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Season 1 - Episode 8

Chakra 5: Vishuddha

90 min - Practice


We explore Vishuddha—the throat chakra. In our practice, we play with moments of restraint and pure expression with a series of twists, forward bends, and ultimately Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand). We then dive deep into the characteristics of the chakra, concluding with questions for reflection.

See the attached PDF chart for this chakra.

What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block


Read Full Transcript


Welcome back to week five of our seventh week chakra course. So we're going to continue to move through the elements that bring us from the grossest level of earth and water and fire to the more subtle elements that exist within us. As we explored the intangible quality of air of the heart chakra. Today we're going to move into an even more subtle realm, which in Sanskrit is called Akasha and in English it can translate to ether. It can translate to space, but it's associated with sound so we can think about vibration.

So it's things that we can't again, we don't have physical proof for, but we can feel vibration and sound has vibration. It's meant to be the whole universe is actually made out of vibration. So the fifth chakra or Vishuddha right here at our throat, it's can it's right between the heart and the head. And I love how this is a doorway of our truth because it's not just unconscious speaking or communicating. It's bringing heart and then consciousness and real value to our words.

So having to do with communication of our truth and real honest self expression. We begin to pause a little bit more before we speak and make sure that our actions and our words are aligned with our deepest truths. So when we practice, it's in the same way today. I'd like you to explore what it would mean to really practice honoring your own truth. How easy it is to kind of like shrug off our truth or even others. So as we begin to develop our fifth chakra, we realize that there's space for so many different narratives, not just others.

Maybe we've been used to hearing and certainly not just our own. So that's one of the things that makes even like, let's say, practicing in a room full of other yogis really magical is that there's space for everybody to be themselves and to express themselves. Really honoring the truth of their bodies, the moment and where they're at. So honoring where you are is is really, really important step on this path of self discovery. So the poses that we do to really awaken this chakra does have to do with purification.

So we're going to do some more twisting. We're going to do forward bends. And then the pose that really honors and awakens the fifth chakra is shoulder stand because you begin to practice what's called jalandara bandha cloud catching lock. So communication doesn't and expression doesn't only go one way where I'm just speaking. It has to do with deep listening. So moments of restraint we're going to play with as well as moments of pure expression to make sure that it comes from our deepest truth.

So purifying ourselves through these poses and again through honesty. We can go on so many different types of like let's say fast or cleanses, but speaking our truth is really meant to be the highest way towards our purification. So the color is blue like an unpolluted cloudless sky that really radiates and reflects this truth of who we are. So we're going to start with taking a mudra.


It's called dharma chakra mudra. So dharma is really we've been talking a little bit about purpose along this way, but it also means truth.

So you're going to start by taking two circles. Chakra means circle. We've been working or disk as we begin to move through all of our chakras. And then with your left hand, you're going to tune in. So it is this real listening. We listen to others and we begin to respond. We listen to ourselves and communicate from a deeper place.

And then you're going to stick out the middle finger a little bit. Take your right hand in this right chakra, then you're going to reflect it out. So this was Buddha's gesture when he first began to give his talks. And it said that he wouldn't say much. And just like Gandhi who said, my life is my message.

We begin to live, speak, communicate in a way to where our life really expresses who we are aligned with our truth. So the chin moves in towards your throat. And we're going to practice ujjayi breathing. It is the basic yogi's breath. But today it's to listen.

Listening to the sound of your breath so that we're stimulating and awakening this ear. Listening has become somewhat of a pastime. We don't take enough time to tune in, to truly listen. We've become so visual. Listening to the sound of your breath, it kind of is like space.

Great sound. The breath becomes kind of oceanic. Take a couple more moments literally to tune into yourself, tuning an instrument so that we can play this music of who we are. The sound of the fifth chakra is hum, the hum of the universe, the hum of our personal song and our unique voice. We're going to breathe in together and sing the sound hum three times.

Breathe in. And one more time. Take a big inhale, reach your arms up and into the sky. And then you can spin around and remove your padding, you can place it over to the side. We're going to balance that out with lion's breath.

So now after that deep listening it really is this great roar to clear out our throat and anything that oppresses our voice. So you're going to lift the hips up and again this time you're placing your throat on the altar, the sacred space. Stick out your tongue. Lion's breath. Climb a deep breath in.

Then lift your hips. Take one more. Lift the hips up and stick out the tongue and breathe out. Our great purification. And then as your hips come down, you're going to take it into a twist.

You can allow the right knee to open and then your left shin bends so that your left leg is in a half virasana. The heels right on the outside of your left hip. And then you're going to breathe your arms up to the sky and we'll take it into our first twist as you take it over towards the right. So I'm going to sit up nice and tall and then breathe a little bit deeper from the belly so that the chest opens up. And take one more big inhale and then exhale twist so that you're releasing any tension around the neck and the shoulders.

And then from here extend the right arm all the way up and over your head so that you're taking a nice side stretch. Opening up through the chest, allowing the head to drop. And then see if you can wrap the right hand around your head towards your ear. And then you're going to draw your right shoulder towards your right shoulder. And then extend the left fingertips out to the side so that you're stretching out through the left side of the neck by drawing the shoulder away from the ear.

Dissolving any tension there in the neck and your throat. This great space of expression. And then come on through center. You'll just switch out your legs, draw the knees in towards center and swing them over to the other sides of the right heel on the outside of the right hip. Your left shin can just be parallel towards the top of the mat.

Breathe the arms up and into the sky and then twist over to the left. Sitting up tall as you breathe in. And then twist looking over your left shoulder. See if the shoulders can roll away from the ears so that the neck is nice and long and graceful like a swan. I like to think of a neck of a violin or an instrument.

Playing those very specific notes. Take your left arm up and over your head. You can continue to root down through the left hip with your right hand. And then reach all the way over towards your right ear. And then begin to crawl the right fingertips out to the side.

As you draw the left ear towards the left shoulder. Again drawing that right shoulder down so that you can really breathe space into the right side of the neck. Feels really good. One more big inhale and exhale. And then come on through center.

We're just going to take one more of those lines breaths to purify, to clear everything out. And then soften your sitting bones down. Cross your ankles, come forward onto your hands and your knees. We're going to go through a few rounds of cat-cows. Again listening to the sound of the breath with this feeling of moving in tune with your breath.

