Anahata Chakra, The heart chakra in Yoga

The 4th Chakra or Anahata Chakra is the halfway point between the 3 lower chakras and the 3 higher chakras. It literally means “unstuck sound” and is where we begin to tune into the subtle sound of the pulse of life. It is associated with the element of air and relates to our emotional thoughts, ideas and inspirations. Balancing the Anahata chakra allows us to release our emotional pain through unconditional love. The fourth chakra represents the unifying energy of love and compassion. When the heart center is blocked, there is a sense of alienation from others. When the heart center is open and flowing, you feel connected at a deep level to all beings in your life. The ancient Yogis believed that your “jiva atman” –personal spirit(soul)- resides in the heart chakra. It is where we begin to move beyond our material self to the divine self, connecting ourselves to the universe. As the heart center expands our seed of inner peace and harmony is able to open and grow. The color of the fourth energy center is green. When flowing, it is the green of nourishment; when congested, it can be green with envy.

 

PHYSICAL LOCATION: center of the chest

ELEMENT: Air

COLOR: Green

SENSE: Touch

FORCE: Equilibrium

AREAS OF THE BODY:    heart, lungs, shoulders, arms

MUDRA: Lotus @ heart

BANDHA: Maha

MANTRA: Yum  “I open my heart to——.

 

When unbalanced/ blocked can manifest in:

Too little: loneliness, jealousy, bitterness, inability to forgive, pessimism, alienation,  attachment, passive aggression, inability  to love, judgmental,  lack empathy , Too much: emotional flamboyance, overly dramatic, smothering behavior

Health issues: asthma, heart problems, circulatory system, and respiratory system

When balanced/not blocked can manifest in:  Unconditional love, Harmony with nature, Positive neutrality, Harmonious relationships, Nonjudgmental of self or others, Compassionate and Peaceful

Asana examples that balance the heart chakra:

Heart openers

Triangle Dolphin Chest expansion

Lateral bends

 Crescent Warrior

Upward Plank Wheel

Back bends

Downward Dog

Camel Bow pose

 

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