Vishuddhi – the Chakra of Communication

fifth chakra

I am constantly pulled back to work with the chakras in my asana and meditation practice.  I find that chakra work often comes off the mat, coloring food choices, what colors I incorporate into my outfits, and  which essential oils I wear.  Further, if I’m working with a particular chakra, I’ll keep work in the front of my conciousness as I’m having interactions with people throughout my day.  I’ll notice if a person may trigger some of the lessons I need to practice to balance a particular chakra, or perhaps I’ll notice that the somebody has a complementary chakra issue – where mine is depleted, perhaps their is showing in excess.

But let me back up a moment, for those reading who aren’t familiar with chakras.  Yoga philosophy teaches us that we have seven spinning centers of energy that run up the Shushumna, or center energy channel of our bodies.  These centers of energy, or chakras, each vibrate to different colors and sounds, react to the postures that are yoga asana, and govern different areas of our life, such as security and home (first chakra), creativity, (second chakra), personal power (third chakra), connection with humanity (fourth chakra), communication (fifth chakra), intuition (sixth chakra, and connection to the Divine (7th chakra.)   Given that our lives in the material world are never in perfect equilibrium, it’s normal for one or more chakras to be out of balance.  That excess – too much energy, or a deficiency can exhibit in physical symptoms in the area of the body governed by that chakra, to strong emotions, or to changes in life circumstances.    I like to incorporate chakra work into my practice because I feel that it infuses my practice with a healing and nurturing energy.

In my life, I’ve consistently found that I’ve had difficulties with the Vishuddhi, or Throat Chakra.  The lack of energy, or block,  in this chakra has manifested in my personal and my professional life and I feel that I’ve met these challenges squarely and gained strength each time I am faced with a life lesson meant to bring more balance to the Throat Chakra.  For example, I don’t believe it was a mistake that I spent significant time first as a canvasser than as a canvass director for a non-profit organization working to disseminate information to the public and clearly communicate the organization’s mission multiple times a day, a week, a year.

That lesson learned in the professional realm then had to be integrated into my personal life, and I’ve been grateful for multiple tests and lessons in this area as I’ve gained wisdom.  I feel that part of the draw for me to a new culture and a new language was a natural extension of the work that I’ve been doing for years with this chakra.  What better way to challenge that flow of energy than exploring the many ways we communicate?  In having my native language removed, I stepped far wide of my comfort zone was challenged to examine the way I share my heart’s message.

When we’re learning something in life, I find that the Universe provides ample opportunity for that learning and growth to occur.  Just like when we were back in Kindergarten, the teachers didn’t hand us War and Peace to learn how to read.  We learn bit by bit, poco a poco, and each new teaching provides an opportunity to reflect on and build from the last.

It was with great joy yesterday that I taught a yoga class completely in Spanish.  My heart was light with the joy of communicating truths that lie beneath the surface.  I am grateful for this opportunity to bring the practice of yoga to a new culture, and I’m grateful that the practice of yoga has infused me with the patience and knowledge to continue the work, even when it gets hard.

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