We’ve heard the word “chakra” thrown around a lot in spiritual conversations. But what does it actually mean?
I brought a special guest onto the podcast to help educate us, specifically on throat chakras.
Sihnuu Hetep is a 500-hour experienced registered yoga teacher (ERYT) and Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider with a focus on Stress Transformation. She is well versed in Kemetic spirituality and yoga catering to those seeking redemption.
After the passing of a loved one in 2011, healing and spiritual growth became a priority. Her practice uses open dialogue with breath and body while applying yogic principles to everyday life. Sihnuu’s mission is to share the power of self-exploration and actualization by journeying inward.
Read on to get a glimpse of my interview with Sihnuu for my podcast, No Tea, Just Juice!
Cherrelle: Can you explain what a chakra is?
Sihnuu: So the word chakra is a Sanskrit word that translates as “wheel.” There are seven primary chakras, but there are several chakras that exist within the body. The seven we’re going to talk about are located along the spine, starting at the base of the spine and moving up to the crown of the head.
These energy centers are responsible for drawing energy to keep the mental, physical, and emotional spiritual bodies harmonious. We utilize different wellness practices to cater to each of the chakras to find internal balance so that we can allow our outer world to kind of reflect our health levels.
C: Can you tell us about those seven primary chakras?
S: Here comes the fun. The first chakra is the root chakra, and it is located at the base of our spine and it is the seat of survival. So, think about your food, your shelter, your physical identity, your connection to earth, all of the things that offer us a sense of security and our ability to connect to the world.
The next chakra is the sacral chakra, located at the reproductive organs. It’s the seed of creation, interestingly enough and obviously, that's where we are able to biologically continue life. The sacral chakra governs our emotions and our senses - our ability to feel anything connected to how we feel, how we are able to accept our feelings, how we're able to accept ourselves in our entirety and in turn, how we're able to connect to others.
Then you have your solar plexus, which is located at the belly, and that is your seat of personal power. This means your strength, your self-esteem, your self-worth, your self-value, and your ability to create whatever boundaries that you need to protect your ego. We want to think about that fire fueling you so that you can carry out your life's purpose.
Next is the heart chakra, which is right above the solar plexus and it is connected to air. And the heart chakra is our seat of love and kindness, compassion for others or self-compassion, understanding forgiveness, all of those things. It serves as a bridge between the physical energy centers and the spiritual energy centers.
Above that, the throat chakra, which I am really working with right now. This relates to the importance of speaking our truth and not only speaking our truth, but doing so in a clear and effective way, making sure that we're communicating with kindness, even when we feel challenged. We’re living in a very potent time right now where people are having to speak up for themselves and it can get shaky because we are really stepping into this new soil, if you will.
Your third eye chakra, above the throat chakra, is right between your brow. This is your seat of intuition and it governs your ability to connect to the sense beyond your other five senses. So when you can't see, you can't smell, you can't touch, you can't hear, you can't taste, you have to trust your inner knowing.
Then you have your crown chakra, which is at the top of your head and it connects us to this oneness with all things. And it reminds us that we are a part of a whole, a piece of the grand puzzle. It reminds us to be grateful for life, and grateful to occupy this body and is the meeting point between the physical body and the universe and soul. The crown chakra connects you to your most spiritual self or your highest self.
C: As you know, June is National Effective Communication Month, so I want to focus now on the throat chakra. Can you tell us a little more about the throat chakra?
S: So have you ever had to have a challenging conversation? I don't mean like a conversation that you just don't feel like having. I mean a conversation that you've held off due to whatever discomfort you may have around it. Do you notice any, anything physical that happens to you when you are about to have those conversations, particularly in the throat area?
C: Yes. It feels well, for me, it's a tightness in my throat and obviously anxiety, particularly like there's almost a lump in my throat.
S: Exactly. So that is a sign of a blocked throat chakra. So a lump in the throat. Another one that I have had issues with is the grinding of teeth.
C: What are some other indicators (signs) of a blocked throat chakra?
S: Grinding of the teeth, lymph node issues, sore throat, jaw pain, even challenges with hearing. Now, you mentioned feeling anxiety and that is a psychological/emotional symptom of a blocked throat chakra.
Others can be shyness - sometimes shyness is connected to this challenge with communicating or communicating your truth or being afraid of what the potential repercussions may be when you speak your truth.
But it’s important to know this is not a situation where it's a permanent thing. There are ways to balance out your energy centers with daily practices.
C: What are some of those daily practices to keep our throat chakra clear?
S: Definitely drinking water is very important. You want to stay hydrated to kind of cleanse that area. Deep breathing is very important as well, cleansing fruits, aroma therapy. Some incense that work really well for the throat chakra are jasmine, rosemary, sandalwood, sage, and calendula.
Then you have gemstones, which you can meditate with and those are turquoise lapis lazuli, aquamarine, and blue topaz. Even just wearing a turquoise necklace can be really beneficial.
Also, talk things out, write things down, and even sing anything that stimulates your vocals. Journaling for me has always been a really liberating practice.
C: Is there anything else you want to add about throat chakra/ effective communication?
S: I feel like speaking your truth and honoring your truth is the only way to be fully liberated in your own existence. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s worth it.
There is stagnation when you don't use your voice, you don't really learn the thing you need to learn. And the thing about the universe is that you will stay there until you learn it. Even if you leave the situation, these challenges will keep showing up in different forms until you work to overcome them.
Each chakra has a seed mantra. And it's just a sound, a one syllable sound, that you make to stimulate the energy center. And the one for the throat is a “ham.” I like to chant with it three times. We’ll start with a deep breath in, and say “ham” as you breathe out. It’s a really great way to stimulate that energy center and bring balance.
And I just always encourage everyone to honor their truth. There is no penalty for honoring your truth. And anything that may feel like a punishment is an opportunity to expand who you are.
Sihnuu is also in the beginning stages of building an online healing marketplace called Satya House Wellness. You can sign up for their newsletter in the meantime on the website to stay up-to-date!