So inhale and look up. And then exhale and round. Draw the chin in towards the throat. And inhale, drop the belly, breathe and look up. Exhale and round.

One more time just like that breathing in. And then breathe out. And then for the next couple feel free to move your hips from side to side. I like to always take my ears from one side to the next to free up my neck. Take some circles around with your head and with your hips.

You can take it over in the other direction. And then come on through center with a big inhale. Roll the shoulders back and away from the ears. And then tuck your toes under as you press down through the hands and slowly lengthen your legs. So the chin moves in towards the throat.

See if you can continually for today have this reminder of coming back to listening. The breath, the body that are always sending messages to us. If we listen a little bit deeper. On your next breath and roll forward into a plank pose. Reaching back through the heels, forward through the chest.

There's that little lift up through the belly. So we're actually bringing all of the chakras in towards each other so that the chest opens, navel lifts, thighs engage. But then the chin moves in towards the throat a little bit. Breath in kind of like from space and then take your knees to the ground. Bend your elbow so that your chest and your chin come towards the earth.

And again you're opening up through the throat here a little bit. And then drop onto your bellies, point your toes. Take your arms forward for a prostration. This is just to allow the breath to move through and unblock. Like a dam being lifted and allowing a great river to flow through of creativity and self-expression.

Come into a baby cobra. But draw the chin in towards the throat so that the heart can lift and that there's an alignment of the head and the heart. So that the head isn't flying back, chin still in towards the chest. Bringing consciousness and value to our expression. And then come back onto your hands and your knees.

We're going to take one more kind of neck release. So take your left hand center and you're going to thread the right arm under. So it's a twist but it's also opening and releasing any tension from the shoulders and the neck. Then extend the left arm forward so that you can begin to twist the chest wide. But still drag the left hip back so that you're creating space.

And then from here you can even snake the arm behind you and roll the shoulders back. And you'll come on through center and if you plant the left hand down, keep the left shin on the ground and stretch the right leg back. So it's almost like singing this vast expression from inside out, vibrating into the cosmos. Circle the right arm all the way up and over your head and then circle it back down. You're going to draw the right knee in towards your nose.

So it's that climbing in and pausing. And then express or stretch the right leg back. But as you bend your elbows, one more time you're going to take that little dip of the chin. Exhale, draw in. Inhale the leg back, arch the spine.

One more time to draw the right knee forward and through. And then this time step your right foot all the way through. You can always help it along with your hands. Then allow the pelvis to drop down a little bit as you hook your thumbs to reach forward, up and back. You can interlace your hands.

And then press your palms up towards the sky. Bend the elbows so that the shoulders melt away from the ears. And then reach them up as you open up through the chest. Interlace your hands behind you. Allow the heart to open as you stretch back.

And then release your hands to the ground. Tuck the back toes under, leaving the left knee on the ground for your Ardha Hanuman. This balance between going in and listening. And then expressing our truth. So as you unfurl back, straighten through the left leg and then stretch the right arm to the sky into a low lunge twist.

Moving from the navel. But again allowing your gaze to either come towards the ground if it's too much tension. So the awareness is in the throat and the shoulders today. And the chest up. Extend the right arm over your head.

And circle your way into downward dog. Inhale forward into your plank pose. Exhale knees. Bend the elbows for your chest and your chin. Onto your bellies and tuck your toes.

Fly out. Baby Cobra with your hands on either side of your rib cage. Roll the shoulders back. Press down through the feet. Lift the chest.

And then come onto your hands and your knees. This time taking your right hand center and then your left arm. Can snake under. Release the shoulder to the ground and your ear to the earth for this deeper listening to others. Draw the right hip back.

As we tune in to these frequencies. And then slide your right hand back. And from inside out. Out into space. Vibrating.

Stretch up and over and then circle your left hand down. Left knee to the nose right away to exhale. And then inhale the leg back for that little dip. Straighten the arms. Knee to nose.

Inhale. Bend the elbows. One more time. Draw the knee all the way in. And then step it forward.

Into your anginae or crescent moon. So you'll hook your thumbs again and reach forward, up and back. Press your palms up towards the sky. Interlace your hands behind you. Draw the shoulders away from the ears.

You can always move the neck. And then place your hands down. Tuck your back toes under. Keep the right knee on the ground for your ardha. Hanuman.

Breathing into the back of the legs. Those hamstrings listening to the body. Bend your left knee. Plant the right hand down again and then express the shape. Open.

Twisting. Reach up through the inner right thigh. And then circle your hand down. And this time shift the weight into the left foot. Step forward with your right foot.

You're going to inhale and lift the chest up. Bend the knees. Maybe slide your hands to your shins. Let the spine can really be long. And then exhale, fold into yourselves uttanasana.

We're going to continue to twist here and open up through the chest and shoulders to release the neck. With a few more twists in our surya namaskar. So you're going to start with taking your right hand down. Pick up the left arm. But then you're going to weave it this time underneath your right.

Like you were threading the needle. So that the left arm comes under and you're actually going to rise up through eagle arms. So it's like drawing the energy in and up. Even that moment of the constriction around your throat you can think about holding. And then from here you're going to step your right foot behind the left and wing the arms back.

This sometimes we call Saraswati. Who's the great goddess of expression and the arts. You can lift up the right foot a little bit. She rides on a swan. Great symbolism.

And then take your hands back. Stretch your right leg back into a low lunge. Breathe in, look up. And then extend your right leg straight up to the sky. For a three-legged downward dog.

We're going to play with those same moments of pausing in that space. With the left knee in towards the nose. And then plank pose as you breathe in. Press the ground away. And then slowly lower yourselves down.

Untuck your toes for cobra. As you breathe in it can be a little higher as you inhale to look up. And then downward facing dog as you breathe out. Inhale your right leg up to the sky. Step forward as you breathe out.

You're going to take your right arm up as you inhale. And then release your right hand down and step forward. I'm going to take my left hand center and my right arm up. Right arm weaves underneath the left as you begin to rise on up. Pausing.

