If you’ve been to a yoga class before, chances are you’ve heard someone talk about “chakras” in the class. Like yoga itself, the word chakra has become so assimilated into the Western world, it’s even thrown around in non-yoga related settings.
However, there’s not always the best understanding of what a chakra actually is. Don’t worry, I’m about to clear that up for you!
The word chakra is Sanskrit, and it translates to “wheel” or “disc” in English. In India, chakras are known as wheels of energy existing all throughout our bodies. In other words, chakras are energy centers in the body. While there are many chakras all over our entire body, in yoga we tend to focus on 7 chakras in classes, discussions, and sequencing.
This means when we’re feeling different emotions, blockages, or even physical pain- this might be related to an imbalance in a particular chakra, according to yogic (and Indian) philosophy. Keep in mind that we’re seeing balance in our chakras, rather than only focussing on opening them. Imbalance can also occur from too much openness, remember.
I like to think about it Goldilocks style. We don’t want blocked chakras. And we don’t want chakras that are too open. We want our chakras to be juuuuust right. This sweet spot of just rightness will contribute to our mental, physical, and spiritual health.
How To Unblock Your Throat Chakra
Today’s post will share effective ways to unblock the throat chakra. I’ll cover what the throat chakra is, where it’s located, symptoms of a blocked throat chakra, how to open a blocked throat chakra, and finally yoga poses for a blocked throat chakra.
For those of you interested in unblocking your heart chakra, check out this post instead. And for more deep chakra work with yoga asana, make sure to check out my 21 day chakra reset series, or find it on my app.
There are a wide variety of factors that can contribute to a blocked throat chakra. Whether it’s environmental, relational, or even physical. Regardless of why your throat chakra is blocked, the most important thing you’ll want to remember is that working on opening it sooner than later will be the most beneficial to you.
Think of balancing your chakras the same way you’d think about taking care of any other part of your health in that the longer you leave symptoms untreated, the more exacerbated they can be over time. Dealing with something in the moment will potentially help you to avoid long term issues down the line.
What Is The Throat Chakra
The throat chakra is the fifth of the seven chakras. The throat chakra is also known as Vishudda in Sanskrit, and it’s located right in the center of your throat. The chakra just below the throat chakra is the heart, and the chakra just above is the third eye. The throat chakra is associated with the color blue, which is often the visual focal point for open and balanced chakra throat chakra meditations.
As you might imagine, the throat chakra is connected with the physical functions of the throat. More specifically, it’s connected with our voice and ability to speak truth to ourselves and others. The throat chakra governs communication, as well as listening.
Blocked Throat Chakra Symptoms
When our throat chakra is blocked, it can show up in a variety of ways. Anytime the flow of energy is blocked to a particular chakra, it can show up in physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual parts of our lives.
The throat chakra is the same in that when it’s blocked, you might feel physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual symptoms. Remember, a blocked chakra means it’s closed, there’s no energy flowing through it. The symptoms for an overactive, or overly open throat chakra might vary from the list below.
- Trouble expressing yourself clearly
- Lying often
- Poor communication skills
- Social anxiety
- Sore throat
- Tight throat
- Pain in the throat
- Shyness to speak
- Losing your voice
- Lack of confidence when expressing yourself
- Inability to set clear boundaries
How To Open Throat Chakra
Now that you know what to look for when you have a blocked throat chakra, let’s talk about how you can support yourself by learning to open it all on your own! The beauty of chakra work is that you can empower yourself to do these balancing practices at home…and usually for free!
I mean, you know that number one is always going to be yoga. Yoga asana simply means the yoga postures that you understand to be yoga in today’s day and age. Asana means posture, so yoga asana are the shapes themselves. Stick around to find out the specific yoga poses I recommend for opening the throat chakra.
In yoga, we call breathing techniques pranayama. This is one of the eight limbs of yoga, and is a core element in practicing yoga holistically. Focusing attention on the breath is not only a great way to give our monkey mind a break from running around, but it’s also a fantastic tool for regulating the nervous system and releasing tension in the body.
Try Bumble Bee Breath, Breath of Fire, and Ujayi Breath next time you’re feeling like you have a blocked throat chakra. I have tutorials for all of these on my app in the Pranayama section.
One of the symptoms of a blocked throat chakra is an inability to express oneself clearly, honestly, or at all. In order to feel comfortable speaking and work on speaking your truth, try practicing positive affirmations. Because we’re working on opening and stimulating the throat chakra, I’d like to actually say these affirmations out loud to yourself every day.
Remember, speaking and listening go hand in hand, so try to work on your active listening skills with yourself as you say these affirmations aloud.
- My words matter.
- My voice is clear, honest, and kind.
- I am powerful when I speak my truth.
