Chakras 101: The Throat Chakra
We’re up to the fifth chakra! Now, we’ve moved into the upper three chakras, which are the most spiritual of the seven. Beginning with the throat chakra, these energy centers are all in the uppermost part of the body and are concerned with more ethereal principles rather than physical ones.
Keep reading to learn all about the throat chakra, or check out the first four posts in this series, beginning with the root, to read about the first four chakras in the chakra system!
The Throat Chakra at a Glance
The throat chakra, or vishudda chakra in Sanskrit, is located at the center of the neck. It acts as the individual’s force of expression and individual truth, both internally and externally. A balanced throat chakra helps to set us free from the fear of judgement or need for approval from others. This chakra helps us to embrace our originality and unique individual experiences in the world. It is also associated with purity, thus connecting it to the concept of truth.
The throat chakra is responsible for communication, the expression of thoughts, feelings, and ideas, a healthy internal dialogue, and striking the balance between speaking and listening, as well as the seeking and sharing of truth, social skills, and personal integrity and honor. It also works closely with the sacral chakra: while the sacral chakra governs creativity, it is the throat chakra that allows the individual to express those creative ideas, rather than stifling them for fear of others’ opinions.
The root chakra has a masculine energy and is symbolized by a blue 16-petaled flower. Elementally, it is associated with sound, and its mantra is, “I speak.”
On the Earth
On the planet, the throat chakra lies at a combination of three sites in the Middle East: the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, Mount Sinai in Egypt, and the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, all three of which have historical importance.
The Great Pyramid dates back to around 2500 B.C. and was built to be the tomb for Pharaoh Khufu; Mount Sinai is where the Old Testament of the Bible states Moses received the Ten Commandments; the Mount of Olives (and Jerusalem in general) was an important location during the lifetime of Jesus. Connecting these three sites on a map forms a near-perfect right triangle. Since the throat chakra governs voice and communication, many believe these sites to represent “the cries of the mother” from the Middle East — the Earth’s way of calling out for help amidst humanity’s relentless turmoil.
When Blocked or Out of Balance
A throat chakra which is out of alignment can lead to a variety of issues throughout the body, mind, and emotions. For one thing, ailments like laryngitis, hoarseness, sore throats, tension and pain in the neck, shoulders, or jaw, difficulties within the thyroid, lymph system, or pituitary gland, and problems with the teeth, gums, nose, ears, lower sinuses or upper respiratory system could arise if the throat chakra is blocked (again I’m not a doctor and cannot replace one, these are just possibilities).
Emotionally, one might feel shy, insecure, or socially anxious around others, choose not to speak at all, or be unable to express oneself. Conversely, one might dominate conversations, complain excessively, gossip, speak aggressively or without thinking, not allow others to express themselves, or need to always be right.
A variety of yoga asanas like shoulder stand, plow pose, fish pose, lion’s pose, seated cat-cow, and neck circles can help to target and open the throat chakra. These poses could either be utilized independently or in a sequence such as this throat chakra yoga, speak your truth sequence, or hatha flow for the thyroid. Similarly, a yogic breathing technique called ujjayi pranayama breathing uses the breath to bring energy to the throat area, which can help to align the throat chakra.
Without fail, meditating is one of the best ways to balance the chakras. In regard to the throat chakra, meditating can facilitate the process of growing in touch with one’s internal dialogue and personal truth. Try a guided mediation for the throat chakra, like the ones I’ve mentioned here!
Or, for a quicker and more customizable practice, do a brief sound mediation using the seed syllable, “ham.” (But be sure to pronounce it with the same vowel sound as the word, “hot,” rather than, “ham,” like the food, and draw out the vowel sound in your throat.)
Incorporating affirmations into activities like yoga and mediation can amplify their benefit to the throat chakra. Equally beneficial is the practice of working them into small moments of the day, like a morning or nighttime routine. Some affirmations for the throat chakra could be:
- I live and speak my truth.
- My voice is unique and valuable.
- I freely and honestly use my voice to express myself.
- I communicate clearly.
- I know when to speak and I know when to listen.
- I advocate for myself and I stand up for what I believe.
Some other small ways to focus on the throat chakra include aromatherapy, crystals, and a colorful, healthy diet. For instance, essential oils like peppermint, spearmint, basil, and cypress are widely believed to benefit the openness of the throat chakra, as are the stones labradorite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, azurite, blue lace agate, and amazonite.
Natural, healthy foods in the color of the throat chakra, like blue-green algae and kelp, can also bring conducive energies to the throat area. Another tip is to eliminate dairy products from the diet in order to to avoid dairy-related mucus buildup in the throat, which can feel restrictive and further close the energy flow of the throat chakra.
To grow comfortable using one’s voice in order to keep the throat chakra freely flowing with energy, it could be beneficial to practice speaking one’s mind with a trusted person. Choose a friend or family member who will listen well, and remember that the more frequent the communication, the easier it will become. Not everyone will be comfortable doing that, though; if not, journal and write things down instead! Any manner of consistently practicing expressing oneself will help take care of the throat chakra and make advocating for oneself more feasible going forward.
Since the throat chakra’s element is sound, use sound in any way possible. Listen to things like singing bowls or nature sounds while meditating or doing yoga, and whether by laughing, shouting into a pillow, humming, or singing in the car or the shower, using the voice is most important!
In the same way, placing oneself in locations or environments associated with sound can create a conducive environment for aligning the throat chakra. For example, the hustle and bustle of a city where all kinds of people express their individual truths in distinct ways can inspire others to do the same! Think unique places like Tokyo, Berlin, New York City, Seoul, or San Francisco. On the contrary, places alive with natural sound, like the Amazon rainforest, could be great for the introspection necessary to understand personal truth and develop a healthy and honest internal dialogue.
In order to live our lives from places of honesty and authenticity, we must embrace our own unique experiences in the world and unashamedly share them with others! Each of us has a special story to share, and a balanced throat chakra can enable and empower that very sharing. Nothing is more powerful than speaking our truth!