Vishuddhi Chakra

Visha = impurity,

poison Shuddhi = purification

 

Vishuddhi Chakra

VIshuddhi Chakra

 

 

Vishuddhi Chakra or throat chakra is the fifth primary chakra according to the Hindu tradition of tantra. It is located in the vicinity of the Larynx – and is therefore also known as the Throat Chakra. It is a center of physical and spiritual purification.

Location: the fifth energy center, Vishuddhi Chakra is located in the physical body in the area of the neck.

Represents: pure consciousness, creativity.

Symbolic representation: it is the dwelling of sound, dreams and the symbol of purity.

On the psychic level: it governs expression, awakening of inspiration, eloquence, archetypal models. This center of force is closely connected to the feeling of acceptance, superior receptivity, and subtle protection.

On the physical level: it coordinates the activity of the vocal cords, the hearing system, pharynges, oesophagus, as well as the spine. The corresponding glands are thyroid and parathyroid. This center of force is connected to the complex process of nourishment.

Specific reactions in the case of energetical disturbance: the person in which the energies characteristic to Vishuddhi Chakra are disturbed will have to face an imbalance at the level of the above-mentioned glands. The emotional factors are nonetheless extremely important in triggering this disease. These factors are translated in symptoms as insomnia, anxiety and depression.

Characteristic element: the subtle energies of ether.

Sense: hearing.

Intense focus and meditation on the subtle element corresponding to this center of force is defined in the Yoga texts as the special, beatific expansion Akashi Darana. The person who practises this form of meditation will not die, nor disappear at the dissolution of the world. This person obtains the knowledge of the past, present and future as well as the control of the mysterious energies of time.” (Swami Sivananda) – Meditation upon this chakra is said to bring about various siddhis or occult powers: vision of the three periods, past, present and future; freedom from disease and old age; destruction of dangers; and the ability to move the three worlds.

 

For the purification and balancing, the breath should flow through the chakra. Here at the throat it is a natural process. By using Prāna Shakti with help of the Yoga technique of Prānāyāma , one can have better breath control to remove the harmful residues from the breath and to clear thoughts as well. A wrong thought, emotion, idea, energy, or impulse can poison your life. An active Vishuddhi saves you from all these influences. In other words, once your Vishuddhi is active, whatever happens around you will not have an impact on you anymore. You will be established within yourself. And you tend to become a powerful being.

Vishuddhi Chakra 2

Lotus Blossom in VIshuddhi Chakra

The Lotus blossom in the Vishuddhi Chakra is described as having a “white color” with sixteen “purple” or “smoke-colored petals.”. These represent the sixteen Siddhis (supernatural powers) that a person can acquire through practising Yoga. Within the pericarp is a sky-blue downward pointing triangle containing a circular white region like the full moon. This represents the element of akasha or “aether.” The number 16 also refers to the sixteen days it takes for the half-moon to grow into the full moon. The moon denotes emotions, change and the female principle. In the Bhagavad Gita (15/13) the moon is described as “the giver of nectar” as it gives nourishment to vegetation. The colour of the Vishuddhi Chakra is VIOLET, the colour of wisdom and spirituality.

The element of the Vishuddhi Chakra is ĀKĀSHA (space). Space opens the possibility for expansion and distribution. This region is represented by the deity Ambara, who is also white in color and is depicted with four arms, holding a noose and a goad. He makes the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear while seated upon a white elephant. The silver crescent is the lunar symbol of nada, pure cosmic sound. The crescent is symbolic of purity, and purification is a vital aspect of Vishuddha Chakra.

Panchanana_SadaShiva

Sadashiva

The Lotus in the Vishuddhi Chakra carries the Bīja Mantra HAM – I am. SO HAM means “That am I”. In the Anāhata Chakra we frequently indulge in beautiful emotions, whereas in the Vishuddhi Chakra we begin to become conscious of who we really are. It is here that the real journey towards Self-Realisation and Self-knowledge starts. In the Bindu, or point above the mantra, resides the deity Sadashiva, who has 5 faces, representing the spectrum of smell, taste, sight, touch, and sound and 10 arms. The right half of his body is a white Shiva, and the left half of the body is a golden Shakti. He is holding a trident, chisel, sword, vajra, fire, a great snake, a bell, a goad, and a noose, and is making the gesture of dissipating fear. He is clad in a tiger skin. His Shakti is Shakini, who is shining white, seated on a red lotus, and with five faces, three eyes each, and four-armed, with a bow and arrow, noose, and goad.

