The Sanskrit word for the heart chakra is Anahata which translates to, “unhurt,” “unbeaten,” “unstuck,” as well as “sounds produced without touching two parts,” “pure,” “clean,” and “stainless”. The name comes from the state of freshness that appears when we are able to become detached to look at the different and apparently contradicting experiences of life with a state of openness (expansion). This energy is specific to cooperation and integration which brings peace and a new perspective in a world which, up to this level in the chakras, has been more or less a conscious confrontation between opposite forces. The heart chakra is the fourth primary chakra and is associated with balance, calmness, serenity, universal love, empathy, self-knowledge, inner peace, emotional openness, inner transformation, beauty and integration. It is located at the sternum/breastbone into the central channel of the spine near the heart with its kshetram (physical holy place). It connects to the sense of touch and actions and is associated primarily with the skin, hands and thymus.
Harmony, balance and proportion are key elements in determining growth, promotion and virtue, as well as what is vice or inappropriate to our spiritual growth. There are twelve divine qualities of the heart chakra which relates to the lotus petals that represent it.
Twelve Divine Qualities of the Heart
When the heart chakra is out of balance, it can lead to emotional, physical and existential distress. The energy running through this chakra isn’t flowing freely if you feel drained, depleted, stuck in thoughts or behavioral patterns.
Symptoms of an Unbalanced Heart Chakra (Underactive and Overactive Signs)
- Circulatory issues
- Blood pressure issues/hypertension
- Tight chest
- Cardiovascular problems
- Lack of empathy or overly empathetic
- Feeling withdrawn or antisocial
- Respiratory issues
- Lack of self love
- Poor decision making
- Overly critical of others or overly concerned with others
- Over demanding of others
- Tendency to play the victim
- No sense of personal boundaries
- Over-extending yourself to help others to your own personal detriment
- Codependency/clingy/smothering/being dependent on others for happiness
- Staying in abusive relationships
- Craving too much social interaction
- Being too trusting (overactive heart chakra)
- Falling in love frequently and quickly (overactive heart chakra)
- Extreme shyness/unwilling to interact with others
- Feeling fearful of getting hurt/fear of relationships
- Feelings of loneliness
- Feeling unloved or unwanted
- Practicing poor self care
- Being abusive towards friends or partners
- Testing others to prove their love
Signs of a Balanced Heart Chakra
- Healthy circulation/blood pressure/heart
- Forgiving of self and others
- Inner happiness and a sense of peace
- Compassion and love toward self and others
Healing the Heart Chakra
I am open to love, I open my heart to forgiveness, I find courage in my vulnerability, I speak love and compassion: mantras for the heart chakra. The heart chakra’s associated colors are pink and mainly green. Visualize green warmth in the heart’s space during meditation or a green light surrounding your heart. Visualize its green wheel spinning clockwise and opening both on the front and back of your body. Acknowledge different parts of you that are at play in daily life; some are easy to recognize and some are hiding in the shadow with guilt, shame or anger. Honor and accept the different parts of your personality. Learn how to provide self love. Work out inner conflicts. Learn how to make workable alliances with parts of yourself that tend to resist. Tame the inner critic and be less judgmental toward yourself. Be able to move freely (loosen up constrictions such as stress, physical muscle tension, improper diet, negative influences on others, limited beliefs and attitudes). Become balanced with other energies (take into consideration the whole chakra system; stress or imbalance in neighboring chakras can influence the state of the heart chakra).
Go somewhere in nature that supports you or encourages love like a green forest. Spend time around air and wind. Meditate outside on a breezy day, drive with the windows down and practice deep breathing. The sound for the heart chakra to chant or hum is “yam,” in the F note at 342 Hz. Listen to binaural beats or wind blowing/air sounds. Yoga aids in all of the chakra’s health. Try heart opening positions such as Cobra, Bow Pose, Camel, Upwards Bow/Wheel, Bridge Pose, Reclined Butterfly and Wild Thing. Try lunges and sitting while meditating with hands clasped together in a prayer pose at the center of the chest.
Crystals that can assist in balancing the heart chakra include: rose quartz, kunzite, malachite, jade, peridot, amazonite, chrysocolla, chrysoprase, green aventurine, emerald and green tourmaline. Essential oils that can help heal the heart chakra include: ylang ylang, rose, jasmine, vetiver (good for all chakras), eucalyptus, geranium, lime, melaleuca, peppermint, thyme, lavender, chamomile and frankincense. Foods for optimum heart chakra health include: green and leafy foods, kale, limes, green peppers, pears, asparagus, green beans, peas, green grapes, broccoli, spinach, chard, dandelion, parsely, celery, cucumber, zucchini, matcha, green tea, avocado, spirulina, green apples, kiwi, warm soups/broth and foods rich in vitamic C.
I also offer tarot spreads specifically on the heart chakra’s status as well as a spread on checking in with all of the chakras. You can book here!