Anahata = “unstruck” or “unhurt”.
How much can you open your heart to make everything a loving interaction? To see more and feel more love in everything you do and everyone you interact with. How much can you open your heart to love?
Before reading this article, I’d like you to connect to the heart. Just close your eyes, place both hands over the heart and take 10 deep belly breaths focussing the mind’s eye on the heart. Soften the heart area with each exhale and feel love, the love of all the things that are great in your life and all the people who nurture your heart. Feel the beat of the heart.
The anahata chakra is the fourth chakra of 7. It is right in the middle of the chakra line, with 3 above and 3 below. The heart chakra is located in the centre of the chest, in line with the height of the physical heart, it is the chakra that links the more physical chakras (root, sacral, solar plexus) to the more spiritual ones (throat, third eye, crown). When your heart chakra is open, you are flowing with love and compassion, you are quick to forgive, and you accept others and yourself. A closed heart chakra can give way to grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others.
The colour is emerald green and the gemstones associated with the heart are emerald, malachite, jade, and rose quartz.
One of the key elements that the heart chakra relates to is being hurt. The way we deal with hurt and pain caused by others (family, friends, lovers, etc) is directly related to how open anahata chakra is. Those who react to hurt by lashing out, taking revenge, holding a grudge and spreading more negativity are generally those who need to balance anahata chakra. When we balance this chakra, we are able to let go easier, to respond to hatred with love and neutralise the energy. This no longer is an effort but a natural choice.
“Give up the stories of your past, so the universe can write a new one” – Marianne Williamson
If we want to receive more love we must first ask ourselves “have I got space in my heart?”, “what am I still holding on to?”, “why am I still holding on?”. After all, if our heart is full of old stories then there is no space for new ones. Ask these questions honestly to yourself, and expect anger to re-surface when you dredge up the past. The ego will remind you how bruised it was, and give you a bad feeling, expect this. Allow the anger and the ego to speak and know that through your anahata practice you can release the hurt that is manifesting negativity in your subconscious, finally!
I really recommend trying something called the Ho’oponopono practice. This is a meditative practice of forgiveness. An important element of letting go and creating space is forgiveness. Forgiveness of those who hurt you and of yourself for allowing the pain to reside. Keep practicing this method until you feel you truly have let go, and try using it at the end of your relaxation after heart opening asanas (below).
Once we’ve made space in our hearts for new love and positive energy, we can receive love by giving love:
- Smile at everyone you see daily, even if you don’t feel like smiling. It’s contagious.
- Keep forgiving and moving on, making a consicous effort to let each little thing that irritates you go, using a mantra or the Ho’oponopono method
- Give friends, family and colleagues positive affirmations and feedback, boost others and you will feel great!
- Try to go one day a week without criticizing anyone or anything, including yourself. One day might seem like nothing, but just try it on for size 😉
‘The longest journey a man must take is the 18 inches between his head to his heart.’ – Mother Teresa
As you can see from this article, a lot of the journey towards opening anahata chakra is in training the mind. The mind is a powerful tool and often the arch enemy of the heart, overthinking, holding on and re-playing the memories of being hurt making it impossible to let go. Furthermore, our mind is often louder than our heart, drowning out any loving intentions. So we must train the mind to love the heart and to refer to it for inspiration and decisions. When we link mind and heart is when we find the ‘sweet spot’ and open to more love and happiness. Make a commitment to try these exercises regularly and you will notice the connection between the mind and the heart becomes deeper. Practice and all is coming.
Now, in the words of Olivia Newton-John “let’s get physical”! If you’d like to do a heart opening breathing exercise before this practice, feel free to take the exercise I opened this article with, and extend it to a 3 minutes (use an egg timer). So when you’re ready to jump on the mat, this is an awesome heart opening sequence from Adriene:
Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this article you might enjoy browsing the other chakra articles on my blog! Next week I’ll be writing about the throat chakra, your inner voice. Sending love, kindness and a SMILE to each and every one of you. Namaste 😍 😘