Anahata, or heart chakra, is located in the spine, in between the shoulder blades. It settles in a space that unites the lower chakras with the higher chakras. At the center of the human energy body, the heart chakra is the source of love, acceptance and connectivity.
The Heart chakra is associated with unconditional love, compassion, and joy. It is the source of deep and profound truths that cannot be expressed in words. Anahata is a bridge between the lower and upper chakras integrating the manifest with the spiritual. The first chakra is earth, grounded and instilling stability; the second chakra, water, brings fluidity and creativity; the third chakra is the “fire in the belly” required to transform that grounded creativity into positive action. And now you have air dispersing and integrating spiritual understanding of love, compassion, and connection to everything you encounter.
The infinity of the air can be translated into love, surrounding us at every moment.
When we think of love we often think about a relationship with someone/something else, this could be with a partner, family, friends, animals, our job, even a destination. These things are all wonderful for us to have a connection with but the biggest relationship we could ever have is with ourselves. Do you feel that you have a deep connection with yourself? When was the last time you felt open, accepting and connected to everything around you? The Heart Chakra is all about acceptance above anything else, acceptance towards our thoughts and feelings (no matter how good or bad). Acceptance towards how our body looks and physically feels, acceptance towards others, their lives and opinions. The more we can find acceptance in our lives we begin to really find more freedom.
Speaking of freedom a yoga practice influenced by the Heart chakra is all about opening the body, almost teaching yourself to stand up tall and be proud 'HERE I AM', not in any selfish or pretentious way, but shining that connection that is true to yourself without the bulls*#t. We all (I hope) want to live authentic lives that aren't overbeared by others opinions or values, we must acknowledge and truly respect EVERYONE within our lives, people we know and people we don't. But we also must accept that only we can create the life we wish to live. It's time to open up to the possibilities of life! Embrace everything that comes your way and allow each connection to be a lesson along the way.
How can we heal the heart?
We can begin to heal any area or energy within the body if we just give ourselves to sit with that space or intention. The heart is all about being open physically and emotionally, below you will find a little guidance on a balanced and imbalanced heart chakra and a few things that you can do to help you reconnect, rebalance and flourish.
An imbalanced Heart Chakra: When the Anahata energy is blocked, it can have a negative effect on your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. In regards to the body, this can include poor circulation and blood pressure extremes. The heart, lungs and upper extremities are all influenced greatly by the energy of the Heart Chakra, physical discomfort in the upper back, shoulders, beck chest, breathlessness, tightness and the feeling of wanting to hide away from the world by making ourselves look physically smaller.
Spiritually, a blocked fourth Chakra can cause a feeling of disconnect and lack of empathy. You feel distant in relationships (whoever they may be with), often insecurity and fears of being alone are very common. You find it hard to forgive and will hold a grudge until the end of time! It can also be pushed to the other end of the spectrum, you may be over-loving to the point of suffocation, jealousy, abandonment, anger, bitterness.
A balanced Heart Chakra: When the heart is opened, you will naturally feel love and compassion for others. A balanced chakra that is open allows people to be who they are, instead of attempting to be moulded to someone else's opinions and expectations. A person with an open Heart Chakra respects others. Someone with an open heart you will notice an easy going peace about them, no matter what else may be going on in the surroundings, you feel calm around them and as if you can be completely yourself. You feel joy, gratitude, love, compassion, and forgiveness flows endlessly.
Affirmations are always a wonderful way to heal subliminally, you can write it on a note, you can set your alarm notifications with a quote (I actually think there are positive affirmation apps that you can download!) These can be words, quotes, statements and intentions that will keep your mindset in check and inspired to move away from stagnation or negativity, here are just a few:
"I deeply, and completely love myself"
"I am open and accepting"
"I feel connected to everything around me"
"I am forgiving"
"I respect myself and others"
"I will honour my feelings each and every day"
"I am free to love and be loved"
"I am open to every experience that life can give me"
"I freely express myself"
"I am truthful towards myself and others"
"I am grateful for this life"
Your Yoga Practice
A yoga practice to open the heart space is all about creating space, remember the mention of the air element, this infinite space, everything that we cannot see that surrounds us. Your love and body can open in the same way, find postures that take up a large surface area, whether this is lying on the floor, or in any standing postures, flow practices are always amazing as we can continuous move around the mat and intertwine with the air. We soften our bodies and boundaries, we allow ourselves to give and receive from our practice.
Here are a few postures you may like to explore next time you practice:
Cat & Cow table top
Goddess pose (standing or reclined)
Cobra or Sphinx pose
You can also enjoy another blog post with more information on opening the shoulders and upper back: https://www.wildloveyoga.com/post/5-postures-to-release-the-neck-shoulders
You may have also heard about chanting or Mantra, this is not something we often explore in studio classes because I am very mindful of the environment, having the space set in a gym chanting may be a little to 'way out' there for some, you do know how I like to may you feel uncomfortable though! Anyway, this is something that I did a lot a few years ago when I was going through my seperation, I stopped listening to any music and became absorbed and almost hypnotised by mantra, this is an incredibly powerful tool that can keep you present and heal the body and mind. (I will be writing a blog about this in the coming weeks).
The mantra for the Heart Chakra is ‘YAM’. Chant this to heal both the physical heart and the spiritual (emotional) heart center.
Here is a link that may be helpful to listen to or chant along to while you meditate or relax.
My goodness, I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with so much information! When I get going I cannot seem to stop!! Thank you so much for spending time to read, I hope you enjoy the journeys that unfold in your practice. If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch anytime.
On that note, I will leave you with this..
"He whose book of the heart has been opened needs no other books".
- Swami Vivekananda
All my LOVE!!!