The heart chakra, also known as the fourth chakra, is in the center of the energy system of the human body. It is a link between the lower and the higher three chakras. Anahata relates to the sense of touch that enables loving and healing touching.
The name itself indicates the connection of the heart chakra with the heart itself, and, in the metaphorical meaning, with love.
Anahata is the energy center of love, compassion, humanity, and safety.
It enables a loving contact with fellow human beings on the relation me-you. It nurtures a sense of community by stimulating self-awareness.
A balanced heart chakra makes it easier for a person to establish ties with other people while excluding all egotistical interests for doing so.
The primary mission of the fourth chakra is the development of selfless love towards fellow human beings in the Christian sense, and the expression of compassion and love for all beings in the Buddhist sense.
Every form of love enables one to venture beyond the limit of one’s person, even though the love of parents towards their children can be egotistical in the sense that its primary objective is to establish one’s own or their child’s personality in the world (at the expense of others).
Contrary to this, a healthy heart chakra stimulates love that does not distinguish between personal affection or dislike but instead stems from power and openness that are possible to exercise only when the heart chakra is well balanced.
When you are comfortable with yourself, accepting of your shortcomings, and capable of self-reflection, you are more likely to be able to understand other people and to accept them and their actions.
Heart chakra animal is antelope.
Heart Chakra Symbol
The fourth chakra is represented by a twelve-petal rosette that denotes universal love, which is, according to Indian bhakti-yoga, a path towards devotion and humbleness. In Christian traditions, it represents the love for one’s fellow men.
The symbol of the fourth chakra is a hexagram consisting of two interlaced equilateral triangles, one pointing up and the other one down.
The first one symbolizes the male principle of God, represented by Shiva, the symbol of consciousness, and the second one symbolizes the female principle of God, represented by Shakti, the divine mother goddess and a symbol of energy.
Heart Chakra Location
The heart chakra is located in the area of the chest and thoracic vertebrae, in the center and in line with the heart, behind the breastbone, between the shoulder blades.
The fourth chakra is in the middle of our energy system. Its position is above the third chakra (Manipuira) and just below the throat chakra.
As such it connects the earthly grounding energies stemming from the lower chakras with the celestial energies flowing from the upper chakras.
The Effects of the Anahata Imbalance
If you are facing the following problems, it might be that your heart chakra is out of balance:
- dysfunctional relationships,
- heart and chest problems,
- low or high blood pressure,
- respiratory problems.
These problems, originating from heart chakra imbalance, are easy to spot.
Most people in western society have an energy blockage between the solar plexus and heart chakra. Most of us live in the ‘I’ instead of ‘we’ feeling.
As a civilization, we are also facing the breakthrough of our awareness through this blockage.
The world has become a much smaller place and if we are about to ‘save the planet’ and change the social paradigm, we have to step out of our egoistic way of looking and start acting as a connected global community.
A task to balance the heart might be the hardest of all chakras.
However, once balanced, the effects on our overall well-being are the strongest. It makes us lose all the fears and replace them with trust and joy, which becomes present in our everyday life.
Psychological and Spiritual Aspects of the Fourth Chakra
Problems with the heart chakra reflect in the inability to accept oneself and in a negative view of oneself.
A person with an unbalanced fourth chakra that has a strained relationship with oneself cannot expect to be able to accept other people.
Conversely, a balanced Anahata reflects openness and tolerance towards others.
Common manifestations of Anahata problems are excessive egotism, pronounced need to isolate oneself, and an imbalance between giving and taking.
Other symptoms of heart chakra imbalance include the lack of ability to establish a healthy distance from other people in the sense of preserving one’s autonomy while allowing the other person to maintain theirs, and the capacity to carry out or withstand the separation from a loved one.
Problems with the heart chakra reflect in the inability to let things go.
When one wants to identify problematic patterns in their behavior one can often do so by looking at the problematic patterns in the behaviors, belief systems, or practices inherited from their primary family.
This analysis should be done without passing judgment, as an exercise in self-reflection, in letting go, in establishing a healthy distance, and in developing autonomy.
Properties of the Anahata Chakra
- Common names: heart chakra, the fourth chakra, Anahata
- Name meaning: Anahata comes from Sanskrit and translates to immaculate, unspoiled, unstruck
- Corresponding gland: thymus
The thymus gland, associated with the fourth chakra, is the central organ responsible for the correct functioning of the adaptive immune system. It produces T-cells which are crucial when the organism is defending itself from foreign invaders.