Step your left foot behind the right for Saraswati. Wing the arms back. Pick up your left foot a little bit. And then hands down as you extend back. Low lunge right into your three-legged dog with your right leg high.

Take the right knee in towards the nose. Pause for a moment. And then stretch your legs back. Take the chest forward. Bend the elbows to lower down.

Untuck the toes. Rise up cobra. Exhale your way into downward facing dog. Inhale your left leg up and breathe in. Step forward as you breathe out.

Pick up your left arm and inhale. And then step forward as you breathe out. This time come up onto your fingertips. Inhale, look up. Exhale, fold forward.

And then rise all the way up with both hands. Stretch your arms up to the sky. And slide your hands to your heart. Even pausing it at your mouth, this great doorway of truth. What we take in.

And then what we express back out. Bringing value to our communication and words. And then as your hands come to your hearts, hook your thumbs. Reach forward, up, and back. As you come forward.

I like to imagine this like a big old tongue. This great expression outward through your hands. And then interlace the hands behind you. So this is a great prep for shoulder stand. You can even massage the back of the shoulders a little bit.

Bend your knees from side to side. And today the focus being really listening to your body. I like to really twist as much as I can there in the shoulders. And then as you bend your knees, swing your arms up into your katasana. So the chin moves in.

And again, all of this. We bring this listening inward. Like space resonating that contains all the other planets. All the other chakras. Stay one more breath.

And then fold forward over your legs. From here you can shift the weight into your hands and bend your knees. Breathe and look up. You can step into your plank pose to lower down the way we've been doing. If you're ready to jump into chaturanga, hop your feet back.

Bend your elbows. Rise up for upward dog or cobra. And then downward dog as you breathe out. Inhale your right leg up to the sky. Step forward between your hands and seal the back.

Heel down. Roll the right hip back to the left. Right away you're going to come back up into those eagle arms. Straighten through the right leg. So it's a warrior one variation.

And you can tip backwards a little bit. And then begin to bring the arms by your side so that there's a pausing. Lean back and then bend through your front knee. And express yourself out there into a flying pranam we call this. From here drop your heads and it's devotional warrior.

Breathing into the back of the shoulders. Warrior two is going to rise up right from inside out. So circle it up. Express the pose as you sink down a little bit deeper. And then straighten the right leg.

Bend the left knee. Swing all the way back for a rainbow warrior. All of those great colors we've been exploring. And then peaceful warrior from there. Arch backwards.

You can snake the left hand behind the right. If you're ready for it the right hand can find the back body. And then the chin can move in towards the chest. And you're kind of pillowing your head back in towards the armpit. So that the chin really stays in line with the throat.

And then begin to straighten through the right leg. As you make your way towards your triangle pose. Now the right leg to lengthen. And then spiral open through the chest. From here you're going to make your way right into extended side angle.

So your forearm can come to your thigh. You can explore where your hand would like to go on the ground. So that you can open up the chest. Allowing your practice to come from inside out for today. Take one more big breath in.

And then circle the hands around you. And step back to downward dog. You can leave out the vinyasa or roll it forward through plank. Lowering down. Cobras are upwards.

Downward facing dog. Inhale your left leg up. Step forward. You've got your eagle warrior one. Eagle warrior.

Drag the left hip back. Sink down through the hips as you reach up. Little constriction and discipline. And then begin to straighten out through the front leg. Flex through the feet.

Take your hands back. And bend through the front knee. Extending it forward. Drop your heads. Catch your hands behind you.

Chin towards the throat. A moment of deep inner listening. That you're truly heard. And then rise up warrior two. Take a breath in.

Land in it a little bit deeper. Let the shoulders melt away from the ears. You can shimmy them a little bit. And then rainbow. Straighten through the front leg.

Bend through the back knee. Sweep back. Peaceful warrior. You can take your left elbow. Bend it first with the right hand.

Drawing the hand behind the heart. And then finding your fingertips or your t-shirt. Straighten through the front leg. Reach the left hand. Towards your ankle and take your right arm up.

And take a couple breaths here. Drawing the chin towards the throat. You can look at the earth. And then you can look up. Bend through the front knee.

For your extended side angle. Lutita parsvakonasana. Draw the left hip back. Reach from the outer edge of the right foot through the fingertips. Bend the elbow.

Creating space around the ears. Shoulders away from the ears. And then re-lengthen the arm. Keeping that space around the head. You can touch the earth.

And then circle it down. Plank pose. Lowering or not. And we'll meet in downward dog. And take one more round like that.

This time maybe a little bit more like a dance. So it's truly expressive. Draw the right hip back, left arm underneath the right. Lengthen through the front leg. Take your palms back and breathe in.

Breathe out. Bend through the front knee. And extend it forward. Devotional as you exhale. Catch your hands behind your head.

Chin towards the throat. Warrior two. Rainbow warrior. Swing all the way back. This time take your left hand to your left hip.

You're going to bend the right knee. Maybe reach for a block if you have one. I like to use one. Shift the weight into the block or your hand as you begin to pick up the left leg into Ardha Chandrasana half moon. Find the ground for a breath and then opening up.

This great vibration and true expression. You're welcome to bend through the left knee. Reach back for the top of the foot so the heel comes towards your sitting bone. And then maybe roll open through the chest a little bit more. Allow your leg to lengthen.

You're going to let yourselves fall all the way back into peaceful warrior. You can take a hold of that same hand gesture. And then from here straighten the right leg. Parallel the toes. From here you're going to release the right arm back up to the sky.

Put a little bend into the left knee so that you're kind of slicing or clearing everything through with your right hand towards your left ankle. And then circle the left hand forward towards your mid mat. This is going to be a very intense twisted triangle purifying ringing out pose. So with the right hand to your ankle and your left hand over your head, you're going to make your way towards triangle pose by turning your left toes in, your right toes out. And then see if you can take your left hand towards your right ankle.

Press your right shoulder in towards the right knee. And then peek out towards your left armpit. It's very intense but it actually feels really good. Take one more inhale. And then from there we bend through the front knee.

Take your right hand down, your left arm behind you. Maybe you'll half bind, maybe you'll full bind as you twist open through the chest for an extended side angle or no bind. And then release your hands down. See if you can step right into a star gazer or rock star by pressing the right foot behind you and then open up like all those great musicians expressing their great voices. And then from there flip it around.

