Vishuddha is the energy center of communication, expression, and rationality. It is the fifth of the chakras and acts as a link between the heart and the head, between emotions and rationality. It’s colour is blue and it’s element is ether. In balance, it enables you to communicate with ease, honesty and to show the truest version of yourself.
When your throat chakra is out of balance you may find it difficult to communicate and have an inability to express yourself, which consequently puts one’s identity at risk. If it is too strong it could manifest itself in dominance, supremacy or manipulation and if too weak it may manifest as shyness, awkwardness or fear of conflict.
On a physical level, health problems with the throat neck or teeth could be down to a blocked throat chakra. Moving the neck and opening the shoulders are effective to open up Visshudha. So below are four poses I find help to strengthen this Chakra.
1. Neck Release. The median nerve runs from the neck all the way down the arm to the fingers. This stretch is great to reduce the chances of getting tennis/golfers elbow and reduce tightness in the neck. Using this pose below, making space in the neck, applying gentle pressure on the side of the head and lengthening the arm should tap into the median nerve. To deepen this you can flex your extended hand, point the fingers to the sky and also you could pop the hand against a wall, whilst maintaining the same neck tilt.
2. Bitilasana. This pose is often used in conjunction with cat pose, Marjaryasana - moving from one to the other using breath as a guide. Starting on all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips, drop the belly button to the earth, tilt the tailbone to the sky and open your heart forward. To invigorate the cervical, upper spine, let your neck join into the movement so long as it is comfortable.
3. Salamba Sarvangasana. If you are ready for an inversion, this is a fantastic pose to strengthen the spine, core, legs and neck. It activates Vishuddha, reverses circulation and sends fresh blood to the throat. Please warm up a little through the neck, back and hamstrings before trying a shoulder stand, it is a test for your posterior chain (back body). And it is VERY important to keep your gaze forward to the sky, giving as little movement to the neck as possible. You are compressing your neck so be mindful. Lying down, rock your legs up and back behind your head, take your hands to the lower back and draw your elbows towards one another for stability. Lift the feet to the sky, point the toes, activate the legs and draw your hips towards the top of your mat (your head), whilst keeping toes high. If you feel good, staying here for 2-5 minutes, taking deep breaths.
4. Karnapidasana. This is a fairly advanced pose and will stretch your posterior chain. Coming from lying down, rock your feet up and behind you. Begin by extending the legs long if the hamstrings allow and then bending the knees, guide them down towards your ears. To modify, keep your hands on your lower back to offer support. Like a shoulder stand, it’s so important to maintain a forward gaze with as little movement through your neck as possible. This pose stimulates the thyroid gland and activates the fifth chakra.
Be careful when trying the last two, take your time and warm up sufficiently!