What basic needs do we humans require? Go ahead, lovelies, just shout out your answers. Did I hear someone say food? Yep,that’s a biggie. A roof over our heads? A given. Clothes (we aren’t talking couture here, just sweats and tennies)? That’s right up there in the top three. Who said love? Surprisingly, that’s a no. Before love, we need to be heard and seen.We need to learn to speak our truth and feel that those around us hear it, see us as we want to be seen. And that’s where our Throat chakra comes in. The Throat Chakra channels our Inner Voice.
You wouldn’t think my throat chakra is blocked, would you? I talk at warp speed and I like nothing better than having an audience. Yet it’s one of the trickier chakras to keep unblocked, especially for women. It’s so much more than expressing our thoughts clearly and truthfully. It’s fear of rejection or not being listened to, or being made to feel guilty or shameful for speaking our truth and expressing our feelings. And it is listening to others when they speak their truth or tell us their feelings. Being heard. Being seen. For our throat chakra to be truly unblocked we need to give it and receive it.
Listening is especially difficult when our throat chakra is blocked. In yoga there are Five Levels of Listening…four to avoid and one to practice!
🚫 Some of us literally ignore others when they speak. We stay in our own heads, listening to our own thoughts, nodding away as if totally engrossed in tales of Aunt Penny’s hoarding.
🚫 Sometimes we “fake listen.” I mean, we are listening, sort of. We know our husband is telling us about how he had to fire someone at work, but we also are checking responses to our FB posts.
🚫 Selective listening is a tough one to avoid. It’s when we focus more on our response to what someone is saying than on their actual words. We are preparing our arguments or advice before they finish speaking.
🚫 Attentive listening is when we hear the words but don’t hear the feelings behind the words. We interrupt. We finish others’ sentences. We miss the hurt or joy or pain being expressed.
✔️ Finally, we can learn to listen empathetically. We engage with our friend as she pours out her fears about her child’s health. We hold her hand. We murmur a few soft sounds. We hug her. We see her. We hear her.
When we aren’t listening empathetically, we likely aren’t speaking empathetically, either. We don’t express our thoughts or emotions, we might feel anxious or worthless and think no one is really listening when we speak. Our Throat Chakras are blocked, lovelies. Sometimes it’s quite literal: we may feel a lump in our throat that is symbolic of the inability to speak our truth, and the fear we aren’t heard or seen.As strange as it sounds, saying “no” is an important step in unblocking our Throat Chakra. It is the most critical word in speaking our truth.For most people, saying “no” is hard. We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings by saying no to an invitation. We don’t want to be talked about if we don’t bake cookies for a school fundraiser. We don’t want our sister to bring her Great Dane to Thanksgiving. So we say yes. I mean, saying no is so rude, right?
Wrong. Saying yes to something you don’t want to do or experience creates anxiety. It makes us feel we’ve been taken advantage of, or maybe we are just plain resentful and pissed off. Either way, it blocks our Throat Chakra.The thing is, the person we are pissed off at is usually ourselves. We are mad that we said we’d go to the neighbor’s Halloween party and have to figure out a costume. We are mad that we agreed to bake cookies on Tuesday night, which means we have to miss Power Yoga. We are mad because we said yes to our sister’s dog, who ate half the turkey off the platter last Thanksgiving.
Saying no is an art. You can work up to a flat-out no. At first, allow yourself time to think over an invitation or request. Say you will get back to the inviter/requester, and when you do, be clear. And concise! You don’t need a detailed reason why you are saying no. A simple “sorry, that won’t work for us this time” is adequate. By leaving the door open to future “yes” responses, we take the sting out of “no.” Not this time means maybe next time. I can’t go on Thursday means maybe you can go on a Tuesday.Of course, there may be times when it’s a hard no. If you absolutely never will go mud-wrestling, then lay it right out there: Nope, sorry, I don’t do messy sports.Fair warning: be prepared to be cajoled. Arm yourself to be firm and not change your mind, feel guilty or give in to pressure. No is no is no.Saying no when you really mean it clears your Throat Chakra. Especially if you happen to be wearing blue.
Each chakra has its own energy sensitivity and responds to different colors, foods, crystals, Yoga poses and mantras.Many of you have been in class with yogi Diana Kyrkos. She frequently hands out blue crystals in class. Why? Because the Throat Chakra governs sound, and blue crystals such as aquamarine and turquoise have resonating frequencies that open our throat energies. If you have frequent throat, thyroid sinus, or dental issues, consider a necklace or pendant with blue stones.Blue extends to foods, too. Try mixing blue spirulina (edible algae) into your blueberry smoothie bowl, and add soothing elements such as coconut water. Anything healing such as herbal tea with lemon and honey is balm to your Throat Chakra.
Keeping the spiral of energy in each chakra moving is key to being unblocked. Simple, gentle neck rolls are good for your Throat Chakra, as are yoga poses such as the Plow and Fish, which move the energy through your throat.For me, when I’m going to speak in public or sometimes even before class, I do a breathing technique called Lion’s Breath. It’s energizing, makes me smile at the silliness of the whole process, and pushes out toxins and stress.
So, my yogi-lions, inhale through your nose. Open your eyes and mouth wide. Really wide! Stick out your tongue and curl it toward your chin. Force your breath out with a loud exhaled “ha!” Do it again, and maybe even a third time. Your throat and chest will feel clear relaxed. Aaahhh.
As your Throat Chakra becomes unblocked, start paying attention to your story. Maybe journal it. The point is to know your truth, and be unafraid to speak it, share it, celebrate it. Like my own story, yours is probably crooked in places, full of peaks and valleys and potholes. How you tell your story to yourself, and therefore to others, matters. Are you the hero or the victim? Nothing will strengthen your Throat Chakra more than honoring your whole story, and not sweeping the tough parts under the rug.
Oprah Winfrey said: “The more you celebrate your own life, the more there is in life worth celebrating.” Go for it, lovelies. Speak your truth and listen to others’ truths. And roar!!!!Next up: the Heart Chakra.