Most of us quite frequently suffer from a sore throat or swollen glands. This may be due to allergies, seasons, or because your body is prone to sickness. It’s also possible that talking a lot causes constant hoarseness.
According to yoga, the body is broken up into seven main energy centers. Each one has a correlation to a physiological state. The throat is the fifth chakra and is instrumental, for instance, in helping us live and speak the truth.
If practicing yoga and the whole mind-body concept has got you thinking that maybe there is more to the throat issue than meets the eye, you are not wrong. Any kind of throat issue takes a lot of energy from your body. Even when we cannot express ourselves, our thought gets stuck in our throat. We literally swallow what should be spit out.
Yoga can help heal the throat with some simple techniques and asanas.
One way to reach out and have an effect on the throat is through sound.
Constrict your glottis while breathing. Drag the breath on the throat and make a sound like the ocean. This sound not only soothes the mind but also warms the body from the inside out.
Inhale deeply through your nose. Exhale by sticking your tongue out and opening your mouth as wide as possible. Focus on your third eye while doing this. There are many ways to sit when practicing this technique. However, what you do with your face benefits your throat. This technique not only opens your throat but also helps with bad breath and to balance the thyroid gland.
Certain postures are helpful in activating an area, while other postures are more balancing.
- Neck rolls release the tightness in the throat and relieve some strain.
- Practicing the cat/cow with both the upward and downward curve of the neck is very helpful. Do this in conjunction with the ujjayi breath and it’s a win/win!
- In Ustrasana (camel), the head moves back and the throat opens, similar to cleaning the air filters in your home. More energy flows to this area when the throat is “open.”
- Bhujangasana (cobra) helps open the throat and shift any stuck energy.
- In setubhandasana (bridge), the chin is in the chest (jalandara bandha). This lock acts like a kink in a hose. Closing off the flow temporarily and then allowing air to flow again brings fresh prana to the area.
- In sarvangasana (shoulder stand), as in the bridge pose, the chin is in jalandara bandha. Viparita karani (legs up the wall with lower back elevated or using a block, bolster, or blanket) is a more relaxing version of the shoulder stand and can be held longer, which is beneficial.
- Halasana (plow) is a deep chin lock that closes off the throat the most. When the lock is released, a truly energetic release occurs. Similar to the kink in a hose, here, the blood brings healing cells to the area.
Restorative Yoga And Meditation
Complete your practice with a restorative yoga pose and/or a meditation technique that requires the use of mantra repetition. Restorative yoga props you up into shapes and gives the body time to open on it’s own.
- The restorative fish is a great pose that can be done with a block under the shoulder blades. You can add eagle arms to this pose, bringing the inside elbow crease to the chin to help open the throat more. This is also beneficial for the thyroid. If you prefer a more relaxing variation you can lay over a bolster.
- For meditating, the sound most effective on the throat is “ham.” It’s pronounced as hum, like in humming. There are several mantras with that sound. I personally resonate with “So Hum,” which means “I am that I am.”
It is of utmost importance that you find a practice that resonates with you. The throat will benefit from any form of practice done right.