The heart chakra or Anahata (Sanskrit for Unstruck) is the fourth chakra of seven in the body. The Anahata connects the flow of Chi between our lower and upper chakras. This complex chakra unites what seems opposite, integrating spirit and matter, healing both our emotions and our energy, uniting the masculine and feminine, bringing us back to the idea of harmony, love and connection.
The heart chakra is located at the center of your chest bone, and radiates back to your spine, between your shoulder blades. Anahata physically relates to your cardiovascular and respiratory systems, as well as your thymus, a primary lymphoid.
Spiritually, this chakra relates to compassion and connection, to love and intimacy, and to our ability to give and receive. Anahata’s element is air and is associated with breath, movement and flow.
A balanced chakra allows for a healthy sense of altruism and love of self that does not have to bend to social expectations. Symptoms that correlate with an unbalanced chakra include having a hard time practicing regular self-care or setting boundaries, feeling isolated or unworthy, closing oneself off due to mistrust of others, or being hyper or hypo empathetic.
Balancing your Anahata can be a great part of healing old wounds and can even allow for processing grief. This chakra can be painful to work on, but healing from heartache can truly begin when we follow the breath in heart-opening practices.
Since this chakra is incredibly complex, it is best to approach this journey of healing with a gentle attitude of “how can I love myself through improvement?” instead of “what do others think?”.