Ever feel scared of speaking your truth? Do you struggle to share your opinion or confront others or connect? You may be blocked in your throat chakra. In fact, this is the number one block I witness in most of my female students and clients. We are often scared of sharing, of being honest. Today’s yoga PDF is designed to wake up your throat chakra and clear blocks that are preventing you from deeper connection.
A chakra is sanskrit for “wheel” and is regularly depicted as spinning, colored wheels of energy. A chakra is an energy center in the body, with the major seven running along the length of the spine. The throat chakra is the fifth chakra from the bottom of the spine, located in the center of your throat.
The throat chakra is usually associated with a light blue or turquoise color. It’s our chakra for communication and sharing. It’s the main chakra for:
- Communication and personal truths
- Self-expression, honesty, confidence in speech
Today’s sequence will help you get more connected with your truth. We will open the throat, twist the spine, and move our neck in many different directions, creating some energy. I encourage you to try doing some writing or sharing your truth with someone after this class.
Ready for something a little goofy? Lion’s Breath is probably one of the silliest looking poses that we teach yoga students. It’s a little crazy looking – tongues out, eyes crossed, roaring. However, it is a great breath practice to remind yourself to stop taking things so seriously. In Lion’s pose, we stretch out the face and help clear out the throat. Blow off some steam and enjoy this goofy practice.
How to do it? I suggest Iyengar’s method of kneeling for this practice, with the knees spread wide, big toes together, and seated on the heels. Straighten the spine and lift the chest open. On the inhale, hands rest on the top of the thighs, near the hips. On the exhale, slide the hands down towards the knees, arching the back forwards and lifting the chin. Open the mouth, stick the tongue out as far as you can, looking up at the third eye (place in between the eyebrows), and make a loud “ha” noise as you exhale. Inhaling, return to a neutral face and the original position. Repeat four to eight times.
Cat Cow Pose
From tabletop (hands and knees), make sure the shoulders are stacked above the hands and the hips are stacked on top of the knees. On the inhale, move into Cow Pose by arching the tailbone towards the ceiling, lifting the chest forward, and gazing upward with the head. On the exhale, move into Cat Pose by tucking the pelvis underneath, rounding through the spine by drawing the bellybutton upward, and roll the head downward. Repeat back and forth 8-10 times.
From table top (hands and knees), walk the hands towards the front of the mat while keeping your tailbone lifted towards the ceiling. Lower your chest and forehead to the floor, continuing to reach through the ceiling and arch your tailbone towards the sky. Get more opening on your throat by looking up at the fingertips, chin to the earth.
From tabletop, bring the knees and heels together, sitting back onto the heels. Fold forward, allowing the chest to rest on the knees and the forehead to come down to the floor, rounding the spine. Bring the hands back by the feet, palms up, allowing the shoulders to drop forward.
Cobra or Baby Cobra Pose
Start laying on your belly with the feet stretched back behind with the tops of the feet pressed into the mat. Bring the palms underneath the shoulders, fingers spread wide, and the elbows are pulled in. On an inhale, press into the palms as you lift the chest off the ground and pull the shoulder blades back together. The elbows should stay tucked into the sides as the chest opens and the head remains neutral, not allowing the chin to reach upwards.
Try baby cobra: Lift the hands slightly off the ground and lift up, using the strength of your upper back and neck to lift off. This will be a smaller lift, but will work you well.
From Cobra pose, press the hands firmly into the earth, lifting your upper body off the earth (similar to upward facing dog). Bend into both knees, trying to bring the toes closer to the head. If it feels good on the neck, lift your gaze up towards the ceiling, opening your throat and allowing the head to drop back. Use this pose to find a backbend and open the front of the throat, not concerned about how far your feet are from your head (that’s unimportant).
Downward Facing Dog
From hand and knees, place the knees directly underneath the hips and the feet hip distance apart. Hands should reach out in front of the shoulder with the fingers spread wide and the palms fully pressing into the floor. Lifting the knees off of the floor, reach the tailbone up towards the ceiling and straighten into the legs. Press the heels towards the floor and look up at the belly button, relaxing the tops of the shoulders.
From a seated position, bring both legs straight out in front of the body, pressed together. The hands should press into the mat down by the side of the hips. The entire body is active in the posture. The crown of the head lifts towards the sky, lengthening the spine. The chest opens as the shoulders pull back and the hands firmly press into the ground. The legs are engaged as you press through the heels, pulling the toes back towards the face. Gaze is directly out in front of you.