- I am an effective communicator.
- My truth is valuable.
If you’re new to meditation, you can work on linking together breathing exercises with positive affirmations in a comfortable position with eyes closed. That means you can sit up, or lie down, as long as you come into a position that allows you to check in, rather than check out.
As you inhale, repeat the first part of your affirmation. And as you exhale, repeat the second part of your affirmation. If you prefer single words for your inhale and exhale, then come up with single words that will help you battle your own unique symptoms of a blocked throat chakra.
Meditation is one of the most effective ways to clear the body and mind. And to get you feeling more comfortable in your own skin and your own voice again.
This is the only one that isn’t free, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t well worth it. Since we’re working with opening the throat chakra, I’d suggest talk therapy as opposed to another modality. However, if you find another modality works better for you, then by all means, try that on.
Check out this post to learn about different styles of therapy to decide on one that would be the best fit for you.
Perhaps talk therapy is out of your budget. And I get it, it’s pricey. A great way to exercise your vocal chords and get in the habit of speaking kind, honest, loving language aloud is through voice notes.
Remember, you can record little voice memos to yourself, or you can share them with your friends. Just try to talk about something that you’d prefer to avoid in this sacred time of voice notes. Rather than using the time to gossip, or to talk about something meaningless, use the time to actually speak on the topics that scare you. You can always keep these notes just for yourself.
Throat Chakra Yoga Poses
The best yoga poses for the throat chakra are backbends. If you’re new to backbends, check out this post, whereas if you’re more advanced in backbends you can read this one. Otherwise, stick around for 5 incredible yoga poses for the throat chakra that are mixed level.
Puppy Pose is one of my favorite shapes…ever. It’s great for opening the chest, shoulders and throat, while activating the back body. If it ever feels like too much, rest your forehead on the ground on a block, and if the chest isn’t grounded, then slide a block underneath it.
- Start in Table Top.
- Inhale for long spine.
- Exhale to Puppy Pose, by walking your hands forward and allowing your heart to melt towards the ground.
- At the bottom of the breath, rest your forehead or chin down.
- Stay and breathe, making sure your hips stay lifted and square over your hips as your chest sinks heavier towards the ground.
This neck stretch feels good all of the time. I love practicing it first thing in the morning, and right before I go to bed to ensure I get any kinks out of my neck while I’m sleeping.
- Start in a comfortable seat, then interlace your hands behind you.
- Inhale to sit up tall, and lengthen the arms to slightly open the chest.
- Exhale, neck stretch on the right by bringing your bound hands over to your outer right hip, and letting your right ear hang towards your right shoulder.
- Keep breathing here, option to explore sensation by opening and closing the jaw, or taking half circles with the head and neck.
- When you’re ready, switch sides so that your bound hands are on your left outer hip, and your left ear is close to your left shoulder.
Camel Pose is one that shows up for the heart chakra and the throat chakra. Remember, chakras can be linked to the same shapes, but have different benefits. Camel Pose is best practiced after a warm up, so make sure to do some Cat/Cows beforehand!
- Start in a tall kneel with toes tucked behind you, and knees as wide as your hips.
- Inhale, bring your hands to your low back and sit up tall while squeezing your glutes, sending your hips slightly forward.
- Exhale towards Camel Pose, by continuing to lift the chest skyward as you send the hips forward.
- Keep breathing, maintaining a lift of the chest as you press the hips.
- If it’s comfy, lower the gaze all the way back behind you to open the throat as you place your hands on your heels.
Rabbit Pose is not only a great counter posture for Camel, Fish, and Puppy- but it’s also a wonderful shape for the throat chakra. While most of the poses so far have worked on opening the front of the throat, Rabbit Pose works on opening the back of the neck and low back, instead.
- Start in Embryo Child’s Pose with hands reaching behind you, so that you can grab your heels with your hands.
- Inhale to tuck your toes, keeping the grip of your hands on your heels, while you lift your hips up and away from your heels.
- Exhale, full Rabbit Pose by rolling the weight to the crown of your head, maintain the grip of your hands on heels and lifting your hips high.
- Keep breathing here, using the breath to open the back body and throat.
Fish Pose typically comes towards the end of a practice, because it is quite a strong shape. It’s best done with a warm up, and should be avoided altogether if it causes pain or dizziness.
- Start lying flat on your back with your hands slid underneath your bum, with your palms facing down.
- Inhale to begin bending into your elbows, and lifting your heart skyward, keeping the chin tucked into the chest to start.
- Exhale to Fish Pose, by opening the throat and resting the crown of the head back between the shoulders.
- Keep breathing here, grounding deeply into your forearms to take weight off the neck.
There you have it, my friends. Your throat chakra is about to be well taken care of once you go through these simple, yet effective balancing tips.