The 5th chakra is the Vishuddha, which translates to “purity”, “purification”, or “pure place” from Sanskrit. Located in the neck, shoulders, throat, mouth, tongue and jaw, the Vishuddha chakra is the gateway from the lower, more material/physical energy centers (chakras 1-4) to the upper, more spiritual/metaphysical 6th and 7th chakras. It governs our ability to communicate, self-express, create, and listen.
Imbalances in the chakras are thought to result in illness. These invisible energy wheels can either spin too fast or too slow; leaking energy out or blocking energy flow within. Physically, excessive or deficient energy flow in the 5th chakra can lead to thyroid imbalances, teeth grinding, neck/shoulder stiffness or tension, hearing/speech problems and throat/jaw ailments (such as chronic sore throats or TMJ). Imbalance can also manifest as excessive talking, interrupting, manipulative behavior, inability to listen, shyness, fear of speaking, inability to express yourself clearly, stuttering, lying, keeping secrets, addiction to smoking and being “wishy-washy”. The good news is that yoga, meditation, and diet can get your wheels to spin just right.
Some asanas that bring awareness and balanced energy flow to this region are:
Simple neck rolls, Ustrasana (Camel pose), Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge pose), Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand), Halasana (Plow pose), Matsyasana (Fish pose), Purvottanasana (Upward plank pose), and Bhujangasana (Cobra pose).
***If you are experiencing any neck “issues”, pain, etc., please practice under the guidance of your teacher. Most of these poses can still be practiced safely, but may need to be modified.
Pranayama, bandha, and mantra:
Practicing Ujjayi pranayama (victorious breath), Jalandhara bandha (net-bearer bond or throat lock), and chanting Om or “Ham” or any mantra of your choosing will also get the energy moving through the Vishuddha chakra.
Here’s a beautiful Sanskrit mantra that you can learn easily:
Om asatoma satgamaya
tamasoma jyotir gamaya
mrityorma amritam gamayaLead us from the unreal to the realFrom darkness to lightFrom death to immortality
Refraining from lying, refraining from slander, refraining from harsh speech, refraining from frivolous speech
ahimsa pratishthayam tat samnidhau vaira tyagahIn the presence of one firmly established in non-violence, all hostilities ceasesatya pratisthayam kriya phalasrayatvamTo one established in truthfulness, actions and their results become subservient
Those who know do not talkThose who talk do not knowBlock all the passages!Close your mouth, cordon off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust.This is the primal union or the secret embraceOne who knows this secretis not moved by attachment or aversion, swayed by profit or loss, nor touched by honor or disgrace.He is far beyond the cares of men yet comes to hold the dearest place in their hearts.This, therefore, is the highest state of man.