The central symbol of the Vishuddhi Chakra is a peaceful white ELEPHANT. In India the white elephant is regarded as a symbol for luck, wealth, power, wisdom, purity and clarity.

Words are developed in three stages: ABDOMEN, THROAT & LIPS. The seat of sound is in the Manipūra Chakra; therefore the origin of speech is in the fire element. Through the energy of fire, sound manifests in the space of the Vishuddhi Chakra, and is articulated as words with the help of the lips (Vaikharī). Every thought, every emotion, should be filtered and purified by consciousness and clarity. In the lower Chakras we are led predominantly by our emotions; the real dawning of consciousness begins first in the Vishuddhi Chakra. In this Chakra we begin to articulate our emotions and desires and, at the same time, also learn how to control them. The process of maturation in the Vishuddhi Chakra governs the aptitude for patience. Through Prānāyāma and Āsanas that have an effect on the Vishuddhi Chakra we can quieten the thoughts and emotions and bring them into harmony. In this way we protect ourselves from rash actions and prevent our words being like knives or arrows and injuring others. Patanjali said that wise men formulate their words clearly and fully before speaking. The ability to be aware of words in their place of genesis – the Manipūra Chakra – is very valuable. Words possess a strong power regardless of whether the effect they create is intentional or not. We should speak fewer rather than too many words, and weigh them up in the heart and the Vishuddhi Chakra before we speak.A very effective Sādhana for learning control over words is silence (MAUNA). All exercises that have an effect on the Vishuddhi Chakra also have a beneficial influence on the voice and speech. That is why work on this Chakra is particularly recommended for writers, poets, journalists, teachers, politicians, actors and singers. VĀK SIDDHI, which bestows a remarkable influential power upon words, is hidden in the Vishuddhi Chakra. With the activation of the Vishuddhi Chakra and practising of the Hatha Yoga technique of TRĀTAKA (concentration on a point), one’s words and glances are given an effective and persuasive power.

Prānāyāma, Yoga & Mudra for Vishuddhi Chakra

  • Ujjāyī Prānāyāma
  • Jālandhara Bandha
  • SARVĀNGĀSANA Shoulderstand
  • MATSYĀSANA Fish
  • BHUJANGĀSANA Cobra
  • USHTRĀSANA Camel
  • SETU ĀSANA Bridge
  • SHĪRSHĀSANA Headstand
  • VIPARĪTKARANĪ MUDRĀ Half Shoulderstand
  • HALĀSANA Plough
  • YOGA MUDRĀ Forward Bend sitting on Heels
  • Khecharī Mudrā
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Svadhishthāna Chakra

Svā = Self

Adhishthāna = seat, residence

Svadhishthāna Chakra is located two finger-widths above the Muladhara Chakra and to the lower belly, a few inches below the navel. “Svadhisthana” holds the energy related to money, relationships and demonstrates compassion and creativity. It corresponds to the sacral vertebrae and the nerve ganglion called the sacral plexus. This plexus hooks into the sciatic nerve and is a center of motion for the body.

It is often called the “seat of life.” It is connected with the sense of taste, (the tongue) and with reproduction (the genitals). Its element is water. Therefore, the chakra corresponds with bodily functions having to do with liquid: circulation, urinary elimination, sexuality and reproduction. With a balanced chakra you will have all these in good health while you will have difficulties in these with a imbalanced chakra.

Swadhisthana_Chakra_2
Svadhishthāna is illustrated as a white lotus (Nelumbo nucifera). It has six vermilion-colored petals inscribed with syllables: बं baṃ, भं bhaṃ, मं maṃ, यं yaṃ, रं raṃ and लं laṃ and these symbols represents the six obstacles on the path of development: Anger, hate, greed, jealousy, cruelty, laziness

Swadhisthana

Inside this lotus is a white crescent moon which represents the water region presided over by the deity Varuna (god of water). The seed mantra, located in the innermost circle, is a moon-white वं vaṃ. Above the mantra that is within the bind, or dot, is the deity Vishnu. He is dark blue and wears a yellow dhoti. He holds a conch, a mace, a wheel and a lotus. He wears the srivatsa mark, and the kaustubha gem. He is seated either on a pink lotus, or on the divine eagle, Garuda. His strength is the goddess Lakini. She is black, dressed in red or white and seated on a red lotus. She is commonly depicted with one face and two arms, holding a sword and a shield, or two faced and four armed, and holds a trident, lotus, drum and vajra, or an arrow, skull, drum and axe.

