The Ultimate Heart Chakra Guide – Everything You Need to Know about Your Fourth Chakra
The Anahata or heart chakra is the seat of unconditional love and compassion. It possesses a peaceful, healing, and self-nurturing energy. The heart chakra relates to the Air element and the energy of expansion. The Anahata is concerned with balance, finding the middle way, or the natural rhythm of things. It is in this chakra that you create connection to others and are able to feel true fulfillment.
The main themes of the Anahata are love, compassion, forgiveness, service, acceptance, and the awakening to spiritual awareness. Just like any other chakra, your heart chakra can become imbalanced or blocked. If you’re feeling unworthy or undeserving of love, dependent on external validation, stuck in your thoughts, lacking compassion, and holding grudges, or you’re having circulatory issues like high or low blood pressure, high cholesterol, or arrhythmia, chances are that your Anahata is imbalanced.
Continue reading to learn all about the heart chakra, how to determine whether it is imbalanced, and how to support yourself to bring the Anahata back into balance – and make sure it stays that way.
The heart chakra within the chakra system
The chakra system consists of seven chakras ascending along the spine from the coccyx area to the top of the head. There is also an eighth chakra better known as the aura that expands all around your body. A chakra is an energy center that directs life energy for the purpose of physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. The chakras influence the relationship between the conscious and the subconscious in all your behavior and tie together all aspects of being human – physical, mental, and spiritual. The fourth of these chakras is the heart chakra.
Heart chakra – Nurturing your self by nurturing others
|Anahata / Heart Chakra
|center of the chest on the breastbone
|heart and lungs
|hopelessness / bitterness
|compassion, kindness, unconditional love, forgiveness, joy, balance, harmony, giving and receiving love freely, service, relationships, tolerance, healing, devotion, openness, self-care, self-love, balanced mind, body, and soul, understanding, expansion, width, resilience, receptivity, emotional intimacy, empathy, gratitude, balance of inner masculine and feminine, innocence, the right to love and be loved, emotional fulfillment
Peace is this moment without judgment. That is all. This moment in the Heart-space where everything is welcome. – Dorothy Hunt
The Sanskrit name of the fourth chakra, Anahata, translates to unstruck, unhurt, and unbeaten. It also means clean or pure. Anahata refers to the sound produced without two parts touching. In a way, this describes the purpose of the heart chakra: If we can look at the different and at times contradictory experiences of life with an open heart and stay in a state of openness and expansion, it is possible to integrate those opposite forces without confrontation. This idea is specific to cooperation and integration and brings the energy of peace and a new perspective.
You can find your fourth chakra in the center of your chest on the sternum at the level of the nipples. Physically it relates to the heart, lungs, circulatory system, shoulders, and upper back. The endocrine gland associated with the heart chakra is the thymus gland, which also plays an important part in your immune response by producing T-leukocytes.
The main purpose of the heart chakra is expansion. The heart stands at the center of all energies and unifies our being as a whole. In fact, modern imaging has shown that the heart emanates thousands of times more electricity and magnetism than the brain does. It is truly the point around which all the energies turn. Energetically, as the balance point between the flow of the upper energies of the Heavens (5th – 8th chakras) and the lower energies of the Earth (1st – 3rd chakras), the Anahata is where your experience expands from me to we.
The heart is not only the location of the 4th chakra, located at the center of your chakra system but also the center of your conscious universe and can create and define life in its true essence. – Steven Redhead
In the spectrum of chakra colors, the heart chakra is represented by the color green. While this might seem like an odd pairing at first, given that we commonly associate matters of the heart with shades of red and pink, it does make a lot of sense indeed. Green is the color of life. It’s renewing, refreshing, and regenerating and it is symbolic of balance, growth, harmony, and peace – all attributes associated with the Anahata.
The symbol of the heart chakra is composed of a twelve-petaled lotus flower with two intersecting triangles creating a six-pointed star. The upward-pointing triangle represents the divine masculine, whereas the downward-pointing triangle represents the divine feminine. Together, these two triangles portray the complete union and balance between male and female energies. They are placed within a circle, symbolizing the infinite patterns of interdependence between all things.
