The fourth energy center is the heart chakra or Anahata. It is the seat of your emotional balance, the merging point of the lower three physical chakras and the upper three spiritual chakras.
The Meaning of Anahata
Most Westerners translate Anahata from the Sanskrit to mean “unstruck” or “unhurt”. Literal translations can be a bit more open to interpretation. The Sanskrit word “ana” can mean “breath” or “substitute for”. If the root of Anahata is assumed to be “anaha”, the translation is “breathing freely” or “healthy.” The Sanskrit “hata” can translate to a variety of synonyms for “struck”, “injured” or hurt”. Even with these variations, the gist of the word Anahata is clearly meant to convey the message that while the heart can be wounded in past experience, the underlying spiritual heart is unharmed and pure.
Anahata Through the Ages and Philosophies
We’ve mentioned before in previous chakra blogs that the ancient texts and scriptures discussing chakras often included systems with more than the current-day, popularised seven chakras. One of the few consistencies throughout these variations is the energy center surrounding the heart. It is a universal concept and acknowledgment of the role the heart plays in health and the mind-body-spirit connection.
Heart Chakra Overview
Your heart chakra is the center of your compassion, caring, and love. This kindness and generosity are both for yourself and for others. It is altruism; it is your bond with other beings; it is forgiveness and acceptance of others.
This chakra is located in the center of your chest, encompassing the central portion of your spine as well as your lungs, breasts, arms, circulatory system and lymphatic system.
It is associated with the color green, the energy of transformation and love. The aromas of rose, jasmine, and lavender correspond to this chakra, which is also related to the element of air.
As it is the intersection of the physical with the emotional and spiritual chakras, it’s fitting to explore the emotional and physical manifestations of this chakra. Emotionally, the heart energy influences relationships, self- and outward love, empathy for and acceptance of others and transformation. It affects the ability to grieve healthfully and the ability to move beyond that grief eventually. It influences your ability to acknowledge your insights, identify them and correlate them to your other physical senses and spiritual intuition.
Physically, Anahata is associated with your thymus gland and its related hormone production and regulation of the immune system. With its physical association with your lungs, breath is important to this chakra, as is circulation and cardiac function. As a result, imbalances in this chakra can manifest physically as respiratory issues like bronchitis and pneumonia or as circulatory problems.
Imbalanced Heart Chakra
Past experience, noteworthy changes in your environment and disruptions to the developmental stage of three-and-a-half to seven years of age can cause an imbalance in your heart chakra. Here are a few of the physical and emotional indications of a misaligned heart chakra.
Overstimulated Heart Chakra
An overly stimulated Anahata can deeply affect your relationships, often manifesting as
- co-dependency issues
- Inadequate or nonexistent boundaries in your interpersonal relationships
- no self-identity
- giving so much to others emotionally that you don’t care or honour your own emotional needs
- inability to say “no” to projects, tasks or responsibilities that tax your own emotions or physical needs
Blocked or Underactive Heart Chakra
On the opposite end of the imbalanced heart chakra spectrum, a blocked Anahata can present as:
- deep insecurity
- inability to trust oneself
- trying to overcome deep-seated fears by becoming manipulative or passive aggressive
- high or low blood pressure
- circulatory issues
- feeling closed down or disconnected
- Isolating yourself from others
Tips for Balancing the Heart Chakra
- Meditation, kundalini yoga and other yogic practices are solid methods for aligning your heart chakra. Popular yoga asanas for this purpose include cow face, camel, and standing bow poses.
- Breathwork is effective here too. You can heighten the experience of pranayama exercises with aromatherapy essential oils derived from the roses and other corresponding perfumes from rose geranium, sandalwood, neroli and lemon oil like the blend found in our Heart Chakra Oil.
- Take care of yourself and your heart energy every day with simple things too. Start your day off by placing aromatherapy oils that balance your heart chakra in a diffuser or burner. Dab a few drops of your oil blend on an aromatherapy bracelet, a healing crystal or stone-like rose quartz or jade.