Heart Chakra: Everything You Should Know About It

Heart Chakra

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. – Mark Twain

With this quote, I would like to mark the importance of the Heart Chakra i.e. the chakra of relationships motivated by the principles of integration and transformation, the heart chakra bridges earthly and spiritual aspirations.

I am open to love and kindness

This phrase highlights the question, are you open to kindness & love?

In the first three chakras (Root, Sacral and Solar Plexus Chakra), the ego is connected to the material world, to security, outer beauty and the world of name and fame. Here, in the fourth chakra, ego opens for a greater cause, and instead of being self-centered it feels one with all.

This guide will lighten your vision to know more about your feelings to get connected to other souls by allowing awareness to penetrate the heart.

What Is Anahata or Heart Chakra?

The fourth chakra viz Heart chakra means “unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten” and is usually associated with a calm sound void of violence. It is referred to as Anahata in Sanskrit, meaning “sound that is made without any two things striking“.

This chakra is the control center for compassion, empathy, connection, and forgiveness. It underlines unconditional love by being a connector between the soul and kindness, as a bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses.

This chakra is responsible for the balance between earth (foundational, material, prime creation) and our emotions (ethereal, spiritual, metaphysical creativity).

Guide to anahata or heart chakra

Characteristics of Heart Chakra

The voice of Heart Chakra enchants; “I am worthy of love. I lovingly allow joy to flow through my mind and body and experience” which can be experienced when;

1) Release Expectations

When expectations are not met as per our definitions, we get to hurt. So let go and release the expectations from life. Focus on doing activities and then respect the outcome, This is what Karma Yoga teaches us.

On releasing expectation, love flows unconditionally and thus you can feel fully blossomed Heart Chakra.

2) Release Attachments

Desire gives the fear of losing and hence gives suffering. Whatever gives us pleasure also gives us pain. We are no longer a victim of desires connected to the material world when we can surrender our ego.

To evolve in life, one has to break attachments, remove expectations and make love unconditional and divine.

3) Trust your Relationships

Having trust over relations with full awareness is what Anahata is based on. No one betrays anyone but acts as per their perceptions, limitations, priorities, and fears.

4) Forgiveness

Release the pain and hurt and forgive those who hurt intentionally or non-intentionally as that alone will set you free.

Heart Chakra in Detail

To understand the heart chakra in detail, we need to acknowledge and know more about the following aspects:

1. Location

Anatomical location: over the heart, approximate to 8th cervical.

The Anahata chakra is located in the area of the chest and thoracic vertebrae, in the center and line with the heart, behind the breastbone or sternum. Its position is above the third chakra (Manipura) and just below the throat chakra (Vishuddha).

Associated parts of the body with Heart chakra: Heart, upper back, including the thorax and thoracic cavity, the lower area of lungs. This heart space has connections with the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, and the immune system.

The significance of the area’s close ties to the lungs and the heart, oxygen regulation plays key components in keeping the heart chakra balanced. Pranayama is a potent practice to help this space of the energy system in the human body.

Associated gland: Thymus. It regulates growth and controls the lymphatic system 1.

2. Color significance

The soul is tinged with the color of its thoughts.

This phrase symbolizes health, prosperity & kindness associated with this Chakra. Thus, the color of the energy radiate out of this wheel is Green.

Green color promotes a feeling of well-being and brings to mind thoughts and feelings of compassion, kindness, and love. Green marks the feeling of healthy, alert and empathetic.

Exposure to this chakra color (Green Light) 2 in the morning prompts the release of cortisol hormone, which wakes you up early and gives rise to fresh stimulation in the morning period.

The Heart chakra color emphasizes the essence of fresh growth, the promise of new hopes, the eternal nature and the ability to share that love.

3. What Heart chakra symbol signifies?

heart chakra symbol

The symbol for the heart chakra is a circle of twelve lotus petals surrounding two intersecting triangles, forming a six-pointed star. The symbol for the heart chakra has the following elements:

  1.  Symbolism of the twelve petals: Twelve petals positioned in a circle, depicted with the rich color red or vermilion; this part of the symbol is sometimes referred to as a twelve-petaled lotus flower.

