The fifth Chakra, Vishuddha, is the first of the three spiritual chakras. In the area of the throat, it governs the anatomical regions of the thyroid, parathyroid, jaw, neck, mouth, tongue, and larynx. To be open and aligned in the fifth Chakra is to speak, listen, and express yourself from a higher form of communication. Faith and understanding combine the essence of the Vishuddha Chakra. The element corresponding to the fifth Chakra is ether or space, and the sense is hearing.
Determine Your Highest Truth
Authentic expression is not something that comes easily. There’s a delicate dance between saying what you mean and staying tactful or diplomatic. Often it’s easier to say what the other person may want to hear instead of speaking your truth. Fear of not being accepted, or judgment from the other may hinder your truthful verbal expression.
Work on the lower chakras will help prepare you for this level of communication. For example, when you align the first and second chakras, it helps with overcoming fear. Opening the third Chakra helps you to feel your personal power and have the confidence to express yourself. Knowing what’s in your heart comes when you align the fourth Chakra. Then, when it comes to verbalizing your needs, desires, and opinions you’re better able to determine how to be truthful to yourself and others.
Express Your Truth
If you’re used to being accommodating, rather than saying what you want, you may have to practice out loud to yourself. Affirmations are useful in making what you desire reality. Write down what you might want to express to others. Let’s suppose you’d like to ask your boss if you can work from home two days per week but you haven’t had the courage to ask. Write out the phrase you will say when you are with him. Practice it in front of your mirror.
Maybe you’d like it if your mother-in-law would call before dropping over but you’ve feared confrontation. Write down the request, practice it, and maybe include a couple of responses should she push back on your request.
Speak and Listen With Compassion
Dr. David Simon often refers to the following ancient wisdom. He says that there are three gateways you should cross before speaking.
- First, ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say true?”
- If so, proceed to the second gateway and ask, “Is what I am about to say necessary?”
- If the answer is yes, go to the third gateway and ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say kind?”
- Speaking your highest truth doesn’t mean you’re allowed to be hurtful or critical. The truth from your spiritual essence will come across as kind and compassionate.
Listening is another aspect of the fifth Chakra. The highest form of listening includes giving the other person your full attention. This means putting away electronic devices or turning them off and waiting to hear the other person completely before responding.
Open and Align the Vishuddha Chakra
Chanting, singing, humming, and reading aloud are wonderful ways to open the fifth Chakra. In fact, the mantra sound for this Chakra is HUM. Two Pranayama exercises that bring heat and stimulate the throat Chakra are the Ujjayi breath and the lion’s breath.
In your yoga practice, you can do camel pose (Ustrasana), bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana), and plow (Halasana). These poses will stimulate the thyroid and parathyroid glands as well as bring energy to the area of the throat.
The color corresponding to the fifth Chakra is blue, and gems to balance this Chakra are sapphire, blue topaz, lapis lazuli, aquamarine, and turquoise.
Symbolism of the Image
The Yantra of Vishuddha Chakra is a silver crescent within a white circle shining as a full moon surrounded by sixteen petals.The silver crescent is the lunar symbol of nada, pure cosmic sound. The crescent is symbolic of purity, and purification is a vital aspect of Vishuddha Chakra.
- Number of petals: 16
- Location: Behind the throat
- Name: Pure
- Plane: Human plane
- Sense Organ: Ears
- Work Organ: vocal cords
- Sense: Hearing
- Element: Ether
- Shape: Crescent
- Sound: Hang
Located at the throat level, Vishuddha Chakra is associated with the element ether (Akasha) and controls the principle of sound related to the sense of hearing. The seed mantra is Ham and the vital breath is Udana.
In Vishuddha Chakra the nectar amrita drips down the chitrini nadi, and is split into a pure form and a poison.
Through practices such as Khechari Mudra and Jalandhara Bandha the nectar reaching Vishuddha is purified, the poison from the body is cleansed and amrita becomes the nectar of immortality. The nectar and poison symbolism originate from the Hindu episode of the churning of the Ocean of Milk in which gods and demons churn the ocean to obtain Amrita, the nectar of immortal life.
In Vishuddha Chakra, all the elements of the lower chakras – earth, water, fire and air – are refined to their purest essence and dissolve into akasha.
The presiding deity is Panchavaktra Shiva. He has a camphor-blue skin and five heads, representing the spectrum of smell, taste, sight, touch and sound, as well as the union of all five elements in their purest forms.
