The Throat Chakra: Finding Your Voice

With all this talk of sound I felt it would be important to move into the throat, the 5th chakra, Vissuddha Chakra:

Color: Cobalt Blue
Seed Syllable: HAM
Element: Ether
Rules: Thyroid, jaw, neck, mouth, throat, tongue, larynx
Planet: Mercury

Because the 5th chakra is located in the throat and governs higher communication, speaking, hearing and listening, it helps us to understand our inner truth and convey it with our voice to the outside world. The sense for the 5th chakra is hearing. Chanting, singing, speaking, reading aloud are all good for the 5th chakra. The vibrations of all these things affect the body down to the cellular level.

The element for the 5th chakra is ether/space. It is connected to the cosmos, which consists of these elements. Deficient energy in the 5th chakra can cause neck and shoulder problems, jaw disorders, throat problems, an under active thyroid and a fear of speaking.

On the other hand, excessive energy in the 5th chakra can cause hearing problems, inability to listen, excessive talking and an overactive thyroid.

Here are some yogic suggestions to work with the throat chakra:

Asana
– Matsyasana (fish pose)
– Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
– Setu Bhanda Sarvangasana (bridge pose)
– Neck Stretches

Pranayama
– Ujjayi (conqueror breath)

Bhandas
– Jalandhara Bhanda

Mantra
All kinds of mantra and chanting are excellent for releasing the throat chakra.

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The Body & Sound: Stress and the Impact of Sound

When I embarked on my Yoga Teacher Training in 2008 I went to Sedona, Arizona to complete my training. When I wasn’t in class I had the opportunity to explore the beauty of the desert surrounding Sedona. When I would get out on hikes, I was always moved by the deep and profound stillness I could find in many of these places. It was such a stark difference from the noise and the bustle of the Bay Area from where I had come. In these modern times, we constantly find ourselves surrounded by noise: traffic, airplanes, the hum of electronics and the beep of machines. In an urban environment, it is rare to find these pockets of complete silence. While it can be easy to “tune it out” after a while, one wonders what the long term impact of all of this sound might be.

As someone who has worked with soundhealing for many years, I have seen the profound impacts of sound on the body. Just as negative sounds and noise can impact the body other sounds can help to bring us back into harmony. The body is made up of roughly 70% water, an excellent conduit for vibration and sound. The question then becomes, “what sounds do we want to be a conduit for?”

In a study conducted at Cornell University, Gary Evans an international expert on environmental stress, such as noise, crowding, and air pollution found: “…that even low-level noise can be a stressor. It elevates psychophysiological factors and triggers more symptoms of anxiety and nervousness.” His study makes an excellent case for the importance of finding an escape from these environmental stressors and also speaks to the importance of “re-tuning” the body through chanting, soft music and sound healing.

The Importance of Sound

In a 2010 interview with CNN, Chairman of the Sound Agency, Julian Treasure, spoke about the benefits of sound for healing the body. He likened the body to a chord and to illness as something that vibrates out of harmony with the sound of the body.

Acutonics, involves the use of tuning forks placed on the body, on acupuncture points and places of tension and pain. The sound and the vibration of the tuning forks help to bring the “chord” of the body back into vibration with its natural resonance. Not only does the vibration help to release tension and bring the systems into harmony, but the sound of the forks also helps to relax the body and calm the nervous system.

If you are interested in finding out more about Acutonics visit my website.

To hear some sample sounds of the forks click here.

To read more of Julian Treasure’s interviews click the links below:

Read his interview:

10 Things You Don’t Know About Sound

Julian elaborates on this interview in his blog article below:

Science or Pseudoscience? Sound, Music and Health

Fire in the Belly: The 3rd Chakra

“Fire is the spark of life that ignites will to action. Fire is the spark between Shiva and Shakti…” Anodea Judith, Wheels of Life.

Color: Golden Yellow

Seed Syllable: RAM

Element: Fire

Rules: Digestive System, Agni (digestive fire)

Planet: Sun

The 3rd chakra is the space from which we make manifest the watery dreams of the 2nd chakra. Students who will benefit from work with this chakra are those who have difficult making decisions and taking action. Physically, students who are prone to digestion issues and coldness will also find 3rd chakra focus of great benefit.

Here are some yogic suggestions to embrace the 3rd charka and your inner fire:

Asana

– Surya Namaskar (sun salutations)

– Virabhandrasana I, II & III (warrior poses)

– Trikonasana (triangle)

– Dhanurasana (bow)

Pranayama

– Bhastrikia

– Breath of Fire (Kapalabhati)

Bhandas

– Uddiyana Bhanda