Category Archives: Vishudda
June is National Rose Month. The rose is commonly known as the symbol of love but the true meaning of a rose is dependent on its color. I thought it might be a fun exercise to see look up the symbolic meaning of each rose associated with the chakra colors.
Root chakra (muladhara) – red – love, beauty, courage, respect, passion
Sacral chakra (svadhisthana) – orange – desire, enthusiasm, creativity, fascination
Solar plexus chakra (manipura) – yellow – joy, friendship, welcome back, new beginnings
Heart chakra (anahata) – green – vitality, healing, self-respect, well-being
Throat chakra (vishudda) – blue – the unattainable, the impossible, mystery
Third eye chakra (ajna) – violet* – love at first sight, enchantment
Crown chakra (sahasrara) – white – purity, innocence, youthfulness, sympathy
*often indigo instead
As with the solar plexus chakra, this week’s chakra was a little more challenging for me than last week. But for you, dear reader, I muddled through. Hope you have a little fun with this week’s musical picks.
The throat chakra, vishudda, is the seat of communication and truth.
The fifth chakra is not just about the throat, but also about the shoulders, mouth, and lips. And some lips are adorned with mustaches… okay this one is a bit of a stretch but the only other song I was tempted to use was Sunshine on My Shoulders and that just didn’t have the vibe I was going for.
One of the ways to balance the throat chakra is through song. This clip might show my age a bit, but I don’t really care.
The color of this chakra is blue, so what could be more appropriate with a blues song with “blues” in the title?
The element for this chakra is ether, or some would say space, so how about a song about the moon?
What truths might be discovered when the throat chakra is in balance? Sometimes you never can tell.
May you find freedom in the truth,
Yesterday, we looked at activities to find outlets for creatively expressing our truth. Today we’ll look at ways to open our chakra through introspective inquiry.
When our throat chakra is out of balance, we are unable to find our voice and express our truth. This can manifest as being silent when we should speak up or speaking in such a forceful way that we silence and repress others, neither of which is healthy for ourselves or society as a whole. We are unable to hear and accept truth.
When in balance, the throat chakra allows us to communicate effectively and with integrity. We become seekers of truth without being attached to what we hope it is. We are able to honor truth without judgement. A balanced throat chakra requires and deep connection between the core of our being and the inner workings of the heart and mind. When the other chakras are working in harmony with the throat chakra, we are direct, honest, positive, and encouraging.
Finding balance in this chakra requires us to look at the foundations of how we communicate so we can break unhealthy patterns. Some questions to think about:
- Do I feel free to express my feelings or do I find safety in silence?
- Do I make jokes to mask uncomfortable emotions?
- What are the communication patterns in my family? Was I encouraged or discouraged from speaking the truth?
- How often do I feel I am listened to? That my words are heard?
- What makes me afraid to speak the truth? Where do I feel that reaction physically?
- Do I feel able to ask for help to get what I need?
The following affirmations will help you voice your truth.
- I speak.
- I speak from my heart.
- I speak with grace and integrity.
- I am aligned with my highest truth.
- I communicate with love and honor.
- I acknowledge the power of my words.
- I seek truth and I speak truth.
- What I have to say is valuable.
- The truth sets me free.
- I own my power.
With joy and creativity from my heart to yours,
When the throat chakra is balanced, we find creative ways to communicate our truth. Some fun ways to channel that communication can include singing, humming and chanting. Another way to create sound vibration is drumming.
Listening is also a key element in finding and connecting to truth, so more quiet practices can include journaling, painting, or listening quietly to nature sounds.
Yoga poses that focus on opening the throat and strengthening the shoulders are good for bringing balance to the throat chakra. These can include:
- Lion’s breath;
- Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana);
- Fish (Matsyasana);
- Plow (Halasana);
- Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana); and
- Camel (Ustrasana)
Yours in truth and light,
We’ve looked at how to use food to balance the first, second, third, and fourth chakras and it’s especially continue doing so with the throat chakra. The vishudda encompasses not only the throat but also the mouth and taste buds.
The throat chakra is traditionally associated with fruits, especially blue ones like blueberries and blackberries. Other foods associated with this chakra include herbal tea, dragon fruit, ginseng, wheat grass, mushrooms, kelp, and figs.
This week’s recipe comes from my dear momma’s very first cookbook, a first edition Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book. This same recipe can be made substituting blueberries for the strawberries.
