Letting Off Steam

The throat chakra, or Vishuddhi is represented by a 16 petalled lotus. In the centre of the lotus is an inverted triangle representing speech, a circle representing ether or space and the sanskrit symbol for vishudda, HAM (pronounced hum).
The throat chakra, or Vishuddha, is represented by a 16 petalled lotus. In the centre of the lotus is an inverted triangle representing speech and pulling in of Universal energy, a circle representing ether or space and the sanskrit symbol for Vishudda, HAM (pronounced hum). The word ‘vishuddha’ means purification.

The throat chakra is located in that little v at the base of the throat, and governs the neck, shoulders, arms, throat, thyroid and parathyroid, immunity, mouth, teeth and gums, hearing, speaking and communicating in general. The purpose of this chakra is to enable us to speak our truth, listen to other people’s truths, enable us to be heard and to find our true voice. Our throat chakras can be over-active, under-active or unbalanced, causing us to oscillate between the two. I think we all know people who have over-active throat chakras – they talk too much, too loudly, are insensitive and inappropriate with their speech. They are not usually good listeners. On the flip side are the people with under-active throat chakras who speak too softly, find it difficult to be heard, will find it hard to initiate a conversation and have difficulty in expressing how they feel. These people may be known as good listeners. I think most of us fall somewhere in the middle – sometimes we are loud and talk too much, sometimes we feel uncomfortable speaking and sometimes we nail it. And so it goes in Earth School 🙂

I have been thinking a great deal about my throat chakra over the past couple of weeks – ever since day 31 of my 40 day heart chakra journey, when I realised that my unexpressed emotions were blocking my throat chakra and causing my neck and shoulder pain and stiffness. People, I am a human pressure cooker :). I have discovered that I avoid conflict, suppress my anger to the detriment of my body and go way too easy on my female friends and too hard on the men in my life (I guess I figured they could take it!). Even though my 40 days of heart yoga is ended, something tells me that my 40 day heart journey was just the preliminary to the really juicy stuff – the throat.

So, for the last nine days of my 40 day heart commitment, I also worked on releasing my throat chakra. For me, yoga is

This hand position is called the Shankh mudra and is associated with the throat. It looks like a conch shell. Holding this mudra while meditating is very powerful.always the first place I go – it’s such a great tool box. I found a really effective asana sequence here – neck rolls and stretches (I added a couple of my own), downward dog going into cobra, child pose into camel repeated five times (I just do a half camel, with my hands linked behind my back), bridge (I use a block to support my sacrum), shoulderstand (in a chair – it helps me to get the correct action in my shoulders), plow and fish. I have also been singing (loudly!), wearing crystals and colours associated with the throat and using the hand mudra associated with Vishudda. Do you know about hand mudras? It’s basically hand yoga, used as another way to get energy flowing. The hand mudra for the throat chakra looks like this:

This hand position is called the Shankh mudra and is associated with the throat. It looks like a conch shell. Holding this mudra while meditating on the throat chakra is very powerful.

It takes a week for my neck and shoulders to come good – a week of doing the heart and throat sequence every day, as well as getting a really good remedial massage from an expert therapist. Focused as I am on my throat and neck, I start to notice when I am ‘building up steam’ – it can be something small: something I read, or hear, a conversation – something that triggers an emotion within me that I don’t know what to do with. Sometimes I might think a thought that I decide isn’t worthy of me, sometimes I get irritated or some button gets pushed. My neck gets tight and stiff, and starts to ache. Right then if I breathe and roll and stretch my neck, it lets the energy through, up and out. I don’t have to hold onto it, or analyse it or suppress it, It’s just gone. Obviously some things have to be dealt with, but most of the things that trigger my neck tightness during the day are just thoughts about what I am experiencing during the day – it’s not necessary or even possible to resolve them:

Now, listen here Prime Minister Abbott, I’m sick to death of your bullshit. I don’t like you, your government or your policies. I think many of your ideas are a crime against humanity. I would appreciate it very much if you would step aside and let me choose someone to run this country the way that I think it should be run.

You know? 🙂 There is so much in life that we can’t control. Mostly, our only option is to breathe and let it all go…or not our only option, of course not. You can also do what I have been doing, which is sucking it up, suppressing, analysing and justifying it, then inappropriately expressing the rest!

The massage therapist that I saw during this time (and will continue to see – I have an appointment with him every fortnight 🙂 ), said that it was unlikely that yoga caused my neck and shoulder problems. More likely, it uncovered what was already there, removing the coping mechanisms I was using to hide and compensate for it. This strikes me as spot on. Truly, there is an entire lifetime of emotional patterning to release, probably more than 40 days worth! Still, it feels exciting to be finally working with this area.

A yoga friend (thanks Andi!) on Facebook said to me the other day:

But sometimes we just need to be comfortable being uncomfortable while it works itself out. When you have things come up it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going backwards. It could also just mean that you’ve cleared out the more easily cleared out stuff and that you’re bringing up older, deeper memories. I consistently have to remind myself of that!

There is wonderful wisdom everywhere, you know?

Thanks for following my adventures into the heart everyone, I’m signing off now 🙂 If you’ve just found me and would like to know more about the Heart Kriya I have been doing or 40 days of yoga, you can go here:

Opening Pandora’s Box (first 10 days)
Adventures into the Heart (second 10 days)
Wisdom of the Heart (third 10 days)

And this: because your self work is your first job.



    • Interesting! Pilates was inspired by yoga, but for me, yoga is the full package – mind, body, spirit. Asanas or postures are a more recent evolution of yoga, but there is an ancient lineage of spiritual tools, that just really resonates with me. You should try it!


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