After his awakening, the Buddha taught The Middle Way, which is a path of moderation that cuts right through the extremes. Neither too much or too little, but just enough. Yoga is a powerful practice for finding balance in two opposing forces as a means of opening, purifying and warming up the body. In tadasana, mountain pose, we are rooting down through our feet and stretching upwards through our crown; in trikonasana, we are extending our torso outwards – while pulling our hips back, spinning our heart open, pushing down through our feet, rolling our shoulders back, reaching one arm up to the sky, and the other down to the ground (and this isn’t all!) In the end, there is a constant dance of pushing forward and pulling back, grounding down and elongating up, breathing in and breathing out, all in an effort to find ultimate balance.
The main focus throughout the chakra system is about finding this middle ground by merging the extremes of one perspective or way of being. In the fifth chakra, we don’t want to have a fear of speaking, but we also don’t want to have a dominating voice that is prone to interrupting and talking over people. Instead, we want to have a good sense of timing and clear communication. Anodea Judith says, “The health of the throat chakra rests in neither extreme, but in its ability to accurately communicate the truth in one’s experience, witness and meet another’s truth, and approach life creatively and effectively.”
As we move up in the chakras we become more abstract, broad, and expressive; our focus is less on things that are easily observed and more on subtleties such as auras, vibrations, pulsations and creativity. The fifth chakra, the throat chakra, hones in on our ability to communicate, listen, be receptive to others, and live honestly. Are we fast talkers that ramble on incessantly without really expressing how we feel (excess), or are we uncomfortably shy and self-concious when the moment comes for us to speak out (deficient)?
The basic rights are to speak and be heard and the goals are to express ourselves clearly, believe in our voice, speak and demand the truth, and live creatively. Furthermore, we move into more etheric fields, commonly described as aura, which Merriam Webster defines as luminous radiation. Our aura is an energetic field that surrounds our physical body and can be felt both consciously and unconsciously by others. Oftentimes, the most memorable connections we have are connections felt by our vibrational fields. We walk away and feel there was a deep connection, but can’t exactly explain why. Or, sometimes you hear someone say “I didn’t get a good feeling” from a person they were in contact with for the first time, and for not a long period as well. The way we carry ourself, express ourself, honor or dishonor our truth, listen to others, receive energy around us, and connect to the world is all a part of our aura. With balanced lower chakras, we are able to express ourselves creatively and continue to effectively speak our truth. “In the fifth chakra, we work to refine our vibrations so that we can tune into subtlety. The name for this chakra, vissudha, means ‘purification.’ Purification is a vibrational refinement that takes place as we rid the body of toxins, speak truthfully and authentically, and as we work through the issues of the lower chakras. Purification prepares us to enter the even more refined energies of the chakras above,” Anodea Judith.
Along with our aura and energetic fields, the fifth chakra is all about effective and authentic communication and feeling confident in expressing ourselves creatively. We want to communicate our most intimate thoughts and feelings, while simultaneously staying in rhythm with the people we are communicating with. The demon in the fifth chakra is lies, revealing to us how violating and restricting lying can be. So, just reiterate again: live, speak and believe in your truth!
When the fifth chakra is balanced:
- we are creative and fierce!
- we communicate clearly
- we are fantastic listeners that stay in rhythm with the person we are speaking with
- we are truthful and honest
When the fifth chakra is excessive:
- we are talk excessively without actually expressing our feelings
- we use talking as a defense mechanism
- we tend to gossip
- we have a hard time listening
- we have poor auditory comprehension
When the fifth chakra is deficient:
- we are afraid of speaking
- we have a difficult time putting feelings into words
- we are introverted and shy
- we have a weak voice
- we sacrifice honesty in order to protect ourselves