The throat chakra (vishuddha chakra in Sanskrit) is one of seven major centers of concentrated energy located in the body. It’s also referred to as the fifth chakra or blue chakra.
According to yogic anatomy, the main chakras are located along the spinal column. These energy centers extend from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Each chakra is responsible for controlling certain aspects of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
In this article, you’ll learn about the qualities of the throat chakra and how they correspond to the body, mind, and spirit. You will also learn how to heal, strengthen, balance, and connect with vishuddha chakra.
What is the throat chakra?
In Sanskrit, vishuddha translates to “purest” or “especially pure.” Accordingly, vishuddha chakra is the energy center that is associated with the purification of the body, mind, and spirit.
The throat chakra is related to self-expression, sound, truth, and wisdom. It’s also connected to the element of ether (space), the color blue, our sense of hearing, and the Hindu gods Brahma and Sadashiva.
What does the throat chakra control?
As referenced earlier, each chakra directs prana, our life-force energy, towards certain aspects of our physiological, psychological, and spiritual composition. Here are some common associations between vishuddha chakra and our lives:
The Throat Chakra and the Body
The throat chakra is located along the cervical vertebrae at throat level. Its kshetram, or corresponding trigger point on the surface of the body, is at the bottom of the neck, near the thyroid gland. More specifically, you can visualize this chakra at the small dip in the neck, directly above the sternum.
In the physical body, the fifth chakra is related to our:
- lymphatic system,
- thyroid gland,
- and parathyroid gland.
Vishuddha chakra is also connected to the:
- vocal cords,
- and, of course, throat.
Since the throat chakra is linked to our sense of hearing, it also relates to our ears.
The Throat Chakra and the Mind
The throat chakra is closely linked to our ability to express ourselves. Thus, it’s associated with everything in our lives related to communication, creativity, and authenticity.
A saying that aligns perfectly with the throat chakra is:
“The truth will set you free.”
Furthermore, a balanced throat chakra is correlated with our capacity to think and act from a place of clarity. Therefore, its condition affects how we choose to respond to each situation we encounter.
As our personal purification center, vishuddha chakra helps us to discern what feels honest and true. This helps us to live with integrity.
The Throat Chakra and Spiritual Evolution
Vishuddha chakra is the first of our higher chakras ‒ those which connect us to the cosmos and life beyond the material world. When vishuddha chakra is in a pure state, we can communicate with our higher selves and the voices of our spiritual guides.
According to yogic anatomy, the throat is the location of udana vayu ‒ one of the five currents of energy or “winds” in the body. Udana vayu moves in a circular motion in the head and neck area. It’s responsible for moving prana from the lower chakras to the higher chakras. In essence, this is how we transcend the physical body and ego to a higher state of consciousness. Thus, an open throat chakra is important for progressing along the spiritual path towards higher, universal consciousness.
Throat Chakra Symbol
Each of the main chakras is represented symbolically by a mandala in the form of a lotus flower. The vishuddha chakra mandala is a blue lotus with 16 petals that correspond to 16 Sanskrit vowels. These vishuddha chakra vowels are sometimes called “the language of spirit” because the throat represents the beginning point of consciousness beyond the physical realm.
In the center of the vishuddha chakra lotus is a small circle contained within a downward-pointed triangle. As with the symbols for the other chakras, the inverted triangle represents the path towards the highest expression of human consciousness. The circle illustrates the element of ether, which is associated with expansion.
The Color Blue
Blue is linked to wisdom, purity, and trust. It’s also associated with our communicative abilities. Furthermore, as the fifth color of the rainbow spectrum, it relates to the vibration of our fifth chakra.
Signs of a Healthy Throat Chakra
When a chakra is in its ideal state, we can fully embrace each of its positive qualities. Therefore, a healthy vishuddha chakra is associated with:
- Integrity and honesty
- Ability to speak clearly and listen to others
- Creative expression
Signs Your Throat Chakra Is Blocked or Imbalanced
The chakras are described as spinning wheels of energy that are connected through three main nadis or energetic channels. Thus, when one chakra is blocked or otherwise not functioning at its optimum, it affects how prana flows to the rest of the body.
Physical, mental, and spiritual conditions can all impact vishuddha chakra. However, by learning the signs of fifth chakra imbalances, you can easily recognize and heal areas of concern.
Physical Signs of a Throat Chakra Imbalance
- Sore throat
- Acute neck pain
- Speech impediments
- Thyroid imbalances
- Low energy
Mental and Emotional Signs of a Throat Chakra Imbalance
- Shyness or fear of speaking
- Inability to express yourself
- Speaking without listening
- Feeling distant from your true self
- A tendency to lie, gossip, complain, or criticize others
How to Open Your Throat Chakra
If you feel like your chakras are imbalanced, there are various methods for purifying them. Techniques for consciously healing, balancing, or opening different parts of the energetic body include:
- Working with essential oils or gemstones
- Lifestyle adjustments
In the following sections, we’ll explain how to connect with and balance vishuddha chakra using these methods.
