Monthly Archives: September 2013

september spotlight on: vishuddha (throat) chakra

After a brief summer reprieve, we’re back! Our journey through the Chakras continues. Brush up on the significance of the seven main chakras here, take this quiz to find out which of your chakras are under/overactive, and take a peak at our last studies: MuladharaSvadhishthanaManipura, and Anahata chakra.

Vishuddha Chakra. Courtesy of Fit Yoga Magazine.

Vishuddha Chakra. Courtesy of Fit Yoga Magazine.

Before we delve into Vishuddha (throat) Chakra, let me take a moment to tell you about a book I just started reading: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. It basically frames the prospect of how some of the world’s greatest leaders, innovators, thinkers and  motivators are introverts, and it dispels some of the popular thinking that being an introvert means you’re shy, stupid, timid, fearful, antisocial, and that being an extrovert automatically means you’re smarter, a strong leader, courageous, powerful. As I’ve been reading, I keep coming back to that old Swedish proverb: “talk less, say more…and all good things are yours.”

So it’s been interesting to pair this book with the study of Vishuddha chakra, which is all about how we express ourselves and how we communicate with others to get what we want. The fifth chakra is located at the throat and is the seat of our truth-telling. We’re told that when we work with this chakra, and draw in the support of Anahata (heart), we’re able to communicate what is essential, loving, and full of truth. 

An under-active Vishuddha might indicate you’re shy or even a pushover, and afraid to stand up for what is right in the name of truth. But I want to distinguish something here: a timid Vishuddha does not necessarily mean that you’re an introvert, nor does being an introvert necessarily mean your Vishuddha is under-active. There’s such a negative connotation of introversion, and such a focus on turning introverts into gregarious, vocal extroverts, that we forget: one of the greatest qualities you could ask for in a leader (critical thinking) is one of the most prominent characteristics of introverts. In other words: Introverts tend to make Great Thinkers.

When your Vishuddha is overactive, you tend to talk too much, dominate in conversations and typically are unwilling to listen. Vocalizing without thinking, you might find yourself quick to act but without much consideration and thoughtfulness. And there’s also the person who expresses himself without a “compassion filter” (which is the heart chakra’s work), leading to insulting and hurting others.

At its best, Vishuddha represents truth, justice, and good communication. Its element is ether. Its color is light blue. Practicing Jalandhara Bandha (throat lock), Fish Pose (pictured above), and other heart/chest openers will help to strengthen your ability to communicate effectively and compassionately. And, I might add: have the good judgment to communicate only what is necessary.