The Heart Chakra at a Glance
|Sanskrit Name – Meaning||Anahata – unstruck sound|
|Location||Centre of chest|
|Characteristics||Harmony with nature, unconditional love, positive neutrality, harmonious relationships|
|Symptoms of blocked||Headaches, blurred vision, sinus issues, eyestrain, seizures, hearing loss, hormone function|
|Healing crystal||Green Aventurine, Prehnite, Emerald|
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 is the center of the chakra system, in terms of its location in the body and 4th in order among 7 major chakras. Being at the center it connects the lower 3 chakras (root chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra) with the upper 3 higher chakras (throat chakra, third eye chakra, crown chakra).
In the lower 3 chakras, the ego (as our identity) is connected to the mundane world, to security, outer beauty, and the world of name and fame. Here, in the fourth chakra, the ego opens for a greater cause, and instead of being self-centered, it makes us feel one with all. It’s the quality of heart chakra.
The heart chakra is associated with balance, serenity, and calmness. When you become anxious or stressed, your brain overrides the emotions that block your heart chakra and you will notice both mental and physical disturbance.
This guide will lighten your vision about your feelings to get connected to other souls by allowing awareness to penetrate the heart chakra.
Anahata chakra meaning
Anahata is the Sanskrit term used for the heart chakra. This term literally means “unstruck or unbeaten sound”, the sound that is produced without striking any objects. It’s usually associated with a calm sound void of peace, also called soundless sound.
The sound of OM is the perfect example of Anahata. It is believed, the natural vibration of OM is still present in the universe as it was at the time of the creation of the universe (when there was nothing to make sound).
The reason the heart chakra is associated with the Anahata sound because the heart opens up the door of higher wisdom. It can only be perceived when one is able to be receptive enough to perceive the subtlest sounds i.e. the sound of thyself. And one of the most important ways of achieving this listening ability is meditation. Nada yoga and kriya yoga practices can help you achieve that meditation state easily.
Location and associated organs
The heart chakra is located in the front and middle of your chest (between right and left lung), behind, and slightly to the left of your breastbone. From the back view, it lies at the level of T8 thoracic vertebrae.
The significance of the heart chakra’s area 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.
This chakra is mainly associated with the upper back, including the thorax and thoracic cavity, the lower area of lungs, skin, hands, and arms. This heart space has connections with the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, and the immune system.
Moreover, the heart chakra regulates the thymus endocrine gland which is an important part of the immune system. The thymus gland is said “higher heart chakra”, also knows as “seat of the soul”. It represents spiritual growth, unconditional love, compassion, and forgiveness.
Green color significance
It is believed that each chakra in your body is directly associated with a particular color and vibrates your body with its own frequency.
The soul is tinged with the color of its thoughts.
The heart chakra has green color. Its green color represents freshness, safety, compassion, and the ability to transform. It emphasizes the essence of fresh growth, the promise of new hopes, the eternal nature, and the ability to share the love.
Exposure to green chakra color objects like plants in the morning prompts the release of cortisol (stress hormone). It helps you wake up early and gives rise to fresh stimulation in the morning time.
Heart chakra symbol
Each of the 7 chakras is represented by a unique symbol that tells the core qualities and function of that particular chakra.
The symbol for the heart chakra is a circle of twelve lotus petals surrounding two intersecting triangles, forming a six-pointed star.
The heart chakra symbol has the following elements.
- Twelve lotus petals: Twelve petals positioned in a circle depicted qualities of heart when the chakra lies in balanced state.
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- 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.
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.
- 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.
The energy frequency and seed mantra
The energy spread out of each chakra corresponds to a certain frequency and wavelength of the visible spectrum.
Heart chakra vibrates at 639 Hz frequency. The sound of this frequency helps balance emotions and elevate the mood. Listening to the music of this frequency helpful when you are anxious, feeling negative emotions in your heart, or have relationship problems.
YAM is the seed mantra of the heart chakra that corresponds to 639 Hz frequency. This “mantra” is connected to the control over the air and Prana (life force) in our body.
The heart chakra element is Vayu (air), the least dense of our physical elements so far. It makes the heart chakra dominant in the Vata dosha person. Air represents freedom, openness, and freshness, lightness, simplicity, and softness.
