Oct 7, 2019
The Heart Chakra
The 4th Chakra, otherwise known as Anahata Chakra, or the heart chakra is located at the heart. Anahata’s color is green, element is air, and bija seed sound is Yam.
This chakra is the bridge between the earthly and the spiritual. It’s essence is love and compassion.
Traumas or life experiences that can impact this chakra are rejection and abandonment, heart-break through break-ups, loss or death of someone we love, unacknowledged grief, betrayal and all forms of abuse.
When Anahata is blocked, when energy cannot freely flow here we get stuck in a place of grief, which is the shadow, or the demon of the 4th chakra.
The location of Anahata is the chest or heart space. The body parts most impacted by this chakra are the heart, lungs, diaphragm, breasts, chest, thymus, circulatory system, shoulders, arms, hands.
Physical issues that can arise with an Anahata imbalance are cardiovascular problems, hypertension, stroke, respiratory ailments, upper back and shoulder problems, arthritis
In the mental/emotional body an imbalance in the direction of excess in this chakra can lead to jealousy, poor boundaries and codependency. We may find ourselves in the seat of martyr and overly sacrificing.
On the other hand, a deficiency in the heart chakra can lead to us become critical, judgemental and intolerant. It is not uncommon to isolate, become withdrawn, emotionally cold and experience loneliness when the anahata is blocked. We may fear intimacy or fear relationships all together and find ways to sabotage any chance of intimacy. A lack of empathy and even narcissism can present itself in relationship to others and/or we may struggle finding self-love and self-compassion.
Heartbreak and loss. I’m sure we’ve all experienced it at some point. A partner cheats. A break-up you didn’t see coming. The feelings of betrayal can be absolutely devastating. I’ve had my heart broken, more than once. It is painful. I can still feel my first heartbreak in my cells. It hardened me. I never wanted to feel that pain again.
But, of course, I did open myself up again...I loved again, I trusted again, I was betrayed again. This time it took WAY longer to love again and I acted out in ways that were destructive for sure. But, also necessary to come to where I am today. It took a lot of self-reflection, profound honesty and self-compassion to see where I was stuck in a place of grief, blame and resentment. I had to overcome limiting beliefs that led me to believe that I wasn’t worthy of love just as I am. I’m grateful that I found yoga among other practices that have brought me to a place of true self-acceptance.
Tips and Tools to Heal the 4th Chakra:
Self-Acceptance. Honor and accept all of you. That includes the shadow.
Forgiveness: The ultimate step to healing.
- It begins by forgiving yourself. To see the bigger picture, understanding the obstacles, limiting beliefs, circumstances that led to the behavior that you feel you need to forgive. This might require making amends, taking responsibility, and apologizing.
- Forgiving others for the hurt they have caused you may be more challenging, and so necessary for healing to occur. Can we see the wider perspective? Can we begin to understand...not justify, but understand the behavior that was so hurtful? Forgiveness allows the heart to soften. To open again after it has been closed and hardened.
Work with a trained therapist: Emotional release of grief.
- Simple deep breathing
- Alternate nostril breathing
- Practice self-love and self-acceptance
- Get outside and simply notice the beauty of nature
- Allow yourself to be massaged by someone you love
- Self-massage (abhyanga)
- Journaling (especially a gratitude journal)
- Seva (selfless service)--Love is action
- Set boundaries and find a balance between intimacy and autonomy
- Loving kindness meditation
- Share your appreciation for those in your life
- All heart openers: Cobra, Floor bow, Wheel, Bridge, Camel, Fish
- Any posture with chest opening variations
- Windmill: Stand with arms stretched out and twist the torso back and forth allowing the arms to flop back and forth as well.
- Supine spinal twist
- Cow face (gomukhasana)
- I am worthy of love
- I am able to give and receive love
- I lovingly accept myself--as I am
Why balance your 4th chakra?
When the heart chakra is balanced it opens us up to both give and receive love. We engage with more compassion and connection to others. It allows us to feel a deep sense of wholeness, hope and inspiration.
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