YOLY Challenge #21: Find Your True Voice

bird-287109__180Unwavering in its pronouncements, the songbird vocalizes in clarity and honesty. Like the songbird in the sky, we should feel free to sing out and fill our surroundings with positive vibrations.

The 5th Chakra is located in the area of the throat and is your communication center – figuratively and spiritually.  The Sanskrit name, Vissuddha means pure.  When your throat chakra is balanced your self-expression is clear, virtuous, and free of pollutants.

The challenge this week is to incorporate a “Vissuddha” yoga posture into your practice each day. The following poses and practices will target the areas of expression – your neck and throat.

Ujjayi Breathing – a superb pranayama practice for honing your larynx, nasopharynx and all parts related to the breath and speech.  Look back to our YOLY Challenge #5 for directions on this method.

Lion PoseSimhasana_Yoga-Asana_Nina-MelA focus for the mouth, jaw and neck, this posture is especially good for stimulating the platysma muscle – unattractively known as the “turkey neck.”

Upward Facing Dog – Correctly performed, imagesthe shoulders should be aligned above the wrists so that the neck can comfortably balance the head.  Through this pose, all the structures surrounding the neck and throat are learning to support and stabilize.

Shoulderstand (variation with a chair)images  Targets the thyroid to balance the blood flow in this area.  A boon for the entire neck and shoulder areas if supported correctly.  This posture should be initiated under the guidance of an instructor.

Chanting – Find a recording that speaks to you and learn it.  Silently follow along until you are comfortable reciting the words clearly and with purpose.

One of my favorites is this Gayatri Mantra recording.

Here are the words and definition for your reference:

Om bhur bhuvaha svaha
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yonah prachodayat

Praise to the source of
all things.
It is due to you that we attain
true happiness on the planes
of earth, astral, causal.
It is due to your transcendent
nature that you are worthy of
being worshiped and adored.
Ignite us with your all
pervading light.

The Gayatri Mantra is a prayer that allows me to express gratitude to the universal spirit.  I see it as an all-embracing chant that transcends religion and speaks to my intention. The vibration of its sounds is known to be a healing source for our subtle bodies.

 

 

Photos credited to Yoga Journal & LA Times

 

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