The heart chakra or Anahata chakra is the fourth of the seven main chakras, located in the center of the breastbone. It governs people's love for themselves and those around them, supporting empathy, compassion, and forgiveness.
OUTLINE OF THE Heart CHAKRA
Location: Heart, Chest, Upper Back, Shoulders
Bija Mantra (seed syllable): HAM (sounds like llama)
Sanskrit Name: Anahata (meaning: unstruck, unhurt, or unbeaten)
Nerve Plexus: Cardiac Plexus
Endocrine Gland: Thymus
Right: To Love and to Be Loved
Main Issues: Love, Relationships, Purpose, Belonging to Humanity
Goals: Balance, compassion, self-acceptance, good relationships
Deficient: Shy, lonely, isolated, lack of empathy, bitter, critical
Shadow Element: Grief, Resentment
Resolution: Compassion; Empathy; Forgiveness
Bija Mantra (seed syllable): YAM
Origins of the Heart Chakra
The Chakra system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BCE. It was first mentioned in the ancient text called the Vedas, which introduces the seven primary chakras.
In Sanskrit, the heart chakra is called the Anahata Chakra, which translates as unstruck, unhurt, or unbeaten. The heart chakra comes after the root chakra, sacral chakra, and solar plexus chakra, with the throat chakra, third eye chakra, and crown chakra following. Altogether, this creates the body's chakra energy system.
Chakra is defined as a spinning wheel of energy that runs up the spine to the top of the head. Concepts of the seven chakras came to the western world in the 1880s from tantric yoga traditions and are increasingly studied and practiced due to the extensive benefits.
Functions of the Heart Chakra
As the fourth chakra, the heart chakra or anahata is at the center of the seven chakras. It plays an essential role in the chakra system by bridging the lower and upper chakras. With this vital role, a balanced heart chakra can support one's harmony and ease through their divine experience. It is within our hearts that we can accept our whole selves.
Lifeforce energy lies dormant at the base of the spine until it is awakened through wellness practices including chakra meditation, asanas, pranayama, and prayer. Individuals often experience heightened joy, self-esteem, and self-love when heart energy flows through the fourth chakra. This helps people feel motivated and have a deeper understanding of their purpose in life.
Heart chakra blockage can negatively impact health in the physical body and mental state. Some of the symptoms may include:
Low or high blood pressure
A blocked heart chakra makes it difficult for people to connect and be aware of their emotions, making it difficult to feel self-compassion, empathy, or forgiveness. This makes it challenging for people to have unconditional love for those in their lives, making it hard to have a loving relationship with others.
Those experiencing these symptoms may benefit from practicing some of our recommended solar plexus chakra healing exercises so life force energy can flow freely through the human body.
How to Open the Heart Chakra
Several practices support the opening and balancing of the heart chakra. Here are some exercises that bring balance to and heal the fourth chakra:
Crystals: Crystals can support loving energy to run free through the chakra system. They can be used by placing the crystal over the chakra during meditation, distributing them around the home, wearing them as jewelry, or carrying them around. In addition to most pink crystals, some crystals that may be beneficial for the heart chakra include:
Rhodochrosite: Trauma and fear
Rose quartz: Self-love and peace
Malachite: Protection and love
Repeating Affirmations: Repeating loving affirmations aloud, mentally, or in writing can cleanse negative energy and support positive thought patterns. Some examples of positive affirmations that support the health of one’s sacral chakra include:
It is safe for me to be here.
I am here in my body and all is well.
The earth supports me and meets my needs.
My body is a precious resource and valuable intelligence.
I love my body and trust its wisdom.
I am immersed in a field of abundance.
I’m here, I matter, I’m real.
Yoga asana: Certain yoga poses help open the Anahata chakra. Here are three great poses that will assist healthy alignment through the fourth chakra:
Camel Pose (Ustrasana): Begin in a kneeling position with your knees hip-width apart and the tops of your feet flat on the mat. Put your hands on your lower back. Shift your eye line up and slowly begin leaning back, reaching for your heels. Take several breaths before exiting the pose.
Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana): Lye on your stomach and place your elbows underneath your shoulders. Push your shoulder blades down and lift your chest, putting weight on your forearms. Take several breaths down into your abdomen before exiting the pose.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana): Begin lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the mat. With your arms by your sides and your hands pressed to the ground, inhale, press into your feet, and lift your hips to the sky. Hold for three to five breaths. Exhale and lower your body.
If none of these methods work for you, other ways to combat blocked energy include writing in a gratitude journal, eating green foods, and practicing self-care. By healing the heart chakra, individuals can feel empowered and experience physical well being.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are heart chakra essential oils?
Certain essential oils are proven effective for opening the heart chakra. These can be put in a diffusor, diluted and put on the skin of the heart chakra, or used in other creative ways. Some of the oils proven effective when the heart chakra is blocked include:
Rose oil: for love, compassion, and enlightenment
Pine oil: for healing trauma and softening the heart
What happens when you open the heart chakra?
The heart chakra acts as the gatekeeper for emotions, and life trauma often leads to energetic blocks. When the heart chakra opens, people can release their past grievances and open their souls to kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.
Emotions are often experienced on a deep level after being repressed. This will allow individuals to connect to their higher self and accept what is happening around them without judgment. This allows for a tranquil state of inner peace and relaxation.
Although these are all positive experiences, there may be some discomfort due to the newly present energy flow, including hot flashes, a heavy chest, and heart palpitations. This is just the body's way of adjusting to the powerful energy in the heart center.
Why is my heart chakra burning?
When the heart chakra is burning due to chakra healing exercises, the body adjusts to the heart's energy. Heat and hot flashes are often experienced as the heart chakra opens and may present in unexpected waves.