Signited: anahata – intact
Location: cardiac plexus area in the center of the chest
Element: air; gaseous matter
developmental age: from four years to seven years
Body parts: lungs, heart, ribs, shoulders and thoracic vertebrae
Positive emotions: affection, love, generosity
Negative emotions: pain, grief, sadness, despair
Main physiology activity: functioning of the respiratory and circulatory systems
In a previous post on our blog, we talked about the seven chakras
of the subtle body, their meaning and location. Anahata is the fourth chakra
. Located in the cardiac plexus area in the center of the chest, it is related to our ability to love and receive love, be compassionate, experience joy and accept ourselves. It is associated with an energy called vyana
responsible for bringing nutrients (from food, breathing, ideas and experiences) to where we need them.
If your energy is balanced
and flows well, you will not tend to feel lonely and you will be able to forgive others and empathize with them. You will also know how to take care of yourself and provide yourself with the physical and emotional sustenance you need.
However fourth chakra energy may be unbalanced
. When it is due to excess, we can tend to assume the problems of others as our own, or not attend to our needs and always put the well-being of others first. If it is by default, the person may feel lonely and isolated, or be overly critical and lack empathy. This imbalance can be due to many reasons: unresolved grief, or rejection, abandonment or abuse by a loved one. To balance the Anahata or fourth chakra, we recommend:
Postures such as Anahatasana (Stretched Puppy Pose), Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog) or Ustrasana (Camel Pose). In general, spinal extensions that open the chest and postures that allow the heart to melt toward the ground balance the Anahata chakra.
: Complete Yogic Breathing. Lie on your back. Inhale slowly and consciously, drawing the air into the abdomen, then the chest, and finally the collarbone area. Notice how each of these zones expands as it receives air. Exhale slowly and consciously and notice how they descend in the same order as the breath leaves your body. Repeat at least 12 times.
: Metta Bhavana. If practiced consistently, this technique can help heal past trauma and bring peace and balance back to the heart. Sit in a meditation posture, breathe deeply bringing your attention to the center of the chest and feeling the healing warmth that radiates. Express a healthy wish for well-being and happiness toward yourself first, then toward someone you love, then toward someone you know is going through a difficult time, and finally toward someone you think you've hurt in some way. You can finish by repeating the mantra "Lokah samasta sukhino bhavantu" (may all beings everywhere be happy and free).
: Sit in a meditative posture and internally repeat: "I forgive myself." Or: "I forgive (a person who has caused you pain) and I thank them for the lessons they have taught me."
: performing random acts of kindness or altruistic service, hugging others.