Posts Tagged With: chanting

The Vishuddha Chakra

The Vishuddha Chakra is the fifth energy center and is referred to as the throat chakra. The fifth chakra is located in the throat region and communication, truth and self-expression are associated with this chakra. Vishuddha means ‘purifier’ and forms the gateway to the chakras devoted to spirituality. It governs your ability to discriminate between right and wrong, speak the truth and give your dreams ‘a voice’. This chakra also deals with creativity, learning to take responsibility for your own needs, confession, faith, self-knowledge and intuition. The associated colour is blue and the element is the space or ether. The sense related to the fifth chakra is hearing. The glands, organs or body parts associated with the Vishuddha chakra are the throat, (para)thyroid gland, trachea, cervical vertebrae, vocal cords, neck, shoulder, arms, hands, esophagus, mouth, teeth, eyes, ears and sinuses.

Throat chakra symbol

Throat chakra symbol

Blocked fifth Chakra

If your fifth energy center is blocked, you can feel anxious about how other people will react to your views and therefore it is difficult to speak your truth. You may also be unable to listen to others and to your own higher self. This can result in a lack of personal expression, creativity and faith, difficulties in decisions making, and addictions. If your throat chakra is obstructed, you can develop several communication difficulties such as lack of tact, timing and expression and finding it difficult to maintain a balance between speaking and listening. Excessive talking, inability to listen, hearing difficulties, stuttering and a fear of speaking may all be signs of an out of balance throat chakra. Physical problems which may be associated with a blocked fifth chakra are thyroid dysfunctions, throat ailments, stiff neck, shoulder tension, teeth grinding, jaw disorders, mouth ulcers, gum or tooth problems, scoliosis and swollen glands. There could be lumps or tumors on the vocal chords and you may experience trouble swallowing. A person who talks very softly and a person who talks loud and boisterous can both indicate an out of balance fifth chakra. This energy center can be damaged by all that passes through the throat including, lying, gossip, alcohol, smoking, drugs and overeating.

Do you live your truth?

Do you live your truth?

Balanced Vishuddha chakra

If your Vishuddha chakra is balanced, you are easily able to communicate with others and you are able to express the truth without worrying about what others may think. A healthy throat chakra allows you to connect with your inner guidance and to live your truth in daily life through creative and positive self expression. You are able to give and receive the truth and are in touch with your playfulness, joy and innocence. Through constructive communication, contentment, centeredness, wisdom and conscious listening you are able to reach the peak of your creativity and inspiration. So what to do to balance this chakra? Purification is a key word in terms of opening the throat chakra with the aim of achieving sensitivity needed for the subtler upper chakras. You can attain purification through a healthy diet, yoga, meditation and exercise among others. Other ways towards an open and healthy fifth chakra are literally opening up to your thoughts and emotions (including releasing past emotions), speak and live the truth, stimulate your creativity and deep breathing exercises. Become aware of all the thoughts you don’t express and the moments you don’t speak the truth. Breath in some courage to express your innermost beliefs and speak words that come directly from your heart. A healthy Vishuddha chakra will result in a fulfilling life and a true connection with yourself. You will be an excellent listener, speaker and/or writer and often able to inspire others.

Yoga

Yoga is a perfect way to purify the body and mind and thereby opening up the fifth chakra. Postures that are balancing this chakra are neck stretches and shoulder openers like Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand), Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose), Halasana (Plow Pose), Ustrasana (Camel Pose) and Matysasana (Fish Pose). The sounds of the Ujayii breath (Victory Breath), chanting and Simhasana (Lion Pose) can also be helpful to balance the Vishuddha chakra.

Shoulderstand

Shoulderstand

Towards balance

So besides speaking the truth and expressing yourself clearly and honestly what else can you do to clear your throat chakra? You could for example write in a journal to express your feelings and thoughts. The challenge is to start writing at a deeper level: ‘What really needs to be said or heard?’ Singing, humming or chanting with your true voice can also be helpful to open up your fifth chakra. Another challenge: try to listen to someone with your whole being and complete presence for at least five minutes and then change roles. Try not to interrupt each others or provide feedback through facial expression, just be and listen. And at last, read and say this wonderful healing blessing:

“May you hear and speak truth. May your life and your creations express the fullness of who you are. May you know ever deeper levels of truth.”

Express yourself through singing

Express yourself through singing


For more inspiration go the following website about two people who follow their dreams and the dreams of others:

I Believe That Dreams Can Come True

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Viniyoga – Personalized Gentle Yoga Style

Personalized Yoga

Personalized Yoga

Viniyoga is an individual approach to yoga which is all about adaptation. Viniyoga is an ancient Sanskrit word with multiple meanings including ‘separation’, ‘use’ and ‘application’. This yoga style is based on a teacher-student relationship and is designed to meet the specific needs of the individual by giving tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation. The goal is to enhance wellness, healing, flexibility and strength of joints. Viniyoga includes asana, pranayama, bandha, chanting, meditation, personal rituals and study of texts. The emphasis of viniyoga is on coordinating breath and movement, in fact each movement is led by the breath. Viniyoga is usually taught privately, one on one or in small groups, since poses and flows are chosen to suit the student’s abilities.

