As a society we tend to have unbalanced throat chakras. Advances in technology and social media have lead to an over-abundance of "communication" but communication that is inauthentic and doesn't provide true connection. You can see this physically manifested in the over-stretching common in so many people who spend their days at the computer. The neck is long in the back and constricted in the front, the cervical curve is lost. Energetically this speaks to a blockage in the front of the chakra (the giving side of the chakra) and a weakness in the back of the chakra (the receiving side of the chakra). We can all benefit from a little throat chakra work!
The throat chakra is the center for communication. It is the place from which we speak our truth and connect with others. It is the first chakra above the heart and represents the first chakra in the "upper" chakras associated with wisdom, spirit and thought. To begin working with the neck, starting with the physical structure is the easiest avenue. As a result of our poor posture, many can benefit from working the neck, stretching and strengthening. This combined with vocal work will help loosen and open the throat chakra and facilitate better communication and listening.
The most basic way to access and work with the throat chakra is through the structure of the neck. Begin your practice with some basic neck stretches. Turn the head from left to right several times. Drop the chest to the chin and lengthen the crown forward. After several breaths, lengthen up through the chin as you lift your gaze to the ceiling. Do not let the head drop back, keep the cervical spine long.
After several breaths, drop the chin to the chest then on inhale roll the right ear to the right shoulder. Bring the right hand to the let side of the head and apply gentle pressure, lengthen the left fingertips toward the floor. Find some small movements, shake the head yes and no and open and close the mouth. Release the right hand, take a few more movements. Bring the right hand to the right side of the head and press the head up to center as you find a neutral spine. Complete the same sequence on the other side. Take an exhale and drop the chin to the chest, roll the head from side to side with the breath. After several rounds complete full circles with the head in both directions.
Finish the sequence by bringing the chin to the chest, squeeze the shoulder blades together on the back. Breathe here for 5 breaths.
Woodchopper: Clear Out the Blockages
One of my all time favorite throat chakra clearing exercises! Stand feet shoulder width apart with a little bend to the knees. Arms are lifted up alongside the ears on inhale and on exhale the arms are swept alongside the legs and back behind the body. On the exhale make a loud "HA" noise, or if any other sound needs to escape use that. As you prepare for the practice and move into it, imagine all the spaces in your life when you haven't been able to speak your truth, speak your mind or perhaps even share your voice. With each "HA" allow yourself to release these memories and release the energetic blockages they've created in the throat.
Restorative Neck Stretches
End the practice with several restorative neck stretches. Start on the back and bend the knees, set the feet to the floor and come up into bridge pose. Take a block and slide it underneath the fleshy part of the butt and the sacrum. Rest here for 3-5 minutes. Let the back of the head be heavy.
To come out rise up onto the toes, lift off the block, slide it out of the way and roll down one vertebrae at a time. Next prepare for a supported fish pose. Roll over to the side, come up to your seat, take a bolster and lay it lengthwise on the mat. Sit on the edge of the bolster and recline back. The shoulders should be on the bolster, the edge of the bolster follows the length of the bolster as the back of the head touches the floor (see a more supported version above for those with neck injuries).
Stay here for at least 3 minutes. Breathe into the front of the throat. Ensure the teeth are not clenched. Breathe. To come out roll over to one side into fetal position, press up to a seat and clear the mat for savasana.
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