- Color: green, smoke grey
- Mantra: YAM
- Number of petals: twelve petals, each containing one of the following Sanskrit syllables kam, kham, gam, gham, ngam, cham, chham, jam, jham, nyam, tam and tham.
- Corresponding deities: Isha, Kakini
- Animal Symbol: antelope, pigeon, birds
- Element: air
- Symbol: hexagram
- Sound: ah
- Frequency: 341.3 Hz
- Corresponding sense: touch
- Corresponding natural phenomena: forest, pristine nature, meadows, and fields
- Planet: Jupiter
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun. It is named after the Roman god of war. The temperature on Mars in the equatorial area Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun. It is the largest planet in our Solar System. It consists mainly of hydrogen and helium, and despite the fact that its volume is around 1,321 Earths its mass is only 315 times bigger. It can reach up to 35 degrees Celsius and one day on Mars lasts 24 hours and 39 minutes.
- Key themes: love, humanity, compassion, affection, safety.
- Affected body parts: heart, lungs, circulatory system, blood, skin, arms, palms, upper back, thorax, bronchi.
- Positive spiritual aspects: love of others, human warmth, feeling of belonging, feeling of self-worth, artistic expression, tolerance, openness, the ability to maintain a healthy distance.
- Negative spiritual aspects: infatuation with oneself, narcissism, arrogance, cruelty, bitterness, and cold-heartedness.
- Physical signs pointing to abnormal functioning of the heart chakra: heart problems, pains in the thorax, too high or too low blood pressure, pulmonary issues, breathing problems, frequent colds, pains in the upper back, shoulder pains.
- Mental issues pointing to abnormal functioning of the heart chakra: insensitivity, loneliness, trouble with meeting new people and establishing contact, misanthropy, inability to create a healthy distance.
Heart chakra healing and balancing
When you practice balancing your heart chakra, you will be presented with challenges that will require you to find love for others and accept the fact that you are also loved by others and the Universe itself.
When the world is perceived through the heart only the truth can be seen. And the truth is that at the core of existence the prevailing energy and feeling is that of unconditional universal love.
Heart Chakra Imbalance: The Impact on Your Physical Health
The fourth chakra with its connection to the thymus gland has a significant impact on the immune system.
This means that an imbalanced heart chakra and the lack of energy that comes with it can leave you exposed to all sorts of ailments such as allergies, asthma, various infections, and even cancer.
The most visible signs of Anahata in bad health are heart issues, feeling pressure in the chest, feeling of a pressing weight on the chest, and labored breathing.
Skin problems reflect the stress that comes from the emotional strain and the spiritual turmoil, which results from an inactive heart chakra.
Chronic conditions such as hypertension, hypotension, asthma, bronchitis, heart arrhythmia, and coronary diseases signal an imbalance of the heart chakra that has passed unnoticed for a long time.
You should address such issues immediately.
How to Heal Your Heart Chakra?
Try to let go of the judgment of others and yourself. Accept the fact that all humans, animals, and plants come from the same origin and that at the core we are all good and we all want to be loved.
Try to feel instead of thinking about things. Letting go this way can make you feel exposed, however, as the name Anahata (unstruck) suggests, nothing can hurt your deepest self, as it is supported by the universal unconditional love.
This energy of love flows through our hearts at all times, the only thing we need to do is to accept it.
10 Easy Techniques for Fourth Chakra Balancing
- Take time to appreciate the beauty of nature, especially the green landscapes, pleasant meadows, and forests.
- Take time for yourself, pamper yourself with a massage or an ayurvedic diet.
- Choose green clothing, wear green accessories, furnish your home with green drapes, or pick green appliances and accessories. A green accent wall can look very welcoming upon entering a home.
- Start growing plants, be it in your garden, on the balcony, or indoors. Create a green oasis in your home to rest the eyes, mind, and soul.
- Make an effort to be even more loving to your partner, your family, friends, and other people in your life. Pay more attention to your pets and plants as well. Your love should come from the heart.
- Listen to bright and uplifting music, such as the music of Mozart, Haydn, and Bach.
- Enroll in a massage class or a Shiatsu seminar, take up Reiki or Pranic healing.
- Use essential oils of rose, jasmine, vanilla, and tarragon to scent your apartment or add up to eight drops to your bathwater.
- Relax and repeat one of the following affirmations every day before going to bed. Slowly whisper at least ten times:
- The power of compassion flowing through me allows me to connect with all living beings,
- I open my heart to giving and receiving love,
- I love myself just as I am.