Vinyasa or not. Exhaling. Inhaling cobra. Exhale downward dog. Take a couple moments here.

Find your breath again. Move your hips from side to side. And then step your right foot center, your left leg high. Breathe in. Exhale to step between your hands.

Seal the back heel. Draw the left hip back. The right arm underneath the left. Bending deeply into the left knee and then straighten through the left leg. Take the hands back and then bend through the front knee into your flying pranam.

Drop your head. Catch your hands above you. Devotional warrior. Warrior two. Inhale rise up.

Rainbow warrior straighten the left leg, bend the right knee, swing back. And then right hand to your right hip. Re-bend the left knee. Grab a hold of a block on your way for your artichandrasana on the left side. Extend the right arm up.

Maybe bend the right knee to reach back for the top of the foot. Heel towards your sitting bones as you lean back. And then let yourself spill back into your peaceful. You can find the hands behind you if you'd like again. Parallel the toes and then begin to bend through the right knee.

As you free the left hand towards the left ankle, here we go with the right hand towards center. So first you're going to twist open and then turn those back toes in, left leg out. Keep walking your fingertips as you twist and look underneath your right armpit. And then from inside out, bend through the left knee, right arm up and behind. Maybe the left arm for the bind, just check out on this side.

And then right into our rockstar. So you can come right over to the outer edge of your right foot, step the left foot back. Arch back, breathe in. And then flip it around for downward facing dog. Breathing in and breathing out.

And then we're going to come on up into one more standing pose sequence with the right leg up, we'll start the same way by stepping forward with the right hip back so that we're creating these new patterns through our communication. Lift open, straighten through the right leg, hands back. This time take your hands into a reverse namaste or take a hold of your elbows. You're rolling the shoulders open, step the back foot in a little bit, roll the right hip back. Everything moves in.

And then exhale, fold forward for your parsvottanasana. Listening to the sound of your breath, truth. And then we're going to take it into a revolved triangle pose. So from here, a block is really nice to use. I like to place it on the outside of the right foot.

And then as you root down through that right hand and foot, pick up the left arm. We'll take one more big breath in here. Block over to the side as you parallel the toes one more time. Right hand to your left ankle. And then this time you're going to see if you can twist your left hand still on your right ankle as you look underneath your right armpit.

So it's deeply cleansing. And then from here, walk back to the front of your mat, bend through the front knee. Pick up the right arm and inhale. And then take your right hand center as you step forward. Inhale to lift the chest, breathe and look up.

Exhale and fold forward. As you inhale, you're going to rise on up to stand. So keep the knee bent for a moment. We're going to take one more twist here so the knee can stay bent as you express the right arm back. If you're ready for it, reach for the outer edge of the right foot.

Lengthen the right leg. Twist that right arm back behind you. And then we're going to come right into a full eagle pose. So wrap the right leg around once, right arm under. Lift the elbows up.

And then come on down. From here, you'll unravel right into ukkatasana. Take your hands to your heart for one more twist. Left elbow to the outside of the right knee. And then we're going to take another perch with the left heel towards your left sitting bone.

And then see if you can stretch your foot behind you. So your knee can come to the ground right away. You can reestablish the twist with your hands in prayer. You're welcome to open up the arms, to bind the arms, expressing the pose in your way, honoring the truth today. And then take your hands to the ground, swing the right leg up and back.

And then you're going to step through a fallen triangle. So lift open through the chest, seal the back, heel down. Maybe you'll pick up the right foot for a sparkler. And then step right between your hands one more time with the right arm lifting. And then downward facing dog, breathe out.

Inhale your left leg high, step forward, seal the back heel, right arm underneath the left to rise up. For your warrior eagle, lengthen your left leg. Take your hands behind you, walk the back foot in, find that shortened stance. Take a hold of your elbows or your prayer. Roll the shoulders back and away from the ears.

And then take a few moments to tune in so that those poses, the communication is authentic. We'll rotate our triangle. Block on the outside of your left foot, press down through the right hand. Peel open through the chest, twisting from the belly. Then extend your left arm up to the sky.

And then right through center you can move your block with your left arm. Continuing to move towards the right. Your low lunge twist with the left arm up. And take your left hand down, step forward, shift the weight into your right foot. Hug the left knee into your chest, come up to stand.

You can keep the knee bent. Take your arm back, rooted in your truth. And then maybe lengthen through the left leg, each side will be very different before you wrap around yourself for your eagle. Like that vast spaciousness, big perspective. Utkatasana, unravel and then right away into that deepest twist.

Elbow, right elbow to the outside of the left knee. Pick up the right foot and balance and extend it back. Slide your hands to your heart. Frame your left foot, swing your left leg up and back. And then all the way through, taking your arm off, maybe the left leg up.

Step forward, left arm up. And then hands downward facing dog. So here's this last big moment we're going to take with the right leg coming up, this time right through your fallen. You can reach your arm up, you can lift the leg up, stepping forward. And then with your right hand to your hip, you're going to come into a revolved artachandrasana.

Block is really nice for this one, like having those very difficult conversations. Some of the poses become so challenging. Those moments that we stay in our truth, say what we mean, mean what we say. And then you can bend through this back knee again. As you press your foot into the hand and lift the chest.

And from there you can spiral right down into a revolved seated twist artachandrasana. So twist back and breathe in. And then come on through center and let that one go. So tabletop with your lion's breath again. Take your sitting bones down, hug your knees in.

It's just a very simple navasana. The arms, forward legs, open the knees can be bent. And then you're going to rock back into just a playful halasana. This is going to set us up for our shoulder stand coming up. So the fingertips to the ground to stabilize the neck, you're getting that nice stretch in the upper back.

And then rock forward. And we'll meet in a downward facing dog. Inhale your left leg high. Swing it all the way through. Fall in triangle.

Right into your revolved artachandrasana. Left hand to your hip. Block underneath the right hand. Reach for your right foot with your left hand and then peel open through the chest. Pressing your foot into your hand to roll the shoulder away from your ear.

