Today marks the 4th round of our 7-part chakra series! In this post, I’ll cover the Anahata Chakra, better known as the Heart Chakra. Located in the center of the chest, this chakra forms a bridge that connects the material chakras below it, with the spiritual chakras above it. Covering the concepts of love, joy, and spiritual peace, this chakra allows us to connect more deeply within ourselves, as well as with those around us.
Identifying a Blocked Chakra
As the control center for feelings of love and connection, this chakra may become blocked for many reasons. From a death in the family to the loss of a cherished relationship - spiritual/sexual/platonic - any number of internal and external stimuli may alter the ways in which this chakra is able to fully function.
When pervasive feelings of anger, jealousy, and fear dominate our thoughts, the heart chakra is experiencing misalignment. This misalignment may cause a person to struggle to fully open themselves to the experience of sharing love with those around them. Suffering from a blocked chakra may cause an individual to appear withdrawn, or entirely closed off.
Opening Your Heart Chakra
If you’re experiencing a blocked heart chakra, there are many ways in which you can seek out balance. Expressions of gratitude, to others as well as to ourselves, may engender inner peace, thus helping to realign our chakra. As the oft-misattributed saying goes, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” When we give love, we are more likely to see that love returned. Thus, if we wish to realign our heart chakra, we should endeavor to give as much love as we can muster. In this way, we will be living within the spirit of Anahata.
If ‘giving love’ is too abstract, or too uncomfortable, a place to start, more practical efforts can be made. Mantras may prove useful as tools to set and reaffirm your intentions. Simply stating, “I am worthy of love.” may help to correct a blockage based on feelings of inadequacy. Even more practical would be to follow a heart-centered yoga routine, which can treat the emotional, spiritual, and physical blockages in one fell swoop.
Another overlooked, but incredibly effective, means by which to recenter the heart chakra is through the practice of forgiveness. Whether the wounds are fresh, or older than you can remember, it is important to give grace to past transgressions against you in an intentional effort to remove their burden from your soul.
If you're looking for other ways to open your heart chakra, we recommend reading this excellent article from The Chopra Center.
In tomorrow’s article, I’ll cover the next chakra you’ll want to familiarize yourself with: the throat chakra. Expect to see all seven of the chakras covered in the coming days - and remember to check out our Instagram series which incorporates yoga into a greater understanding of our bodies, chakras, and overall balance.