Whether we’re choking on words or choking on breath, our throat gives us immediate feedback as to our emotional state. More often than not, we harness our emotions, restrain our will, and choke back expressions of who we are.


I once heard Wayne Dyer say, “Don’t die with your music still in you.” Our voice is our music and our throat is the instrument that sends our melodic tone throughout the world. One note of our personal genius at a time. So, speak up and speak out - often and deliberately. Liberate your soul to your heart’s content. Be quiet no longer!



Vishuddha: The Fifth Chakra

Breaking Muscle Shop

Vishuddha involves the area where heartfelt feelings and intellect create a verbal symphony. Choking on words, stifling feelings, or locking your jaw can create problems around lymph glands, the thyroid, and breathing. Additionally, wearing a mouthpiece, suffering from whiplash, and being told to stop talking can also add to shutting down or injuries around our neck.


Your neck. Feel it. Bring your hands to feel along jawbone, base of skull, cervical spine, throat, collarbones, edge of your shoulders, and around your back to the top of shoulder blades. Clamping our jaw and tensing our throat muscles cuts off nerve supply, blood, and oxygen, and strangles our thyroid. Our thyroid is responsible for regulating hormones for organ function, brain development, and body temperature.


And on another level, although it’s obvious that our neck attaches our head to the rest of our body, it is also a tunnel connecting our brain to our heart. So, open up. Risk and reveal what lies inside. Vishuddha is a place for liberation. Freedom can be felt here. Freedom from restraint. Feeling at liberty to express yourself fully. This is my personal experience.


This area is associated with the color blue. Can you sense why? Blue is associated with water and air, a vastness that flows freely and unencumbered. It is limitless, like our breath. Depression is also a color associated with blue. And how depressing it is to dampen our voice or withhold parts of our self that long to be free?



How to Exercise Our Voice

Allow internal messages to be heard or seen or felt. Transform expression into a mode for connecting with the external world. Write, speak, and do. Revealing what you want to express can feel scary and exciting at the same time. Consider it an adventure. Focus on what you can do and begin with small steps to build up your confidence. Here are a couple exercises to get you started:


Lion’s Breath

We can use different breathing exercises to prime our fifth chakra for soulful expression. Lion’s breath is done with the mouth open. It can feel really sweet and lead to developing verbal skills. Follow this simple sequence to relax your mind and enter a still, silent place. You can do this in many poses, while sitting at work, or at a time when you need a mental break. Do three rounds.


Set Up: Sit cross-legged. Hands forward in front of shins and palms down. Do the first two lion’s breaths softly, and then turn up the volume as needed. Have fun.



  • Inhale. Feel your ribs expand.

  • Exhale. Mouth open, tongue arcing down over chin. ROAR soft.

  • Inhale. Feel your breath move through nostrils and down your throat.

  • Exhale. Mouth open, tongue arcing down over chin. ROAR soft.

  • Inhale. Feel your breath lift collarbones.

  • Exhale. Mouth open, tongue arcing down over chin. ROAR LOUDER. Feel a release and sense of relief from held tension.




Bhramari is a sound producing a rhythmic vibration similar to humming. Basically, I consider it humming with lips closed. As you try it, play with pitch and volume. High or low, get the breath to vibrate around your throat and neck. Do three rounds.


Set Up: Bring your hands around your neck or throat.



  • Inhale. Feel your ribs expand.

  • Exhale. Bhramari buzzing up lower jaw.

  • Inhale. Feel your breath move through nostrils and down your throat.

  • Exhale. Bhramari buzzing up thyroid, cervical spine.

  • Inhale. Feel your breath lift collarbones.

  • Exhale. Bhramari buzzing up relaxing shoulders from ears.




Read about the other chakras:

Chakras Demystified: Sahasrara - The 7th Chakra

Chakras Demystified: Ajna - The 6th Chakra

Chakras Demystified: Anahata - The 4th Chakra

Chakras Demystified: Manipura - The 3rd Chakra

Chakras Demystified: Swadhisthana - The 2nd Chakra

Chakras Demystified: Muladhara - The 1st Chakra


Look for future “Chakras Demystified” articles as we work our way through each of the seven chakras. If you have any questions about vishuddha, please post them to the comments below.


Photo 2 courtesy of Shutterstock.

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