Characteristics of heart chakra
The heart chakra is the control center for compassion, empathy, connection, and forgiveness. It lets you experience and accepts any situation in life, no matter circumstances are in favor or against you.
This chakra determines your ability to rise up beyond materialistic identity. It’s actually the state when you identify yourself with the higher self.
When your heart chakra is activated, you allow yourself to be guided by the power of higher self that many refer to as God, or The Source, or Cosmic Intelligence.
The voice of Heart Chakra enchants; “I am worthy of love. I lovingly allow joy to flow through my mind, 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.
Release the pain and hurt and forgive those who hurt intentionally or non-intentionally as that alone will set you free.
How to know if heart chakra is balanced?
When our heart chakra is balanced and open, waves of love and compassion flow within us, enabling us quickly to forgive, and accept others and ourselves.
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.
Balanced heart chakra manifests in the form of;
- Harmony with nature
- Unconditional love
- Positive neutrality
- Harmonious relationships
- Nonjudgmental of self or others
Imbalanced heart chakra symptoms and its causes
An imbalanced heart chakra gives way to grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward ourselves and others. It results in physical symptoms including asthma, heart problems, hypertension, breathing problems, infection at the level of the lung, and bronchitis.
Imbalanced heart chakra manifests in the form of;
- Inability to forgive
- Passive aggression
- Inability to love
- Lack of empathy
- Smothering behavior
An imbalanced heart chakra leads you to experience poor energy levels in the whole body as the heart basically is the center of all bodily functions. The predominance of negativity and hate can be responsible for an imbalance in the heart chakra. You will feel hopeless, shy, rejected, and disconnected from the whole world. Hopelessness can make you distance yourself from other people and you will lose some valuable relationships.
Physically you will feel a weaker immune system (colds, flu, and frequent infection), low/high blood pressure, poor circulation, and breathing difficulties happen because of the imbalanced heart chakra.
1. Overactive heart chakra
When there is an excess flow of energy in the heart, it manifests imbalance in the form of the overactive heart 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
Apart from this, because of overactive Anahata Chakra, we get disconnected in our relationships and get controlled by emotions and possessiveness.
2. Blocked heart chakra
When there is suppressed flow of energy in the heart, it manifests imbalance in the form of the blocked or underactive heart chakra.
In the case of the blocked heart chakra, there is a lack of compassion and empathy for self and others in person. A person becomes cold-hearted and emotionally inaccessible, or overly sensitive.
Underactive Anahata makes us feel scared to love or be loved because of fear of betrayal. Therefore we continue to hold on to bitterness, sorrow, and grief and do not trust others, become judgmental, critical, and intolerant.
How to balance heart chakra?
1. Incorporating karma yoga principles
Karma yoga is the path that emphasizes one to follow their duty without any attachment to the results. Incorporating the principles of karma yoga principles can help you open the heart chakra.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
2. Practice pranayama and heart opening yoga poses
Balancing the heart chakra with yoga helps to live with an open heart, accept people, to accept ourselves, and dispose of hatred and negativity.
Pranayama practice directly impacts the working of the heart by regulating the flow of air entering in and out of the lungs. These pranayama breathing exercises for lungs will surely help you maintain open up and balance your heart chakra.
Try to incorporate the following yoga poses to open your heart chakra and view the world through the eyes of love;
- Half Camel Pose (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.
- Reverse warrior pose: 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.
3. Practice meditation with heart chakra mudra
Meditation and mudras make a perfect combined practice to direct energy to any part of the body. All we have to do is meditate on a particular part of the body and hold hands in a specific mudra to redirect energy to that part.
To balance the heart chakra, holding hands in Apana vayu mudra and bringing your awareness to the heart center is the easiest way. This mudra has the power to ease the pain around the chest area and improves blood circulation.
4. Using 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
5. Add heart chakra food in diet and do lifestyle changes
Green vegetables and fruits are your great companion to open up your blocked heart chakra.
- Eat green vegetables like leafy greens, salad greens, pot herbs, brussels sprouts, spinach, and kale.
- 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.
If you keep your heart chakra balanced and healthy you can be transformed into a loving and compassionate person towards others. You can’t expect anything in return but give forgiveness, love, and kindness to others because this is the only thing that heart chakra is aiding you to do.
The heart chakra is the 4th not the 5th chakra
Very nicely written and explained.