Updated: Sep 28, 2022
The heart chakra is also called the Anahata chakra or the heart center. It is the center of the chakra system and connects the lower physical and emotional centers with the upper mental and spiritual centers. It's mostly associated with the color green, but also with the colors pink and gold. Some people say there is a small self-love chakra beside the heart chakra that is pink and gold. The main heart chakra is located in the center of the chest but also includes the heart, upper back, thoracic cavity, lower lungs, blood, and skin. It also helps with the lymphatic and immune systems. It's associated with the sense of touch- both to be touched and be in touch with all things. The heart chakra is also associated with the Air element.
A balanced heart chakra is responsible for feelings of devotion, self-abandon, sincerity, generosity, love, harmony, selfless love, empathy, sympathy, and overcoming the ego. It aims to create unity among all things through love. A balanced heart chakra allows us to connect to Bhakti, or Divine Love, and allows us to see the Divine in everything. Balanced Heart Chakra energy is contagious and heals and soothes others around you.
A disharmonious heart Chakra may lead to expecting something in return for your love, rather than giving it freely. Or it could lead to giving love, but struggling to openly receive. You may feel easily hurt or fear rejection. You may shut yourself off from others or treat them with indifference rather than love.
A balanced anahata chakra promotes feelings of empathy and understanding, compassion and respect-- both toward others and towards the self. Also, a balanced heart chakra helps you feel connected to life.
An imbalanced heart chakra can lead to feelings of grief, possibly hanging onto old losses or emotional pains. Fear and ignorance reign over love. Imbalance can also manifest physically. Because the heart chakra is associated with air and located in the chest, pain and illnesses can form in the lungs, chest and heart.
An overly open heart chakra can lead to excessive expectations of others socially or romantically.
To open the heart chakra, try to bij mantra or seed mantra sound, "Yam." You can chant it aloud or internally. If you prefer English, you can embody an affirmation, "I am open to love" or "All love resides within me."
To access this chakra, try the Hridaya mudra. Place the tip of the index finger at the root of the thumb. Then bring the tips of the middle and ring fingers to meet the thumb. Keep your pinkie straight. With both hands in the mudra, place them on your knees facing upward. You can practice this mudra for up to 30 minutes, while focusing on the chest and heart chakra. The middle and ring fingers are related to the energy channels (nadis) of the heart. Closing the circuit with the thumb helps release pent-up emotions from the heart. Meditations
Find a comfortable seat. Take a couple of deep breaths to center yourself. Then imagine the world sending you love. Breath in that love on your inhalation, bringing love to your heart center. On an exhalation, send that love around your body, letting it spread to every corner of your being, filling you with love.
If your heart chakra is already overly open, you can envision the opposite, pulling love from every corner of your being on your inhalation and on your exhalation, sending it out into the world, sharing it with those who need it most. If you choose this version remember a candle doesn't burn out if another candle is lit from it- you can share the love from every bit of your being without losing the love you need for a balanced anahata chakra.
As an alternative meditation, imagine a green light glowing in your heart center. Let the light ebb and flow- follow it, however it may change, glow or grow. Focus on it.
Heart-opening asanas help to open the heart chakra as well. These are poses like camel (ustrasana), bow (dhanurasana), dancer (natarajasana) and cow-face pose (gomukasana).
Green foods like spinach, lettuce, kale, lime, and mint can help harness the energies of this chakra.
The heart chakra is one of the most important chakras. Love is so needed in our world, as are compassion and forgiveness. Also on an individual level, this chakra is the centerpiece that connects the spiritual and physical. A balanced anahata chakra is essential for your self and your interactions with the world.
For more ideas, check out the Heart Chakra ebook Journal
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