The Throat Chakra focuses in on the way we communicate. While talking is a huge part of that, our ability to listen also comes into play in this theme.
For some people speaking their truth comes very naturally, but they struggle when it comes time to really listen to what others have to say. On the flip side of that, others are excellent and attentive listeners, but find it difficult to share what is on their mind.
No matter where you are at on that spectrum, these 5 poses and their accompanying affirmations will help you tackle finding the balance between these two extremes in the throat chakra.
This is the fifth in my series of chakra classes, for those that are unfamiliar, I like to pair affirmations with each yin asana in these practices. Your job is not to convince yourself the affirmation is true, but rather to repeat it to yourself and notice how the words make you feel. I highly recommend having a journal nearby for each of these practices, so that you can write down what comes up for you (either mid-class or at the end).
As typical of Yin Yoga, hold each of these poses for 3-5 minutes. Please have 2 blocks nearby as well.
If you haven’t been following along, find my other chakra yoga classes here.
1. Neck Release – Find a comfortable seat, lengthen your spine and drop the shoulders down away from the ears. Close your eyes and settle deeper in to the body. Drop the chin slightly to find a bit more length in the back body. Introduce Ujjayi (Ocean) breathing. This means inhaling and exhaling through the nose, while constricting the back of the throat, to make a sound like the ocean waves. This will help you to start simulating the throat chakra. Work on equalizing the inhale and exhale lengths, and feel the breath in your low belly/low back. Start to think on what area related to communication might need more work. Drop the left ear towards the left shoulder, keeping your chin slightly lifted. Extend your right fingertips out to the side. To intensify the sensation, you may want to bring your left hand on to the right temple and guide the right ear further away from the right shoulder. Relax the jaw and return to your ocean breath.
Affirmation: “I speak my truth with ease.”
Use your left hand to gently cradle the head and lift up. If the legs are crossed, switch the cross, and then drop the right ear to right shoulder, repeating the neck release through on this side.
Affirmation: “I am comfortable in silence.”
2. Knee Pile Pose – From a seat, stack your right knee over your left knee. Bend your elbows in front of you, wrapping the right arm under the left. Binding either once (hands back to back) or twice (palm to palm). If neither bind works for you, clasp hold of opposite shoulders, as if giving yourself a hug. Tuck the chin towards the chest, dropping your forehead in to your biceps. Opening up the back of the neck.
Affirmation: “My opinion matters.”
Lift the head back up, release your arms and legs. Windshield wipe the knees side to side. Switch the cross of the legs and arms, dropping the chin again to take knee pile in the other orientation.
Affirmation: “I am a compassionate listener.”
3. Supported Bridge – Grab a block or two, and come to lay down on your back. We will take a gentle inversion, bringing the hips higher than both the throat and heart to get blood flowing towards the throat chakra. Bend your knees and bring the soles of the feet to the mat. Pushing in to your feet, lift the hips from the mat. Sliding one or two blocks underneath you, at any level that feels right to you. Just ensure the back of your head is flat on the floor, with no compression in the neck.
Affirmation: “I speak for those who can’t.”
4. Waterfall or Shoulder Stand – From your supported bridge pose, you have the option to simply extend the legs up towards the sky for Waterfall. Or remove the block(s) and lower the hips . Draw your knees in to the belly and lift your bottom up. Prop your elbows under you and use hands to support your low back. Stacking the knees overs the hips, and the ankles over the knees.
Affirmation: I claim and honour my true voice.
5. Laying Spinal Twist – Lowering down to the ground, reach your arms out to the side in a T shape. Shift your hips to the right, and lower both knees to the left side. As we are focusing on the throat chakra here, turn your head to look over your right shoulder.
Affirmation: “I make the effort to understand someones else’s point of view.”
Return your head and knees back to center. Shift hips to the left, lower knees to the right, and look over left shoulder.
Affirmation: “I am impeccable with my word.”
Make your way in to Savasana, focus on centering your neck and getting comfortable.
Bonus Affirmation: “I am balanced in speaking and listening.”
Find it difficult to time yourself in these poses, and prefer some vocal instructions? Practice with me in the video below.
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