Origin

Viniyoga is created by T.K.V. Desikachar, the son of Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the 1970s. Krishnamacharya prominent students include Pattabhi Jois and B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the most prominent figures in yoga’s dissemination to the West. His son Desikachar carries on the guru’s legacy as the world’s foremost Viniyoga authority. His conviction is that yoga practice should be adapted to fit the individuality and particular situation of each practitioner. He later distanced himself from the term.

What to Expect

The yoga poses are synchronized with the breath in sequences determined by the individual needs of the practitioner. Since Viniyoga is so adaptable, it makes yoga available to those with physical limitations, whether through injury, illness or age. The postures are modified to meet the needs of the individual student. It can be very gentle, but not necessarily or exclusively so. If a student is more adept, then so will the yoga practice. This adaptable approach requires an understanding of a person’s present condition, personal potential, appropriate goals and the means available. Because of this personal and adaptable approach, viniyoga teachers have had extensive training to create a personal practice for every student based on factors as health, age, physical condition and past or current injuries. Therefore teachers tend to be experts on anatomy and yoga therapy. In addition, they are well trained in creating a practice which addresses every level of your being – not just the body – but also on a spiritual or religious level through for example praying, music, chanting, rituals and intentions. This may also include emotional challenges managed by for example breathing practices.

Compared to other styles of yoga

The flowing movement seen in Viniyoga is similar to Ashtanga Vinyasa’s dynamic series, but it has a much less vigorous pace. There is a strong focus on alignment and poses are held for a consistent number of breaths with rest in between. Though compared to Iyengar Yoga, Viniyoga has a more relaxed approach to placement of the body, the emphasis is placed on lengthening the spine. A standardized program as seen in Bikram or Sivananda Yoga is not used, since the yoga practice is made suitable for the individual. The teacher will usually inquire about your condition, injuries and needs and then create your yoga practice based on your information. For the same reason, a viniyoga teacher will never push you into a posture nor encourage you to use force. The overall aim is to feel energized, strengthened and relaxed after your yoga practice. A yoga practice which is perfectly designed for you and includes the right challenges. How wonderful is that?

Vini Yoga Therapy

Vini Yoga Therapy

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Yoga of Awareness

Kundalini yoga is an ancient and unique form of yoga and is also called the yoga of awareness. It is the most spiritual type of yoga I have practised. It is brought to the West in 1969 by Yogi Bhajan. The focus is primarily on expansion of self-awareness and realizing your true potential. Kundalini literally means ‘the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved’. This metaphor refers to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within each of us and enables us to become one with the infinite consciousness. In other words, Kundalini is the untapped energy or prana at the base of the spine that can be pulled up through the body and awake each of the seven chakras. When this prana reaches the crown chakra at the top of your head, enlightenment occurs. However, for most of us, this potent energy lies dormant at the base of your spine. Through the practice of Kundalini yoga, you can release this energy by breaking through emotional blocks, energy imbalances and addictive behaviour. For this reason Kundalini yoga can be highly transformative, since it releases held issues whether body or mind.

Each Kundalini class typically includes six major components: mantras, pranayama and/or warm-up, kriya, relaxation, meditation and closing with a song. The class starts with a short chant followed by a warm-up to stretch the spine and improve flexibility. The main part of the class is called a kriya. This is a complete set of exercises including pranayama that focuses on a precise area of the body. The kriyas are precise and bring the body and mind to a state where deep meditation is easily achieved. The goal of a kriya could be clearing the heart chakra or increasing spinal flexibility for example. There are hundreds of kriyas and therefore no class will be the same. The class ends with a meditation and song. Most Kundalini teachers and devotees wear white clothes and wrap their heads with a white turban or other head covering. The white clothing is worn to support both the body’s energetic field or aura and the nervous system functions. The white headband is believed to protect the crown chakra and improve the experience of meditation.

Since the emphasis is on breathing, meditation, mudras (hand gestures) and chanting, a Kundalini class could be intense and odd for newcomers. The breath and movement are often very dynamic and will be unfamiliar to more conventional Hatha yoga practitioners. Though, the use of mantras could support you if you are new to meditation and find silence challenging. Mantra meditation can result in clarity, balance and equanimity. This type of yoga appeals to you if you are up for both mental and physical challenges. I have tried different Kundalini yoga classes and I always love the use of mantras and sounds, because it supports me with the transition from a busy work day to a quiet yoga practice. I am quite used to physical challenges, but Kundalini yoga provides me with a whole new kind of challenge. The combination of specific pranayama techniques and asanas requires me to be focused and attentive. After practising some more physically focused forms of yoga, I felt at ease to spend time and energy to develop myself spiritually as well. My first steps in the world of Kundalini yoga were quite magical experiences; it brought me to stillness and peace, my true self.

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