Svādhishthāna Chakra is represented by ORANGE color which is also the colour for fire and denotes purification, activity, joy, hope and self-confidence.

Svadhishthana_Chakra

The element (Tattva) of the Svādhishthāna Chakra is WATER. Like water, the Kundalinī energy rests in the Mūlādhāra Chakra stiff and motionless, as if “frozen”, and only begins to flow when it reaches the Svādhishthāna Chakra. We need to clear our thoughts and should think in a positive way once the energy starts to flow to protect us from the negativity of imbalance of the mind and other psychic disturbances like aggression, nervousness, restlessness, etc. The idea is to go ahead one step at a time.

The animal symbol of the Svādhishthāna Chakra is the CROCODILE. It represents the Karma lying dormant in the subconscious. The crocodile is lazy and lethargic, but once it becomes active it develops enormous power and speed and can be extremely dangerous. We also should set all our powers into motion when we have a strong desire or longing for something and  should continue with this practise even after we reach to our goal so to prevent ourselves to sink back into the earlier idleness.

The Bija Mantra, the subtle vibration, of the Svādhishthāna Chakra is VĀM. Through concentration on the sound of this Mantra and its inner repetition we are able to awaken the energy of the Chakra, and also bring it back into balance when it has become the victim of impetuosity.

There are two special “jewels” hidden in the Svādhishthāna Chakra that we are able to put to good use: ICCHĀ SHAKTI (willpower) and KRĪYA SHAKTI (vigour/drive). ICCHĀ SHAKTI and KRIYĀ SHAKTI can be awakened and strengthened by Yoga practices. The following powerful energies help us to cultivate these:

PRĀNA SHAKTI – life force, vital force

DHĀRANĀ SHAKTI – power of concentration

CHETANA SHAKTI – power of consciousness

When these three Shaktis combine we are able to turn all our ideas, intentions and wishes into reality. Even though they are purely mental powers, they originate in the body. The free flowing of the Nādīs and the activation of the nerve centres (Chakras) play a big part in this, and Prānāyāma and concentration (eg Trātaka ) are also helpful. Concentration strengthens the mind and Prānāyāma strengthens and purifies the Nervous System. Here, purification means to remove blockages and thus improve and ensure the flow of energy. Concentration acts like a magnet on our consciousness pulling it in one direction only. Through this it is possible to utilise and guide the Prāna Shakti at will. With this our physical and mental nourishment also become very important. Therefore we should foster positive thoughts and only eat wholesome and pure food – no meat, fish, eggs or alcohol, and naturally no drugs.

To control and consciously guide Prāna is a science, similar to higher Mathematics. This energy is like an instrument with whose help we can attain our goal. When the nerve centres have been purified the Chetana Shakti, it develops its full potential and enlightens our consciousness. Once we have awoken this power within us we should also put it to good use, aligning it with our willpower and actions towards the goal of Self-Realisation.

In the course of our life the Kundalinī occasionally awakens and rises to the Svādhishthāna Chakra. However, here it comes up against the barrier of our negative qualities such as envy, desire, jealousy, rage and greed. These block the energy so that it again returns to the Mūlādhāra Chakra. And in this way the consciousness of many people continues to oscillate between the two lowest Chakras without ever being able to rise higher.

People influenced mainly by Svadhishthāna chakra are quite impressionable, have an active and vivid imagination, as well as the aptitude of verbalizing their perceptions, which makes them excellent in the professions involving guiding and healing.

Basic Yoga Asanas, Pranayama, Mudra & Bandha for the Sacral Chakra

Yoga to stimulate and balance energy flow through the Sacral Chakra:

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana) — As this pose stimulates the abdominal organs it also strengthens the spine.

Cow Face (Gomukhasana) — This seated and twist position stretches your chest, arms, shoulders, legs, and core.

One-Legged King Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) — This variation of the pigeon asana stimulates the abdominal organs while stretching the chest, shoulders, and abdomen. 

Bound Angle (Baddha Konasana) — Bound angle stimulates the abdominal organs to dispel energy imbalance.

Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana) — A variation of triangle, this asana stimulates the abdominal organs.

