The chakra system of the body consists of seven energy centers. In general, the three lower chakras govern the physical body and three upper chakras govern the spiritual body. The fourth chakra connects the upper and lower chakras at the heart center. The fifth chakra, located at the throat, is the center of communication and is the first of the upper chakras. Balancing the fifth chakra helps us speak our truth and communicate with others effectively.
People with a balanced fifth chakra tend to be good listeners. They are also patient and able to deal with criticism well. Fifth chakra energy governs speaking, writing, and listening.
When the fifth chakra is blocked, we may have difficulty speaking up or being understood. Other signs of a problem with the throat chakra include being prone to angry outbursts or unable to listen effectively. Shyness and repressed emotions are also common when fifth chakra energy is blocked.
Physical symptoms of a fifth chakra imbalance include colds and respiratory illness. Problems with the ears and hearing may also characterize a problem with the throat chakra. After all, the ability to communicate is as much about listening as it is about speaking.
Yoga for Balancing the Fifth Chakra
Poses that help open the fifth chakra are those that engage the throat and thyroid gland. Shoulder stand, fish pose, and plow pose are some examples. Baby cobra and neck rolls can also help unblock energy in the throat chakra.
In addition to the physical poses, mantra chanting is another way to use yoga to enhance communication. When you begin or end a yoga class with the sound of om, you’re experiencing an opportunity to open the fifth chakra and strengthen your ability to communicate.
Yoga styles that emphasize mantra chanting, such as Kundalini yoga, are especially effective for balancing the fifth chakra. In fact, a the greeting sat nam that often used in Kundalini yoga means “truth is your name.” Throat chakra energy empowers us to speak and live that truth.
Other Tools for Balancing the Fifth Chakra
Like all the chakras, the fifth chakra responds to specific sights, sounds, and aromas. The color of the throat chakra is blue, and its seed sound is ham. Blue objects and clothing can help activate the throat chakra, as can chanting its seed sound.
Aromatherapy can also be effective for balancing the fifth chakra. Aromas from essential oils that help open the respiratory system are especially effective. These include eucalyptus, peppermint, melaleuca (tea tree), and frankincense.
Communication with the Divine
As the first of the three upper chakras, the throat chakra is concerned with our spiritual well-being. The first step toward the true goal of yoga—union with the Divine—is the ability to speak truth and connect on a deeper level with ourselves and others. We also want to connect with a power greater than ourselves. We can do this more effectively when we are secure about our ability to listen and be heard.