April 10, 2016

A Beginner’s Chakra Guide for Improving Communication & Self-Expression.

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The chakra system is the healing force within us. When it flows, we flow.

Think of it as an energetic connection flowing between mind, body and soul. When all channels are open and clear the energy flows, bringing us to a state of harmony within. When we interact with the world from balance, we sow seeds of harmony, love and compassion. We no longer live in anger and fear.

Not very long ago, I had no idea what a chakra was, or that serious imbalances and energetic blockages within this particular chakra were at the root of my drug addiction. Since diving deep into the ancient Sanskrit teachings on balancing and healing these energetic centers, I have become a different person, one who is free from addictions and self-imposed belief systems that held me back and kept me in feelings of self-doubt, fear and failure.

These benefits are waiting for anyone who has the motivation to step up and work for it, and it is my goal to present a beginner’s practice, chakra by chakra, to help anyone who is seeking change.

Here, we will explore and discuss the fourth major chakra—the Vishuddha or the Throat Chakra. This is the center of hearing, speaking and inner truth.

The energy of Vishuddha is one of language, rather than emotions.

Previously, we worked with Muladhara, SwadhisthanaManipura and Anahata. As a beginner, I encourage you to balance and work with each chakra starting from the root and working up.

“At the base of the throat is the Vishuddha Chakra, where the goddess of speech resides.” ~ Sir John Woodroffe, The Serpent Power 

When to work with Vishuddha: you struggle with speaking up for what you believe is right; you struggle with self-expression; you feel you talk too much, or dominate conversation; you feel you have nothing worthwhile to contribute in conversation; you are stressed out; you would like to communicate better; you fear public speaking; or you suffer from chronic sore throats, speech impediments, thyroid issues or jaw problems.

Communication involves listening as well as speaking. It involves hearing others and being heard. Do you listen proportionately to how much you talk? Do you listen with your mind (ego) or heart (soul)?

If you find yourself in constant conflict with your words, or lack thereof, then work with Vishuddha.

This chakra is located at throat  and it encompasses the mouth, jaw, throat and ears. Its color is blue. It is our link to expression and truth. It serves as the bridge between soul and mind. It is so important to work with this energy in order to find a balance between these, as too much intellect/ego causes harm, while too much soul sets us up for victimization and air-headedness.

Communication and expression is how we connect and bond with one another on the physical plane.

This is your center for kind, thoughtful and clear communication. This is the place that allows you to open to others. The ability to approach life with honesty and truth flows from this chakra. It governs vocal clarity in speech, writing and self-expression. If you suffer from unresolved tension being held in this area, this can lead to imbalances here. Repressed freedom to speak, communicate or express yourself in early childhood often manifests in distorted Vishuddha chakra energy.

Do you feel blocked in your communication?

Positive aspects of Vishuddha manifest in your ability to express yourself honestly and openly, as well as your ability and willingness to be creative, truthful with yourself and others, assertive, open to hearing the needs and boundaries of others, emotionally balanced or expressive. Being drawn to artistic inspiration and expression is a positive aspect of this chakra.

Negative aspects include dishonesty, deceit, shyness, addictions, and writer’s block. If you struggle to communicate and use your voice, this may indicate deficiencies or blockages here, which may result in Vishuddha being the root of addictions. Do you find yourself living in your own personal truth? Do you find coherence between your words, thoughts and actions? Do you use words as a weapon? Do you dominate conversations by not letting others speak? Do you feel unheard, or distracted when others talk to you? Are you extremely shy? Are your motives sneaky or transparent?

Vishuddha strongly relates to inner balance. This chakra is a powerful link between our intellect and emotions. It governs the ability of heart and mind to communicate freely, which brings balance. When this chakra is unbalanced, it manifests in blocked feelings, or inappropriate and impulsive reactions to overpowering emotions. It governs our ability to express our needs and our truths. It allows our creative ideas born in the mind to flow downward into the Anahata and Manipura, where they can take root and be brought to life.

