The Heart Chakra (or Anahata Chakra in Sanskrit) is located in the center of your chest, level with your physical heart. It is the middle of the 7 chakras, with more physical chakras below and more spiritual chakras above. It is associated with the color green and the element of air. The heart chakra is responsible for love, warmth, compassion, generosity, forgiveness, kindness and joy. This chakra utilizes love as a healing force, also bringing unity to your body, mind and spirit. It can help us to identify our personal truths.
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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.
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, bow, dancer and cow-face pose.
Green foods like spinach, lettuce, kale, lime, and mint can help harness the energies of this chakra.
Finding greenery in plants and out in nature can also be a helpful cure for the heart 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.
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