Chakras are spiraling wheels of energy that exist within the body. In all, there are 114 chakras. Popularly, seven chakras are focused on, which move from the base of the spine, up through the body, and beyond the head.
The first three chakras deal primarily with physical connections to the world. They’re often considered the chakras of matter – they link us to some of the most fundamental energies of the universe, from survival to love to self-confidence. The latter three chakras begin to deal with more spiritual, intangible elements of life. Between these groups, though, there is a transition chakra: the Heart Chakra.
The Heart Chakra
The fourth of the seven major chakras is the Heart Chakra, which serves as a center of emotional and physical well-being and love. This chakra is a powerful force of connection, flowing energy in both directions and unifying body, mind, spirit and matter. This area manifests both our human self and our True self. It is the core of our being, and the source of our feelings of love and virtuous emotions.
The Heart Chakra is called the Anahata chakra in Sanskrit. It encompasses the heart and lungs, and the chakra itself exists within the chest, just above the heart. This chakras deals primarily with pulsating vital energy out of the body, affecting empathy and dispelling callousness and anger. Rather than requiring energy to be put into it, the Heart Chakra provides a presence of empathetic energy – a energy that proactively connects us to others.
Symptoms of an Unbalanced Heart Chakra
- Apathy and faithlessness
- Distrust and difficulty to commit
- Asthma or breathing problems
- Upper back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Premature aging
Element, Color and Sense Associated with Heart Chakra
The Heart Chakra deals most with the element of air. Like air, the Heart Chakra deals with a free flowing (or congested) emittance of energy within the body and other chakras. Air is associated with openness and free flowing energy. It is an element that deals a sense of expansion, freedom, and breath. On the one side, when our Heart Chakra is in balance, our love is able to flow smoothly and openly. On the other, when constricted, energy is suffocated, like that of breath, and growth is stymied.
The Heart Chakra is most often associated with the color green (though some practices associate the left side of with heart with red, the right side of the heart with green, and the center as pure white). Green is a color of harmony, growth, abundance and nature. Green works to revitalize the nerves, offering new energy outward to renew and fresh the sense of vitality.
Because of its association with connection, the Heart Chakra is often associated with our sense of touch. Touch through the skin is a fundamental connecting experience for people – it is through touch that people are healed and that compassion and love are communicated (consider hugging, kisses, or holding hands). It is through touch that our internal energy can be vibrationally communicated.
Tips for Balancing the Heart Chakra
- Engage with the element of air – listen to it or allow yourself to be overcome by a breeze
- Surround yourself with the color green
- Practice and reflect on empathy and your caring for others
- Practice the mantra Yam
- Practice yoga poses that open the chest
- Indulge in touch: get a massage, give someone a hug, or make a connection to someone
As you begin to work through balancing your Heart Chakra, you’re able to move your way up to the next chakras. Follow with us in the following three parts of our series to learn more about these chakras, and how to continue your journey of balancing and connecting these pools of energy.
For more information on the chakras, explore the complete guide:
- The Chakras: Introduction and Overview
- Part 1: The Root Chakra
- Part 2: The Sacral Chakra
- Part 3: The Solar Plexus Chakra
- Part 4: The Heart Chakra
- Part 5: The Throat Chakra
- Part 6: The Third Eye Chakra
- Part 7: The Crown Chakra