The Benefits of Balancing Your Anahata Chakra
When you restore the balance of your heart chakra the energy will flow freely and unobstructedly through it, and you will be able to communicate with others more directly, so to speak – heart to heart.
You will be able to approach people in a relaxed and impartial manner, without prejudice or pretense.
The benefits of an active fourth chakra go beyond person-to-person relationships and allow you to be more tolerant and accepting of other opinions and cultures.
A stable, fully functioning Anahata means that a person can assume a responsible role in their relations with other people and that they do so with a positive attitude and without problems.
A conscious decision to restore your heart chakra to health through specific exercises and behavioral patterns will enable you to take that first, most important step towards being able to establish and maintain happy romantic relationships and genuine interpersonal relations.
The starting point for being able to feel and show real love to others is to be able to accept and love oneself first. The key is in restoring the balance of your heart chakra.
A balanced Anahata allows you to establish a healthy emotional closeness that lets you coexist with others in peace and foster mutual respect and mutual learning, which bring people together. All the while being mindful and respectful of mutual personal boundaries.
Your physical health is also a good indicator of the state of your heart chakra.
The fourth chakra regulates the functioning of the heart and lungs and enables breathing. A person with a sound cardiovascular system, a strong heart, a healthy heartbeat, and radiant skin, who is also able to take deep, unobstructed breaths can be confident that their heart chakra is functioning well.
5 Signs of a Healthy and Open Fourth Chakra
The heart chakra enables and stimulates the ability to connect with others.
A healthy fourth chakra helps people to form relationships marked by tolerance and acceptance while both sides present the capacity to maintain a healthy distance.
- Non-judgemental attitude towards others,
- healthy relationships,
- love for yourself,
- love and empathy for others,
- healthy cardiovascular and respiratory system,
are five obvious signs of an open and healthy heart chakra.
How to open your heart chakra?
The most common traditional practices which will help you open your heart chakra are yoga, meditation, working with crystals and gemstones, breathing exercises, and mudras.
Find the technique that you feel comfortable with and practice regularly. The effects on your fourth chakra will be noticeable in less than two weeks.
1. Heart Chakra Yoga Pose: Shalabhasana
Lie flat on your belly, your chin touching the floor.
- Clasp your hands behind your lower back, in line with the backside.
- As you inhale, slowly lift your head, sternum, and shoulders up and towards the back. Your thorax will be arched.
- As you get comfortable performing this pose, you can also try to lift your feet off the ground.
- Take two deep breaths while keeping this pose, then exhale.
Repeat this exercise three times.
‘Shalabhasana’ is a yoga pose for bringing your heart chakra.
2. Heart Chakra Mudras: Akash Mudra and Prithivi Mudra
The finger positions for the breathing exercise intended to strengthen the fourth chakra are different for women and men.
- Women should bring together the thumb and ring finger of the left hand and the thumb and middle finger of the right hand while the men should do the opposite.
- Place the hands, palms up, on your knees.
- Take a deep breath through your nose and repeat the yam mantra several times as you exhale.
Repeat this sequence seven times while you mentally focus on the heart chakra.
Fourth Chakra Mudra: Prithivi Mudra
Fourth Chakra Mudra: Akash Mudra
3. Crystals for Opening the Fourth Chakra
4. Heart Chakra Meditation
Heart Chakra Opening Symptoms
When your heart chakra is open, your perception of reality shifts from ‘thinking about things’ to ‘feeling things’.
On a physical level, the symptoms of your heart chakra opening can be felt as pulsating or warmth in your chest area.
When bigger blockages are removed you can even feel pain or pressure. Back pain in the chest area is also not uncommon.
On a psychological level, you might experience emotional instability with moments of excitement and being happy for no reason, followed by moments of a bad mood or even depression.
When you experience ‘negative’ symptoms. you have to understand that this is only a part of the process of your chakra opening.
However, with progress, these symptoms should fade out relatively fast, and then the other, more pleasant effects can be experienced.
If your other chakras are somewhat balanced and you have cleared the biggest energy blockages from your energy body, then you can sense the underlying feeling of love and peace which accompanies the perception of the heart.
This feeling will grow into you and accompany you in your everyday life, giving you more stability, trust in yourself, feeling of being supported, and sharing your unconditional love with others.
We are very reserved when it comes to openly sharing our emotional energy, simply because we have a fear of getting hurt by the actions of others. However, once we realize through practice, that the energy of love and support is all around us and not just in ourselves. When we learn to use and transcend this energy, we will realize that nothing can hurt us.
We will live in the ‘Anahata’ (the unstruck) chakra.