    12 Petals lotus in Heart Chakra represents

    12 Mental Modifications (When Chakra is Imbalanced)12 Heart Qualities (When Chakra is Balanced)
    Kam (hope)Delight
    Kham (anxiety)
    Peace
    Gham (possessiveness)
    Love
    Ngam (arrogance) Understanding
    Cham (incompetence) Fellowship
    Chham (discrimination) Clarity
    Jam (egoism)Purity
    Jham (lustfulness) Unity
    Nyam (fraudulence)Compassion
    Tam (indecision)Kindness
    Tham (repentance) Forgiveness
    Gam (endeavor)Harmony
  2.  The center of the heart chakra: Inside the main circle, we can find another eight-petaled circle, also referred to as eight-petalled lotus (in the Hindu tradition).
  3.  The animal nature: In the Hindu tradition, the deity associated with the heart chakra is Vayu (air), who sits at the center of the symbol, riding an antelope or deer.
    The animal nature here is well depicted by the black antelope. It runs around restlessly but always in joy, searching for the source of the smell of the musk that resides in its navel.
  4.  Triangles: The triangles represent the descent of spirit into the body and the ascent of matter rising to meet the spirit. The heart is indeed a center of the intersection of two triangles, creating a Shatkona (6 angles), a symbol used in Hindu Yantra.
    It represents the union of male and female energies, This what the meaning of Yoga is.

4. The energy frequency and seed mantra

Bijaakshara or seed mantra: YAM

The seed syllable for the heart chakra is “Yam”, carrying the meaning of the Vayu (air element). This sound or “mantra” is connected to the control over the air and the Prana.

The mantra of this chakra is “Love is Divine Power.”, that defines the concept of self- awareness, self- exploration, and forgiveness.

5. Associated element

The element associated with the fourth chakra is Vayu (air), the least dense of our physical elements so far. Air represents freedom, openness, and freshness, lightness, simplicity, and softness.
Wavelength interval: 560-520 nm
Frequency interval: 540-580 THz

The chakras activate energetic pathways into nerve ganglia and organ systems within the body through a specific range of frequencies.

These frequencies can be used in treatment modalities through colored light energetics or healing touch that will encourage and improve the body’s natural healing abilities.

Balanced Heart Chakra

Balanced heart chakra manifests;

  • Harmony with nature
  • Unconditional love
  • Positive neutrality
  • Harmonious relationships
  • Nonjudgmental of self or others
  • Compassionate
  • Peaceful

When our heart chakra is open, waves of love and compassion flow within us, enabling us quickly to forgive, and accept others and yourself.

Balancing the Anahata chakra allows us to release our emotional pain through unconditional love. The ancient classics believed that our “jiva atman” (soul)- resides in the heart chakra, which is the transition zone of our material self to the divine self. As the heart center expands with love and compassion, our sapling of inner peace and harmony can open and grow.

Imbalanced Heart Chakra Symptoms and Its Causes

Imbalanced heart chakra manifests;

  • Loneliness
  • Jealousy
  • Bitterness
  • Inability to forgive
  • Passive aggression
  • Inability to love
  • Judgmental
  • Lack of empathy
  • Smothering behavior

A closed/imbalanced heart chakra gives way to grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others resulting in a lot of physical symptoms connected to the lungs, thymus, and heart.

Physical symptoms of imbalanced heart chakra: asthma, heart problems, hypertension, breathing problems, infection at the level of the lung, bronchitis.

Overactive Anahata Chakra:

If the heart chakra is overly open, it may exhibit into:

  • Being overly demanding, especially close family or partner
  • Extending to fulfill other people’s perceived needs to the cost of one’s balance
  • The tendency to feel like a victim
  • Losing a sense of personal boundaries in a way that is detrimental for well-being

When our Anahata Chakra is overactive, we get disconnected in our relationships and get controlled by emotions, experiencing immense feelings of happiness, sadness, love, grief, anger, and possessiveness.

