In the ancient Yogic system of the description of the energy centers that lie along the central axis points of the spine, the Throat Chakra is the fifth major energy center. It is the seat of our ability to speak up for ourselves by verbalizing our own unique truth. It is also intimately connected to the sense of hearing. Additionally, verbalizing our intentions, dreams and goals imbues us with the ability to harness the creative power of the manifestation of reality through language, by connecting with the impulse of Matrika Shakti.
On a physical level, the Throat Chakra is directly correlated to the health of the endocrine system. The thyroid gland sits right at the base of the throat and is intimately affected by the level of vibrancy in the Throat Chakra. It is not uncommon for the throat area to become blocked from painful life experiences. If this is the case for you, speaking up for yourself in front of a trusted friend, practicing Yoga asanas that open up the throat area, writing your thoughts in a journal and singing are all wonderful ways to enhance the energy of the Visuddha Chakra region.
Many Yoga practitioners find that singing sacred seed mantras can be a very enjoyable and powerful way of nurturing the creative energy of the Throat Chakra. This practice of call and response singing is also known as Kirtan. It is one of the primary practices of Bhakti Yoga, the Yoga of Devotion. Kirtan is frequently practiced in Yoga studios worldwide as a way to free the heart of heaviness, balance the mind and uplift the spirit.
Different Kirtans or Yoga chants are based on a variety of musical arrangements called ragas. These rages can illicit feelings of longing, melancholy, introspection, or jubilant enthusiasm. One Kirtan in particular that generates feelings of freedom and joy is: Govinda Jaya Jaya, Gopala Jaya Jaya, Radha Ramana Hare, and Govinda Jaya Jaya. This Kirtan is very uplifting and rousing. It means victory to Gopala, or baby Krishna, who resides in the very heart of Radha. In other words, Gopala is the playful, young and joyful child-like aspect of Krishna. Radha is his consort (when he is grown-up, of course!).
Instead of longing for his physical company, Radha realizes that the divinely playful aspect of Krishna resides in her own heart; so she dances in ecstasy. In metaphorical terms, Radha becomes a fully opened, blue and purple morning glory! Just like a fully opened morning glory flower that basks in the brilliance of the morning sun, after chanting a sacred bija mantra or sacred phrase for some time, your heart will be uplifted and your Throat Chakra will be freed of constriction and tension. Ok, so you may not feel that you want to dance and sway in ecstasy when you chant “Govinda Jaya Jay,” but your heart will surely be uplifted, and the raga that accompanies this Kirtan will bring a smile to your face as the energy of the chant frees up any constriction in your Throat Chakra.
A wonderful way to close your Yoga practice or class is to engage in a period of chanting for ten to fifteen minutes after you have completed the physical postures of your Yoga practice. I personally find that engaging in ten minutes of chanting after resting in Shavasana helps me to transition to the next activity of the day or evening in a fluid and energized manner. Depending on the time of day, you may wish to choose an introspective raga if it is in the evening just prior to bedtime, or a raga that is energizing if you are still involved in the active part of your day.
Chanting mantras and the sacred names of Gods and Goddesses with the ragas is an important element of Kirtan singing in the context of a Yoga practice. The musical arrangements of the notes themselves deeply impact the chakras. There are a number of Kirtan musicians who have recorded a variety of devotional chants in a classical Yogic fashion. You can find these Kirtan artists easily on iTunes or on YouTube. If you are a Yoga teacher, downloading a number of your favorite chants onto your iPod is an easy way to incorporate this timeless practice into your Yoga class.
© Copyright 2014 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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