Full Boat (Paripurna Navasana) — This seated asana strengthens your core. 

Chair (Utkatasana) — Adopting this standing pose, which strengthens the abdomen and stimulates abdominal organ function, allows for the opening and activation of the Sacral Chakra.

Pranayama: Dirga (the three part breath) and Kapalabhati

Mudra: Yoni

Bandha: Uddiyana Bandha (upward flying)

Prana – Life Force

What does Prana or Life Force mean?

As per Yoga there are two types of energy that are present in all beings: 1) Prana or the Life Force & 2) the Mind or Consciousness

Prana is thought to be responsible for maintaining all the physical functions of the body including life, heat & health. It means when one’s body has plenty of Prana, it is in perfect health & Vice Versa. One of the earliest references to prana is from the 3,000-year-old Chandogya Upanishad. The other Hindu texts including other Upanishads and Vedas have described similar ancient concept of prana. The concept is elaborated upon in great detail in the literature of haṭha yoga tantra, and Ayurveda.

The yogic practice of pranayama is one way in which the Prana energy can be sustained and enhanced. Pranayama is one of the eight limbs of yoga and is a practice of specific and often intricate breath control techniques. Many pranayama techniques are designed to cleanse the nadis, allowing for greater movement of prana. Deep meditation is possible through pranayama effectively. Yoga postures like cat pose, cobra pose, etc. are all thought to stimulate more life force and leave the yogi feeling energized. Life force is also considered to be the body’s natural healing energy.

The image is a simplified diagram of the mode of action of Mudras and Bandhas on the Sushumna, leading to liberation in Hatha Yoga philosophy. The subtle fluids affected have numerous names including prana, bindu, and amrit.

Prana flows in nadis (channels). The three most important nadis are the Ida on the left, the Pingala on the right, and the Sushumna in the centre connecting the base chakra to the crown chakra, enabling prana to flow throughout the subtle body.

A simplified view of the subtle body of Indian philosophy, showing the three major nadis or channels, the Ida (B), Sushumna (C), and Pingala (D), which run vertically in the body

Divisions of Prana

Though the antahkarana, the inner instrument, is one, yet it assumes four forms: i) manas, the thinking mind, ii) buddhi, intellect, iii) chitta, memory or consciousness and iv) ahamkara, ego, according to the different functions it performs. Likewise, though prana is one, it assumes five forms: i) prana, ii) apana, iii) samana, iv) udana and v) vyana according to the different functions it performs – this division is termed as vritti bheda.

Of these five, prana and apana are the chief agents. The seat of prana is the heart, its function is respiration; of apana, the lower abdomen to the anus, its function is excretion; samana, in the region of the navel, performs digestion; udana, in the throat, is responsible for swallowing and takes the jiva, the living being, to sleep, and separates the astral body from the physical body at the time of death; while vyana is all-pervading, it moves all over the body and is responsible for the circulation of blood.

Naga, koorma, krikara, devadatta and dhananjaya are the five sub-pranas. Naga is responsible for the functions of eructation and hiccup. Koorma performs the functions of blinking and opening the eyes. Krikara induces hunger and thirst. Devadatta is the prana which causes the action of yawning. Dhananjaya causes decomposition of the body after death.

Use of Prana

The Sanskrit term Prana, often translated as “breath”, is considered the vital power of the Supreme Self that manifests everything in the universe and permeates all created things. This vital power is what gives rise to and sustains the incoming and outgoing rhythm of our physical breathing. The great sages of the Upanishads teach that by paying close attention to our breath, especially through a steady practice of meditation, we connect with prana. This vital power in turn, leads our mind into the luminous space of the Self, which is the Heart and essences of our being.

We use power of prana through nervous system by thinking, willing, acting, moving, talking and writing. The excess is stored in the brain and nerve centres. It is stored in the brain in the form of spiritual energy.

In Ayurveda and therapeutic yoga, pranayama is utilized for many tasks, including to affect mood and aid in digestion. A. G. Mohan stated that the physical goals of pranayama may be to recover from illness or the maintenance of health, while its mental goals are: “to remove mental disturbances and make the mind focused for meditation”.

In other cultures

Similar concepts exist in various cultures, including the Latin anima (“breath”, “vital force”, “animating principle”), Islamic and Sufic ruh, the Greek pneuma, the Chinese qi, the Polynesian mana, the Amerindian orenda, the German od, and the Hebrew ruah.