Vishuddha- especially pure
Our fifth chakra, known as our throat chakra, is all about our ability to stay true to our personal truth and our ability to interface with the world around us with honesty and integrity. When our fifth chakra is balanced, our actions and are aligned with our words. 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 the less fortunate, your throat chakra may be blocked. If you find that you often talk over others, overshare or have difficulty listening to others your throat chakra may be overactive.
We meditate and do throat chakra practices to cultivate our inner trust, to bring ease to our communication, to embrace our creative self-expression and manage the quality of our thoughts. We learn to practice ahimsa, or non-harming, and satya, truthfulness in all of our actions and thoughts… at least to the best of our ability. We are human after all.
“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
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. Each of the petals has a vowel written on it. Each vowel, when combined with nada bindu or NG creates a seed sound. In addition to the vowels, 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. These sounds are associated with different deities and their characteristics.
The Element Akasha and Vishuddha Chakra
Vishuddha chakra is associated with the element of akasha, also known as ether, space or the void. According to Ayurveda’s five-element theory, Ether is the subtlest of the elements and it precedes all other elements. The throat chakra is linked to our ability to hear and our ability to speak. In Harish Johari’s Chakras: Energy Centers of Transformation, “Akasha is generated by the tanmatra of sound.”
The Bija Mantra for Vishuddha 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 in India.
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.
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.
Panchavaktra Shiva and Shakini Shakti and the Throat Chakra
The throat chakra is associated with Shakini Shakti, the embodiment of purity, the bearer of higher knowledge and great siddhis. She reveals her teachings when we’re in a deep dream state. She is associated with 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 that emerge from them along with their corresponding Shiva energies. Panchavaktra Shiva is the bestower of fearlessness and is also commonly referred to as the Great Teacher.
- Aghora, lord of the North. Aghora resides in the cremation grounds and is associated with the tattva akasha or void.
- Ishana, lord of the Northeast. He resides in the shrines and is associated with the tattva water.
- Tat Purusha, lord of the East. He appears in meditation and is associated with the tattva air.
- Vama Deva, the eternal Shiva. He is associated with the tattva earth.
- And finally, Saddyojat, the lord of the south. He is associated with the tattva fire.
An Out of Balance Fifth Chakra
We fear being controlled or not having control, being trapped, or feel like we have no say in the world around us.
When your throat chakra is underactive you may find it difficult to express your thoughts and opinions for fear of judgment or failure, whereas 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 balanced, your words and actions become aligned, and the words you speak come from the 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.
The fifth chakra is often associated with a spiritual rebirth, a transformation of the spirit.
How to Balance the Throat Chakra
Meditation on the throat chakra is one of the most powerful ways to bring about its awakening. Chanting mantra through japa meditation, kirtan, and song are all beautiful ways to cultivate an awakened fifth chakra. Sing in the shower, chant in the car, go see live music.
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. Buy 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
Hand mudras can be used to heal and awaken the chakras and balance our energy. Here are two hand mudras that can be used to awaken your fifth chakra.
Udana Mudra | Upward Moving Air Gesture
Udana Mudra cultivates the energy, or air, of Udana Vayu. Udana Vayu governs the space between your chest and your head. It is an upward and outward flow of energy and is the basis for sound.
We can cultivate Udana Vayu to help awaken our fifth chakra, improve our sense of self-worth, and increase our creative self-expression. This mudra is also often practiced to create more joy and optimism in our lives.
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.
Shunya Mudra | Gesture of the Void
Shunya Mudra helps to balance the excess of ether. If you’re having trouble listening, you’re feeling flighty or ungrounded then Shunya Mudra can help you feel calm, clear and capable of listening earnestly and communicating clearly.
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. Extend your little, ring and index fingers long. This mudra is the same for both right and left hands.
Crystals for the Throat Chakra
- Turquoise (communication)
- Blua Apatite (personal power)
- Clear quartz
- Blue Agate
- Lapis Lazuli (truth and awareness)
- Sodalite (harmony)
- Aquamarine (courage)
Yoga Poses for the Throat Chakra
- Bridge Pose
- 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
- Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss
- Chakras by Harish Johari