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Some Ideas for Working with Vishuddha Chakra



Contents:


Introduction



It is not uncommon for books or yoga teachers to suggest particular practices for working with an individual chakra. What I am attempting to offer here is something a bit more general: a flavour of my personal view of the sort of practices, and approaches to practice, to use when wishing to work with Vishuddha Chakra. I have also attempted to distinguish between practices and approaches that will tend to stimulate (make more active) this chakra and those that will tend to stabilize (strengthen) the chakra. Inevitably, there is significant overlap in this and you may well find that, for you personally, something that I suggest as stimulating is more stabilizing and vice versa. In any case, what is offered here is very much a personal view (rather than a consensual view of experienced experts), so my strong recommendation is that you play and experiment with these ideas, both to find what works for you and to help you form your own views (as opposed to absorbing and trusting these ideas as given).


Posture Work


Stimulate


Stabilize

Those with neck / throat focus (e.g. bridge, shoulder-stand, neck exercises … ).

Postures connecting one part of body to another (e.g. chin to chest, hands to feet).

Attentive care on refining / improving posture e.g. attention on alignment or details.

Attention on connectivity – on how changes / differences in one part of one’s being / posture has effects on other parts.

Use of Ujjayi and breath as measures (e.g. holding pose for a particular number of breaths).

Listening to the sound of one’s breath.

Incorporating / linking with sound work and or mantra or saying words.

Incorporating / linking with affirmation and thinking sounds / words / mantra.

Narrow base and, in particular, balance postures (as this requires attention and responsive micro-adjustments).

Exercises and approaches that require co-ordination – synchronizing movement / action of different parts of oneself (e.g. arms with legs, limbs with breath, …).

Carefully trying out or checking guidance, advice or information relating to posture work.

Listening to (or giving) instructions, advice or information relating to posture work.




Tonal Words


Stimulate


Stabilize

  • Inquisitive
  • Correct
  • Cautiously
  • Subtract
  • Eloquent
  • Systematic
  • Mention
  • Limit
  • Measurements
  • Thread
  • Silence
  • Notice
  • Essential
  • Doubtful
  • Co-coordinated
  • Truth
  • Restrain
  • Spaciousness
  • Gate
  • Isolate
  • Discriminate
  • Discernment
  • Sequence
  • Elegant
  • Articulate
  • Summary
  • Harmony
  • Distilled
  • Attentive
  • Refine
  • Moderate
  • Transparent
  • Coherence
  • Censure
  • Discrete
  • Appropriate
  • Rhythm
  • Careful
  • Definitions
  • Clarity
  • Define
  • Refining
  • Revise
  • Count
  • Remedy
  • Spartan
  • Austerity
  • Separate
  • Reserve
  • Communicate
  • Synchronized
  • Space
  • Restraint
  • Purify
  • Test
  • Survey
  • Discern
  • Control
  • Words
  • Cleanse
  • Resonate
  • Channel
  • Tune
  • Indicate
  • Evaluation
  • Refinement
  • Valid
  • Recount
  • Vocalize
  • Sound
  • True
  • Eliminate
  • Curious
  • Adjust
  • Carefully
  • Construct
  • Expressive
  • Organized
  • Discuss
  • Measure
  • Findings
  • Pattern
  • Quiet
  • Recognize
  • Useful
  • Plausible
  • Orchestrated
  • Information
  • Regulate
  • Connectivity
  • Gateway
  • Connect
  • Select
  • Observation
  • Sort
  • Graceful
  • Express
  • Syntheses
  • Balance
  • Concentrated
  • Alert
  • Improve
  • Free
  • Artistry
  • Co-ordination
  • Convey
  • Fluent
  • Considerate
  • Regular
  • Methodical
  • Terminology
  • Quality
  • Name
  • Enriching
  • Review
  • Meter
  • Heal
  • Moderation
  • Modest
  • Integrate
  • Forbearance
  • Speak
  • Structured
  • Interface
  • Regulation
  • Filter
  • Experiment
  • Explore
  • Observe
  • Facilitate
  • Symbols
  • Wash
  • Mediate
  • Guide
  • Melody
  • Show
  • Assessment
  • Improvement
  • Relevant
  • Relate
  • Evoke
  • Gesture
  • Reliable
  • Release

Breathing / Pranayama


Stimulate


Stabilize

Control and regulation of the flow and rhythm of the breath (e.g. use of ratios and restraining and slowing the breath).

