Yoga and the 5th Chakra, Vishuddha

Lexie McArtor, Yoga Illumined 2013, Castle Hill Yoga, Yogafly, Sumukhi, Zoe Mantarakis, Pincha Mayurasana

Lexie McArtor, Yoga Illumined 2013 in Pincha Mayurasana

Do your actions and words match?  Do you do what you say you are going to do?  Or are you all talk and no action?  If your walk doesn’t match your talk, then we would say the 5th Chakra is imbalanced or needs to be powered up.

The 5th chakra center of energy in the body resides in the Throat.  In Sanskrit, it is called Vishuddha, which means “with purity” or “purification.”  It is said that Shiva, the Lord of Transformation, one-pointed stillness, meditation and peace swallowed all of the worlds’ poisons and thus, turned his throat blue.  The color of the throat chakra is lapis lazuli, indigo or really any shade of blue.  Sometimes, I like to visualize the blue sky snuggled around my throat area, especially if I’m having any upper respiratory tract discomfort.  The blue sky confers amazing protection.

The bija mantra or seed sound of the Throat chakra is Ham or “Hum”.  And its element is the 5th element of Akasha, atmosphere, space or ether.  The endocrine gland located at the throat is the Thyroid.  The thyroid regulates the body’s metabolism.

As Caroline Myss says, the 5th Chakra is Choice Central.  This is where we make choices that unite the Heart (4th Chakra) with the Mind (6th Chakra) and the rest of the 7 chakras.  Within this center of Choice in the body, we have what we call the Free Will – the ability to discern and make choices that ultimately free us or bind us even further.  The 5th Chakra is the center of Will-power or lack thereof.

Myss explains that until there is congruence (or “Yoga” in the language of Yogis, Yoga means congruence) between the Heart and the Mind, the two are on different tracks.  The Heart says, “let’s Feel our way through this” and the Mind says, “no, no, let’s Think our way through this.”  When the Heart and the Mind aren’t united through empowering choices at the Throat, Myss explains that life remains on a Healing track.  And your life orders itself around situations that are meant to provide the most healing.  She says these situations are not always comfortable, but are necessary.  When the Heart and the Mind are united through choices you consciously make — the 5th chakra includes the ability to express your Truth, the ability to know when to say something and when not to — then your Life is on a Creative track – and life orders itself to help you co-create the life you truly wished for.

What I see with most people is that we fluctuate between these three worlds – Healing, Feeling, Creativity and Knowing – until we get to the point where they all sweetly align.  And it’s not as if at this point of alignment then all problems drop and life becomes a big batch of bon-bons, it’s just that you simply embrace it all as part of the play of life, and all of life’s ups and downs and highs and lows don’t pull you away from your Center.

Guruji, Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, through The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali explains that the first two limbs of the 8-limb system of Yoga, “Yama” and “Niyama” are willpower and the way and the means to attaining willpower.  To be exact, the Yamas – ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacharya, aparigraha – define what “willpower” is and the the Niyamas – shaucha, santosha, tapah, svadhyaya, Ishvara-pranidhana – define the “way or the means” towards attaining “gigantic willpower.”

Said another way, understanding the first two limbs (Yama and Niyama) of the 8-limbs of Yoga (Ashtanga) as described by Patanjali helps each of us transcend the Victim or “poor me” consciousness that happens to all human beings at one point or another.  Mastery of the power of Choice, purification of all energy that travels through all 7 chakras, and especially the channels that move between the Mind and the Heart at the Throat area help the individual attain the willpower needed to go beyond all debilitating limitations.

There are many Hatha Yoga poses for the 5th chakra.  Lexie McArtor, Yoga Illumined 2013, is pictured in Pincha Mayurasana – forearm stand or feathered peacock pose at Castle Hill Yoga.  This is a great pose for powering up the Throat, neck and shoulder area.  Any variety of legs up the walls pose – as pictured by Liz Thompson and Julio Otazo below, Yoga Illumined 2013, also help power up all seven chakras and balance the 5th.

Yoga Illumined, Yogafly, Sumukhi, Liz Thompson, Austin, Texas, Yoga, Castle Hill Yoga

Liz Thompson, Yoga Illumined 2013, legs up wall asana

During the 5th Chakra Yoga class at Castle Hill Yoga earlier this month I finished up by chanting the Medicine Buddha mantra:

Tadhyata om Bhekaze Bhekaze

Maha Bhekaze Bhekaze

Rasa Samungate Svaha

“To the Medicine Buddha, of healing Lapis Lazuli blue light, I surrender all sickness, all ill-health and all in-congruencies.”

Om shantih om,


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