This post is part of the Chakras Series. We started by covering what the chakras are and what they represent (Read “What Are The 7 Chakras And Why Do They Matter?”).
In this post, we will focus specifically on the Throat Chakra.
- Also known as: “Vishudda”, which means “pure” or “purification”.
- Location: At the center of the neck at the level of the throat.
- Color: Blue (sapphire blue or turquoise).
- What it represents: I SPEAK. Known as the fifth chakra, it represents your expression and your creativity. Because of its location, it’s often seen as the “bottleneck” of the movement of energy in the body.
- Linked to: Expression, in particular your ability to express your truth, to speak out. It is also linked to communication, whether it’s verbal or non-verbal, external or internal. It is also linked to your spiritual life and intuitive abilities. Responsible for your creativity and your sense of purpose. At a physical level, the throat chakra is associated to the pharyngeal and brachial plexi and is connected to the mouth, jaws, tongue, pharynx and palate, as well as the shoulders and the neck. The gland associated with the fifth chakra is the thyroid, which regulates the processing of energy in the body through temperature, growth and metabolism.
- You have a balanced throat chakra when: You speak confidently and listen well, you express yourself freely, you’re self confident and authentic, you’re open minded and you adjust well to change, you’re in full creative flow.
- You have a blocked throat chakra when: Your experience feelings of insecurity, shyness and introversion. Imbalances in the throat chakra can also express as tendency to gossiping or being mean… showing a misalignment between what you think and what you say. At a physical level, you might get a cold or a sore throat.
- Healing foods: Liquids like water, fresh 100% fruit juices (with no added sugars) and herbal teas. Blueberries and fruits that grow on trees: apples, peaches, pears, apricots, and plums.
- Healing yoga poses: Poses that clear your throat area, neck, shoulders and upper chest. When you are in a pose, breathe deeply and set an intention that helps you feel authentic and open-minded. Ideas can be “I express myself” or “I breathe freely”. Chanting “Om” or breathing out through your mouth in some of the postures might also help you release blockages in your fifth chakra.
“Here are my favorite yoga poses to stimulate the throat chakra”
- Cat-cow stretching and neck release. Start on your hands and knees and practice a slow cat-cow flow to release tension in your neck area. Try to focus specifically on the air passing through your throat and allow your neck to experience full motion as you inhale (arching back and looking up) and as you exhale (tucking your chin to your chest and rounding down your spine like an angry cat). Once you’ve done about 10 breaths, come to neutral spine and draw circles with your head, while breathing slowly and deeply. Keep your navel to spine to stabilize your body.
- Bhujangasana. While I recommended full Cobra Pose to open the heart chakra, for the purpose of your throat chakra I will suggest starting with Baby Cobra first. A smaller expression of the same posture where you don’t use arm strength but only back strength to come up. Baby Cobra allows you to focus on opening up your throat first. Once you’ve held Baby Cobra for a few breaths, if you want to open the neck further, lift the head and chest higher and let the bottom ribs graze the floor to explore the full expression of Cobra Pose, straightening through your elbows. You’ll now feel a more intense stretch across your chest, as well as throat area.
- Ustrasana. Camel Pose stretches the front of the body, particularly the throat, chest, abdomen, quadriceps, and hip flexors. This pose creates space in the throat, chest and lungs, increasing breathing capacity and helping to relieve respiratory ailments. You can practice it with your hands on your kidney area or, for the full expression, bring your hands to your heels, one at a time.
- Sasangasana. Rabbit Pose helps relieve tension your neck, shoulders and back. It’s a counter pose to Camel. Rabbit also feeds the nervous system with fresh blood and oxygen. It rejuvenates thyroid and parathyroid glands, balancing and regulating your body’s metabolism and calcium, while stimulating your throat chakra.
- Salamba Sarvangasana. Shoulder stand stretches the neck and shoulders, while toning the legs, buttocks, back, and abdominal muscles. Its offers great stimulation for the thyroid and throat, which makes it my favorite pose for the fifth chakra. It also helps stimulate your abdominal organs, improve digestion, reduce fatigue and relieve insomnia. Avoid turning your head to the sides while in shoulder stand. Breathe deeply and slowly.
- Matsyasana. Supported Fish Pose is a great counter-pose for the back and shoulders after coming out of Shoulder Stand. As a backbend, it can make you feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. Breathe into the sensations, letting the neck and shoulders release as the throat and heart begin to open up. Place a block or pillow between your shoulder blades. Lower the mid-back over the block (at the back of your heart) and let the head and neck release down toward the floor, opening the throat to the sky and breathing deeply.
Besides throat stimulating and opening poses, you will also balance your throat chakra by speaking your truth, communicating openly, chanting and singing. Tune into your creativity and let it flow!