How to recognize an imbalanced heart chakra
When the fourth chakra is balanced you perceive the world in unity rather than separation. You can easily and consistently feel gratitude, joy, connection and peace. A balanced heart chakra is not just essential for your ability to give and receive love freely, but also for your ability to feel compassion, understanding, and empathy for others. You are willing and able to see the good in everyone and accept others in a non-judgmental way.
However, the heart chakra can become imbalanced and disturb the delicate balance of the chakra system. You may feel isolated, undeserving of love, lack compassion for yourself and others, and struggle with relationships in general. You may be afraid to give, or you give to those who don’t deserve it and share with those who don’t want it. You may also appear indecisive, stuck between fear of letting go and fear of getting hurt. This imbalanced expression can result in feeling sorry for yourself and finding it difficult to feel and express genuine love, joy, and happiness.
Other characteristics of an imbalanced heart chakra may be:
bitterness, grief, defensiveness, dependent on external love and validation, despair, deep sadness, jealousy, co-dependency, identifying as a victim or savior, holding grudges, lack of empathy, emotional coldness, attachment, loneliness, problems connecting with others, relationship problems, alienation, passive aggression, lovelessness, sedateness, fear of rejection, asthma, heart and lung problems, blood pressure problems, high cholesterol, frequent colds, allergies, chest pain, shoulder pain, rheumatism of the hands and arms, angina pectoris, arrhythmia, circulatory disorder, breast cancer, muscular tension, immune system disorders
If you recognize any of those characteristics in yourself and are unsure whether your heart chakra is imbalanced, try asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel happy? When and how often are you happy?
- Do you have friends? Are you able to maintain long-term friendships? Do you make friends easily?
- Are you able to love and accept yourself? Are you able to experience compassion?
- Do you feel part of the world around you? Do you see the world as “we are one” or “us against them?”
- Are you able to give to and share with others freely?
Fortunately, an imbalance of the Anahata doesn’t need to be permanent. There are many ways in which you can support your chakra to come back into balance. However, for sustainable change to occur, you also have to look at and process the emotions at the root of your imbalance. By learning about the chakras and how to bring them back into alignment, you can heal physical ailments, dissolve negative emotions and live a more fulfilling life.
Bringing the heart chakra back into balance
There are many ways to balance your heart chakra. As the love center of your energy system, emotions like love, heartbreak, grief, pain, and fear are felt intensely within this energy vortex. For this reason, energy-based therapies that focus on balancing the heart chakra and acts of self-love often provide the purest healing. Below you can find different ideas that can help restore balance in your fourth chakra. Incorporate as many of them as you like into your daily routines and see your life change.
leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, herbs, green water-based fruits, other green foods, green tea, preparing food with intention and love, sharing food
self-care, a walk in nature, being of service, practicing gratitude
Balancing yoga postures:
Ego Eradicator, Yoga Mudra, Bear Grip, baby pose, all arm exercises, all exercises twisting the upper torso, all breathwork
jasmine, cardamom, neroli, patchouli, rose, geranium, cinnamon, rock rose, ylang-ylang, bergamot
pink quartz, clear quartz, jade, green calcite, emerald, malachite
I trust my life is unfolding exactly as it’s supposed to.
It is safe for me to be in a loving relationship.
I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
I love myself unconditionally and offer the same love to others.
I am open to letting my walls down to be seen.
I am worthy of love.
I live in balance with myself and others.
I am compassionate to myself and others.
Or you can join me for a beautiful all-levels-welcome heart chakra healing yoga class this Tuesday, November 22nd at 6:30 PM CET. This is part of my limited 8-week online series “A Journey through the Chakras with Kundalini Yoga“. So if you’re feeling called to bring more ease and balance into your life by aligning body, mind, and spirit through the chakras, sign up here for the individual classes or bundle up and save 💸💸💸.
See you on the inside!
Written by Julia
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