A N A H A T A . C H A K R A
The anahata 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, steady and grounded; the second chakra, water, brings a fertile 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. Air, like love, is within and all around.
The radiance of the Anahata Chakra depends upon the depths of our relationships. When our heart opens to divine love, our love becomes infinite. We find numerous sayings in general use about the boundless nature of the Anāhata Chakra: “To have a big heart”, “a heart as deep as the ocean” and “to have a place in the heart for everyone”. Saying “I love you and always think about you” with the intellect only are merely empty words. To really send loving feelings to someone we must open the Heart Chakra and allow love and light to radiate from our inner Self.
B A L A N C E D
When the heart is opened, you will naturally feel love and compassion for others. A balanced chakra that is opened allows people to be who they are, instead of attempting to mold them to expectations. A person with an open Heart Chakra respects others. People around them will notice an easy going peace about the person, no matter what else may be going on in the room. Joy, gratitude, love and compassion, forgiveness flows freely.
I M B A L A N C E D
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 Anahata.
Spiritually, a blocked fourth Chakra can cause a feeling of disconnect and lack of empathy whereas the emotional repercussions include an inability to trust oneself or others. Deep insecurity and fears are also common. These can grow into mental challenges such as manipulative behaviors.
Over-loving to the point of suffocation, jealousy, abandonment, anger, bitterness. Fear of loneliness.
H E A L I N G
When working with the heart chakra within our asana practice we explore opening the heart through back bends, chest openers and shoulder openers. Releasing this rigidness within our posture and helping our bodies to open up to the world. We offer hunch over to protect ourselves, a natural process which in time tightens the chest, decreases lung capacity and almost cushions the heart. Time to open up!
Cobra (Bhujangasana) — Intended to broaden the chest area through breath, cobra is a great asana for opening the heart chakra. Not only does it promote spinal strength, but it also invigorates the circulatory system.
Cow Face (Gomukhasana) — Like cobra, cow face pose strengthens the spine and stretches the arms, shoulders, and hips opening the chest and heart chakra.
Eagle (Garudasana) — The arm and leg positions that make up eagle pose not only build strength and balance, but also open the fourth chakra.
Camel (Ustrasana) — This backbend asana strengthens the lower back, thighs, and legs while opening and invigorating the heart chakra.
Fish (Matsyasana) — A tremendous pose for improving spinal flexibility and strengthening the back, you might want to use a bolster for this one. When practiced correctly, fish pose expands the chest cavity to allow the Anahata chakra room to fully open.
Cat (Marjaryasana) — Cat pose is a great way to release back tension that may be keeping your heart chakra from opening.
Upward-facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) — As it strengthens the spine, upward-facing dog also stretches the lungs and chest to open the fourth chakra.
Because an imbalance in the heart energy is often associated with esteem issues, it can be useful for you to practice positive affirmations to increase the positive energy associated with the fourth chakra.
“ I deeply, and completely love and accept myself”
“ I am open to love”
“ I am wanted and loved”
“ I forgive myself”
“ I live in balance; in a state of grace and gratefulness”
The mantra for the Anahata is ‘YAM’. Chant this to heal both the physical heart and the spiritual (emotional) heart center and open yourself up to unconditional love and compassion. This can be repeated vocally or sub-vocally while you meditate.
He whose book of the heart has been opened needs no other books. —Swami Vivekananda