In this article we’ll be looking at Anahata – the heart chakra. This is the fourth of the major energy centres which forms a bridge between the lower and upper chakras. It links our physical reality with our spiritual development. Read on to find out more about its characteristics, some of the causes of an unhealthy chakra, a number of healing methods specifically for this area and the benefits you can expect afterwards.
What is the Heart Chakra?
The heart chakra is located in the middle of the chest area and is represented by a 12-petal lotus flower. It’s name is Anahata, and this translates from Sanskrit as “unhurt” or “unstruck.” This can be interpreted as we have come through this life so far, and although we have been hurt, we have lived to tell the tale. It represents our ability to deal with events and to move on and embrace change.
The colour most often associated with this chakra is green, but for those with a higher vibrational frequency it may be pink. The element associated is air and this relates to openness and freedom. The heart chakra is closely linked to our sense of touch and also represents unconditional love, forgiveness, compassion, empathy, joy and an appreciation of beauty.
The life stage corresponding to this chakra is 6-12 years. During these years, we are learning to share, understanding how we fit in and connect to others and the world around us. At this age it’s important for children to feel they belong, otherwise it can result in self-doubt and behavioural problems. Also at this age, we are beginning to develop our moral code as we become more aware of the importance of doing the right thing.
The pain from numerous traumatic experiences can be stored here, resulting in a blocked on imbalanced chakra. These include childhood neglect, grief, abuse, stress, illness and general conflict.
Understanding the Heart Chakra
On a physical level, the respiratory and circulatory systems are affected by the heart chakra, as well as the thymus gland and the immune system. Possible health issues arising due to a blocked chakra include lung infection, bronchitis, asthma, high blood pressure, poor circulation and heart disease.
Other indicators of an imbalance include the need of approval from others in order to feel good, constantly seeking attention and a fear of being alone. Alternatively, someone with an unhealthy heart chakra may become introverted, anti-social and possibly reclusive. There is a tendency towards obsessive / possessive behaviour, an inability to set or adhere to boundaries, anger and jealousy. Also, problems with letting go, forgiveness and intimacy.
How to Heal the Heart Chakra
Eat green foods, especially broccoli, spinach, kale, lettuce, kiwi fruit, celery, peas, avocado, brussel spouts and green grapes. Drink green tea or any herbal tea and use sage, thyme, basil and parsley to flavour you meals.
Wear green or pink and surround yourself with these colours where possible. The crystals associated with heart chakra healing include jade, green calcite, green fluorite, pink quartz and clear quartz. Combine crystal healing with aromatherapy by diffusing essential oils into the air. (Try marjoram, rose, lavender, neroli, angelica or ylang ylang – see Safe Healing With Essential Oils.)
Examples of some affirmations you can use to heal the heart chakra are –
- I see beauty in all things
- I am connected to myself, to others and to all that is
- I experience healthy and meaningful relationships
- I accept myself and the world all around me
Taking time out to do something for YOU is a great idea. Maybe make an appointment at the hairdressers, or book yourself into a local spa for a massage or beauty treatment. Doing something for others is also beneficial – you could look into doing some part-time voluntary work or raising money for charity. It’s good for the heart chakra if you get out and about in the fresh air, so maybe consider a sponsored walk.
When you are outside, take some big, deep breaths and appreciate nature and its beauty. Practice being grateful throughout the day for even the simplest of things. Have the courage to face and accept the past, to experience your emotions, and to let go and move on.
Yoga is an excellent way to heal the chakras, and there are specific asanas or poses that are particularly beneficial for each one. Maybe combine yoga poses with meditation. (Click here to learn more about yoga.) The vibrational frequency of the mantra YAM resonates with the heart chakra and can amplify healing in this area.
There’s a really easy way to begin healing the heart which many of us take for granted, but not all of us are able to do. If you have a partner / family / friends, have a big fat hug and show some love! Remember you too are worthy of love. Give yourself a break, focus on your positive qualities and remind yourself that you are a wonderful human being.
After Heart Chakra Healing
When the heart chakra is healthy, we are fully able to love ourselves and others. We have compassion and empathy. We enjoy happy and meaningful relationships. Things at the very least tick along rather nicely; everything works pretty well – we enjoy our job, friendships / partnerships, parenthood. We are comfortable financially, we have an interesting life and contribute to society.
We are grateful for all we have, and are able to appreciate the beauty all around us, easily expressing joy and love and happiness. We feel a strong sense of inter-connectedness and are quite probably inclined to pursue a deeper understanding of spirituality. We have a deep respect and understanding for our fellow man. We don’t hold grudges, but instead let go and move on. We are happy to enjoy new experiences and welcome change and the future with open arms.
In this post we’ve looked at the basic characteristics of the heart chakra, what it represents and how a balanced or unbalanced chakra in this area can affect us on a deep level as well as a day to day basis. What are your thoughts about this article? Does any of it resonate with you personally? If you’re in need of a little T.L.C. for your heart, why not try some of the steps above? Let me know how you get on, or post a comment with further suggestions for healing.
Always remember, if you have a health issue or feel you are in need of professional help, contact your G.P. or an accredited counsellor / healer. See the Directory for details of relevant organisations if you need a little extra help. This is a growing list which I add to regularly, so let me know of any others you think it would be useful to include. Thanks.
Next in the Chakra Series…check out Part 5 – Vishuddha – The Throat Chakra.