Names(s): Heart Chakra, Anahata
Colour: Green, Pink
Location: Heart, Centre of the chest
About: The heart chakra is the fourth of the chakras found in our physical body. This is the centre of all things LOVE!!! Love for ourselves, love for others, love beyond the ego and universal love. This chakra governs empathy, compassion, universal love and connectedness, inner peace, emotional openness, generosity, altruism, kindness, respect and self-love. For me this is the most important chakra for two reasons:
- The heart chakra is the centre of all the seven chakras. It connects the lower chakras, associated with our physical needs (root, sacral and solar plexus chakras) to the upper chakras, associated with our spiritual needs (throat, third eye and crown chakras). It is the place where the physical and spiritual come together. In other words, the heart chakra acts as a centre of integration of earthly matters and higher aspirations. The heart integrates them effortlessly and harmoniously.
- It is the chakra that helps all other chakras open up. When you heart chakra is open it helps open up the other chakra, for example our power centre (solar plexus), how we feel about the physical world (root chakra) and how we relate to others (sacral chakra).
Most of the world’s spiritual traditions and mystics recognize love as a unifying force, the energy that is the most fundamental part of the universe and the essence of who we are. To open to love is to reach to the deepest places and connect with our true essence, our spirit, and our soul. The love experienced through the heart chakra is not just about romance, but about going beyond the limitations of the ego and personal preoccupations to open up more fully to compassion and acceptance of all that is, as it is. When we live from our heart and our heart energy is opened and balanced, we can see clearly and position ourselves in any situation, no matter how challenging it is, with discernment and compassion.
Balanced Heart Chakra: When this chakra is balanced, you are able to love easily and allow others to love you. You are able to give unconditional love, have compassion, balance and unity in your life. When this chakra is balanced you feel deeply connected to yourself, others, nature and the universe. You appreciate every experience, everything that life brings to us and the beauty that surrounds us. When your heart chakra is balanced you lose attachments to external possessions, become unselfish, trust yourself and others, attain peace, wisdom, patience and find emotionally stability. In addition, your morals and ethics are at a high standard, you are in tune with your conscience and your intentions are pure and centred. The heart chakra is also the centre through which we experience beauty in life. When this chakra is balanced, we see the world through a state of openness and acceptance that brings us in touch with our world and ourselves in profound and fulfilling ways.
Blocked Heart chakra: When your heart chakra is blocked, you fear opening up your heart completely to others and fear being vulnerable. You have a victim mentality, are self conscious and have low self esteem. You have a tendency to blame others for whatever is going on in your life. In addition, you have a fear of rejection and abandonment. You are emotionally cold and either move from one relationship to the next or fear being in relationships at all.
Physically, this chakra is associated with our lungs, ribs and heart/chest area, heart and circulatory system. When this chakra is blocked you experience chest pains, poor circulation, blood pressure and respiratory issues, hypertension, breathing problems, lung problems and bronchitis.
Emotionally, if this chakra is out of balance you experience jealousy, hatred, despair, greed, manipulative behaviour, are judgemental and over critical of yourself and other. In addition, you experience poor relationship, poor self love and poor decision making. You feel withdrawn and anti-social, no sense of personal boundaries and usually over extend yourself to help others to your detriment. Fear of intimacy, experiences of isolation and lack of empathy are also triggered when this chakra is out of whack.
Balancing your Heart Chakra
Heart Chakra affirmation: I love
Mantra: Yam (chant this during meditation)
Essential Oils: Oils for this chakra include rose, geranium, peppermint, neroli, ylang ylang, jasmine and bergamot. Use only pure, non-diluted oils. These pure oils can be consumed, diffused into the air to be inhaled, can be put on the body or bath water – but check that the oil you are about to use is safe to use with water first.
Food: The colours of the chakras are linked to the foods that they need so any foods that are green in colour will help balance your heart chakra. These include all green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, silverbeet) green herbs, kiwi, green peppers, pears, limes, asparagus, celery, broccoli, cucumbers, green beans, peas, green apples, green grapes, avocado, honeydew melon, artichokes, arugala, brussel sprouts, napa cabbage, cabbage, cucumber. Other food includes warm soups and foods reach in Vitamin C. Some green superfoods such as spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, barley grass, matcha powder and green tea also help balance this chakra. Green herbs such as coriander, mint, oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, basil and sage are also good for this chakra.
Crystals: Many crystals emanate vibrations that parallel the chakras and each chakra has a corresponding crystal companion. For the heart chakra any green and pink crystals are ideal. These include emerald calcite, agate, beryl, bloodstone, coral, diamonds, gold, jade, epidote, green kyanite, malachite, green aventurine, rose quartz, kunzite, pink tourmaline, clear quartz and unakite. You can carry them around with you, have them around the house, put them next to your bed, wear them, put them under your pillow, medidate with them around you or whilst holding them.
