By Faye Martins
There are a number of Yoga poses that open up and activate the Throat Chakra. The Vishuddha or Throat Chakra is located at base of your throat and is correlated with the color blue. This vortex of energy governs communication, truthfulness and self-expression. When this chakra is blocked, a number of physical and emotional health issues may arise. Some of the symptoms of a blocked Vishuddha Chakra are feelings of muscular constriction, sore throats, mouth ulcers and thyroid issues. Emotionally, a blocked or inactive Throat Chakra may manifest as an inability to speak up for oneself, make decisions and/or flourish creatively in a variety of mediums. The center of our will or self-determination is also located both at the Vishuddha Chakra and the Manipura Chakra, which is located in the area of the solar plexus.
All of the backbending asanas open up the Throat Chakra. Many backbending postures also elongate the entire front side of the body, including the quadricep muscles. This elongation is very energizing and will leave you feeling exuberant and light-hearted. A gentle backbending Yoga asana that prepares you to enter into more intense backbending poses is Sphinx Pose. This pose will allow you to gently release tension throughout the front side of your torso and your entire throat area. When you are warmed up, you may wish to practice Ustrasana. Ustrasana or Camel Pose is a very challenging and liberating backbending posture. Practicing this pose will open up the entire front side of your body, thereby enhancing the circulation of life force energy throughout your entire being.
To practice Sphinx Pose, warm up first with several Sun Salutations. When you are warmed up, lie in a prone position on your Yoga mat. Come up to your elbows and place your forearms parallel to each other on your mat with your palms facing down on the mat. Spread your fingers as if you are a sphinx. Feel your entire palm on the mat. Keep your arms approximately shoulder distance apart from each other. Feel the stretch through the front side of your torso as you gently look side to side. To increase the stretch in your Throat Chakra area, gently move your head up and back while keeping your shoulders down. Breathe deeply and only go as far as you are comfortable. Hold this pose for several breaths. When you are ready to come out of the posture, come down and lay your check on your mat. Rest for several breaths and repeat two more times. Finish your practice of Sphinx Pose by moving into Downward Facing Dog or Extended Child’s Pose.
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