When your heart chakra, Anahata, is open and aligned, you may feel love, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, and grief. If you feel like there are past issues either with yourself or another person that you just can’t get over, you could benefit from a heart chakra balancing sequence. Opening and aligning the heart chakra allows us to process the pain from the past, sort the information, forgive, and move forward.
Let’s say, though, that your lower chakras are also in need of work. The heart chakra is the fourth chakra. That means that it’s fourth on your priority list. It is nearly impossible to get the heart chakra well balanced if chakras one through three are misaligned or out of balance.
But, before we go any further, let’s talk about chakras. Perhaps you’ve seen a picture of a seated person with a rainbow of dots up their spine to their forehead. These are the chakras. Although some people may argue that there are more than 7 chakras, everyone agrees that there are at least 7. See the picture below for the approximate location of the chakras.
In English, chakra translates to “wheel.” All of these “wheels” work together to transfer energy, thoughts, feelings, and impulses through your body. The chakras are truly a complex system. To truly understand each of them and how they work would require study far above and beyond what this article offers.
Chakras are first mentioned in 200 B.C. in Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Despite the large quantity of years to study the chakras, it hasn’t been until relatively recently that scientific studies have started to validate the ancient claims. (Here’s a link to “Scientists Quantify and Graphically Chart Alignment of Human Chakras in Various Emotional States” if you’re interested in reading more on that.)
Since we all have 7 chakras, each chakra is important to us for various reasons. We may not universally feel each chakra in the same way. For example, if a friend and I both have our heart chakras misaligned, we may experience different feelings and thoughts. However, we can participate in the same heart chakra-aligning practice and both receive benefit in our respective areas.
Heart Chakra Attributes
Each chakra has its own attributes and associations. Here is a quick breakdown of the heart chakra.
- Color: Green
- Element: Air
- Sense: Touch
- Location: Center of the chest near your heart and lungs
- Functions: Wisdom, Love, Compassion, Perseverance, Mental patience and equilibrium
Signs of Heart Chakra Imbalance
According to www.chakras.info, you may want to balance your heart chakra if you are:
- overly defensive.
- feeling closed down.
- fearful of intimacy.
- codependent, relying on other’s approval and attention, trying to please at all cost.
- always putting oneself in the role of the savior/rescuer or, on the contrary, falling into victimization.
- isolated, reclusive, or antisocial.
- holding grudges and not able to forgive.
Heart Chakra Balancing
To restore balance to the heart chakra, set a heart-centered intention before you begin your practice. Be mindful to keep this intention throughout your practice. It would also be appropriate to have a heart-centered meditation.
To create a heart-centered intention or meditation, choose a thought or idea that pertains to this chakra’s functions. For example, love and compassion are heart chakra attributes. You could set an intention to show love and compassion to your body when it struggles in a pose. In your meditation, you could work on feeling love and compassion for someone who has wronged you.
If you’re wanting a specific practice to balance your solar plexus chakra, I recommend reading Yoga Sequencing by Mark Stephens. This book contains many sequences, not just those that pertain to balancing the chakras, and information about how to construct your own yoga sequences.
I also really enjoy the Yoga Toolbox for Teachers and Students by Integrative Yoga Therapy. This is a binder of laminated pages that thoroughly explain many basic yoga poses. One of the perks of practicing yoga with these pages is that the activated chakras are shown for each pose. This makes it much easier to create a chakra specific sequence on your own.
How do you prefer to balance your heart chakra? Let us know in the comments below.
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