The Throat Chakra: Vishuddha, Your Center of Communication and Self Expression

vishuddha chakra
Photo by Vishuddha- especially pure
Chakra- wheel

In this blog post, we’ll explore the nuances of your fifth chakra, known as your throat chakra. This chakra is all about your ability to stay true to your personal truth and your ability to interface with the world around you with honesty and integrity. To put it simply, when your throat chakra is balanced, your actions are aligned with your thoughts and words, you’re comfortable asking for what you need, and you listen patiently and intently.

How do you know if your throat chakra is out of balance?

Your throat chakra may be blocked if you often feel like you can’t express yourself freely for fear of judgment or criticism or you find it difficult to speak up for yourself and others. On the other hand, if you find that you often talk over others, overshare, or have difficulty listening to others your throat chakra may be overactive.

Most importantly, we’re fully capable of healing our chakras and that’s part of what we’ll explore today. For example, we can meditate on the Vishuddha chakra and do throat chakra practices like chanting and singing. These practices cultivate our inner trust, bring ease to our communication, and enhance our creative self-expression. Through these practices, we also learn to weave ahimsa, or non-harming, and satya, truthfulness into all of our actions and thoughts.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.”

Upanishads
chakra colors

Vishuddha Chakra at a Glance:

  • Location: Front of the spine at the throat pit
  • Element: Akasha (ether)
  • Color: Turquoise Blue
  • Lotus: 16 petaled
  • Bija Mantra: HAM
  • Aspects: Communication, sound, creative identity, self-expression, finding your voice and speaking your truth
  • Sense: Hearing
  • Vayu: Udan, the upward flowing air of the throat and head that aids in the production of sound
  • Planet: Jupiter
  • Kosha: Vijnanamaya Kosha
  • Associated with: the throat, thyroid, parathyroid, hypothalamus, mouth, and cervical spine

“Every choice we make, every thought and feeling we have, is an act of power that has biological, environmental, social, personal, and global consequences. We are everywhere our thoughts are and thus our personal responsibility includes our energy contributions.”

Anatomy of the Spirit by
Caroline Myss

Vishuddha Chakra’s 16 Petaled Lotus

The yantra of the throat chakra has 16 petals of smoky purple color. In addition, each of the petals has a vowel written on it and each vowel, when combined with nada bindu or NG creates a seed sound.

Lastly, each petal is associated with one of 16 different vrittis (mental fluctuations). Most of the vrittis associated with vishuddha chakra are musical in nature. The seed sounds on the lotus petals include Om, Ong, Swaha, Namah and many others.

The Element Akasha and Vishuddha Chakra

Another key point regarding Vishuddha chakra is its association with the element of akasha, also known as ether, space or the void. In Ayurveda’s five-element theory, Ether is the subtlest of the elements and it precedes all other elements. According to Harish Johari’s Chakras: Energy Centers of Transformation, “Akasha is generated by the tanmatra of sound.” Therefore, the throat chakra is linked to our ability to hear and our ability to speak.

The Bija Mantra for the Throat Chakra

The bija mantra for the throat chakra is HAM, sometimes spelled HUM or even HANG. The variations in spelling and pronunciation vary from region to region and tradition to tradition in India.

At this time, take a moment to chant the sound of HAM and notice its vibration in the region of your throat. The bija mantras are used to awaken the chakras and their various characteristics.

In addition, the sound HAM is carried upon the back of gaja, or elephant. The gaja carries all the knowledge of the earth and its plants and it teaches self-confidence and patience.

Photo by Yanalya at The throat chakra is associated with Shakini Shakti, the embodiment of purity, the bearer of higher knowledge and great siddhis. Additionally, she reveals her teachings when we’re in a deep dream state. She governs memory, peace, intuition, wit, and improvisation.

Panchavaktra Shiva represents all of the Shiva energies. Each of his five heads represents the five tanmatras and the tattvas (elements) that emerge from them along with their corresponding Shiva energies. Most importantly, Panchavaktra Shiva bestows fearlessness and is commonly referred to as the Great Teacher.

  1. Aghora, lord of the North. Aghora resides in the cremation grounds. His tattva is akasha..
  2. Ishana, lord of the Northeast. He resides in the shrines. His tattva is water.
  3. Tat Purusha, lord of the East. He appears in meditation. His tattva is air.
  4. Vama Deva, the eternal Shiva. His tattva is earth.
  5. Finally, Saddyojat, the lord of the south. His tattva is fire.

