Anahata Chakra

anahata chakra

Anahata Chakra: The Chakra of the Heart

Anahata: “unstruck” or “unhurt”

Your Heart Chakra is your fourth chakra in a system of seven, counting up from the base of your spine. It is located at the very center of your chest, and is commonly thought of as the bridge between your lower three chakras and your upper three chakras. The lower three chakras are considered centers of physical energy whereas the upper three chakras are more spiritual in nature. The heart chakra is located directly in the middle and provides balance for your physical body and your spiritual self. The Sanskrit name for the heart chakra is “Anahata” meaning “unstruck” or “unhurt”. When in balance it is perceived as a bright emerald green, the healthier the chakra the more vibrant the color. It can also be visible as various shades of pink.    

Tree Pose photo by kjpargeter at https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background

Anahata Chakra at a Glance

  • Location: heart region of the vertebral column, the cardiac plexus
  • Element: Air
  • Color: Bright Green (sometimes represented as pink)
  • Lotus: 12 petals
  • Bija Mantra: YAM/YANG
  • Aspects: Balance
  • Sense: Touch
  • Vayu: Prana
  • Planet: Venus

Anahata is your energy center for love, compassion, calmness, serenity, friendship, romance, and unity. When your heart chakra is in balance you feel connected to those closest to you, you feel cared for, and you feel love for yourself and others. You will also feel equality, joy, and passion. Having a balanced heart chakra is incredibly important for your quality of life.

Your ability to love not only affects your emotional and mental state but your physical body as well. The heart chakra is connected to your Thymus gland, which is located in the center of your chest. The Thymus gland is part of the immune system and correlates to our emotional well-being, it functions at its best when we are happy, loving and joyful. An underactive Thymus gland may be the result of emotional trauma, heartache, loss and more. Your heart chakra is also connected to your physical heart, lungs, arms and hands.

Upward Facing Dog photo by Yanalya at https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/people

When your heart chakra is out of balance you may find yourself angry, depressed, jealous, resentful, and envious. If you’re feeling detached from those closest to you, losing hope, or having problems in your relationships these may be signs your heart chakra needs a little extra love.  

Nature walks, time spent with pets, time spent with family, practicing gratitude, and acts of self-care are all ways to nourish the heart chakra. As well as wearing green clothing, green essential oils, green gemstones, and eating green foods.  

Yoga for the Heart Chakra

A well rounded yoga practice can also be helpful to balance the heart chakra. Some heart-healing asanas include

  • Fish (matsyasana) or supported Fish
  • Seated forward fold (paschimottanasana)
  • Cobra (Bhujangasana) or Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
  • Boat (Navasana)
  • Bow (Dhanurasana)
  • Child’s Pose (Balasana)
  • Puppy Pose
  • Camel (Ustrasana)
  • Dancer (Natrajasana)
  • Reclined Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1)
  • Tree Pose (Vrikshasana).
Meditation vector by from https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/design

Meditation for Anahata Chakra

Meditation can be a very powerful tool in balancing not only your heart chakra but your other chakras as well. Visualizing a glowing, bright green orb in your next meditation while repeating heart opening affirmations (either silently or out loud) is a simple yet effective way to open your heart chakra. You may visualize this orb in the center of your chest, slightly in front of you, or washing over your whole being. Pink is also associated with the heart chakra, and you’re welcome to incorporate various shades of pink to intermingle with the green.

Practice Metta or Loving-kindness meditation daily. Loving-kindness meditation is a Buddhist meditation technique where one practices sending love to all beings in stages. Learn more about metta meditation here.

The seed sound of the Anahata chakra is “yam” chanting this mantra internally or out-loud before or after your meditation is another way to connect with your heart chakra. While chanting “yam” place your left hand on your heart with your right hand on top. You may also practice a heart-opening mudra while meditating, chanting or during your yoga practice.

Mudras for the Heart Chakra

A mudra is a sign or hand gesture that has been known to affect different parts of the body by engaging the nerve endings in our fingertips. Mudras direct energy flow from the fingers to the brain and help the body communicate with itself. Some heart opening mudras include;  Padma or Lotus Mudra, Apana Vayu Mudra, and Ganesha Mudra.

Ganesha Mudra

To practice Ganesha Mudra, place your left hand palm up in front of your chest and bend the fingers inward. Place your right hand over the top of the left, so that the palms face each other and the fingers grasp together.

Apana Vayu Mudra

On each hand, bend the pointer finger to touch the ball of the thumb. Touch the tip of the thumb with the tips of the middle and ring fingers and extend the pinky fingers outward.

