Visshudha – throat chakra

When i first started studying the chakra system, it surprised me that voice and communication could be one of the 7 vital energy centres in the body. Was the art of conversation and listening as important as unconditional love? self esteem? grounding? reasoning? As someone who never had an issue getting their message across, I took for granted that a deficiency in this area has many repercussions on a journey towards a more enlightened state. It’s taken many years of teaching, and learning from my students that communicating doesn’t always come naturally. In fact, for those intending on becoming yoga teachers, this is a vital chakra to open and energise. Many of my most academic TTs have had to work specifically on this area as communicating their thoughts didn’t come naturally.

Even at a physical level, the throat chakra’s positioning is vital in terms of reaching enlightenment. It is the narrow passage that leads from the love-giving heart chakra to the intuitive third eye and inspirational sahasrara chakras. Often when energy in this area is blocked, sore necks, throats and tension headaches occur.

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Anahata- love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness

“Love makes the world go round” (Madonna)

“All we need is love” (Beatles)

“Love is the 7th wave” (Sting)

These may be lines from popular songs- but Paul, John, George, Ringo, Gordon and Madge all had a very good point. A point that was made by the Ancient Rishis as they divulged the secrets to balancing the chakras.

It’s only appropriate that we end the year discussing the heart chakra. This energy centre governs compassion, giving, receiving, forgiveness, kindness, unconditional love. It’s what this time of the year is really all about. Without the heart chakra in balance, ie- without unconditional and free love- we experience all sorts of insecurities, jealousies, greed, hatred, desparateness, addictions etc.

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Manipura Chakra Seat of Fire / Vitality / Control

Manipura is the “lustrous gem”, your seat of fire. It is the 3rd chakra (from base of spine upwards) and is located around the solar plexus/ diaphragm area. It is our fire element, yellow in vibrancy, it controls our digestive fire (appetite/ digestion/ metabolism) and also our sense of self- ie self control/ will/ esteem/ vitality. How we control our temper and moods is indicative of the health of this chakra, likewise, the nature of our attitude towards eating and diet also highlights balance or imbalance in this area. To find out if your manipura chakra needs nurturing and stabilising, answer the following questions. Just a warning, these questions may get a little personal- and require you to be true to yourself.

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Swadistana: Your feelings / desires

Swadistana means “sweetness”. The element is water. It is fluid, governs movement, emotions, urges, sexuality. It is located between the navel and genitals. Accordingly, the glands and organs that correspond to this chakra are those that govern sex and reproduction. The colour red resonates with this chakra, as does the mantra Vam

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Chakra tests and analyses

Chakra means wheel or disc. In yogic physiology, chakra also refers to energy centres. Whilst there are various chakra points located all over the body, we normally refer to the 7 situated along the shushumna (energetic equivalent of the spinal cord). Each newsletter over the next year, i will discuss a different chakra- you can do the test to see if yours is aligned, or a bit out of kilter.

Mooladhara Chakra- your base chakra

Mooladhara means “root support”. Mooladhara chakra is your survival chakra and related to the earth element. Whilst the study of yoga is often seen as a spiritual pursuit, it also emphasizes the importance of being grounded, staying connected with not only the earth, but your community, your job, family. From this strong foundation, the more lofty ideals will flourish. To find out if your mooladhara chakra is healthy or needs more work… answer this mini-quiz:

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