Leading on from our month of sanskrit in December where we explored how important and magical words with meaning are, we head into a month exploring the throat chakra.
In yogic philosophy there are seven major chakras, energy centres, that run up a central energy channel. Our being is full of these channels that transport things around our body – physically think about the digestive tract or the veins moving food and blood around our body – but we also have numerous energy channels that move prana (life force), emotions, energy around. It’s interesting to note that if we block these channels, say with suppressed emotions, then this results in dis-ease just as it would if our digestive track was blocked.
So back to this central energy channel, it’s called sushumna nadi and you could think of it as running up your spine. At seven spots on this nadi you will find the chakras.
Our focus this month has been on just one of these chakra points, vishuddha chakra or throat chakra.
All about vishuddha Chakra:
Translation: Pure (“Poison Removing”)
Bija Mantra: HAM
Organs: Thyroid/Vocal Organs/Ears/Skin
Outer Body: Throat/Neck
Asana: Shoulderstand/Plough/Fish/Twists/Forward Folds
Key Word: Communication
Relationship: Yourself (see yourself as a holy being)
Visshuda is the centre for all of our communication, with one another and with ourselves. As with all of the chakras, the work must start with the self before we can expand it out. If the throat chakra is balanced we will feel open, able to easily communicate and connect with people and our community and of course we will be able to find a deeper connection with ourselves,
So what better way to start the new year than focusing on how we communicate with ourselves. How do we talk to ourselves, what language do we use, do we need to change that in any way?
New Year so often starts with a resolution – I will lose weight, I will start going to the gym, I will eat better – so often New Years resolutions by their very nature suggest that you are not good enough in some way and therefore you need to improve yourself.
The great Kundalini master, Yogi Bhajan said yoga is not about self improvement, it is about self acceptance.
Maybe we could start the year instead with a sankalpa. Finding the right words to empower ourselves. A sankalpa translates as the crystallisation of the hearts inner most vision – I am standing in my strength – for example
So how do you balance the throat chakra? In yoga there are certain poses (such as listed above), mantra and chanting of course, listening to your teacher telling stories, sharing philosophy or simple guiding you through a class, certain pranayama practices such as ujjai breath or simple humming and of course just taking time to communicate and connect with people. Maybe say hello to the person next to you in class when you arrive.
Our monthly kirtan is this Friday night, 18th January, where we will come together as a community to chant, chat, I’ll be telling a few stories and we will polish our throat chakras beautifully. 5 spots remaining at I type!