Chakra 5 – Vissuda is the gateway into the upper chakras as well as the bridge between the mind and the body.
Vissudha translates into ‘purification’ and it is here that we enter the realm of sound, vibration, communication, truth and self expression.
As we travel upwards from the physical chakras into the more etheric realm I find it helpful to work with real world examples, and this one from ‘Eastern Body – Western Mind’ by Anodea Judith shows just how powerful the world of vibration can be.
“I remember an astonishing film shown in my college physics class. It featured the Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge, built in 1940, nicknamed the ‘Galloping Gertie.’ Only 4 months after completion, a remarkable and unfortunate event took place. One ordinary afternoon as a single car innocently drove across the bridge a stiff breeze of about 40 miles per hour came up. As the wind blew, it triggered subtle vibrations in the bridge, which coalesced into increasingly larger vibrations until the whole bridge started undulating like a snake. Within minutes the entire bridge collapsed in one huge, oscillating ripple, crumbling into the waters below. If such an enormous structure as a steel and concrete suspension bridge can be destroyed by a vibration from the wind, how are we impacted by the countless vibrations we encounter each day?”
From my experience we tend to underestimate the effect that vibration has upon us – but the task of the 5th chakra is to come fully into resonance with our inner and outer worlds – and to express that coherence with creativity and truth. Our main vehicle of expression is our voice, and the quality of our voice can convey much about the state of our 5th chakra.
If Vissudha is balanced we feel capable of expressing ourselves freely and confidently, but also know when and how to listen to others. Our voice will be full, smooth and consistent but not overpowering. We will feel a sense of integration between our mind and body, and will be able to express our feelings, and have good communication skills. We will live our lives creatively, which does not necessarily mean through the arts (while it can) it can also include how we make our day to day choices. The main pillar of visshuda chakra is truth, and if we are balanced in this area our inner and outer worlds will be coherent as our outer world will accurately reflect our inner truth.
If Vissudha is deficient we may feel unable to speak or express ourselves, especially in the realm of feeling and emotion. Communication can break down, or become non existent and we can feel a distinct rift between how we feel inside, and how we express ourselves to others. This can cause us to become out of sync and we can feel incongruent within ourselves. The actual voice may sound weak, thwarted or unsubstantial. In order to compensate for this lack of congruency, deficiency in the 5th chakra can lead to dishonesty, both within the self and with others. A deficient 5th chakra can cause us to ‘keep our mouths shut’ even if we feel we have something to say.
If Vissudha is excessive this can lead to incessant talking or verbalisations. We can endlessly carry a conversation without saying anything of real value or content – we often see this in form of gossiping. The physical voice may be loud and piercing, possibly unpleasant. An excessive 5th chakra may cause us to ‘over-share’ as energy pours out of us through our words, and is projected onto others. We may raise our voice too easily when excited or angry, often out of context for the situation.
Heal & Balance Vissudha With Yoga
There is a whole branch of yoga dedicated to sound & vibration, called Nada Yoga in which chanting, singing bowls and other instruments are used to recalibrate an individual (or groups) vibration to a certain frequency. Nada yoga is incredibly powerful, but also, not my speciality. If you feel you have work to do in your fifth chakra it would be worth while to attend a Nada Yoga workshop – often called ‘sound healing’. However, sometimes, something as simple as chanting Om can awaken the energy of Vissudha chakra.
As we move away from the physical plane, our tools to balance and restore the chakras become much less about physical postures, and more focused on energetic changes. Here are a few general recommendations for opening up, awakening and balancing Vissdha chakra:
Salamba Sarvangasana – (Supported Shoulder Stand)
Jalandhara Bandha (Throat Lock)
Neck & Shoulder Rolls – Simple Stretches For Neck & Shoulders to release tension
Proper Alignment of the head – align the ears over the shoulders, and tuck the chin just slightly
Chanting – This could be as simple as 3 Om’s, or as complex as a whole Kirtan practice
Consider Your Relationship With Dairy – if you feel congested, or phlegmy in your throat, ditch the dairy, and notice if that helps
Spend time in silence – In the last few hundred years our environment has been flooded with ‘sound pollution’ which can have a negative impact on our personal vibration – remember the story about the bridge ? By spending time in silence we give our system a chance to recalibrate, and our own truth can begin to resonate within us.
My Personal Work With Vissudha Chakra
For me, Vissudha chakra is one of my most balanced energy centres – finally right? I have always been complemented on the quality of my speaking voice, and find it easy and enjoyable to communicate with others. I know that when I go out of balance in this chakra, it tends to lean towards excess – so I find it especially beneficial to retreat into periods of silence. I also spend a great deal of time each week using my voice to teach yoga, so the chance to rest it is always welcome.
I recently had a numerology reading, and I was told I was a WYSIWYG – ‘What You See Is What You Get’. I laughed, because it’s so true. With me, what you see on the outside – how I express myself to others, is almost identical to who I am on the inside. I often find it hard to relate to the idea of ‘the mask’, having a separate self or persona that you show to others, while keeping the true self hidden. I find not revealing my true self exhausting – so much effort, for what?
When I am expressing something that is beyond the level of my personal feelings and emotions I do find that there can be a bit of lag time between what I am thinking, and what I want to say – so expressing myself through writing has always felt more natural.
A note on dairy – I fully believe that full fat organic dairy can be healthy in small amounts – however, I get extremely congested in my throat even after one serving of yogurt, milk, or cream – to the point where it makes it impossible for me to teach after I have eaten it. Several years ago, while sitting in meditation – I also had a very strong insight “Stay away from dairy, its suffocating your voice’ For this reason I limit my intake of dairy products to when I am on holidays – yew, lets get hectic and have an ice cream!
I can’t say this is true for everyone, but it is worth thinking about it you have issues with expressing yourself.
Are you expressing your truth? If you want to exercise your 5th Chakra and have something to say leave a comment below.
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