Vishudda: Speak your truth
Vishudda, as in I Vish u’dda tell the truth, means "especially pure." Carrying over our essence of love and harmony from the 4th Chakra, we are pure and so should be what we project. This 5th stop on the Chakra wheel tour invites us to seek and speak our truth; it’s where our inner world enters the outer in the form of expression.
As we’ve worked to cultivate higher forms of self, higher understandings of self, the 5th Chakra invites us to speak, to project from that place. This especially pure expression doesn’t come out easy, but the work we’ve done with the lower Chakras should help you start speaking up. Through the wheel of Muladhara we found security in ourselves; through Svadhisthana we explored our desires and cultivated creativity; Manipura made us realize our power to choose in any given circumstance; and Anahata spun us dizzy in love, craving compassion. All of which lead us here to the throat, where I’m sure you’ve felt a lump or two in your lifetime due to swallowing how you really feel.
If we are to truly love and respect ourselves and others, it’s important that we verbalize our needs, wants, and our boundaries. I’m not sure about you, but I know I’ve been in plenty of situations where it would have been much easier on my head and heart if I had just spoke my truth from the very beginning as opposed to compromising how I really felt in order to please, impress, or satisfy the needs, wants or opinions of others. There is no fitting in to be done. Only stepping in - to your own personal power and owning it with every action and every word. You know why they say journaling, keeping a diary is therapeutic? That’s just you expressing your truth without inhibition. It’s you finally communicating how you really feel. But why hide all that beauty that is you, why whisper? The freedom you experience with a pen and a pad can be lived in the face of every friend or foe you encounter.
The trick of the 5th Chakra is to forget your perfect offering. Accept all that you are; it doesn’t matter who else does, they aren’t you. Laugh fully and cry freely. Who cares? It's all just a shower for your soul. It's proof that you feel, that you're truly alive. It’s easier to release than repress, even if it doesn’t seem so at first. It’s so hard to not worry about what other people think about the parts of ourselves we share with the world, but when you get your verification from your own direct experience, from within, through yoga and meditation, self-doubt turns into reassurance.
When your 5th Chakra starts to open up, you trust your words. You find respect in accepting and communicating your weaknesses when needed (I experienced an example of this a few weeks back by accepting and communicating that I couldn’t take on a project for a potential new client, as it was out of my skill set). You know what you want. You communicate what you want freely; you ask for it. You speak up for you and all that you believe in. You listen. You allow others to experience the beauty and freeness of expressing their truth with no judgement, recognizing the courage it takes to do so. Through all this, you project purity whether silent or shouting. You are truth. Sat nam.
The most healing thing you can do for your 5th Chakra is be you. Yogi Bhajan used to say “creation is waiting to serve you if you just be you.” Be authentic. Nothing will serve you better in all aspects of life.
Asanas that activate the 5th Chakra include anything that physically opens the throat, typically sending the heart energy up to fill the glowing blue wheel that spins in the center of our center of communication and keeper of authenticity. Some we explored in class are: Purvottanasana (upward plank), Ustrasana (camel), Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand), and Matsyasana (fish pose).
Simple poses we explored with variations were Tadasana (mountain), with the head tilted back, drishti to the sky, hands in prayer at the heart, inhaling them out at a 30 degree and exhaling them back to the heart. Also, in Virasana (hero pose/sitting on the heels), hold the arms straight out parallel to the Earth, tilt the head back, drishti to the sky, and start kapalabhati breath (breath of fire).
Through all these asanas, allow the breath awareness to move into the throat. See if you can stay with ouija breath; it’s a slight constriction in the back of the throat, almost like you’re fogging a mirror with your mouth closed. Imagine your neck as a bridge from your heart to your head, and build upon its inherent connection with the breath. Lion’s Breath is another warming and expressive pranayama that will expel any staleness. Allow the energy of the Heart Chakra to enter your throat and lovingly melt away your blockages with each exhale.
If you want to coat the throat with some 5th Chakra foods, look for things that can be enjoyed exactly how they are. Fruits that grow on trees and fall ready to be enjoyed with no alterations for enhanced perception for digestive acceptance. Cherries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches plums and pears. Put them in a blender and sooth your throat with a smoothie. Sip on some soups, and drink plenty of water. Avoid dairy products while exploring your 5th Chakra diet as they tend to be thick and clog the throat. If you feel like you need to start off with clearing the clogs, look into starting a juice cleanse. If you’re local to Chicago, the fine folks at Infiniteus are abundant with juicing knowledge and are actually starting a community cleanse on the 29th. Cleansing with a community would be a beautiful way to leap into a healthier, happier you that feels free to express.
As this chakra deals directly with our verbal expression, I’d like to leave you with a few affirmations to help you find strength in communicating your truth. Say these aloud whenever you feel anxious; whenever you want to feel the power of your own voice.
In class we closed with the cleansing Bija Mantra for the Fifth Chakra, HUM. We started chanting it long and drawn out, seamlessly moved into HUMming our own melodies, then casually transitioned that into humming whatever tune our heart felt called to express. In this way, we used the power of our own vibration to cleanse the chakra, and the creativity of our own heart-based intuition to sing our own song and heal by doing what we feel. With that, if ever a mantra or affirmation doesn’t vibe with you, it’s best to use the 5th Chakra energy to voice that by not chanting it. Stay true to you and what you believe; what you know works for you.
If you ever need an extra boost before heading into a big meeting, presentation, or any other circumstance you might find it difficult to fully communicate your truth in, try out the Pinkie Finger Technique. Either tap the mercury finger (the pinky) and the thumb together repeatedly, or press the pad of the thumb into the nail of the pinky and hold for one minute. If you go with the hold technique, be sure to reverse, placing the pad of the pinky into the nail of the thumb and hold again. This technique was taught by Yogi Bhajan to help build the inner strength we need to communicate to anyone in any circumstance. I do it all the time, it helps. You can even be sneaky and do it in the midst of communicating since it’s pretty subtle.
Over this next week I invite you to start speaking up for yourself. Develop your inner strength in the way that seems the truest to you; in the way that resonates most. Use whatever medium you need; journal, Facebook, Twitter (though maybe don’t go full Kanye on it), an open mic, text, phone call, face-to-face… the only thing that matters is you represent yourself honestly, with love. Put yourself out there. The real you.
This Saturday at Sat Nam Yoga Chicago, we’ll be moving one more rung up the Chakra ladder to the 6th Chakra, Ajna. We’ll work to pry open our third eyes and follow our intuition; to bring soul into our decision making. I hope to see some of you there.
Sat Nam & Namaste,
Favorite 5th Chakra Crystals: Blue Kyanite, Lapis Lazuli, Aquamarine