4th Chakra - Anahata

4th Chakra

Anahata 

Heart Chakra

Location - behind the sternum, at the center of the thoracic region

Color - Green

Element - Air

Mantra - YAM

Yoga Postures to balance the heart chakra - backbends, shoulder-openers, even splits (hanumanasana)! Think of any poses that open up the heart center.

This is where Shiva (Male) & Shakti (Female) meet in harmony and where our internal and external worlds meet.

Emotionally, our heart chakra rules LOVE - for Self and others.  It is here where we tap into our concern for humanity, our openness and willingness to share.  This area of the body and this powerful energy center is directly connected to the parts of the brain that are responsible for creative sciences and fine arts.  When in balance, we are able to live in harmony with internal and external worlds and our desires cease to cause us problems and pain.  Being in tune with our heart chakra gives us the capability to connect with others on a deeper level - being sensitive to the emotions of others, trusting openly, being forgiving and loving without expectations.  When we are able to live within this harmony we feel compassionate and filled with hope and emotionally empowered.  

In general, having unbalanced energy in this chakra leads to feelings of being emotionally unfulfilled, self-conscious or even anti-social.  Having overactive energy is too "airy" leading to feelings of being lonely, isolated and afraid of being hurt.  Deficient in energy here causes a lack of joy, possessiveness, clingy, jealous and selfish tendencies.  

Physically, our Anahata Chakra rules the skin, hands, heart and lungs (circulatory system) and governs our Sense of Touch!  One can easily see another's heart chakra energy just by observing their posture and how they "guard" their heart or walk with their heart leading the way.  When out of balance symptoms such as upper back and shoulder pain will be prevalent as well as asthma, pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses.  A "broken heart" is a sign that the heart chakra has shut down.

With this chakra being our connection to ourselves and others it is no coincidence that this area of our bodies (mainly the neck, shoulders and upper back) are notoriously sore, tight, in pain and causing problems in our daily lives.  By breaking through blockages, stagnation and physical discomforts we can begin to heal ourselves from the "stuck" emotional baggage that we hold here.  We can utilize our breath and meditations to "heal our hearts" gently and kindly.  By first opening ourselves to our own heart and by connecting to our own self-love we are better able to connect with our loved ones and only then can we truly love unconditionally.  It always starts with Self and the work begins there.

Practices Off the Mat to Balance Anahata Energy:

1.  Using essential oils such as orange blossom, rose, bergamot, jasmine, lavender and rosemary will help to balance the energy.

2.  Crystals like rose quartz, opal and ruby are powerful stones to wear when needing some loving and healing energy.

3.  Food - eat leafy herbs (think basil, coriander, oregano, and parsley), green tea and rosy apples.

4.  Meditation - with the eyes closed picture your heart center filling with luscious Green!  Let the green color fill up your chest and spread into your arms.  Inhale into your heart and FEEL your heart fill with joy, compassion, kindness.  Exhale the breath and let your breath fill all of the spaces around your heart.  Let the breath resonate in your chest.