Anahata: The Heart Chakra

There is one state of being that everyone strives to feel. We know it exists but sometimes, no matter how we try or what we do, we can’t seem to get it. Thousands of songs have been written about it, people have gone to incredible lengths because of it. It is our connection to our spiritual home and when we do get a glimpse of it, we know it instantly. What is it? Unconditional love.

Overview of Anahata

anahata heart chakra

The green chakra is called Anahata which means ‘unstruck’ or ‘undamaged’. It is positioned in the centre of the chest and governs our expression of love, our ability to receive love and our compassion. The heart chakra reminds us that no matter what past hurts and grief we have suffered, beneath it all is a constant, radiating wellspring of unconditional love for us.

Heart Chakra Fast Facts

Position:Centre of the Chest
Colour:Green
Petals:12
Related Element:
Air
Metal:Copper
Musical Note:
F
Mantra:YAM
Gemstones:
Rose Quartz, Aventurine, Peridot
Senses:Touch
Planet:
Venus
Essential Oils:Neroli, Cardamom, Rose
Yoga Poses:
Cobra Pose, Seated Forward Bend, Fish Pose

When Anahata is Imbalanced

When an imbalance shows up there are simple steps we can take to address it ourselves. When the heart chakra is in balance we experience harmonic relationships, fair exchange with others, appreciation, generosity and self-love. We feel our vulnerability and accept it without pretending it doesn’t exist or trying to protect it. When the heart chakra is balanced we feel a spiritual connection — an unconditional love residing in us.

If the heart chakra is overactive we may become less discriminating with who we give our over-abundance of love to. Our behaviour may get a little inappropriate with people we’re attracted to but are not in a relationship with. We may eagerly agree to things we would otherwise consider with discernment, and we may overstep our own boundaries. Our emotions are on a rollercoaster and we experience the highs and lows very keenly.

Image Credit: Beyond Neon on Flickr.
Image Credit: Beyond Neon on Flickr.

If the heart chakra is underactive we can’t generate positive emotions very well. Our minds are negative, our thoughts dwell on grievances, we lack love and compassion for others and we definitely lack love for ourselves. Spiritually, there is a sense of separation and loneliness and when the heart chakra is closed we may even turn our backs on traditions and religions that had once supported us because we can no longer see the point in it. Smiling does not come naturally when the heart chakra is underactive.

Physical symptoms of an imbalanced heart chakra include circulatory, respiratory and heart problems and is related to the thymus gland.

Exercising the Heart Chakra

Love, by its very nature is unconditional. It’s only our minds that place conditions on who, when and how we give our love. Working on the heart chakra can bring up a lot of emotional garbage so we’ve chosen some easy exercises you can try that will get you thinking on the conditions you place on your self-love, your love of others and your flow of love with the Universe.

1. Crystal Balancing

Image Credit: Patrick Wallace on Flickr.
Image Credit: Patrick Wallace on Flickr.

At the beginning of a meditation session or after Savasana, take a green-coloured gemstone or crystal like Aventurine, Amazonite or Peridot and place it in the centre of your chest. You can also use a pink crystal such as Rose Quartz to help balance emotions.

As you lie still and relax, breathe deeply and slowly and imagine the crystal radiating its light on your chest permeating down through you, healing and cleansing as it does so. It may help to play relaxing music while you do this. After 10 minutes or so, remove the crystal and gently bring yourself to a seated position. Rest for a while, eat something small and drink some water before returning to your day.

2. Aromatherapy

Using an aromatherapy diffuser, add a few drops of an essential oil associated with the fourth chakra such as the ones listed above in the Fast Facts. Breathe in deeply and smoothly. Use as part of your meditation practice or combine it with the first exercise. Since the element of air is closely associated with this chakra, this is a particularly potent method of balancing and clearing it.

3. Flower Power

When was the last time someone bought you flowers? When was the last time you bought some for yourself? Giving flowers has been a traditional gesture of love for a very, very long time. Pink roses are traditionally given to symbolise love, gratitude, romance and appreciation. Isn’t it time you showed yourself some of these qualities and treated yourself? If not, why not?

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