Underactive Anahata Chakra

When our Anahata Chakra is underactive, we feel :

  • Lack of compassion for self and others
  • Lack of empathy and become cold-hearted
  • Emotionally inaccessible, or overly sensitive.

Underactive Anahata makes us feel scared to love or be loved because of your fear of betrayal & hence we continue to hold on to bitterness, sorrow and grief and do not trust others, become judgmental, critical and intolerant.

Anahata – The Still Center Point: How To Get It Balanced?

Likewise, the heart chakra reflects a kind of loving equanimity concerning the complex interrelationships of all things. Following practices can aid up to get our Heart chakra balance;

1) Experience Without Attachment

Experience each moment for what it is and accept it, without referencing it to past or future moments. No moment can last forever because nothing is permanent.

2) Let Go of Attachment to the Past

We often remain cling to situations or people when we feel happy, safe and comfortable with their company. So, letting go past attachments and opening the mind and heart, sets away to a new future.

4) Let Go of Attachment to Outcomes

Make peace with the moment as it is, without worrying about the outcome. Release the need to know and accept uncertainty. There are no guarantees about how Life will play out. Just live well today.

5) Let Go of Attachment to Feelings

Understand that pain is unavoidable. You will lose things that matter and feel some level of pain. But it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think. As the saying goes, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Yoga Poses Sequence To Be Followed To Balance Heart Chakra

Balancing the heart chakra with yoga and pranayama helps to live with an open heart, to accept people, to accept ourselves, and to dispose of hatred and negativity.

So, Mat is your canvas and ethics your art, try to incorporate the following yoga sequence to view the world through eyes of love, experiencing the power of both acceptance and forgiveness.

  • Half Camel Pose with Heart Chakra Hand Placement (Ardha-Ushtrasana): Half Camel Pose is a deep backbend for your upper back, and literally and metaphorically opens up your heart space.
  • Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana): Wheel Pose develops mobility and flexibility in your spine and hip flexors as well as creating space in your heart.
  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana): Bridge Pose is a gentler variation of Wheel Pose and it begins to create flexibility and strength in your spine.
  • Warrior 1 Pose with Backbend: Warrior 1 Pose strengthens your quads while creating flexibility in your hips.
  • Upward Facing Dog Pose ( Urdhva Mukha asana): Upward-Facing Dog strengthens and tones your arms while creating flexibility in your spine.
  • Bow Pose (Dhanurasana): Bow Pose generates mobility in your spine as well as flexibility in your hip flexors.

Heart Chakra Stones

One of the best ways to balance an underactive or overactive heart chakra is by using crystals.

The nine crystals below all resonate at the frequency of the heart chakra, so they enhance love and compassion. They also allow empathy and forgiveness to flow freely, which can bring harmony to any relationship.

  • Rose Quartz: Stone of Unconditional Love
  • Rhodochrosite: Stone for Selfless Love and Compassionate Heart.
  • Emerald: Stone of Successful Love Rhodonite: Stone of Self Love and Unconditional Love referred to as an emotional balancer.
  • Green Aventurine (Stone of Opportunity)
  • Green Jade: Dream Stone and Stone of Fidelity
  • Amazonite: Stone of Hope and Courage, supports both the heart and throat chakra.
  • Prehnite: Stone of Unconditional Love and Healing

Diet & Lifestyle Tips To Boost Up Heart Chakra

  • Eat green foods and consume green drinks.
  • Use aromatherapy oils such as Sandalwood, Jasmine, Lavender, and Geranium.
  • Listen to the sound of wind instruments like flute, saxophone, etc.
  • Wear 15 Mukhi Rudraksha and gemstones like Emerald.

References

  1. What does the lymphatic system do [source]
  2. Here’s How Colours Really Affect Our Brain And Body, According to Science [source]
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