February 02, 2015

Listen Up

The next stop on our chakra journey brings us to the throat chakra.  While the heart chakra was a bridge between our earthly connections and our divine world, the throat is a gateway between our inner world and our outer world.  By entering and going through this gate, we enter into “the symbolic world of the mind.  Words, images, and thoughts . . . “ Anodea Judith become most important here for us.  It’s more about intangible things and concepts that may be more difficult for us to grasp, yet can have the biggest impact on the course of our lives.

The Sanskrit name for the fifth chakra is Vishuddha which means "purification."  It acts as an energy filter in our bodies.  Our neck is the smallest part of the body along our spine, which means there’s a more constricted area for energy to travel along here.  We have to filter through these energies that are built up in the lower chakras in order for only the most important things to come through and up for us to work on in our minds.

At Vishuddha we enter an etheric realm with the vibrations of sound. Vishuddha asks us to look at our communication, our truth (being our authentic selves), creativity and self-expression.  It is asking us to seek our truth and express it in our own unique way.  Not an easy feat as we live in a society that encourages conformity and finding knowledge outside of ourselves.  This chakra is asking us to first listen deeply to find out who we truly are, express this truth in a way that is creative for us and live this truth despite the opposition we may receive from others.  Sounds pretty easy : ) 

My experience with Vishuddha has been a bit challenging and frustrating at times.  I have always been a strongly introverted person who likes and needs my alone time.  I’ve also never been much of a talker, which at times seems to make people uncomfortable.  Common words that I hated to hear growing up (and can still trigger me as an adult) are “you’re so quiet.”  From these comments, I learned that it wasn’t ok to not speak and that there was something wrong with the way that I am. When starting to study the chakra system, I seemed to encounter it again.  If the fifth chakra is blocked, we become excessively introverted and can neither express nor take in new informationAnodea Judith.  It’s only recently that I’ve started to question this.  Wait a minute . . . . isn’t the 5th chakra asking us to be a bit introverted?  Don’t we need to be quiet and go within in order to figure out who we really are before we express ourselves out?
Ironically, as someone of few words, I have always found myself in roles where I need to talk and share information.  Having been a teacher or a facilitator of some kind for at least 15 years, I’ve had to use my voice and my words constantly.  Somehow expressing myself out this way comes a bit easier for me, and I’m finding it even more so with teaching yoga.  In the movie 20,000 Days on Earth, Nick Cave talks about performing on stage and how he almost transforms to become a different person.  This spoke to me as I interpreted his transformation, not of becoming a different person, but of becoming the person you’re meant to be – a better version of who you are now.  Just that slight shift can make you feel different.  When I am teaching yoga (and especially during chakra classes), I sometimes find myself saying things that I need to hear.  Adding extra words, things that I didn’t plan to say, but just came through me.  This hasn’t always been my experience with teaching, and it makes me start to wonder . . . am I starting to access this place of inner guidance and transformation?

I’ll end with the video clip of that scene from the movie.  Let me know your thoughts.  Have you ever had this experience of feeling somewhat transformed (or like a different person) while expressing yourself in some kind of way?

Have a creative week of discovering your truth, listening for your voice and expressing to the world what a wonderful person you are,

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