Heart Chakra Harmony: Embrace Love and Compassion

The Heart Chakra is also known as Anahata. It’s the 4th primary chakra in Hindu and yogic traditions. It’s located at the center of the chest near the heart.

The Heart Chakra is represented by the element of ‘air’ and green color. When this chakra is balanced, it promotes love, joy, compassion and gratitude.

The Heart Chakra Symbol and Mantra

The symbol of Anahata is a 12-petaled lotus flower with a downward-facing triangle symbolizing the downward flow of energy and the chakra’s grounding effect. The 12 petals represent the 12 qualities associated with this chakra, such as love, compassion, joy, peace and forgiveness.

The beej mantra of this chakra is “YAM” meaning ‘I am’ in Sanskrit. It’s believed that the sound ‘Y’ connects with heart’s vibration.

Functions of the Heart Chakra

Like every chakra the heart chakra also affects our physical and mental well-being. Here are some of its main functions:

Physical functions

  • Heart health: Keeps the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing functions in check.
  • Immune system: Keeps the immune system healthy to prevent diseases and keep the body healthy.
  • Thymus gland: Activates the thymus gland which makes T-cells. These cells are necessary for the immune system to work.
  • Blood circulation: Ensure that blood flows smoothly throughout the body.
  • Respiratory system: Ensures the lungs are healthy and there are no issues in breathing.

Mental functions

  • Love and compassion: A balanced chakra promotes feelings of self-love, sympathy, empathy and forgiveness.
  • Joy and happiness: Feelings of joy, happiness, peace and emotional well-being.
  • Healthy relationships: Helps in keeping relationships with other people balanced.
  • Emotional balance: Gives control over feelings, helping in staying calm, clear and at peace.
  • Gratitude: Makes it easier to be thankful for the good things in life and be thankful.

Signs of a Balanced Anahata Chakra

It’s believed that when the Anahata chakra is balanced, positive physical, emotional and mental things may happen. Some of the things are:

Physical signs

  • Strong heart and lungs: You may experience healthy breathing and a strong immune system.
  • Better blood circulation: You may experience normal blood pressure and your chest and upper body may feel warm and relaxed.
  • Less stress and anxiety: You might feel more calm and relaxed than usual and are less likely to be stressed or anxious. 
  • More energy: You may feel more energized throughout the day.
  • Better sleep: It’s easier to fall asleep and you may feel more rested when you wake up.

Emotional signs

  • Love and kindness: You’ll be more loving and kind towards yourself and others.
  • Inner peace and happiness: You may feel peace of mind and more content with life in general.
  • Gratitude: You’ll feel more thankful for the good things in life and the people in it.
  • Empathy: It’ll be easier for you to connect with people and understand how they feel. 
  • Self-acceptance: You may gain a strong sense of self-worth and accept yourself the way you are.

Mental signs

  • Clarity and focus: Your mind may be clearer and you can stay on track without losing focus.
  • Positive outlook: Even if things go wrong, you may have a positive and hopeful view of life.
  • Forgiveness: You may be more forgiving of your and other people’s mistakes.
  • Strength and will: You may experience inner strength to deal with problems and the will to get back on track after failure.

Signs of a Blocked Heart Chakra

When your heart chakra is blocked or imbalanced you may feel and act differently. Here are the signs seen in most cases:

Physical signs

  • Heart palpitations: Irregular or rapid heartbeat and feeling of anxiety. 
  • Chest pain: Feeling of tightness in the chest without any physical activity.
  • Shallow breathing: Difficulty breathing or taking deep breaths.
  • Poor blood circulation: Cold hands and feet, stiffness in limbs and discolouration of the skin are all signs of poor blood circulation.
  • Respiratory problems: Cold, allergies and asthma may become a common problem
  • Lack of energy: Feeling tired even after taking enough rest.
  • Weak immunity: Weaker immune system making it more likely to get sick and take longer to heal.

Emotional signs

  • Loneliness: Feeling isolated and lonely even when in a group or with other people around.
  • Depression: Feeling sad, hopeless and lack of determination.
  • Anger: Feeling angry due to small changes in life or small things.
  • Fear of closeness: Avoiding close relationships with people or ruining existing ones due to insecurity.
  • Lack of empathy: Having a hard time connecting with other people and understanding other people’s feelings. 
  • Low self-esteem: Judging yourself and your mistakes in life and not loving and accepting yourself.

Mental signs

  • Negative thoughts: Seeing the negative side of things more often and expecting negative outcomes.
  • Trouble focusing: Feeling unsure of doing things and not being able to concentrate on daily tasks.
  • Overthinking: Thinking about past bad events and decisions for too long.
  • Emotional numbness: Unable to connect with your feelings and feel joy and happiness out of things.
  • Dependence: Relying on other people for support more often.