Lotus Mudra

Begin with the hands at Anjali Mudra (prayer pose), keep the thumbs and pinky fingers and the bottoms of each palm touching and flower open the rest of the fingers.

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Introduction to the Chakras

chakra colors

An Introduction to Chakras

Chakras are swirling energy wheels observed throughout the body. They are commonly associated with different mental, emotional, and physical traits originating from eastern spiritual traditions. The seven main chakras have been adopted by western culture as a pathway to connecting with your spiritual self by cultivating awareness to these concentrated energy centers.

The origin of the chakras

The idea of chakras was first developed in ancient India thousands of years ago, the earliest evidence of chakras can be found in the Vedas. The Vedas are an ancient religious text written in Sanskrit (the written language of ancient India), they are the oldest known scriptures of Hinduism and the oldest known written Sanskrit dating back to 1500-500 BCE. Evidence of chakra philosophies are found in the Upanishads (part of the Vedas) and helped to shape the spirituality of Hinduism, Buddhism and other ancient eastern religions.

The Upanishads are centered around two main spiritual forces, Brahman (ultimate reality) and Attman (soul self). Brahman exists outside of time and space and creates everything in every universe. Attman is the life force within every living being, the essence of an individual.

Attman energy (often called prana) flows through the human body along specific lines of energy called Nadis. These energy lines cross one another at certain points in the body forming wheels of energy called Chakras. “Chakra” in Sanskrit literally translates to “wheel” or “disc”, these spinning wheels of concentrated energy are where matter and consciousness meet.

Chakra locations

      Chakras are found at specific locations in the body. The number and location vary from philosophy to philosophy, some mystics suggest there are over 100 chakras in the body. Common western philosophies acknowledge seven main chakras that are located along the spine. These seven chakras are: the root chakra, the sacral chakra, the solar plexus chakra, the heart chakra, the throat chakra, the third eye chakra, and the crown chakra. Each of these chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as emotional, spiritual and psychological centers.

The contemporary western view of the seven chakras associates them with the seven colors of the rainbow. A healthy chakra is bright, vibrant and clear in color whereas an unhealthy or blocked chakra will appear to be more dim, muddy, and muted.

The seven main chakras stretch from the base of the spine to the crown of the head as follows:

The Root Chakra, Muladhara, is located at the base of the spine and is commonly seen as red. This chakra is focused on stability, security, and survival. When this chakra is open we feel safe and fearless.

The Sacral Chakra, Svadhisthana, is located in the lower abdomen above the pubic bone, and commonly appears orange. This chakra is our creativity and sexual center. This chakra brings vitality and joy through various forms of pleasure.

The Solar Plexus Chakra, Manipura, is located above the belly button and appears as yellow. This chakra is our source of personal power, assertiveness, confidence, and willpower. The solar plexus chakra empowers the rest of your body and helps you feel self-assured and independent.  

The Heart Chakra, Anahata, is located in the center of the chest and is commonly seen as green. This chakra is a source of love and connection and rules our relationships, unity, and balance. The heart chakra governs friendships, romance, and spiritual connections.

The Throat Chakra, Vishuddha, is located at the base of the throat and appears blue. This chakra gives us the ability to speak our truth, it is associated with communication, self-expression, and speech. A healthy throat chakra helps us express our views, let things go, and live in the moment.

The Third Eye Chakra, Ajna, is located on the forehead just above the space between the eyes and is commonly seen as indigo. This chakra governs spiritual awakening and intuition.  

The Crown Chakra, Sahasrara, is located at the top of the head and its color is violet. This chakra represents enlightenment, pure awareness, and spiritual connection. The crown chakra ultimately connects us with the divine spirit.

When all seven of your main chakras are in balance you will feel healthy spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. All is great and as it should be in the world, you’ll feel wonderful and like you can handle anything that is thrown your way.

However, it is common for one or more of your chakras to become temporarily blocked. If one chakra is blocked it is quite likely your other chakras will become out of alignment to compensate for this imbalance. The best way to identify which chakra(s) are out of balance is by bringing awareness to each one of them. Once you begin to cultivate awareness in your chakras you will be able to identify the root of the issue and begin the healing process.  

If you enjoyed this article, check out our intro to mudras blog post. You’ll discover here, how hand mudras can influence the chakras! And for a bit deeper understanding of the chakras check out this chakra blog post written by Abigail Cox.

You can also learn more about the chakras by joining the Ambuja Yoga Newsletter, where you will receive our downloadable chakra guide and receive updates about upcoming retreats where you can learn more about the chakras on an experiential level. Enter your email in the sidebar… easy peasy!

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