Sanskrit Name: Vishuddha
Location: Located it the neck, throat, jaw and mouth area. It governs the vocal cords, bronchial apparatus, lungs and metabolism. Through the throat chakra we practice speaking our truth, expressing our feelings and developing the ability to communicate at many levels.
When Balanced: This chakra attends to helping us find a personal way to interact with the outside world. Conscious listening, constructive communication and positive self-expression can all bring better health to our immune system that resonates at our thymus gland.
When Unbalanced: The effect is fear of speaking, teeth grinding, neck and shoulder stiffness, excessive talking, inability to listen and TMJ. Our bodily dysfunctions are thyroid gland problems, voice problems, flu and sore throats.
The subtle vibrations that happen when we talk and sing have a connection to the entire energy field of the universe. Being mindful of how we feel when we express our inner truth (honesty) and how it feels when we express judgment, or non truths, can affect our rhythm or contentment in life.
Yoga postures are therapeutic to helping balance and maintain healthy chakra functioning. Some of the poses that benefit the fifth chakra have neck focus. They help us stretch through our obsessions and open areas of stagnation with expression and sound. Physically opening this area also helps tone the face and neck by easing muscle tension in these areas.
Here's an easy one to relieve irritability we hold in the face and jaw and can be practiced while driving or have a moment alone.
The Lion: Sitting or standing, put your hands on your knees. (If driving, keep your hands on the wheel!) Pause and take a long deep breath in and long deep breath out to relax. Begin with a deep inhale, then lean forward and extend your neck, open your mouth as wide as you can, look up at the ceiling (or out the windshield) stick out your tongue and growl loud like a lion 'til all the breath is gone. Take another deep inhale and repeat two more times. Get louder and use a visual of what you would like to express and to whom. This helps release frustration at the traffic, avoiding road rage and unexpected conflicts with others (or yourself). Enjoy the tingling and inner smile that follow.
If you like, you can use one of the following to help enhance your experience while you're in the posture.
Color: Blue -- Visualize this shade and its slow vibration in the opened area.
Sound: Ham (rhymes with yum) -- Repeat this over and over, drawing out the letter "m."
Mantra: "I express" -- Repeat this slowly and mindfully (aloud or to yourself).
Ask DIANE UTASKI a question by e-mailing her at email@example.com. If your question is chosen, win a free yoga class at the Cincinnati Yoga School.