Goals: Clear communication, purification, truth
Practices: Opening the throat and shoulders, chanting and sounding
What is the Vishuddha chakra?
The Vishuddha, or Throat Chakra, is the purification centre and is located at the throat. It is represented by a crescent within a 16 -petal lotus. Vishuddha is the fifth layer of our identity, it represents our creative identity. It is the centre of our truth, where we communicate what’s inside us giving voice to our self-expression.
This chakra represents communication, inspiration, expression and faith. It governs our ability to express ourselves through our opinions and voice. It is related to the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
I speak my truth, I express myself, I speak with kindness, I speak with love.
How does Vishuddha chakra affect a person?
Formed between the ages of seven and 12, the fifth chakra hinges on creative thinking. Vishuddha develops with our ability to comprehend time and to imagine alternative realities. Confidence is important to self-expression, because without it we may be afraid to speak out. Feeling secure in our relationships encourages us to believe that our opinions and ideas are worth being heard.
A disconnect between our fourth love chakra and fifth communication chakra will make it difficult to sat what we feel. A person may have strong feeling but find it challenging to speak out – to tell someone whom we love the truth, for example – indicating that their Vishuddha is blocked.
Vishuddha concerns our right to speak and to hear the truth. This can be damaged if we grew up in a household that does not place value on listening to one another or on speaking truthfully. An atmosphere if secrecy and lies foster anxiety and tension and may discourage us from speaking our own truths.
A person with excessive Vishuddha speaks constantly – but what they say is mostly without substance. Filling a void with words and noise is a means to seek control of a situation, but it reveals our fundamental insecurity.
A person with deficient Vishuddha is unable to communicate clearly or even at all. They may not be aware that they have something to say, nor that other people will want to listen to them. When they do speak, their voice is typically weak or timid.
Speaking is a way to engage with the wider world and to navigate between what’s inside us and what’s beyond.
How to strengthen the Vishuddha chakra?
A healthy balance in the Vishuddha Chakra would be shown as fluent and clear thought, creative written and spoken expression, and wisdom.
An imbalanced Vishuddha hinders clear communication. Listening to ourselves is an important tool in the search for truths. For these reasons, meditation is a useful way to reconnect and recalibrate, particularly against the modern day backdrop of constant noise and fake news.
In a more active approach, listening to certain kinds of music as well as repeating chants and mantras can engage our voices to achieve specific mental states or connect to chakras that need attention. Non-verbal expression like writing can also fill voids in communicating with people who are not present or when trying to express more complex ideas.
In yoga, try fish pose or upward plank to open the throat, or plow pose to massage it.