An Out of Balance Fifth Chakra

When Vishuddha chakra is out of balance we may fear being controlled or not having control, being trapped, or we may feel like we have no say in the world around us. Additionally, when your throat chakra is underactive you may find it difficult to express your thoughts and opinions for fear of judgment or failure. On the other hand, if your fifth chakra is overactive you may tend to speak over others or struggle to listen.

A Balanced Throat Chakra

When Vishuddha Chakra is in balance, your words and actions are in alignment with your highest self. That is to say, the words you speak come from your heart and speak directly to the heart of those around you. Prayers, songs, and mantras spontaneously arise from the depths of your heart.

Your sense of self-knowledge is strong and unwavering and you express yourself freely without fear of judgment or reprimand. You’re able to communicate with clarity and ease AND you pick up non-verbal communication just as easily as verbal communication.

On a spiritual level, an awakened fifth chakra can begin the process of a spiritual rebirth or transformation of the spirit.

How to Balance the Throat Chakra

mantra meditation throat chakra
Image by Veronica Bosley from Pixabay

Meditation on the throat chakra is one of the most powerful ways to bring about its awakening. Although, chanting mantra through japa meditation, kirtan, and song are all beautiful ways to achieve the same results. In the same vein, you could sing in the shower, chant in the car, or even go see live music.

Similarly, if you’re feeling stuck, tongue-tied, your creative juices aren’t flowing you might find it helpful to get your words, thoughts and ideas down on paper. In that case, I encourage you to buy yourself a beautiful journal and get in the habit of journaling, whether it’s one sentence, a bullet list or a full page, just start. Other suggestions to awaken your fifth chakra are to read a book or take up a new creative hobby like painting, drawing, or even dancing. Find something that inspires you and start there.

Practice deep listening. Listen with full presence and curiosity. Ask questions. Repeat back what you hear. Listen without thinking about how you’ll respond.

Two mudras for the Throat Chakra

You can use hand mudras to heal and awaken the chakras and balance the flow of your pranic energy. Here are two hand mudras you can use to awaken your fifth chakra.

Udana Mudra | Upward Moving Air Gesture

Udana Mudra cultivates the energy, or air, of Udana Vayu, which governs the space between your chest and your head. It is an upward and outward flow of energy and is the basis for sound. Combine Udana Mudra and the bija HAM for a beautiful meditation practice.

To practice Udana Mudra, bring the tips of your ring, middle, and index fingers to meet the tip of your thumb. Extend your little finger long. Ultimately, you can practice this mudra to manifest joy and optimism, improve your sense of self-worth, and increase your creative self-expression.

Shunya Mudra | Gesture of the Void

Shunya Mudra helps to balance the excess of ether. For example, if you’re having trouble listening, you’re feeling flighty or ungrounded then Shunya Mudra can help you feel calm, clear and capable of clear communication and earnest listening.

To practice Shunya Mudra, fold your middle finger down toward the base of your thumb and wrap your thumb over the top of your middle finger. Lastly, extend your little, ring and index fingers long. To clarify, this mudra is the same for both right and left hands.

If you would like to learn more about mudras, check out my recent book, The Little Book of Mudra Meditations. It’s a great place to start your mudra journey and it’s a nice reference for yoga teachers too.

Crystals for the Throat Chakra

throat chakra crystals
Image by TessaMannonen from Pixabay
  • Turquoise (communication)
  • Blua Apatite (personal power)
  • Clear quartz
  • Blue Agate
  • Selenite
  • Lapis Lazuli (truth and awareness)
  • Sodalite (harmony)
  • Aquamarine (courage)

Yoga Poses for the Throat Chakra

  • Bridge Pose
  • Shoulderstand
  • Camel Pose
  • Fish Pose
  • Reverse Warrior
  • Warrior One or Crescent Lunge with the gaze lifted
  • Locust Pose with hands bound behind the back
  • Humble Warrior
  • Extended Side Angle
  • Triangle Pose
  • Wild Thing
  • Wheel Pose
  • Mountain Brook Pose (restorative)
  • Supported Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle)
  • Jalandhara Bandha
  • Kapalabhati
  • Brahmari

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Autumn Adams

Owner, Founder, & Retreat Leader at Ambuja Yoga
Autumn founded Ambuja Yoga in 2014 to share her love of adventure, yoga, and travel with her fellow yogis. Ambuja Yoga has morphed into more than she could have ever dreamed and she is thrilled to have a "job" she loves. She is forever grateful for the opportunity to facilitate personal growth and self love through yoga while taking yogis to off-the-beaten-path destinations worldwide. Follow Autumn on Instagram @autumnadamsyoga.
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