From a seated position, bend the knees and walk the feet towards the tailbone, keeping the feet about hip distance apart. Place the hands a couple inches behind and to the outside of the hips. Pressing firmly into both hands and feet, lift the hips up towards the ceiling, trying to bring the legs to a 90 degree angle at the knees. Keep the neck neutral, or if it feels good, gently allow your head to drop back.
Lord of the Fishes
Seated with both legs directly in front of you, bend into the right knee and place the right heel as close to the sitting bone as possible. Optional: Cross the right foot over to the outside of the left leg only if the entire tailbone remains on the floor. Extending the spine by lifting through the crown of the head, begin twisting over to the right side, bringing the right fingertips behind you. Bringing the left elbow to the outside of the right knee will allow you to press deeper into the twist. Optional: Look back over your right shoulder. The spine should stay tall throughout the twist, not allowing the chest to “dump” forward. Repeat on the other side.
Seated Forward Fold
Start seated with both legs straight in front of you (staff pose), making sure to be seated up on the tailbone. On an inhale, reach both hands overhead and fold forward on the exhale. For an active pose, grab your feet or ankles and gently pull yourself forward throughout the pose, lifting the chest open. For a yin version, fall forward and release the hands, shoulders, and head, allowing yourself to simply hinge forward and hang there.
Quick Savasana Break
Laying flat on your back, bring the arms to your side with the palms up, allowing the shoulders to roll back. Allow the toes to fall out to the side and tuck the chin in slightly to make sure the back of the neck is straight. Allow yourself to take a pause here and rest.
Shoulder Stand (variation option)
Lying on your back, place your hands on both sides of the hips with the palms down and bend the knees, placing the heels on the mat close to the tailbone. On an exhale, lift the feet off of the floor and bring the knees up towards the chest. Continue to lift by curling the pelvis and then the back torso away from the floor, so that your knees come toward your face. Binding your elbows, bring your hands the the lower back to support the body. Raise the pelvis above the shoulders, lifting the feet up towards the ceiling, and continue using the arms and shoulders for support, walking the hands higher up the back as needed.
Gentle version: Lift your hips off the ground and catch your lower back, just above the tailbone. You can keep the knees bent and keep the pose lower. This will be a gentler version of the pose, without needing to lift all the way into shoulder stand.
Lying on your back, place your hands on both sides of the hips with the palms down and bend the knees, placing the heels on the mat close to the tailbone. On an exhale, lift the feet off of the floor and bring the knees up towards the chest. Continue to lift by curling the pelvis and then the back torso away from the floor, so that your knees come toward your face. Bending your elbows, bring your hands the the lower back to support the body. Raise the pelvis above the shoulders, lifting the feet up towards the ceiling, and continue using the arms and shoulders for support, walking the hands higher up the back as needed. Begin to lower the feet towards the floor behind the head. Option: bind the hands to pull the shoulder blade closer together and increase the stretch in the neck and shoulders.
Feel free to skip this pose and stay in the gentler supported shoulder stand.
Fish Pose (Variations)
Start laying flat on your back. Bring the heels together, pressing the back of the legs into the earth. Bring the hands underneath the lower back and upper glutes. Squeeze the elbows into your sides, pressing into the elbows, lifting the upper back off the floor. Allow the head to fall back, attempting to bring the top of the head onto the earth. Keep pressing into the elbows and forearms, pulling the shoulder blades together and opening the chest.
Option: For practiced yogis, feel free to perform fish pose with your legs in lotus or half-lotus pose.
Reclined Knee to Chest
Laying on your back, pull one knee into the chest, pressing the back of the other leg firmly into the ground. Use your hand to wrap around or hug the knee to draw it closer towards the chest. Allow the shoulders to remain relaxed onto the floor and the head neutral. Stretch out the back of the neck by lifting up the head to attempt to kiss the knee.
Legs Up The Wall
Start laying on your back, bring your legs up onto the wall and scoot your tailbone as close to the wall as is comfortable. Allow the arms to rest out to the side, palms up. This allows the shoulders to rest back. Option – Use this pose as your final Savasana. Relax into this posture. Allow the weight of the body to be fully supported by the ground and wall. Release control of the mind, the breath, and the body. Enjoy this pose for as long as feels good (suggest more than 10 minutes).
Ready to open up your voice by waking up your throat chakra with these yoga moves? Keep this routine nearby you by printing out this one page PDF.
Questions about the routine or how to get in touch with your throat chakra? Comment below and let’s keep the conversation going!