And then you're going to tuck your right knee behind the left ankle to make your way down into your seated spinal twist. Ardhamatsyandrasana, the lord of the fishes, so the right arm comes up and then hugs the knee. It's a great myth around the listening to hear the Vedas, from this fish speaking the Vedas from underneath the waters. So we tune into what everything's saying. So take one more big breath in.

Exhale to pause. And then both feet in front of you, hands behind you. Lift your hips, exhale through your mouth. And then release your hips down. So this final pose we're going to do before shoulder stand or the final couple poses.

The first one's called fallen angel and it's pretty intense. But opens up the side of the neck as we've been doing. It's kind of a purifying twist, kind of an inversion, everything wrapped into one. But it can be expressed in your very own way. So you're going to start on your tippy toes with your hands to your heart, taking a twist over to the right side.

And the most important thing is that you let the head drop towards the ground. So as your hands come down, it's like you're doing a side crow. So you do have to lift the hips and walk the hands back. And it looks pretty fancy, but you're letting the head come to the ground for some counterbalance. So shift the weight forward and then allow your head to come to the earth.

And then maybe you can pluck your feet up. And then the top leg can lift. And it can reach all the way back. Stack the knees on top of each other again. Come on through center.

You may want to lengthen the legs. And then maybe shake out your legs. Flutter through your lips. And then let's take it over to the left side. So come up and perch on your tippy toes again.

Take your hands to your heart in a prayer. Twist with the right elbow on the outside of the left knee. And you're welcome to even stay here every step of the way. Plant your hands down. Twist as much as you can over towards the left.

So as you bend your elbows, your weight is definitely shifting towards the outside of your right hand. Right elbow, right forearm. But then you let your head drop. And then the knees can lift up halfway. Maybe your top leg lifts.

Fall in angel. And then draw the knees back in. Come on down. And then again. If you've got one more in you to exhale to clear your throat.

It's your lion's breath. So from here, you're going to shift forward onto your hands and your knees. And we're going to prepare for Virasana into fish pose. So fish pose, one of the big throat chakra openers where the heart's really open. And then the back of the neck opens up as well.

So it can be pretty intense in the back of the head. We've been moving side to side. The front and the back of the neck. So this one's very intense and it's really important to pay attention to the very sensitive vertebrae in the back of the neck and not put too much pressure on it. So we can do it in Virasana.

If this is too much on your knees, you can lengthen the legs out. And so your hips come between your heels, blankets can come underneath your sitting bones. If it's at all uncomfortable in the knees or the ankles. And then you're going to begin to lift the chest up. So I really want to deepen the pelvis.

So draw the thigh bones back. Sometimes the tendencies to lift the hips up. But you really want to drag this inner thigh bone area back so that the chest lifts. I'm keeping my chin in towards my throat as I begin to make my way onto my forearms. And start by lifting up through the chest.

And then begin to release your head back. So this is without the head on the ground. I just want to draw my shoulders back to let the chest open, my throat open. And then if you feel comfortable or you want to begin to take the head down. Again, there's a deeper opening up through the throat.

Take a few breaths here. Maybe your hands come to your heart. Extend them all the way up. And then as you come up, super important not to draw the chin in towards the chest right away so that you're following the natural alignment of the body. So then slowly draw the chin in towards your throat.

And as you come up, you'll walk your hands forward and slide your padding out to the side. And make your way into downward dog to lengthen everything out. So you can pedal out through your feet. Move your hips from side to side. Roll forward towards the plank in a child's pose.

Take a couple moments here in child's pose. You can rock your head a little bit from side to side. And then begin to rise up onto your heels. We're going to make our way into shoulder stand. And again, really important to support the cervical vertebrae as you begin to put basically all of your weight onto the very vulnerable area of your neck.

So a blanket's really wonderful to have. You can place it mid-mat. And I like to fold my sticky mat over so that I'm really kind of glued to the sticky mat as I begin to make my way into my shoulder stand. So from here, you'll lie down onto your back with your head on the ground and your shoulders just to the very tippy edge of the blankets right here so that I have space underneath my neck. And then you'll take your hands by your side like you were doing in plow pose.

Root down through the fingertips. Draw the knees in towards your chest. And then begin to draw the knees up and over your head with your fingertips down towards plow pose. From here, you can waddle the shoulders a tiny bit underneath you. But once you have your shoulders back, it's important to not move the head or the neck.

Interlace your hands like we've been doing. Again, scoop the backs of the shoulders down. Flex through the feet, press the tops of the thighs up. And then bend the elbows, taking one hand and then the other one to the low back so it's supported. Lift one leg up and lift the other leg up.

So you can begin to lean backwards towards the elbows a little bit so that the throat isn't so completely constricted. And then you can look up your whole front of your body like space. Seeing everything inside, the great truth of all the other chakras as you've worked on them. Space being the container. To communicate and express who you are.

So take a couple more breaths here. You can twirl your ankles around. There's all sorts of variations you could play with your legs. But allowing the breath to stimulate the throat. And the great glands of thyroid and parathyroid get nice and stimulated there, balanced.

So take one more breath or two. And then begin to bend your knees to come back towards your plow pose. You can bend your knees. They reach on either side of your ears. For karna pedasana, squeezing your ears with your knees, taking out all external sound to go in.

And then release your hands so that again you have these little breaks. As you release your hips, bend your knees. For a moment, pause. You'll feel a natural release open through the chest. And then from here you can roll over onto your side.

And rise on up to sit. So undo your mat. You can keep your blankets. As we do one last forward bend, pachimottanasana. So you can roll them.

Place it underneath your knees. Extend the arms up as you dive into your inner space. And reach for your feet underneath your knees. Listen to the sound of your breath again as the chin moves in towards the throat. Active listening.

And your next inhale begin to rise on up. Reach your arms up high. Fingertips to the floor behind you. You can bend your knees again or keep the legs long. Point your toes.

Take your heels into the ground and lift the chest. Exhaling. And then release your hips and set up for your shavasana. So the blankets already here. Use it underneath the knees as you lower down onto your backs.

Press into the back of the shoulders. And then slide with the neck, head. So slide your shoulder blades underneath you a little bit. And then allow the weight of the body to spill. Maybe for a couple moments experiencing all of the elements, weight of your body to the earth, and the flow of your breath like water.