Throat Chakra Mantras
Mantras are repetitive sounds, words, or intentions that help focus the mind. Furthermore, Sanskrit mantras connect us to vibrational patterns that allow us to access specific parts of our consciousness. To use the following throat chakra mantras, either chant them out loud or silently recite them.
Each chakra corresponds to a one-syllable bija mantra or “seed sound” that vibrates at the same resonance as that chakra. When you chant the bija mantra for vishuddha chakra, you strengthen your connection to your throat center.
The bija mantra for the throat chakra is ham (usually pronounced to rhyme with mom, but sometimes to rhyme with drum).
Sat nam is a well-known mantra in the kundalini tradition. It translates to “true self” or “Truth is my identity.” Therefore, it helps enforce the positive qualities of a healthy throat chakra. In fact, our identification with our true selves is so important for spiritual development that sat nam is commonly used to conclude kundalini yoga practices (in place of om in other yogic traditions).
Throat Chakra Affirmations
Affirmations are positive statements that guide our minds and bodies to fall in line with an intention. Since the throat chakra is closely linked to the voice, it’s beneficial to speak (or even shout) vishuddha affirmations out loud to the world.
An affirmation for working with the fifth chakra can be something basic like, “My throat chakra is balanced and healthy.” However, artistic expression is also supportive to the throat chakra. Because of this, creating a personal affirmation helps to further connect you with your vishuddha chakra.
Here are some examples of affirmations to strengthen throat chakra imbalances:
- My voice is powerful and clear.
- I allow my true self to be heard.
- Creativity flows through me.
- My speech and actions are honest, authentic, and loving.
- I am open to receiving guidance.
Throat Chakra Stones and Crystals
Crystals and stones that are the symbolic color of each chakra will purify or strengthen that chakra. Therefore, bright blue gemstones best balance the fifth chakra. Examples include:
- Lapis lazuli
- Blue lace agate
- Blue kyanite
There are various ways to utilize stones or crystals to balance vishuddha chakra:
- Wear them around the throat area as a necklace
- Lie on your back and place them directly on your throat
- Hold gemstones in your hands or keep them in your pockets while speaking publicly or communicating with others
Throat Chakra Essential Oils
Essential oils for balancing the throat chakra typically have a fresh and invigorating scent. Most of the oils below are derived from plants known for medicinal qualities that can heal ailments related to vishuddha chakra.
Recommended essentials oils to balance the throat chakra include:
- Tea tree
- Clary sage
There are several ways to use essential oils for aromatherapy. However, for connecting with your throat chakra, try placing a drop of oil directly either on your throat or behind your ears.
Throat Chakra Meditation
Meditation and guided concentration exercises are extremely beneficial for balancing all chakras or areas of life. Techniques for working with vishuddha chakra include:
Visualize a blue light glowing at the center of your throat. Use your mind’s eye to envision this light radiating throughout your body, strengthening your voice, and connecting you to your true self or a higher power.
Although we tend to imagine meditation as a seated practice, walking is a common meditation technique in most Buddhist traditions. To practice walking meditation, walk at any pace that feels right for you. As you walk, keep your awareness fixed on the present moment.
If you’d like, you can coordinate your breath with your steps. Every so often, stop walking and take a moment to “check in” with the qualities of the space within you and the space that surrounds you. Since the throat is linked to the element of space, mindfully moving through space in this way will connect you to vishuddha chakra.
As we’ve discussed, reciting, chanting, or singing mantras or affirmations out loud is particularly beneficial for activating the throat center. Using your voice in a positive way will always strengthen your connection to your authentic inner voice and your true self. Therefore, in addition to the suggested throat chakra mantras above, feel free to chant anything that resonates with you.
Throat Chakra Mudras
The Sanskrit word mudra means “seal.” Accordingly, mudras seal, direct, or stimulate pranic flow to affect the body or mind. The following mudras, both hand gestures, help strengthen vishuddha chakra.
Akasha is the Sanskrit term for ether or space. This element is represented by the middle finger. Thus, by joining your thumb and middle finger together in this mudra, you will stimulate energetic flow towards the element of space in your body and its corresponding chakra ‒ vishuddha.
Vishuddha mudra does exactly what it describes ‒ directs prana towards the throat chakra. To form this mudra, sit with your hands in your lap, palms facing up. Next, loosely interlace your fingers so that your fingertips rest inside the palms of your hands. Then, touch the tips of your thumbs together.