- For 9″ pie, make pastry for a two-crust pie
- 1 1/3 c. sugar
- 1/3 c. flour
- 2 c. cut up rhubarb
- 2 c. sliced strawberries
- 1 1/2 T. butter
Heat over to 425 degrees. Mix sugar and flour. Mix lightly through rhubarb-berry mixture. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust which has slits cut in it. Sprinkle with sugar. Seal and flute. Cover edge with 1 1/2″ strip of aluminum foil to prevent excess browning. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned and juice begins to bubble through the slits. Serve slightly warm.
Stay tasty, my friends,
The throat chakra, or vishudda, is the seat of Truth and communication. Understanding the truth seems simple enough but, in reality, truth is shaded not only by our fluctuating moods and emotions but also by our environment, culture, and societal values. Being able to understand universal truth means being able to recognize our biases and the role they play in obscuring the truth.
Additionally rather than repress our emotions, we instead must learn to express them freely with integrity and without causing harm to others. We are frequently taught from a young age that expressing sadness or pain is a sign of weakness. When our throat chakra is balanced, we recognize that these “negative” emotions are part of living a full, rich life. Finding creative and effective ways to express these emotions are a sign of strength, not weakness.
We must also learn the difficult task of non-attachment, recognizing that the truth isn’t always what we want it to be. Accepting truth for what it is rather than trying to shape it to what we want is liberating and leads to inner peace.
Healing Through Meditation and Visualization
We can balance the chakras in many ways, including meditation and visualization. Included here are some simple suggestions.
Light meditation: The color of the vishudda is blue, often a sky blue. Try this meditation from 1001 Meditations by Mike George:
“Visualize a blue spinning disk at the front of your throat. This will unblock the vishuddha throat chakra, which is associated with shades of blue. This is helpful if you find it difficult to express yourself verbally.
“Taking this exercise a stage further, lie on your back and place a small blue stone or crystal at the base of your throat. Closing your eyes, focus on the stone. Imagine its power activating the vortex of energy at your throat.”
Mantra meditation: You can meditate using a simple mantras. One option is to repeat “I speak” with each breath, mentally saying “I” with the inhale and “speak” with the exhale. Or you could vocalize the Bija mantra of the solar plexus by taking a deep breath in and chanting “HAM” on the exhale (the “a” sounds more like calm than lamb or click here to hear the correct pronunciation).
Stillness meditation: Listening is equally important to effective communication as speaking. One of my favorite teachers, Erich Schiffmann, often says, “Think less. Listen more,” during his workshops. Simple, but not easy. To help us get to that point is another effective meditation from 1001 Meditations by Mike George:
“Letting be. Much of the discord we experience comes from resisting what is. Take a step toward inner harmony by accepting whatever is happening in the moment. Silently say ‘yes’ to your thoughts and feelings, the sensations within your body, and the sights and sounds that you see and hear around you. Once you allow what is to simply be there, without wishing to change it in any way, you make contact with he stillness at the heart of being.”
Namaste, dear readers,
Most of this week’s classes will focus on our fifth chakra, the throat, and hearing and speaking the Truth.
Saturday, I’ll host my last workshop of the Summer. Exploring the Niyama is at 10 a.m. at Morton Center. See more details below.
And I’m super excited that I will get to spend the weekend studying (except Saturday morning, of course) with one of my favorite teachers, Swami Maheshananda Saraswati! He’s the coolest swami I know and we’re lucky he makes a stop in Indy with the Yoga Mitra Mandal when he’s in the States. Many thanks to them for hosting.
Hope to see you this week! Here’s more about where I’ll be.
- 4 p.m. Art at the Museum (Art Museum of Greater Lafayette)
- 7:15 p.m. Yin Yoga (Community Yoga)
- 9:30 a.m. Classic Yoga (Community Yoga)
- 7:15 p.m. Restorative Yoga (Community Yoga)
- 5:45 p.m. Classic Yoga (Community Yoga)
- 7:15 p.m. Yoga for Better Balance (Yoga Balance/Morton Center)
- 10 a.m. Exploring the Niyama (Yoga Balance/ Morton Center) The sage Patanjali outlined an eight-limbed path of yoga, a step-by-step guide to cultivate a steady mind so that we may obtain a state of bliss. Most of us are familiar with asana (or physical postures), the third of the eight limbs. Using asana, mantras and meditation, this class will explore the second limb of yoga: the niyama, the moral code for how we care for ourselves. Investment: $20 Reserve your space through the Morton Center offices (765) 775-5120 or drop in.
Peace and love,