The fifth chakra, Vissudha, is our voice. It is governing our ability to express ourselves, to listen and to communicate with others. It challenges us to think about what we say and what we hold back, what is our truth and how willing we are to share it.
To balance your Vissudha chakra, yoga poses that focus on the upper back and throat can be beneficial. Here are 5 yoga poses that can bring balance to your 5th chakra.
1. Neck rolls
If the throat chakra is not balanced, this can lead to tension in the neck and jaw. You may grind your teeth or have tensed shoulders.
Start by sitting comfortably in Sukhasana, and bring a block under your hips if needed. Start with tilting your head from side to side, slowly observing if there is any tension. You can roll your head from side to side, and stretch the sides as well as the back of the neck. Make also sure that the jaw is released. Continue for 1-2 minutes.
2. Matsyasana - Fish pose
The Fish pose opens the throat and the chest. It stimulates the thyroid and strengthens the muscles of the back.
Start with laying on your back, and slide your hands slightly under your hips. Keep your hands touching your hips at all times throughout the pose. Imagine there is a magnet in the middle of your chest pulling you up. With an inhale, start slowly lifting up your chest from this point. The crown of the head, or the back of the head, touches the floor, and the forearms stay grounded to the floor. Stay for 2-4 breaths and come out slowly. If you feel any tension in your neck or throat, lower the chest and the angle of the head.
3. Salamba Sarvangasana - Supported Shoulderstand
The supported Shoulder stand tunes the nerves running in the neck, and stimulates the thyroid. The pose calms the mind while energizing the body. As it's an inversion, the blood starts to circulate better and the mind gets clearer.
You can start in Viparita Karani, bringing the legs up the wall and hips close to the wall. Place the bottoms of your feet against the wall, and have your hands firmly on the ground. From here you can start slowly lifting your hips up, firmly rooting your feet onto the wall. Once up, you can bring your hands behind your lower back to support your back, and raise one leg at a time, or both legs, into supported shoulder stand.
Be mindful not to adjust yourself when in the pose! Stay for 2-4 breaths to begin with. Slowly come down by placing your feet back on the wall, and lowering yourself onto the mat. With any pain or discomfort in the neck, avoid the pose.
4. Purvottanasana - Upward plank
This pose gives a great stretch to the shoulders, neck and upper back, releasing tension from the whole front of the body.
To come to this pose, start with sitting in Dandasana, and place your hands behind your hips, fingers pointing towards you. Take an inhale, and on an exhale press into your hands and lift up your hips. Try to open up the chest towards the skies, and if your neck feels comfortable, you can drop your head gently. Leave your neck neutral if you have any discomfort in the neck. Hold for 2-3 breaths at first, and come out slowly by lowering your hips.
5. Child's pose
Child's pose is a wonderful, restorative pose, relaxing the upper back, neck and throat. You can have your knees together, or apart, whichever feels more comfortable. Have your hands straight in front, or folded underneath your forehead. Place a flat pillow or bolster under your hip bones to make the pose more comfortable. Try to let go of all the tensions you might be holding in this area, and relax yourself with every breath.
In all poses try to imagine the freedom you have when you can speak your truth in every situation, and with every person. Remind yourself:
I have the right to speak my truth. I love to share my experiences and wisdom. I am at peace.