Sitting in the pit of the throat, supporting the thyroid and parathyroid, the larynx and the vocal chords, sits Vishuddhi Chakra. Literally translated as “Visha” = impurities/poisons and “Shuddhi” = to purify, this vital center sits as the vortex for taking in that which is sweet and that which is considered “poison” from our environment and our experiences for potential purification. I say “potential” because this possibility exists with the proper use and activation of the Vishuddhi chakra, though not all are able to harness its power for personal reward.
We touch the world and the world touches us largely through our voices -- the sounds and expressions that leave our lips and intermingle with those of another. Communication can be either a sweet or poisonous endeavor, for both the speaker and the listener, depending on the words and beliefs that have been cultivated in our youth, absorbed through societal impressions, or transformed through self-reflection.
An unawakened Vishuddhi center allows for emotional traumas to be expressed as damaging words or limiting statements of self, for it has no power to transform these things into the nectar of amrita without the potency of an active throat chakra. Prior to awakening, the individual has little to no knowledge of how their words affect them and those around them. The consciousness has not “risen” to the level of transmuter of poisons, as Lord Shiva – depicted with the blue throat in Hindu mythology.
Blue is also the color of the peacock, another symbol for Vishuddhi, representing the ability to be able to literally eat or “swallow” anything -- as peacocks can do. Nothing is poison to them, nor to the one who has an awakened throat center. The ability to take in what is brought in word or thought, experience or emotion, and “make it into sweets” is the power of the active Vishuddhi chakra.
Yogic and Vedic texts speak of the nectar that drips down the back of the throat from the pineal gland. This is the mystical “amrit” or nectar of youth and immortality, though this nectar does nothing for the one with the inactive throat center. For them, this nectar simply bypasses Vishuddhi and drops into Manipura to be incinerated in the fires of the belly, causing Ama – or toxins to accumulate, eventually leading to bodily decay and age. This is where specific yogic practices, such as Ketchari mudra, come into play, which teach the yogi to harness the energy of the amrit and utilize Vishuddhi to its fullest.
When the throat chakra is awakened and functioning properly, the person is able to take any experience, any thought, any emotion, any word, and transform it into nectar for personal enlightenment. It is this gift which then translates into boons or siddhis for the awakening yogi.
The element in the throat center is ether, so it is largely connected to our spiritual capacities and how we express this in the world. When unable to hear “negativity” or take in “toxins” from the environment or others and transmute it, the yogi is still undeveloped spiritually. For the one who has the throat chakra in full operation, the mumblings of those around them, the toxins in the environment, the limiting thoughts of the ego mind – all become as food for the peacock, nourishment to the sage. For truly, there is no duality in the higher centers lying just beyond the gateway of Vishuddhi.
In order to help awaken this vital center and use it to full capacity it is critical to have an awakened third eye center, so as to have cultivated the “witness” attitude. It is also helpful to work with a variety of practices which refine and flower the throat center, including:
- Simhagarjanasana – the Roaring Lion pose
- Bramhari mudra – the Buzzing Bee
- Cobra Pose
- Ujjayi breathing – the snoring breath/sound of the ocean breath
- Kriya yoga
- Ketchari mudra
- Throat chakra meditation
- Practicing seeing the sweetness in all of life – Tantra
- Consuming ghee regularly
- Using Neti pot
- Salt water gargle
In order to help the throat chakra to come “alive” and begin the service of transmutation for which it was created, it is helpful to imagine a blue/violet light over the throat center, to use a blue or violet colored gemstone over this area. It is beneficial to visualize yourself taking in various “dark” colored light through the throat center and transforming it into a bright colored light. The dark shades represent the toxins we are constantly faced with in our world: environmental, chemical, electromagnetic, emotional, physical, societal, etc., and the different colors represent the rays of light we utilize in the body for health and well-being such as that found in food, the sun, and crystal rays.
We quite literally “eat” all the time, from every sensory organ. If we do not understand that our throat chakra is designed as a transmuter of negative energy, then we fall prey to the toxins surrounding us being consumed day in and day out – and they ultimately age us. The “immortal yogi” understands how to use the energy centers in the body in order to transcend the illusion of the physical plane and instead, enjoy time here, focus on the evolution of the collective consciousness of the planet and be the retriever of the many gifts and treasures buried up here on planet earth. For all that has been hidden will be revealed...but who will be the ones to revel in the magic here?
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