This chakra’s element is Ether, its color blue, its sense hearing, its organs the throat and mouth, its activity is speaking, and its planet Venus.

It directs all things communicative, and because of this it also governs the throat, mouth and vocals. Imbalances may manifest as speech impediments, eating disorders, addictions, chronic sore throats, deafness, hearing problems, teeth problems or thyroid imbalances. It governs the thyroid, esophagus, trachea, cervical spine, tonsils, ears and auditory system. It gives us the energy to hear and speak.

The mudra (I use Akasha mudra) calls for thumb and middle finger connected in an “O,” with the other three fingers relaxed outward however they fall. Akasha mudra relates to space, and relives feelings of heaviness or blockages.

To begin a chakra meditation practice, start simple:

  • Sit down cross-legged, or lie down.
  • Start your breath work to become still and present. If you use stones, blue kyanite, blue sapphire, angelic, amazonite and chrysocolla are great for opening and healing Vishuddha. Any blue stones will resonate here.
  • Begin to focus and visualize your breath traveling to your throat as you picture the color blue.
  • Take at least five deep, cleansing breaths that you send to your chakra. Breathe in slowly to 10, hold for 10, breathe out slowly for 10. (Start with five seconds if needed.) Visualize the breath flowing in, spreading throughout, and cleansing as you exhale. Let it take with it everything which no longer serves you. Let it create space within your throat.
  • Practice humming. Close your eyes, plug your ears with your thumbs, and seal your mouth and lips tightly. Tighten the back of the throat. Inhale strongly through the nose, making a snoring sound. Hold the breath, focusing on the space it is creating in your throat—this connects you to the element of this chakra, Ether, or space. When ready, exhale with a forceful high-pitched hum that vibrates your face and throat. Repeat five times.
  • Use a mantra as you breathe in and out. “I speak my truth, my word is my bond.” “I am safe to communicate my needs and feelings in a positive and healthy way.” “I am here to listen and understand, as I seek to be heard and understood.”
  • Flow through yoga asanas geared toward this chakra—heart openers. Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand), Neck stretches (Forward to back, side to side), Simhasana (The Lion, or Lion’s Breath). Practice Pranayama breathing. Chanting, singing, dancing and humming are wonderful for clearing Vishuddha.
  • Don’t rush through, but rather practice the asanas, to build your feelings of stability and strength in them. It’s all about finding the best version of the pose for you, at any given moment. Holding and breathing into the asanas is where the magic happens.

So much of our inability to hear one another arises from Throat Chakra imbalances. We get stuck in listening with our mind and ego, rather than the heart. This is often because the flow of energy is disrupted here, and we judge everything we hear based on ego perceptions and stories. I felt suppressed and incapable of speaking up or expressing myself, so I suffered well into my 30s before I learned how to communicate. I developed severe addictions to drugs and alcohol, which were rooted in my Vishuddha imbalances. Now I seek to keep this chakra’s energy open and flowing, so I never suffer like I once did. It starts with me! I am the only one who can do this work to balance myself, and live in peace.

The goal of working with Vishuddha is to establish a healthy balance of self-expression and honesty. To be able to communicate honestly and openly is a very intimate and vulnerable act. Balance between Anahata and Vishuddha helps this become habit.

Keep in mind, this is meant to be a beginner practice. Chakra work is something that goes deep within, tapping into an infinite source of ancient connectivity. If you quiet yourself, your chakra will tell you what it needs. Believe it or not, they will work to heal themselves once you start giving them the energy and attention to do so.

Many of our problems occur because, like a wheel, one spoke out of alignment results in a flat tire. When all chakras are open and running in a balanced state we find harmony within our mind, body and soul. Remember—have fun. That’s the most important part.

I would love to answer any questions or comments below! I look forward to hearing about your chakra work.

Sat Nam!


Author: Lindsay Carricarte

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Rick & Brenda Beerhorst/Flickr

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