The warmth you created like the great sun. Infinite energy of air and then the space that contains it all. As you let go into pure vibration. Exhaling. Slowly bring your awareness back to your breath.

Bring your breath more conscious. Makes every word more conscious. Our words are audible breath in tune. Move your fingers and toes and come back into your body as an instrument. A really sacred instrument to play.

Inner music, you move a little bit from side to side. Hug your knees in towards your chest. Roll over onto your right side for a moment. And then root down to rise on up to sit. Cross your ankles, take your hands to a prayer, even right where your throat is, right above the heart.

I always like to honor my voice as a sacred instrument that can express my truth. As you make your way into the rest of your day. It's parts of ourselves that we take for granted. We recognize so many people don't have freedom of expression. It can be an inner prayer of I honor my voice.

As a sacred instrument, I only use it to express my inner truth. Let's take a breath in together for the sound of om. Bowing down and honoring one another. Namaste.


So let's talk, literally talk, express and celebrate the qualities of the sacred space, our fifth chakra, our Vishuddha chakra, which as we've been exploring through the practice means purified and a beautiful expression of purification that means we become purified through expressing our truth.

So the function of our fifth chakra and our voice literally that exists right between our head and our heart is honest communication and then authentic self-expression. So it's meant to be that through purifying, through working on all the other chakras, it's only then that we can get to this holy or sacred site right here on the throat to be able to give back into the world this very, very unique aspect of who we are that there's no two of us in the world. So this journey towards self-discovery and finding our voice from moving inward and then allowing it to begin to radiate outward. So our voice is so powerful, sound is so powerful because it sends vibration outward. So when we think about the element of space, it can again be very mysterious like really what's out there?

So in the same way that we look out into space with great wonder and see all of those stars and all of their constellation, the job or the function begins to go inside with that same awe like what's in there? Who am I? And explore who we are and hopefully be able to express it honestly. So the placement of the body of course is the throat but it's the neck, it's the shoulders, it's our mouth, it's our ears and even our nose. So this whole kind of nasally area in the ears is kind of banned across our face.

Really important organs of sense, this expression and again what we take in and then what we're giving back out into the world. And then just moving through some of those qualities that we've been exploring. The color is blue with kind of the lighter, brighter shades of turquoise and thinking about like the sky is today, just bright blue and clear. I like to think about it as this expression and if you think about art, creativity that comes from it and that art that's unpretentious, right? So when you see something really true whether it's a movie or a piece of art or music you can think when it's pure and when it's true, it's so beautiful and it begins to tap you in.

It may not be like perfect on the outside and crisp and clear but it's so true like let's say Janis Joplin's voice or the blues, right? I love how the blues are blue because it really calls on this deep, pure expression without really caring about what anybody thinks, right? Just pure expression that begins to come from those depths from the soul and expression of feeling. The same with art like Frida Kahlo's paintings. I love them because they express such truth and in that same way we're called on to explore that to ourselves as well.

The sense that we've been saying is sound, is hearing. So active listening and then active expression. Usually again we think about sound as just something that comes out but it really is through listening, through tuning in and then in the same way being able to radiate out as external sound and then inner sound, what we think, what we feel. Tuning inward is so important again so that everything we do is aligned with our truth as it begins to radiate back out. The gland associated with the throat chakra, the thyroid and parathyroid glands I love how it's even meant to be like two little butterfly wings, the thyroid glands on either side of the larynx of the voice box.

So it's like out of a cocoon hopefully those great expression or the different colors from inside us can begin to radiate outward. When we're thinking about the shadow side, if we're thinking about truth, what's on the other side? It's lies. So lies that we've been told, the shadow side of truth, the lies that we tell ourselves and the lies that perhaps we tell we have to feel that we have to tell others about who we are. But it's one of the main in yoga, satya it's called or truth, is meant to be one of the most powerful transformative acts that we transform through telling the truth. And again we have to have a lot of courage to be able to tell the truth.

We'll have to have worked on through everything else. That's why if everything else is solid or somehow worked on then we can get to this very vulnerable place of being able to express our truth. We have to have heart to be able to express our truth and being able to express it with others so that our communication has value. So again it's one of the things we take for granted, this privilege that we have of our self expression that we have, so many people have so much less. So to begin to recognize it as what a gift I have to be able to speak my truth.

And there's so many different ways in which we can express right now even social media is this huge way of being able to be expressive. So I don't know, not that you're going to only, not that you're going to post pictures of yourself crying, but sometimes it's so contorted to only looking a particular way. So whatever opportunity we have to be able to express what's really going on, I think again begins to bring value into honesty. I was just listening to that Billy Joel song, it's so good, remember that one? Honesty.

So let's talk a little bit about how the throat chakra can go out of balance first, how it might show up physically for us. So sore throats, if they're consistent in ongoing tonsillitis, you can think right away, colds, and again this is like repetitive colds that we can begin to get where we lose our voice, where we can't hear and everything's congested, can go out of balance with thyroid difficulties, either hypo or hyperthyroidism to where the metabolism either slows down too much or it speeds up too much. Balanced thyroid begins to have metabolism functioning really smoothly and then the parathyroid has to do with calcium production and our ability to grow. And I find so much of this mature conversation having to do with growth and I find it really interesting about the symbolism between the parathyroid. You feel like during that time when boys' voices change and this development of our voice, where the chin can come in and there's a lot of shyness, to be able to hold ourselves and communicate truthfully and directly in this mature way has so much to do with growing up.

I've grown up a lot with being able to listen and then to be able to honestly respond instead of so much being reactive. So we can see it in the body when the shoulders are hunched, when we have too much stiffness in the neck and the shoulders, just ongoing tension around the neck and nerves in the shoulders, all of those things are pretty basic and symbolic to too much tension around the throat as we begin to soften it down and again ease up so that our voice can be free and consider tall and communicate ourself and our voice. So then also the deficiencies and the excessive nature of this chakra shows up in more mental and emotional ways in our lives. So we'll take a little look at that and then how we can come into balance throughout our practices. So when deficient, we can think about holding inconsistent views.

