Though the Sivananda tradition, as well as many schools, suggest that you meditate at the heart or the eyebrow center, suddenly yesterday discovered that for me it was more soothing to meditate at the throat chakra. Wisdom after I get serenity, I thought. And serenity, so I can appreciate love.
The ajna/eyebrow center is the wisdom/intellectual center (jnana margis) and the heart/anahat center is the love center (ideal for bhakti margis). Since I am seemingly neither, and only struggling with communication yet:) I thought I can shut down the constant blah by focusing on the throat center. For me at least, it is like coming home. I have tried the heart and the ajna and occasionally succeed to stay at the eyebrow for a milliionth of a fraction of a millisecond. But at the throat (actually the hollow at the throat), that feels very soothing. While at either of the centers to be calm is frightening, and immediately the mind shakes and flutters into inner chatter, while at the throat center, all the voices in the head clam up. Quiet seems possible, and acceptable and not frightening (Most people get `bored' with meditation because they cannot bear the inner silence:)... And so, yes, there must be something there!
Chakra master Harish Johari, whose book I immediately plumbed for more insight, says that this is the kurma nadi, the tortoise center. (Even Patanjali says that samayama on the throat center gives steadiness). That meditating on this center ushers serenity and calmness. Communication skills are channelised spiritually. The awareness to read other's thoughts and communicate without words. The person who meditates on this center gains control over the self... It seems to be a `sensible center' to focus on, since I am such a chatterbox (this blog, my classes) and I hope it will shut me up!!
Though the chakra at the throat is vishuddhi (which means to purify), the nadi that is activated by the attention -- and which is at the hollow at the throat is kurma/tortoise nadi. For those who are confused: the difference is that is a one is a charka which is a plexus/vortex of nadis -the other is a single channel of energy)
The kurmasana, as I have executed above, extends the neck, so though the pressure is all over the place (ask those who are still struggling with the first stage of the pose), there is also a continued one at the base and the throat center. I think that may be why Sw Niranjanananda in one of his book says that this is a spiritual pose that can create the state of mind involution that everybody struggles with..
Other poses which in my mind extend the neck in a similar fashion and hit upon this nadi is the
- Locust (classical version)
- Dhanu (If you lift you head up, to look at the ceiling)
- Poorna cobra (where the head has to be thrown back)
- Ushtrasana (Camel)
Holding such poses for long can mean spiritual growth in this center -- serenity, is def worth investing in:) Intriguing to me that these poses are rather difficult to hold, or if you can, for long, na?!