Updated: May 16
According to certain yoga philosophies, we have 7 main energy centers and numerous secondary energy centers associated with our being. Vishudda, the throat chakra, is our 5th energy center and its related to our ability to communicate, and interact with the world. It can be affected by emotions such as fear, anxiety, and anger. These days, over a year into the Covid 19 pandemic, many are experiencing fear over the unknown, anxiety about the future and for some, anger over the extended lockdowns or the way others may be acting in opposition to our held views. Whatever your experience is, know you are not alone. This Yin Practice is meant to provide you with tools to clear blockages and transform fear or other emotions that may be negatively impacting your health.
Vishuddha chakra, located in the area of the throat is symbolized as a lotus flower with 16 petals fanning around it. In the center is an upside down triangle, and within the triangle a circle, like a full moon. This energy center is said to be ruled by the planet Mercury and associated with the colours of aquamarine or turquoise blue. The seed mantra for Vishuddha is Ham. We can use this knowledge to help us align with the energy of this chakra during yoga practices and meditations.
Vishuddha, or Vishuddhi, is the Sanskrit word and it is roughly translated to mean "purity or purification". It is associated with our ability to speak or relate ourselves to the world and how we interpret the outer world. From a yogic perspective, this energy center can be negatively impacted or affected by emotions of excessive stress, fear, or anger. We know that excessive, unhealthy stress has a negative impact on our mental and physical wellbeing. From a yogic perspective, the energy associated with fear, anger, and anxiety can create energy blockages or impurities affecting our optimal functioning.
When I experience energy blocks, I feel I am not able to receive and share all the gifts the Universe has to offer. It is like my receptivity is "off", my ability to "tune in" seems more like static on a radio station than a clear frequency station. I created this Yin Practice to address the blockages, stagnation and negative energy impacting the throat chakra that may arise from fear or anxiety.
We can contribute to our own happiness, wellness and balanced energy by learning how to transform our experience from fear, anxiety or anger into learning, growth, evolution and eventually wisdom. As we proceed through this Yin Yoga practice for Vishuddha we are encouraged to remain as a neutral observer of the subtle energy body, especially in the area of the throat. This energy center is the bridge between our lower energy centers (anahata, manipura, svadhistana, muladhara) to our highest chakras located in the area of the forehead (ajna) and the crown (sahasrara). When Vishuddha is clear, it creates an optimal pathway to these higher centers.
Our throat chakra is related to our ability to share, express and convey our internal world to our outer world. It is also related to how we receive or perceive the external world. The ability to do so, without overlaying what we experience with judgement, preconceived thought patterns or opinions, may indicate our 5th energy center is open and unpolluted. Likewise, our inability to interact with the outer world with integrity, openness, balance and harmony my indicate this energy center is blocked or obstructed.
The emotion of fear is a contributing factor to Vishuddha being sullied, unable to function optimally. Fear is often an emotion we experience when faced with the unknown. And we have been living with a lot of unknowns over the past year due to the pandemic. Our minds often kick into high gear and create "worst case" scenarios, that our thoughts continue to feed and reinforce. We perpetuate our own agony! In my experience, these worst case scenarios rarely come to fruition and I have spent endless hours and energy unnecessarily and negatively impacting my mental and physical wellbeing.
If we can discover a way to observe what is occurring, with an attitude of more openness, and less judgement, we can help ourselves release and move through strong feelings that are weighing us down and blocking the energy of the throat. The future may seem very difficult to visualize, and the path may seem unclear right now. We may be interpreting what is happening in the external world as "wrong" or "bad" because it is different from what is familiar to us. In this case, it may help to align with the idea that the world is always in a state of evolution. We too, like the universe, are constantly evolving and growing. Evolution and growth by their nature imply change, progression and transformation. And, as we know, change is the only constant.
We may not know what the future holds, but we can strengthen our resolve to be in this moment with less fear, less anxiety and less anger. We can promote our ability to jump to fewer conclusions or assume how things will unfold. We may not know where we are heading, but we don't need to in order to get "there" with more ease and less fear.
If we allow fear to rule us, we can become paralyzed; and that paralysis can prevent us from being fully present, here, now. We have the capacity to clear blockages, change thought patterns, offer fewer criticisms or judgements. And we can begin now, with this Yin Practice. Join me, as I lead you through a practice to transform fear into insight, reduce anxiety and create more pure, open pathways. Learn to transform the experiences being lived into opportunities for growth, learning and wisdom.