Anahata (unhurt/unstruck) + Chakra (wheel)
Anahata Chakra Definition
The Anahata Chakra is our fourth primary chakra, physically located in the heart space. Anahata, meaning unstruck, is named after the unstruck, unlimited, infinite sound of the universe (anahata nadam) that can be heard when you achieve Samadhi.
This unstruck sound is Om (or Aum), the dissolution of all sound.
When balanced, this chakra’s qualities are expansion, compassion, unconditional love, selflessness, and devotion.
Anahata Chakra Deep Dive
The heart is the place where we live our passions. It is frail and easily broken, but wonderfully resilient. There is no point in trying to deceive the heart. It depends upon our honesty for its survival.Leo Buscaglia
The Anahata Chakra is the bridge between earth and spirit, with its governing element being Air.
With three chakras above and three chakras below it, the Anahata is located in the center of our being, perfectly placed to balance and connect the three lower physical-emotional centers to the higher mental-spiritual ones.
Physically, it directly controls our heart, lungs, upper back, chest, arms, hands, thymus gland, and lymphatic system.
Often represented by the color green, being a mix between the primary colors of yellow (abundance and gratitude) and blue (peace and openness), it symbolizes change, growth, and transformation.
Balanced Anahata Chakra
When this chakra is balanced, you will feel the great sense of peace that comes with knowing you find happiness inside of yourself, instead of an external source.
You are caring and compassionate towards others, whilst maintaining healthy boundaries without the need to give too much or less of yourself.
You will feel surrounded by love, recognizing the interconnectedness of everyone and everything, showing love to and receiving love from others as if they were yourself (because they are!).
Overactive Anahata Chakra
An overactive Heart Chakra means this center is overstimulated, indicating you are giving too much of your energy without keeping enough for yourself.
As this chakra is generally associated with love and self-acceptance, it may mean that you are misusing or giving away your love too easily, accepting less than you deserve from others, depending on others to feel good, or losing your sense of identity.
It may also be because you are caught up in your emotions, unable to process them properly, or feeling the need to relive past hurts.
- Tolerating too much from others to the point of neglecting your own needs
- Overly sacrificing
- Poor boundaries
- Clingy or co-dependent
- Overly jealous or possessive
- Falling in love too quickly
- Being smothering of partners or friends
- Overly sensitive
Underactive Anahata Chakra
Negative experiences or emotions can have a huge impact on our Heart Chakra. This area can close in an attempt to protect ourselves from hurt. When this area is underactive, it’s likely that you will find it difficult to show love, compassion, or forgiveness to yourself or others.
This could be from incidents of violence, betrayal, heartbreak, abusive or toxic relationships, greed, or anything else that makes us suffer.
- Inability to trust others
- Inability to open up
- Difficulty forgiving or moving on from the past
- Isolation and loneliness
- Possessive or unwilling to share
Anahata Chakra In Your Life
The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.Buddha
When this chakra is blocked, it can have a huge impact on both our physical and emotional well-being, so let’s take a look at some ways we can balance it.
Before we do, just one more thing…
It is worth saying that it’s important to work on this center after working with the lower chakras first. This is because the air element cannot be restrained or built up, but instead must be stabilized and redirected toward Source.
1. Yoga Asana
Asana is great for balancing all of the chakras. Movements that open up the chest area are particularly good for the heart space.
Do all these asanas with the intention of tending to your Anahata Chakra, of moving past any stuck emotions, or as an unconditional act of self-care and compassion.
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge
- Salamba Bhujangasana – Sphinx
- Bhujangasana – Cobra or Baby Cobra
- Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge
- Camatkarasana – Wild Thing
- Ustrasana – Camel
- Natarajasana – Dancer’s Pose
2. Mantras and Affirmations
The bija mantra for the Heart Chakra is ‘yam’. A bija (or beeja) mantra is a one-syllable sound used with a specific focus. You can repeat this out loud, internally, or alongside a track such as this one.
- Ong So Hung
Meaning ‘I am one with God, the universal creative consciousness‘, this mantra will stimulate the chakra and help bring expansion into the heart space, acknowledging the sacred nature and oneness of life.
- Om Mani Padme Hum
This is translated as ‘the jewel is in the lotus’, giving praise to the wisdom and compassion of your heart and the practice of the path of love.
You can also repeat affirmations, which work particularly well for this chakra if you repeat them in the mirror. I learned this way of cultivating self-love from the brilliant Louise Hay.
We have a list of 254 affirmations for the Anahata Chakra here:
Bhakti, literally meaning devotion, is an amazing practice that will help clear blockages in this center, allowing you to discover and spend time in the infinite space of your heart.
This could be through kirtan or showing adoration for a guru that you feel called to.
You can find more about how to practice here in more depth:
A loving kindness or gratitude meditation is a great option to unblock the stagnant energy in this space and allow your natural energy to flow through it.
Tune into the area and ask yourself whether there are any blockages and whether this center is balanced, underactive, or overactive. Trust whatever comes to you.
You might want to place the hands over the heart or press your thumbs into your sternum to help stimulate the area more and draw your attention towards it.
5. Through Color
You can do this by visualizing the color green, eating green foods, or wearing green clothes!
Because our aura absorbs color, wearing green clothes can be a good alternative to balance this center if you’re used to wearing lots of blacks or neutrals. Having a wardrobe like this can actually cause more stagnation in our chakra system.
As it’s governed by the element of Air, pranayama is an important practice for the Anahata Chakra.
Some useful breathing practices to target the Heart Chakra are:
- Anulom Vilom Pranayama
- Chandra Bhedana
Overview of anahata chakra
|Qualities||Self-love, compassion, freedom, expansion and joy|
|Underactive||Shy, loneliness, being anti-social, lack of compassion or empathy for others, depression, and lack of self-care|
|Overactive||Giving out too much, feeling low on energy, dependence on others for fulfillment, being overly concerned with others, jealousy, co-dependency, and setting poor boundaries|
|Crystal||Rose Quartz, Tourmaline, Jade, Rhodonite, Green Aventurine, Rhodonite, Amazonite, Green Jade, Malachite, Peach Moonstone, and Green Calcite|
|Age it develops||21-28 years old|
|Food||Green food: kale, broccoli, spinach, celery, cucumber, zucchini, matcha, green tea, mint, peas, kiwi, peas, spirulina, green apples, avocado, lime, and parsley|
|Body||Heart, lungs, upper back, chest, arms, hands, thymus gland, and lymphatic system|
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