Vishuddhi Chakra or the Throat plexus is the fifth chakra in the evolution of man. It can be activated by various means. Each chakra has a physical, mental and spiritual aspect. Some of the standard methods to activate / awaken Vishuddhi are listed in this article.
How to awaken Vishuddhi Chakra?
Before attempting to activate / awaken Vishuddhi chakra, it is good to prepare the body by doing asanas or yogic postures that have direct effect on awakening Vishuddhi.
Few techniques from Hatha Yoga and tantric texts are listed below.
Close your eyes and relax. Now, take a deep breath and hold the breath inside. Bend the head forward and let the chin rest in pit of the throat. Lock the chin in there. Place your palms on the knees. Now hunch your shoulders upward and forward and bend forward. Remain in this position for as long as you can hold the breath comfortably. To release the lock, bring the shoulders back and raise the head and exhale. You can repeat this few times as per convenience.
Kechari Mudra is another powerful way to awaken Vishuddhi chakra. This is a great practice used by Yogis to overcome the limits of the body like hunger, thirst, sleep, etc.
Sit in any meditative pose like Padmasana, Siddhasana or Sukhasana. Roll the tongue up and backwards to touch the hard palate. Take it further if you can to touch the soft palette. With practice it can be taken further back to touch the hanging uluva. Ultimately you can go beyond the uluva and insert the tongue into the nasopharynx. This requires lot of practice. In Hatha yoga method, cutting of the frenum of tongue is allowed to achieve this. But this should be done under guidance of a qualified master.
In Ujjayi Pranayama, the glottis is contracted so that a soft snoring sound is made while breathing, just like a baby snoring. Ujjayi breathing can awaken Vishuddhi Chakra. Sit in any meditative pose and relax the body. Roll the tongue backwards in Kechari mudra. Now contract the glottis and breath slowly and deeply. Start with a minute of practice and extend it to 5 to 10 minutes.
Esoteric Tantric Visualisation and Worship of the Chakra
In Kundalini tantra, every chakra is esoterically described as a flower with many petals. Each chakra also has many other aspects like Bija Mantra (seed letter mantra of the chakra), letters on each petal, presiding deity, deity related to the element and many other aspects.
In tantric tradition, each chakra is visualised and worship is offered to each part of the chakra using mantras and hand mudras. It has to be learned from the qualified kundalini master. This tantric visualisation can also be used to awaken Vishuddhi Chakra.
Description of Vishuddhi Chakra from the tantras
In tantra, Vishuddhi Chakra is described as a flower with 16 petals. The petals are purple in colour (smoky grey according to some). On the petals is found the seed letters am, aam, im, eem, um, ооm, rim, reem, lrim, lreem, em, aim, om, aum, am and ah written in golden colour.
In the centre or pericarp of the flower is a white circle like a full moon which represents the space element or Akasa Tattva. Within it, on an elephant white as snow, sits the seed letter of the chakra Ham, which is white in colour and holds in his four hands the noose, the goad and the other two hands display the gesture of granting boons and dispelling fear. In his lap, is the great God Sadasiva, three eyes, five faced, snow-white in colour, with ten arms and clothed in tiger skin.
Inside the pericarp of the flower there resides the Deity of the Vishuddhi Chakra called Sakini. She is described as purer than the ocean of nectar. She wears a yellow raiment and in her four hands she holds the bow, arrow, noose and the goad.
In some traditions, worship is offered only to the letters present on the petals of the chakra (am, aam, im, eem, um, ооm, rim, reem, lrim, lreem, em, aim, om, aum, am and ah) and the main deity associated with the chakra to awaken the Vishuddhi Chakra. Also, different traditions may worship different deities.
In any case, mantras and hand mudras for worship has to be learned from a proper master who has been initiated through a lineage and is beyond the scope of this article.
Breathing through the Chakra
Another easy way to awaken the Vishuddhi chakra is to breathe through the chakra. Sit in any meditative pose with spine erect. Breathe normally. Take you attention to the location of the chakra (In the spine at the level of the centre of chest). Take a slow and deep breath and imagine that you are breathing in through the Vishuddhi chakra and then breathing out slowly through it. Continue this process for 5 to 10 minutes. When we breathe through our nostrils, we feel the air coming in and going out. Same way, visualise and imagine that air is coming in through the chakra and going out through the chakra. This is only a visualisation. This process, helps to remove lot of blocks and to awaken the Vishuddhi chakra.
Seed Mantra Chanting and concentration on chakra
Yet another way to awaken Vishuddhi chakra is to concentrate on the location of the chakra and chant the seed syllable mantra of Vishuddhi chakra, which is – Ham. Sit in any comfortable meditative posture with spine erect. Chant mentally the Bija mantra Ham very slowly and with full awareness. Continue the chanting and concentration on the chakra as long as you are comfortable. One may start from 5 minutes and go up to 1 hour of this practice.
Listed above are just few of the standard methods used to awaken Vishuddhi chakra and in no way exhaustive. Methods may vary according to traditional and lineage and may include use of mantras, sound frequencies, hand mudras and other Hatha yoga and meditative practices. Select the methods that suite you the most.