October 13, 2015

Embraced by Ether

From the love of the heart, we move our focus this week to the throat chakra.   The throat chakra, or Vishuddha (purification) is the 5th step in our chakra ladder.  This chakra is in charge of communication – external communication and how we express our ideas, but also (and maybe more importantly) our internal communication and how we talk to ourselves or how we receive our ideas that we want to express out and share with the world. 

Vishuddha is located at the throat, which is the narrowest part of our body along the spine.  This chakra is often seen as a gateway or doorway to our upper more spiritual chakras.  The element associated with this chakra is ether.  No one can really 
logically define what ether is, but numerous cultures believe it is the unseen energy and spirit that is not a part of our world, yet supports this physical world.  It is incomprehensible and mysterious, yet powerful.  The ancients often referred to ether as the fifth element as it contains, holds together and fills the spaces between the other four earthly elements.  In the Vedic or Yogic tradition, the fifth element (ether) is vibrational frequency or sound energy that is present in everything.  Even when we are not making a physical sound, we are still producing vibrations with our thoughts.  Anything we say, whether it is voiced or voiceless has some kind of impact. 

I hear my inner voice when I listen.
I creatively and easily express my truth.  I am heard.  
A black or dark upward pointing egg shaped oval is the yantra (symbol) for vishuddha.  This symbol represents ether, or spirit.  To help bring this chakra into balance, we can envision this oval surrounding us for protection and support.  When our throat chakra is out of balance, we can be on one side of an extreme – we may be very loud while we talk and gossip incessantly, or we could have a small, weak voice and find it very difficult to express ourselves.  A yoga posture to help bring this chakra back into balance is ustrasana (camel pose).  This posture not only stretches the entire front of the body and gets into the throat, but it also opens up the heart chakra.  Opening our hearts first, we become more open to giving and receiving love.  From there we can express out, with love, all the things that we discover through our throat chakra while listening to all of our internal sounds.

Other healing activities for the 5th chakra include chanting, meditation and sitting in silence (deep listening), or any kind of creative expression (painting, cooking, dancing, etc.)  As the throat is where our voice/sound originates, singing can also be quite healing.  Below is a playlist for the vishuddha chakra.  Find a song you like, learn the words and sing along : )  Enjoy! 

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