Yoga Information: Chakra Five, Clear Communication

Fifth chakra energy is about clearly communicating, speaking our truth and hearing what is going on in our world.

Do you break into song with the slightest encouragement? Does your speaking voice calm the savage beasts and crying babies? Are you able to speak your truth without fear? Can you vocalize your anger and your love, and avoid stuffing your feelings with food or drink? Do you usually find it easy to be creative, and to combine logic with love when you make decisions?

If that describes you, you are functioning with healthy fifth chakra vitality. Located in our throat region, the fifth chakra is our center of communication energy. It powers our strong voice, reveals to the world how we feel about ourselves, and connects us to the world with vibrations of sound. Our sense of hearing also relates to this fifth chakra, our ability to hear what's going on around us, take it in, and process the information.

Our neck, mouth and throat region is the gateway to the rest of our body. Most of our communication is either heard or spoken, and everything we eat and drink passes through our throats. With our voices, we let other people know what we think and how we feel. Our neck muscles support our head, so that we can think and see clearly. They allow us to rotate our heads so that we can see, hear, and speak in different directions, both figuratively and literally.

The condition of our voice indicates the strength of our breathing, the state of our emotions, and the power of our thinking.

A strongly developed fifth chakra allows us to breathe deeply, combine our heart energy with mental clarity, and communicate truthfully in ways that are understood by others. We also can hear the resonance in others' voices, so we have perception beyond the words they speak; we understand as much from the tone of voice and the rhythm of the language as we do from the words we hear.

With our voices, we can express our solidarity with a community by joining in a group prayer or songfest. We can use our voice to bring our "vibration," our vocal expression, into alignment with another person by chanting or singing with them. Doing so will frequently reduce emotional friction that might have been there before; it puts us on the same wave length, literally.

We damage our fifth chakra by choking back words we need to speak, by damaging our physical throat by smoking or by not breathing properly, by ignoring the early warning signs of a sore throat, and by allowing tension to build up in our neck and shoulders. We restrict its development when we are afraid to express ourselves, or when we speak out of emotional turmoil before we take time to think through what we really want to say.

People with an over active communication chakra will use their voices to control others, or to become the center of attention by talking too loudly. Sometimes words will continuously tumble out of their mouths while making no sense, and they are not willing to hear what others are saying. Words seem to be a curtain for them to hide behind. They might be referred to as "stiff necked."

An undernourished fifth chakra shows up in extreme shyness, lots of throat clearing before speaking, a tinny or whiny voice, or a speech pattern that raises the tone of words at the end of a sentence so that it comes across as constant questioning.



Physical manifestations of an imbalance might be a problem with sore throats, thyroid or ear problems, addictions to food or alcohol by which we stuff our words deep down inside us, or stiff necks.

We can nourish our fifth chakra communication energy by, first, purifying our bodies so that we are not hiding our voices and our breath. Elimination of poor eating habits and tobacco use will refresh our internal air. Focus on fifth chakra energy might mean clearing up old communication problems, exploring new ways of expressing our creative selves, and protecting our throats and our voices from injury or sickness.

We can begin our enhancement of communication, the fifth chakra energy focus, on the physical, emotional, mental or spiritual level. Pick one that's easy for you as your beginning place!

Here are some common associations with fifth chakra energy and some suggestions to incorporate them into everyday life:

ELEMENT: Sound. Listen to new music. Yell. Whisper. Spend a day in silence. Sing! In the shower, in the car, in the living room, or with a group. Take a public speaking class or some voice lessons. Tape your own voice in a normal conversation, and compare what your voice sounds like to what you were really feeling. Chant (or just sing "ahhh") with someone you love.

SOUND: The wind through trees

COLOR: Bright turquoise. Wear these colors, especially close to your heart. Use them in decorating your home and office. Use these colors in the fabric for an altar cloth.

EXERCISE: Neck rolls. Dance to music. Write at least one letter to someone you haven't heard from in a while. Contact someone to reconnect broken communication channels. Yawn, while you focus on relaxing your neck and mouth.

MENTAL: Practice thinking before you speak. Practice active listening whenever you are in conversation with someone else.

INCENSE FOR BURNING: Frankincense

FOODS: Fruits

GEMSTONE: Turquoise

QUESTIONS TO PONDER IN A JOURNAL:

What are the communication patterns in your family?

Do you feel unheard?

What kind of response would make you feel heard?

Who are the people in your life with which you have unfinished communication?

Are you afraid to say what you really think and/or feel? Why?

How well do you hear your inner voices (intuition)?

How much time do you spend in intentional silence?

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Resources:

Judith, Anodea and Vega, Selena. The Sevenfold Journey. Llewellyn Press. 1997.

Myss, Carolyne. Anatomy of the Spirit. Random House. 1996.

Hover-Kramer, Dorothea, ed. Healing Touch: A Resource for Health Care Professionals. Delmar Publishers. 1996.

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