He holds a mala (rosary), a drum which drones continually, manifesting the sound AUM, and a trident. The fourth hand is in Abhaya mudra, the gesture of dispelling fear. The faces of Shiva symbolize the following aspects: Aghora, Ishana, Mahadeva, Sadashiva and Rudra.
The energy is Shakini. She has a pale rose skin and wears a sky-blue sari with a green bodice. She sits on a pink lotus and holds the following objects: a skull, which is a symbol of detachment from the illusory world of sense perceptions, an ankusha, an elephant staff used to control Gaja, the scriptures, representing knowledge and the mala (rosary).
Shakini Shakti is the bestower of all higher knowledge and siddhis (powers). The Chakra’s associated animal is the elephant Airavata, supreme lord of herbivorous animals, vehicle of the Vedic god Indra. It is of smoky grey color, the color of clouds.
While reading Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith, I came across a wonderful series of meditations. They read a little like a story, and some of them more like poetry, and they really give a wonderful in depth understanding of the various chakras and their deeper meanings. Each one builds on the one before, so they are best read in order, from Root to Crown.
Here is a list if you’d like to explore them:
Before the beginning, all was darkness and all was void
The face of the cosmos was deep and unmanifest,
Indeed, not a face at all but endless nothing.
No light, no sound, no movement, no life, no time.
All was null and the universe was not yet created
Nor even conceived.
For there was no form in which to conceive or be conceived.
In its emptiness the darkness fell upon itself
And became aware that it was nothing.
Alone and dark, unborn, unmanifest, silent.
Can you imagine this silence, the silence of nothing?
Can you quiet yourself enough to hear it?
Can you listen to the silence within you?
Breathe deeply, but slowly so the breath is silent in your lungs.
Feel your throat expand with the air coming in.
Listen for the nothing, listen for the quiet,
Listen deep within yourself for the place of stillness.
Slowly breathe into this void, a deep and peaceful breath.
In its infinite quite, darkness fell upon itself
And in its emptiness, knew itself to be alone
And alone it desired another
In this desire, a ripple moved across the void
to fold and fold again upon itself
Until it was no longer empty and the void was full with birth.
In the beginning the great, unmanifest
became vibration in its own recognition of being.
And that vibration was sound from which all other sounds were born.
It came from Brahma in his first emanation.
It came from Sarasvati, in her eternal answers.
In their union, the sound arose and spread through all the void
and filled it.
And the sound became one, and the sound became many,
and the sound became the wheel that turned and turned the worlds
unto the dance of life, forever singing, always moving.
If you listen you can hear it now.
It is in your breath, it is in your heart,
It is in the wind, the waters, the trees and the sky.
It is in your own mind, in the rhythm of each and every thought.
From one sound does it all emerge
and to one sound shall it return.
And the sound is
Aaa – ooo – uuu – mmmmmmmmmm … Aum …
Chant it now inside you quietly. Let it build within your breath.
Let the sacred sound escape you, moving on the wings of air.
Rhythm building, deep vibration, rising up from deep within.
Chant the sound of all creation, sound that makes the chakras spin.
Louder now the voice arises, joins with other sounds and chants.
Deeper now the rhythms weaving all into a sacred dance.
Rhythms pounding, voices growing, echoing the dance of life.
Sounds to words and words to music, riding on the wheels of life.
Guiding us along our journey, moving spirit deep within.
Chant the voice that is within you. This is where we must begin.
Up from silence, breath and body, calling now into the void.
Hear its answer in the darkness, fear and pain have been destroyed.
Brahma is the first vibration. Sarasvati is the flow.
Sound unites us in our vision, harmonizing all we know.
Soon the silence comes again, with echoes of primordial sound,
Purifying all vibration, echo of the truth profound.
From: Wheels of Life
The Throat Chakra is located behind the Adam’s apple(mid-throat region) It is associated with the color blue. It is affected by your forms of communication, truth, and being able to ask when your needs are not met.
When this chakra is open and balanced: You are able to accept things as they are, and organise ways of working with situations. You have the power to make changes and you are able to take responsibility for your personal needs.
When this chakra is constricted or out of balance you may experience the following: Perfectionism, inability to express emotions, blocked creativity, sore throats, neck ache, thyroid problems, hearing problems, tinnitus, and/or asthma.
The throat chakra is connected to ether/spirit, it is all about communication, pure spirit, connection to our inner selves and our spirit guides, angels, and the Gift of Divinity that lies within. This chakra allows you to deeply connect to your soul and allows you to listen as your soul speaks. It is here that we can use our voice to make sound, this chakra is also connected to creativity through speech, music & art. It is about expression of the self. When your mind is clear so much comes easily with little effort as we are not struggling against life itself.