs pressed against each other. Close to the navel, rest your hands in your lap. Chant the sound HAM. Meditate on the space inside of your throat, visualizing your breath as a cooling blue ball of light – clearing space for you to speak and be heard, most importantly by yourself.
Ether and Space are qualities of the throat chakra
They are the way to discover the infinite within, but we must move beyond our illusions of boundaries and limitations in every sense of the word – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Working on the physical throat space through asana is a beautiful step to help clear the throat on all these levels. When we work on the body, tightness and stagnation present in the body will come to the surface automatically. If we can find the patience and the wisdom to just sit with it, watch it without judgment and understand the deeper lessons, meanings and connections of all that arises and then consciously let it go, it is a priceless gift of freedom.
Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu! (may all beings be happy and free).
Practice in class with Marlene Smits
Read more about the Chakras
- Introduction to the chakras
- Muladhara or Root Chakra
- Svadhisthana or Sacral Chakra
- Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra
- Anahata or Heart Chakra
- Vishuddha or Throat Chakra
- Anja or Third Eye Chakra