Yoga for the Throat Chakra
The following yoga postures and practices serve to increase energetic flow to vishuddha chakra. By breathing deeply and directing your awareness towards your throat chakra, you will enhance the benefits of each practice.
Fish Pose (Matsyendrasana)
Lie on your back with your legs together. Next, slide your hands underneath your glutes so that your palms rest on the ground. On an inhalation, bend your elbows to lift your upper body. Then, relax your neck back and gently rest the crown of your head on the ground, putting most of your weight in your elbows and forearms. Keep your awareness on the energy center at your throat and breathe deeply.
Although neck exercises aren’t specific to yoga, you can use them to warm up the body and circulate energy in the neck and head as part of your yoga practice. Especially in kundalini yoga, neck exercises play an important role in directing prana towards vishuddha chakra.
Examples of neck exercises include:
- Tracking: Inhale as you turn your head to the left and exhale as you turn your head to the right. Continue this movement slowly for several rounds, and then reverse your breathing pattern (inhaling to turn left and exhaling to turn right). You can practice this with your eyes closed or let your gaze follow your movements.
- Nodding: Inhale to release your head and neck back as you look up. Exhale to drop your chin forward and look down. Repeat for several rounds.
- Neck rolls: If you have a healthy neck (no pain or previous injuries), you can gently make full rotations of your head. When you do this, it’s helpful to coordinate your breath and your movements in any way that feels natural. Make sure to move slowly and mindfully. Then, repeat in the opposite direction.
Lion’s Breath (Simhasana)
Begin by sitting in a kneeling position with your glutes on your heels and your knees wide apart. Place your hands on the ground in front of you with your fingers pointed back towards your body (if you have wrist injuries, your fingers can point forward). Keep your arms straight and expand throughout your chest as though you’re embodying a lion.
In this posture, close your eyes and inhale deeply. Then, on your exhalation:
- Stick your tongue out as far as you can.
- Open your eyes as wide as possible and roll your gaze up towards the center of your brow.
- Roar like a lion! (Or, in other words, let out a deep “haaaaaaaaaa.”)
Lion’s breath tones and strengthens the throat chakra, voice, and neck. It also releases stress and stagnant energy while calming the nervous system.
If you’re new to lion’s breath, you can follow along with this tutorial:
Jalandhara bandha, also known as the throat lock, is a powerful yogic practice for stimulating vishuddha chakra and directing prana upward towards the higher chakras. To engage jalandhara bandha, begin by taking a deep breath in. While retaining your breath, lower your chin towards your chest and gently pull it back (as if to form a double chin). At the same time, make sure your sternum is lifted towards your chin. Hold this posture for as long as is comfortable. Then, release the lock before exhaling.
For those familiar with yoga, shoulder stand, plow pose, and bridge pose also benefit vishuddha chakra.
Throat Chakra Healing
Apart from the previously mentioned methods for connecting with the throat chakra, it’s also useful to work through chakra imbalances on your own or with professional guidance. Additional healing practices include:
Practitioners in fields such as reiki, breathwork, emotion-focused therapy (EFT), and hypnosis can diagnose and improve imbalances related to the throat chakra. Furthermore, some feel that more traditional talk psychotherapy can be helpful.
Eating naturally blue foods (like blueberries, blackberries, and acai) supports vishuddha well-being. Blue flowers and herbs, like elderberry, pigeon pea, and hibiscus, also benefit the throat chakra, So do fruits that grow on trees, like plums, apples, and pears.
Furthermore, anything that is soothing to the throat is also cleansing for the fifth chakra. Examples of these foods and beverages include warm water or broth, lemon, honey, and herbal teas.
Use Your Voice!
Sound has the power to connect us to all of the chakras via vibration. However, as we mentioned in earlier sections, using your voice is particularly beneficial for balancing throat-related imbalances. Apart from mantra chanting, other ideas for harnessing the power of your voice include singing, yelling, sighing out loud (“ahhhhhhhhh”), humming, or making any other wordless, primal noises.
To those who feel embarrassed, shy, or non-musical: remember that holding back your voice is a throat-chakra imbalance! For example, giving yourself the opportunity to speak in public about something you’ve experienced or believe in can be very therapeutic! That being said, another option for using your voice is to follow along with a guided chakra toning tutorial that uses vowel sounds to connect with and balance energy.
You can also use digital or instrument-based sound vibrations to balance your chakras. Examples of sound healing therapies include sound baths, listening to binaural beats, or playing singing bowls, gongs, drums, or tuning forks. The throat chakra corresponds to the note of “G,” and the Solfeggio frequency of 639 Hz.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that holistic well-being comes from a healthy lifestyle that feels true to your true nature. When you live in this way, your throat chakra ‒ and everything else ‒ will naturally come into balance.