Your surroundings: As green is the color of the heart chakra, going out in nature will help your heart to open. If you don’t live near a forest, don’t worry. Simply go to your local park, woodland, bushland or other areas full of greenery. If you live in a city with no nature, try getting a pot plant or indoor shrubs into your home to encourage heart chakra healing.
Exercises: Spread your arms out and stretch and visualise your heart chakra opening up. Practice Birkram yoga. Walk barefoot on green grass. Yoga poses for the heart chakra include Cobra pose (Bhujangasana) which broadens the chest area through breath, promotes spinal strength and invigorates the circulatory system; Cow Face pose (Gomukhasana) also strengthens the spine and stretches the arms, shoulders and opens the chest and heart chakra; Eagle pose (Garudasana) builds strength and balance through the arm and leg positions that make up the eagle pose; Camel pose (Ustrasana) is a backbend asana that strengthens the lower back, thighs and legs while opening and invigorating the heart chakra; Fish pose (Matsyasana) is a good pose for improving spinal flexibility and strengthening the back and, when practiced correctly, the pose expands the chest cavity to allow this chakra to fully open. Cat pose (Marjaryasana) is a great way to release back tension that may be keeping your heart chakra from opening and Upward-facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) stretches the lungs and chest to open this chakra.
Emotionally: The heart chakra is particularly vulnerable to issues arising with relationships and love. We all have experienced relationships from the moment we’re born to now – from family, friends, colleagues and partners. Some of these relationships may have left positive or negative experiences regarding love and relating to others (e.g. hurt during our childhood or a breakup with friends and partners). This usually causes us to shut down in an effort to numb our pain to avoid suffering. Or we may have opened and extended our heart to a demanding partner or parent in need, sometimes to the point of over-extending and being drained. All this can lead to our heart chakra becoming blocked.
When you are feeling that you are unable to give love or receive love fully practice giving and receiving love daily. Accept compliments and gratitude when someone gives them to you. Don’t minimise them or disregard them or say “It wasn’t anything” or “It wasn’t a big deal”. Remember sometimes the universe uses other people to thank you and compliment you for all the good work you have been doing! Accept compliments, hugs and smiles from strangers. Give yourself expressions of love – take yourself out on a date, to the movies, out for a meal. Run yourself a bubble bath, with some candles and oils and some wine. Repeat some beautiful loving affirmations when you wake up. Thank the universe for life, mother nature for the sun, the sky, the moon, the stars, the sunrise, the sunset, the trees, the ocean…there is so much beauty surrounding us! Get in the habit of appreciating and showing gratitude for all the little things in life. Laugh more, do one kind thing a day, forgive yourself and forgive people who have hurt you. Listen to music more!Healing affirmations: I allow love to flow to me easily. I open my heart to love. I allow love to flow out of me easily. I allow love to fill me up and guide me in all my actions. All love resides within my heart. I deeply and completely love and accept myself. I release my burdens, my blame and my victim mindset and I understand that everything in this life has a higher purpose to teach me. I am kind to myself. I am able to let go of the past. I forgive myself and I forgive others. I love myself and others fearlessly. I nurture my inner child. I am wanted and I am loved. I live in balance. I live in a state of gratitude. I am grateful for all the challenges that helped me to transform and open to love. I am connected to other human beings. I feel a sense of unity with nature and animals. I accept things as they are. I am peaceful. I am loving and loveable.
Meditation: Breathe deeply into your heart and visualise a green light filling up your heart with each inhale. When you exhale release any negative thought or emotion and say out loud what it is you are releasing.
Alternatively, sit down in a quiet spot and connect with your breath. Allow your chest area to soften as you direct loving energy towards yourself. Afterward, choose four different people in your life to direct loving energy towards including a loved one, a person close to you, a neutral person (like a work colleague or acquaintance), an “enemy” or hostile person. You might like to visualize loving energy or say a mantra such as “I radiate love to you” to assist with this meditation.
Practice a forgiveness ritual. Write a loving letter to yourself asking for forgiveness, and either burn it or keep it someplace safe. If you’re holding onto resentment towards another person, write a letter detailing how they have hurt you. Then light a candle and say a prayer such as, “Dear God, may my heart release resentment towards my mother. Amen.” Burn the letter you have just written as you say that out loud.See Also: The Chakra Series, The Root Chakra, The Sacral Chakra, The Solar Plexus Chakra, The Throat Chakra, The Third Eye Chakra, The Crown Chakra