Vishuddha chakra, the communication chakra located at the throat, is associated with the color blue and with the space element. The qualities of this chakra are communication, truth, and self-expression. Vishuddha governs not only our communication with others, but also our own internal communication—with our own self, and with our higher power.
The gland associated with Vishuddha is the thyroid, which regulates metabolism and affects physical and mental development. When this chakra is in balance we are able to tune in and listen to the guidance of our higher self. We are able to truly find our inner truth, and to communicate and live our truth in daily life. A balanced Vishuddha chakra allows us to easily communicate with others, and to be honest with ourselves.
When Vishuddha is imbalanced communication breaks down. We may be unable to effectively let ourselves be heard, and, conversely, we may be unable to listen—to others, and to our own higher self. This chakra is damaged by all that passes through the throat—lying, gossip, alcohol, smoking, drugs, and overeating. Deficiencies in Vishuddha manifest as neck stiffness, shoulder tension, and teeth grinding.
The Prana Vayu, or quality of life force, governing Vishuddha is Udana, or upward moving breath. Udana directs prana, or life force, from the lower to upper chakras. Udana brings prana up into the deep energy centers of the brain, and is associated with raised consciousness. The mantra HAM may be chanted to bring about the expressive qualities of Vishuddha. Asana, or postures, that serve to balance Vishuddha include neck stretches, shoulderstand, bridge pose, and fish pose. The sound of Ujayii breathing, as well as chanting, also help to bring balance to Vishuddha.
To successfully reach and open the fifth chakra, the body must attain a certain level of purification which helps to achieve sensitivity needed for the subtler upper chakras. Purification is attained through diet, yoga, meditation, and exercise. As we move up the chakras, balancing each one, Vishuddha chakra becomes easier to work with as it builds from a stable, balanced base. If you have trouble communicating, consider working with the lower chakras first so that Vishuddha can more easily be accessed.