Sometimes that's how it shows up. We're not really grounded in what we think and it's always changing and adapt, you know, like switching views. That is when we're not really, really solid and grounded in what we feel and what we think and being able to express who we are. Again, this shyness or repressed expression, creative blocks where we can't express, where we just don't have access to being able to express what's inside of us is another aspect of a deficient Vishuddha chakra or fifth chakra. And then the last one really has to do with this feeling of being misunderstood.

I know so many people who feel like they aren't heard or they aren't understood and there's a lot of misunderstandings that end up something, but I meant to say this and we have to go back and kind of clarify. So these are all the different ways that maybe the fifth chakra is a little bit blocked so that it can't begin to move through into the world as easily. And then when it goes the other way and it's excessive or too open and you can see some people kind of speak like this and they're unconscious of what they're saying and what they're doing and some people really stand like this so that it's really blocked. Posture says so much and especially through the neck I feel like and the heart we stand with our chest open or collapsed. So sometimes you see people that are just unconscious and they're just talking, talking, talking, talking.

So of course over talkativeness, really fast talking, unconscious talking would be if it's overactive. And then other ways of talking that can be dogmatic and shutting people down and not honoring other people's truths. Speaking with anger, even abusive speech, we know the power of one word that's uplifting and how it can lift us up and maybe a word or something that was said to us when we were children can just like take us down and the vibrations that it sets that kind of affect us for the rest of the world. So we feel how powerful our communication is and what we can begin to do with it. So becoming aware of what we're saying to people and conscious of how we're affecting others with the way that we speak.

Right now texting is a big thing. I text so much. And I try my hardest to make sure that what I'm saying is really what I'm feeling because of course people can take it one way or another way. It can be excessive. You can use just an emoji to express how you're feeling or to say what you're saying.

But less articulated means of speaking. So of course we can't articulate long sentences when we're texting but to bring value back to speech maybe we pick up the phone and we speak so that people aren't taken down. I get really offended sometimes because I don't know what people are meaning through emails and through texts when they write. So again the slowing down, the knowing how we can affect others with our words and making sure that we're taking the time to bring value and awareness to our words. So what does it look like when it's imbalanced through doing all of our practice and bringing awareness into our fifth chakra?

When it's imbalanced we have no problem expressing ourselves. We're great speakers and great communicators. So public speaking we can think like there needs to be so much training around it but the more we begin to have practice with communicating who we are when we can slow down and express, when we can find words that really articulate what we feel, speech is really wonderful and people want to be around you and people want to listen to you. So that's when it's imbalanced. When we can begin to express who we are without, sometimes we have so much fear and so much judgement around our creativity.

So whether it's drawing, maybe when we were younger we were told we couldn't dance or we couldn't sing or we were tone deaf so we don't want to let, we repress ourselves so much. So our voice is meant to be so repressed. That's why any opportunity we can have to first of all let it out through our practice and through our lives and then it can begin to become more of this free expression of who we are. Then the last thing I think I mentioned is that when it's imbalanced not only are we rooted and honour our own truth from a lot of listening to who we are but that we respect others to have different truths. So again these narratives that are different depending on where people come from they're going to have a different experience.

So honouring our truth, really wanting to listen to what others have to say to hear what other people are saying so that we're hearing them. And I think that comes from really listening to ourselves. When we give ourselves this very, very important time of listening then we can really be present for others and maybe we don't have to respond back. We can just listen. And so when our fifth chakra is imbalanced, one of the great things is that not only can we express ourselves truthfully and honestly and even I think when we can admit that we've made a mistake that's a big thing to be able to express, apologize.

All of that has to do with our fifth chakra and honouring our truth in both sides. We're not always right, that kind of thing is powerful but it's to listen and to really hear one another. To hold the space for somebody else to speak. It's one of the greatest gifts we can give them. To just listen without having to have our own narrative over it but just to tune in and to create the space for them to listen maybe not even respond so much but to listen to what they have to say.

And I think that comes from when we can take time for ourselves and really listen to our own thoughts and our feelings we can give others that incredible gift. So one of the ways, the most simple ways to begin to tap in and honour your voice through sound, the mantras are so wonderful and then the sound of the fifth chakra is hum. So it is like the great hum of the universe. The more we can begin to hum and just sing songs usually we look up to great singers to be able to give us this great gift of music that if we can just sing along with them we begin to embrace our voice and celebrate it not as a gift or to be a professional singer but to just become fully human to be able to sing and use our voice. One of the beautiful symbolism of the fifth chakra too is a sixteen pedaled blue lotus.

We've been talking about the vibration of different petals and numbers. So it's been sixteen and within each one of those petals exists one of the Sanskrit vowels. So there's sixteen vowels in Sanskrit. They just keep going but it's meant to represent spirit. So it's how we begin to bring spirit and value into our communication and realising about the great divine gift that it is a spiritual practice and gift.

So I was talking about Saraswati a little bit, the goddess of creativity and expression and music and the arts but she's also representative of Vaak. It's a goddess of speech and I love to think that there's a little goddess in my mouth that our voice is literally an expression of this divine goddess in the world. It begins to bring the sacred quality into what we say and how we say it. So alter to begin to add on to your sacred alter. You can begin to remove some of the other ones and begin to add on these new ones.

Blue stones or objects in any way turquoise is wonderful. Lapis lazuli is another really beautiful stone that you can begin to put. I love a bell, so even in Indian altars all of the senses are represented. So there's incense for smell, for sight, there's candle, there's everything so that we can begin even sweetness so that we can begin to taste and feel and touch and see but there's always a bell but it can be any musical instrument that's not too big. So you can ring it to put on to the alter the sacred aspect of an instrument and sound.

Anything else that's blue, maybe the candle begins to change and is blue. I kind of suck at writing but I make myself write and to write poetry so maybe you put either a volume of poetry on your alter or you write something without that judgment. I mean it's so painful when we write something or do something and then right away we judge it. So you can write something down, a short story or a poem, not judge and just write and then honor your expression as it is. Like every flower and everything is expressing itself as it is in the world.

It becomes a wonderful practice of that being on your sacred alter. Those are some ways in which you can begin to add this honoring of the fifth chakra. A poetry that really expresses themselves really well. That's another great image or a singer whose voice you love, tape of wonderful mantras or sounds. And I did say tape.