Attention to and refinement of the quality of the breath.

Measurement of aspects of the breath (e.g. use of counting and metronome).

Observing the “feel” of the breath and feelings relating to the breath.

Use of Jalandhara Bandha.

Use of bandhas and mudras generally.

Ujjayi, Bhramari.

Nadi Sodhana (alternate nostril breath), Bhastrika (bellows breath), Kapalabhati (although technically a Kriya not a pranayama).



Visualizations


Stimulate


Stabilize

Those with a sense of passageway, tube or thread within or through oneself.

Those with a sense of connecting some aspect of one’s being with another aspect (especially between “heart” and “mind”).

Those around cleansing, purifying or removal of things like detritus, waste products, impurities (e.g. Blood vessels being cleansed of obstructions).

Those with a sense of transport / flow / dialogue between different aspects of oneself (e.g. blood flowing in blood vessels).

Word-based : truth, purity, …..

Word-based : harmony, freedom, …..

Around simple sounds or silence (behind sounds).

Around complex / absorbing patterns / rhythms / music.

Exploring where a pathway or passageway or instructions take on (in a landscape or context or environment).

Exploring (freely meandering) in a landscape (or context or environment).

The hollow space of the throat in which sound can resonate and air can flow.

Imagining meeting and communicating with a friendly, respected and trusted being (perhaps an inner guide / guru or external friend / adviser / God).

Use of mental word or phrase or sound or mantra repetitions (e.g. affirmations).
Based around face or hands (as parts of oneself used for expression).
Inner space (space inside things or oneself) e.g. inside one’s body, inside a container, inside a solid.

Outer space – space outside or between things – e.g. space between the stars. (Also space between people, atoms ….)



Other Ideas


Stimulate


Stabilize

Careful and meticulous testing and checking of things / information / ideas (e.g. for reliability, accuracy, validity …) cf. science type experiments.

Activities that require attentive responsiveness to the need / context of the moment (e.g. skiing, ice-skating, tight-rope walking, playing in a jazz group …).

Distilling information (e.g. into key points or summaries or equations …).

Organizing and structuring information (e.g. into maps, tables, “family tree”, essays, diagrams …).

Taking care to be truthful and honest and accurate.

Taking care to be courteous and tactful.
Mantra practice (sound).

Mudra practice (gesture)
Mental / emotional cleansing practices (e.g. practising morals / ethics [cf. 10 commandments or Yamas & Niyamas] detachment, some meditation and visualization practices).

Physical cleansing practices (e.g. Kriya practices and also “western” cleansing practices such as teeth cleansing and gargling) perhaps especially those relating to the throat and respiratory system.
Pratyhara – sense withdrawal.

Listening to (others, music …) and reading.
Revising, correcting, adjusting in light of new information / understanding.

Gathering and collecting information.
Being alert / attentive to what is going on internally (e.g. thoughts, feelings, emotional reactions) and observing the internal consequences / effects of one’s actions and decisions.

Being alert and attentive to the space / context around one (e.g. environment, people, relationships) and observing the external effects / consequences of one’s actions and decisions.
Words and voice modes of expression such as speaking, writing, singing … .

Non-verbal, non-vocal modes of expression such as music, dance and visual arts.
Talking therapies (e.g. counseling, psychology, confessing to a priest …) but take care you go to someone who will accept you on your terms and values and allow you to be yourself (as opposed to applying their own values).

Expressing oneself – thoughts, feelings, experiences and also spending time with friends and family.


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