Hi y’all, I know that there is some serious snow coming our way tonight, but from what I can tell it isn’t gonna get too bad until later in the evening – temps will stay above freezing until 10 or later. So I am going to go ahead and have class.
If you’re nervous about the weather, come to the 5:30 class and then be safely on your way.
Since I’ll be there anyway, I’m going to host the 7pm class too and we’ll see what happens…if it’s just me well then I’ll head on home! I hope to see you tonight. Note the two class times – 5:30-6:45 and 7-8:30.
How can we hear our own unique vibration in a world deafened by the roars of civilization? How can we express our truth when it goes against the accepted conforming of polite conversation? In the subtle realm of the fifth chakra, how can we find the quiet necessary to listen to the truth within?
Eastern Body, Western Mind, Anodea Judith
The Seat of Truth – the Fifth Chakra
Saturday, February 21 and Wednesday, February 25
We held a special, snowy class on Wednesday to accommodate the weather. Thus I have pushed my whole Wednesday schedule back: next Wednesday 2/25 we will look at the fifth chakra, sixth chakra on 3/4, and seventh on 3/11.
Saturday’s classes remain unaffected.
>> Click here to sign up for Saturday’s class at Durham Yoga Company.
Note: Chakra work can be quite deep and transformative, and as such can unearth some powerful things. As always, I encourage you to work at your one hundred percent, not backing away from your edge nor—especially important in this work—plowing past your limits. Whatever comes up in the context of working with these energies within or outside of class, please do whatever you need to do to take appropriate care of yourself.
While the material we cover in class will be but a tiny scratch on the surface, like any therapeutic endeavor it can be as powerful as you are willing to allow it to be. It works if you work it. Give yourself permission to do so, and also know that whatever comes up, you have exactly what you need already. Contact me directly if you need any additional support of have specific questions about things as they arise. I am not a chakra expert, but I am always here to support you however I can, as well as connect you to folks who can give you the additional support you might find that you need.
VISSUDHA - THROAT Chakra
Fifth Chakra – Vissudha – “Purification”
We turn this week to the fifth chakra, Vissudha, whose color is bright blue and whose element is sound and space.
In this chakra we move beyond the heart, the midpoint in the system, and into the realm of the upper chakras. As such we move further away from the earth and gravity and into the realm in which the boundaries and laws of manifestation have less of a hold. “We are breaking free from gravity, free from the way things have always been and from the structure and restriction of manifested form.” (*Judith) We are moving beyond the tangible, physical world into the subtle world and the etheric body (literally, the body that exists in ether aka space); the laws of physics apply less, the laws of metaphysics and the psyche start to take over.
The realm of the fifth chakra is the realm of symbols and language, of resonance and entrainment, of communication, the voice, truth and lies, and conscious creativity. In the body it is associated with the throat, neck, mouth, and jaw.
The associated element of this chakra is sound. Hindus believe that the whole universe came into being through sound. It is through sound and communication that we continually create and breathe spirit into our world, keeping it alive and vital. And communication—the voice—is a link, capable of describing both spirit and matter. (Judith, Vega, The Sevenfold Journey)
The fifth chakra is the realm of vibrations and sound: through our voice and other forms of expression we find the gateway that bridges the inner and outer worlds. Here we can let out through the fifth chakra that which we began to take in through the second chakra in the form of sensation.
Sound is a wave that travels through space, vibrating at a certain frequency. Each one of us has our own unique vibration as well, which is expressed through our aura or etheric body. When we come into contact with others, our vibrations impact one another. This can lead to resonance or dissonance. Resonance is when the vibrations have a complementary impact on one another, when they sort of sync up (known as “constructive interference”) and are made stronger/bigger as a result; dissonance is the opposite experience, in which waves/energies are not complimentary but rather contradictory (this is known as “destructive interference”) and the net impact is a decrease in strength.
As we interact with others, our etheric fields (auras) become engaged. The most rewarding connections occur when there is a resonance between vibrational fields. Just as a people who speak the same language resonate with spoken symbols, the subtle resonance between our etheric field and those of others deepens our feeling of connection. The greater our internal resonance, the more deeply we can resonate with those around us. (*Judith)
Which is to say, the better and more clearly we have learned to work with form/matter/stability in chakra one, movement in chakra 2, activity/energy/willfulness in chakra 3, and relationship/love/connection in chakra 4, the better positioned we are to find resonance with others and for that experience to be deep, profound, and transformative for everyone involved. This applies interpersonally and socially as well.
Further, resonant frequencies tend to bond together. This is known as rhythmic entrainment or sympathetic vibration. This fact is behind one of the most profound teachings I’ve received on this path: You are the company you keep. So keep good company. The underlying idea being that you are susceptible to the energies of those you surround yourself with – you are deeply impacted by the explicit and implicit (spoken and unspoken, stated and implied) messaging you are receiving all the time.
Over time, this energy/information/inspiration (or lack thereof!) that is fueling your system has a profound impact on your sense of who you are and what you are capable of. Just as you are what you eat, you are the energy you absorb. The invitation here is to be mindful of what you are consuming in the form of energy, and see if that energy is serving you and your higher purpose.
Further, here in the realm of the fifth chakra you are invited to examine the impact of sound and silence, especially the extent to which you are subjected daily to a cacophony of sound and stimulus that you are hard-pressed to block out. This stimulus overload has an impact on the ability of your own internal systems to be synced up or find resonance—the extent to which you can truly rest and reset.
Over time, this diminished capacity to rest and renew has profound impacts on every aspect of your health, and especially on your ability to hear the song of your heart and act on it. “When we live in our truth, there is a resonant continuity between ourselves and others. When this resonance is interrupted, we experience discontinuity. Perpetual discontinuity breaks down our health.” (*Judith)
Finally, visshudha means “purification,” and this refers especially to the knowing and telling of our own unique truths. Purification, cleansing, and detoxifying is the work of the fifth chakra. It is a “vibrational refinement that takes place as we rid the body of toxins, speak truthfully and authentically, and as we work through the issues of the lower chakras. Purification prepares us to enter the even more refined energies of the chakras above.” (*Judith)
Given all this, it is my hope to introduce the practice of chanting om during this week’s classes. I usually do not do this in my regular weekly classes, because I prefer that folks have more context for the practice of chanting om than our weekly sessions allow. This week, I will take a bit of time to relate my understanding of om and why it is utilized in the practice, and will offer you an opportunity to join in or simply allow yourself to be surrounded and immersed in it. It is a powerful practice to unite our voices together in singing om. We’ll talk a bit more about why this is in the context of preparing to chant.
Note: You do not have to participate in the chant, and it will constitute only a small part of the weekly class.
*Anodea Judith, Eastern Body, Western Mind.
I am grateful to Anodea Judith for her extensive body of work on the chakras, from which I draw inspiration and guidance on this journey. Let me know if you’re interested in recommendations for other chakra books and resources from Anodea.
Make sure you check out the Chakra Intensive recap on March 15th - I’ll be giving away a copy of Eastern Body, Western Mind so we can geek out about the chakras together. Sign up early to book your spot!