How to Balance the Heart Chakra

women performing bhujangasana asana during yoga session
Photo by RDNE Stock project

Physical practices

  • Yoga: Yoga asanas such as the cobra pose (Bhujangasana), camel pose (Ustrasana), fish pose (Matsyasana) and warrior pose (Virabhadrasana) are believed to open the chest and provide power to the heart chakra.
  • Breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises can help in relaxing and improve how you handle your emotions. 
  • Stretching: Gentle stretches and movements that open the chest area can help in improving blood flow and relieve stress.
  • Massage: A good massage that focuses on the upper back and chest can help in releasing mental and physical stress.
  • Spend time in nature: Try walking, trekking and spending time in nature. It’s believed that this can help in connecting with the Earth’s energy and promote healing.

Mental and emotional practices

  • Gratitude: Be thankful for the things you have in life and the people in it.  
  • Affirmation: Repeat positive statements to yourself like “I am loved”, “I am worthy” and “I forgive myself”. This may change the way your subconscious mind works and help you accept and love yourself.
  • Meditation: While meditating focus on the color and symbol of the heart chakra and chant its mantra. It’s believed that this can help active and balance the chakra.
  • Express in writing: Express your feelings, fears and desires in the form of writing to better understand yourself and removing any mental blocks.
  • Visualization: Imagine yourself being surrounded by the color of the chakra and picture yourself giving and receiving love.
  • Practice forgiveness: Practice the art of forgiving yourself and others for mistakes made in the past. Let go of anger and accept love and kindness.
  • Do the things you enjoy: Spend time with the people you love and care about. Work on your hobbies and do the things that make you happy.

Energy healing practices

  • Crystals: It’s believed that green stones like emerald, jade and green aventurine can help in balancing the chakra. You can keep them in your hands or on your chest while you meditate.
  • Essential oils: Rose, jasmine and sandalwood are some of the essential oils that can promote love, caring and joyful. Oils can be used during a massage or for scent at home.
  • Sound healing: Music or sounds that are tuned to the anahata chakra frequency (528 Hz) is said to clear any blockages and boost the healing process.

Dietary practices

  • Green foods: Include green foods and vegetable such as spinach, broccoli, green peppers in your diet. Green vegetables are rich in nutrients and fiber which helps the body detox.
  • Yellow and orange foods: Carrots oranges and mangoes are some examples of yellow and orange foods that are beta-carotene rich. It helps the immune system and keeps the heart healthy.
  • Healthy fat: Choose healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados. These are good in keeping hormones balanced and cells healthy.
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. 
  • Vitamin C rich foods: Vitamin C is important to keep our immunity system strong. It can help prevent diseases and fight stress that can have nagative effects on the anahata chakra.

That said, pay attention to what you eat by focusing on how you feel. Avoid doing other things while you eat and stop eating once you’re full. Most importantly try cooking at home often.

It’s important to keep in mind that balancing chakras is a continuous process. Be patient and take out time every day for things that make you feel happy. This can help bring positivity in your life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is the heart chakra responsible for?

The heart chakra is responsible for love, compassion, emotional balance, relationships and physical health related to the heart.

Q2: What happens if heart chakra is blocked?

Some common effects of a blocked heart chakra are: irregular heartbeat, anxiety, chest pain, breathing problems, poor blood circulation, weak immune system, lack of energy, depression, anger, loneliness, fear, lack of empathy, low self-esteem, overthinking, trouble focusing and negative thoughts.

Q3: What are the 12 petals of Anahata Chakra?

The Anahata chakra is symbolised by a 12 petaled lotus flower. Each petal represents a quality related to love, compassion and mental health. Here are the names of the 12 petals and the quality they represent:

  • Kam: Bliss 
  • Kham: Peace 
  • Gam: Harmony means being in tune with yourself and the world around you.
  • Gham: Love
  • Ngam: Understanding
  • Cham: Forgiveness
  • Chham: Compassion 
  • Jam: Kindness 
  • Jham: Gratitude
  • Nyam: Devotion
  • Tam: Grace
  • Tham: Oneness
Q4: How do you purify Anahata Chakra?

There are certain practices that can purify, activate and balance the Anahata chakra. Some of the common practices are:

  • Physical practices: Yoga, breathing exercises, stretching, massage and spending time in nature.
  • Mental and emotional practices: Gratitude, affirmation, meditation, express in writing, visualization, practice forgiveness and do the things you enjoy.
  • Energy healing practices: Crystals, essential oils and sound healing
  • Dietary practices: Green foods, yellow and orange foods, healthy fat, hydration and vitamin C rich foods.

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