FIFTH CHAKRA: Vishuddha, the Throat Chakra. The right to speak.

Controls: Thyroid gland.

Archetypes: Positive- The Communicator, Negative- The Silent Child.

Color: Turquoise, as a combination of the fourth chakra (heart, green) and the sixth chakra, (brow, blue).

Qualities: will, communication, creativity, truthfulness, integrity.

Life issues: to harness your will, express your highest truth, to live creatively.

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For my whole life, as long as I can remember, in the entire history of “Michelle Does Exercise,” I’ve been drawn to heat.

Fire. Intensity. Sweat.

If I ran, I ran as fast and as far and as often as I could. I’d run a 5k, fly somewhere and run four legs of a 200 mile relay then come home and knock out an obstacle race the next weekend.

If I lifted, I lifted as much as I possibly could, as quickly as I was able to, and with very little aptitude at form. Just do it. Get the weight up. Finish the task. Wipe the sweat. Cover the blisters. Repeat.

If I practiced, I practiced expansively. For every pose offered, I’d go as deep and far as I knew how, and if I didn’t know how, I’d try anyway until I could. I’d suggest others take rest when they practiced, and refuse to offer my own body that same reprieve.

I’d warm up for practice with a workout and chase it with a run. Because… I could? Because it was a storyline I felt safe in repeating.

“I’m tough. I’m strong. I am not a quitter. I got this. Pain is just weakness leaving the body. . .”

Only, actually, pain was my body, telling me when it was weak.

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