We often hear the expression "injuries are great teachers", and yet in the moment we want the pain and discomfort to go away as fast as possible so we can go back to our daily routine. This weekend, I was confronted with an old injury in my neck. As I felt my neck seize up and go out of alignment, I thought about how hard I had already worked on this part of myself. (Hadn't I spoken enough difficult truths and caused enough chaos already?!) And yet again, there was a part of my expression that in some way was being stifled.
I've had quite a few ailments in my life, and each one in its own way has reminded me to go underneath the physical into the more subtle aspects of what was happening. For me, the Chakra system has been a great way to understand and heal myself.
The Fifth Chakra, also called Vissudha or "pure", is located in the physical region of the throat. This energy center governs communication, creativity, expression and listening. The fifth chakra is about our basic right to speak and to hear the truth. The demon of this chakra is lying. Someone who is balanced in this area has a strong voice, good timing, is a good listener and communicates clearly. Deficiency in this area may manifest as fear of speaking or having difficulty putting feelings into words, while an excess can translate into talking too much as a defense mechanism or gossiping. Physical manifestations of fifth chakra imbalances include disorders related to thyroid, mouth, ears, neck, throat and TMJ.
If you relate, here are some healing practices you can do to find more balance:
1. Neck rolls: Try this when you first wake up. Find a comfortable seat, close your eyes and move your head gently in big circles in both directions, breathing into any stiff or tight spots.. You can find your own pacing and bring love to this area.
2. Singing! : Singing is a beautiful way to tap into the power of our own voice. I love to play my favorite songs to accompany me, or I find time to chant and play my harmonium at home.
3. Affirmations: I love "I hear and speak my truth" as a mantra for the Fifth Chakra. You can practice this out loud or write an affirmation in your journal as a daily sadhana (spiritual practice).
4. Asana/Physical Postures: Camel Pose, Shoulderstand (you can do a variation with a block under your sacrum if the pose bothers your neck), and Fish Pose.