In Hindu Tantrism, it is believed that there are numerous energy centers aligned throughout the body called chakras. Each of these sits in a specific spot, and correspond to different aspects of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. If these chakras become blocked or unbalanced, then you may begin to suffer physical and mental side-effects.
The heart chakra, anahata, is the fourth chakra. It sits in the chest, its element is air, and it is symbolized by a green, twelve-petaled lotus flower with two interlocking triangles within it. This chakra is associated with calmness, emotional balance, compassion, joy, and all types of love.
How can I tell if my heart chakra is closed?
A closed heart chakra leads to a lack of love. This can manifest as selfishness, grudges, shyness, a lack of trust, low self-esteem, and difficulty caring for yourself or others. An unbalanced heart chakra leads to excess. This can manifest as loving too hard and too soon, being too quick to trust, or going from one intense relationship to another.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have a blocked or unbalanced chakra -- just like you cannot touch your right hand to your right elbow, you may be "too close" to a problem to be able to perceive it. If this is the case, there are other ways to tell if your anahata chakra needs help:
- Use a pendulum. Hold (or have a friend hold) a pendulum over your heart area, and pay attention to how it spins. If it does not move, your chakra may be blocked. If it moves slowly, very quickly, or erratically, your chakra may be unbalanced. A healthy chakra should show as a smooth, even movement, neither too fast nor too slow.
- Visualize your energy centers. While meditating, try to picture your heart chakra as a bright green wheel. What does it look like? Is it stuck, or spinning? Which direction is it spinning in? Is its color bright, or dull? These signs can tell you what is going on.
Healing, Balancing, and Unblocking the Heart Chakra
If your heart chakra shows signs of blockage or other issues, you can heal it yourself. There are several different ways to do this, and you may find that you need to combine a few of them depending on your particular situation:
Wearing, carrying, or surrounding yourself with pink and green crystals can help heal and balance anahata. You can keep aventurine or rose quartz tumble stones in your bag or pocket, and take them out when you need some healing support. If possible, it is best to wear crystals near the area you want to heal. Malachite necklaces help here, as do rose quartz. These can sit directly over the heart chakra for maximum effect.
The heart chakra is stimulated by the color green. In addition to the green crystals mentioned above, wear green clothing. Add a few live plants to your home (as a bonus, caring for a living thing can also help heal this chakra). Add splashes of green to your home decor. Light green candles when working on unblocking this chakra.
Certain fragrances help heal and stimulate anahata. Oils associated with love, like rose, ylang-ylang, and jasmine are very helpful. Lavender and chamomile are calming and emotionally supportive. Diffuse these oils in your home, or place a few drops on a cotton ball and breathe in the fragrance. Be careful if you have pets -- some essential oils are not safe to diffuse around animals.
When you go out, wear cologne or perfume that supports the heart chakra. A few drops of rose, lavender, or jasmine perfume or cologne is a discreet way to heal your heart chakra throughout the day.
Affirmations are a kind of speaking meditation. The more you repeat them, the more you re-train your brain and your energy centers to accept them as truth. This makes them very helpful if you struggle with low self-esteem or a lack of self-love. Dress a green candle with a few drops of geranium oil (an excellent oil for lifting your spirits and easing your heart). Sit quietly, calm your mind, and light the candle. As it burns, repeat:
"I am love.
I am deserving of love.
I am loved.
I give and receive love freely and without fear.
I trust, and am worthy of trust in return.
My heart is calm. My heart is balanced.
I am love."
Since anahata is located in the chest and tied to the element of air, breathing exercises, heart-opening yoga poses (like half moon pose), and cardiovascular exercise can help to open it.
Take a Spiritual Bath
Baths are emotionally calming and great for re-calibrating your energy. Fill a tub with clean, fresh, warm water, and add a generous handful each of sea salt, rose buds and petals, lavender, and chamomile. Stir until the salt dissolves, step in, and allow yourself to soak. Picture the flowing green energy of the herbs traveling to your heart chakra to open, heal, and balance it.
A Good Diet
As the green chakra, anahata is healed with a diet rich in leafy greens. Heart-healthy foods are a must, too. Consume more salads and high-fiber foods that heal the cardiovascular system to benefit this energy center.
A healthy heart chakra makes it easy to love and be loved in return. When your heart chakra is open and balanced, it is easy to be calm, caring, and generous. If your anahata chakra is blocked or unbalanced, you can correct it with any combination of these methods.