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.
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