That means like I'm from many different decades ago. So any sort of symbolism of music I think is wonderful to honor.


So as you develop your alter and this will be a wonderful place to begin to start to journal and write and answer these questions for your homework this week. So the first one really does have to do with how do you strengthen your voice. There's this ancient symbol of singing in the shower when nobody's listening.

I think it's a great place. I'm always singing, singing in the shower wherever I am, I try to sing. But it's not to be a singer, to sound a particular way, but just to allow your voice to come out into the world. There can be other ways in which you can strengthen your voice. Even like listening to music and again allowing it to belt out.

I think is so powerful to begin to sing as a human right to begin to express and then strengthen your voice. Sometimes we speak really shallow to begin to strengthen it as practice. Chanting again is another wonderful thing. Kirtan if you've never been to one is really meant to be. It does not matter how you sound.

The expression of your voice can be so healing especially for those of us who have repressed our voice for a really long time out of fear. The next one has to do with your posture. So yoga is so wonderful for posture. But again just being aware if the shoulders move up towards the ears, if your heads drop back, does your posture constrict your voice? Alexander Technique, yoga, so many different modalities really focus on how we can begin to be this conduit so that our central column is even free.

But more so so that the blockages can release and then our expression can come through into the world. Expressing your truth is the next one. So how do we know what the truth is? How do we get to know who this inner truth is? When we begin to move like ourselves sometimes we're told, and who am I?

We've taken years to put on these masks that kind of shield our truth. So we have to slowly begin to take them off by giving ourselves those opportunities whether it's through dance or expression, going through how challenging it can be, how embarrassed we are, is enormous. But one of the ways that I love to do it is to really express my feelings through writing in a journal so that you begin to have this honest dialogue with yourself really writing down how is it that I feel? In Sanskrit this is a part of what's called svaadhyaya, so it's self-study. You're literally writing down, it can be through so many ways we can explore ourselves through yoga texts, through different books.

But the writing down I feel is so cathartic in a way because it's seeing and expressing your feelings as truthfully as you can. And nobody's got to see it except for you and then to be able to read them back. But a daily journal, a daily time where you can sit down and begin this honest communication with yourself about how you feel is the first step towards, I think, speaking your truth and getting to know that voice that's inside. The other one is about, again as we continue to move on through expression, is about how do you feel about expressing anger? We've been talking about anger in many different emotions, but in communication with others it's not that we want to stifle and repress, especially in the world our anger, but how do we communicate it?

So some of us lash out, others of us hold it in, and then we're resentful. And it comes out as passive aggressiveness. So to be able to communicate to someone, this is how it made me feel. Again, we're not putting someone down, but we're expressing our truth. I felt this way when this happens.

And it gives them an opportunity not to be on the defensive or feel attacked. But you can practice this by writing them a letter. Don't press send, but you're allowing yourself, you're allowing yourself the freedom to feel and to express the truth of how something made you feel. Sometimes it has to be, we have to go all the way back. Maybe it's not even to express anger, but to apologize, because these things can really trap our spirits.

And so to actually go back and to take this inventory and then to be able to make amends where we can and then also to be able to express what we need to as far as resentments and all of that in a very healthy way becomes what we've been talking about, purifying. And then the last one is to do exactly what that word is purification. So how do you cleanse your body? What is it that you take in? Because again, the more toxins we take in, and that can be from information from around us, what type of movies, what are we taking in all the time?

Is it violence? What type of vibrations are we surrounding ourselves with? So if we even cleanse out, taking a social media break, taking out toxic foods, if it's excess sugars or caffeine, and I'm saying excess because I'm addicted to chocolate and caffeine, but excess, maybe it's just a little bit, but taking time to purify your body, cleanse out your house, all of it so that, again, more opportunity for our truthful expression to be able to be expressed. So this week, a few times, get on your mat and do this practice. Maybe that really opens up through the neck.

Shoulder stand's a wonderful practice to do. Fish open, shoulder stand begins to listen. All that twisting is so wonderful to be able to allow the blocks to release within the body and contemplate these questions and add in one or two practices into your life, whether it's writing, whether it's expressing in some way, or singing, taking a singing class, and chanting. And of course, as always, write down your comments in the comments section. Talk to me, communicate with me, and I will see you next week.

Have a wonderful week, everyone. Namaste.


Christel B
4 people like this.
What a vibrant flow this was!  Fallen angel with the head on the floor was a first for me and hence such fun.  Yes, honoring our voice and overcoming suppression  is important  to be practiced and lived along with listening of course.
Kate M
4 people like this.
This is falling into my life at just the right moment. Some very important communication that needs to happen, and from a place of compassion, with a close family member. I will be tuning in again and again to try and really get in touch with that spacious place from which compassionate communications can flow.
Catherine R
My favorite of these practices so far! And, even though shoulder stand is not one of my favorite poses, I embraced the idea of observing all the other chakras from that position. Thank you!
Kate M
1 person likes this.
By laying the femur across both upper arms in the Fallen Angel, it was quite ease-full to find the position (I kept the legs bent). The neck felt quite safe too. Fun! I had always relegated this to my "no fly" list!! woohoo!!
Wendy P
2 people like this.
I am learning so much and SO very much enjoying the 7 Day Chakra Course!  Thanks so much!
2 people like this.
This is my favourite class so far. I love how these sequences are referencing one another but with a slightly different focus each week. Love the eagle arms in sun salutations and following flows. I can also really feel my revolved postures opening out through the weeks. Side crow is fun; I find it much easier than crow crow!
1 person likes this.
wonderful way to start the day! thanks
1 person likes this.
Ali, Thank you, I love this practice so much too! Eagle arms and side crow are a favorites :) Hope you return to it again. Blessings, Jasmin
Muntsa, So happy you started your day with this practice and hope it was a beautiful day! 
2 people like this.
I have been studying the chakras for 19 years and LOVE how you present the material and select poses to support the awakening of each chakra. I love fish pose, plow and shoulder stand! Was not brave enough to try fallen angel but will re-visit over the next week. Thank you Jasmine for your beautiful presence and caring way you share this information.
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